Metro wireless network company hires O2’s CTO to lead 5G exp

Metro wireless network company hires O2’s CTO to lead 5G expansion

19 January 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Canadian-owned telecoms infrastructure company BAI Communications has hired Telefónica O2 UK’s Brendan O’Reilly to become its global CTO.

BAI, majority owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), runs wireless networks in the metro systems in Hong Kong, New York City, Toronto as well as broadcast networks in Australia.

O’Reilly (pictured) commented: “BAI’s engineering expertise, alongside its proven experience in delivering large scale connected infrastructure and networking solutions, positions it perfectly to lead the next phase of digital transformation that 5G is creating.”

BAI runs neutrally hosted infrastructure for wireless operators.

O’Reilly had been with O2 since 2009 and led the company’s programme for the London 2012 Olympics on behalf of all UK operators. He became CTO in January 2015.

“Thanks to everyone at who has supported me at O2 (Telefónica UK),” he wrote on LinkedIn this morning. “It is so appreciated, and I’m really looking forward to being part of an extremely exciting journey with BAI Communications.”

O2 UK is due to merge with UK cable operator and virtual network operator Virgin Media, a move that is likely to lead to elimination of some senior roles in the combined operation.

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining BAI in the early stages of executing its ambitious growth plans. This role offers me the opportunity to play a pivotal role in defining and implementing the technology strategy that will help BAI become a globally renowned provider of neutral host solutions to MNOs and municipalities.”

BAI began in 2002 as Broadcast Australia, a company that managed broadcast transmission services for customers in Australia and has since grown to become a global communications infrastructure provider.

One of its subsidiaries is Transit Wireless, which finances and operates wireless networks for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Transit Authority.

BAI group CEO Igor Leprince, former head of Nokia Global Services, said: “The deployment and expansion of 5G is going to be a transformative enabler for businesses, government enterprises, and societies around the world.”

He added: “It will be a key driver for the next wave of technological and economic development, accelerating the scalability of connected infrastructure applications across cities, transport networks, and other government services, changing the way we travel, live and work within cities. This makes it an exciting time to have Brendan join our business.”