BAI’s recently announced global Chief Technology Officer, Brendan O’Reilly, has joined the company in London today. O’Reilly’s role will be focused on accelerating BAI’s expansion of its neutral host solutions and magnifying its strengths as a telecommunications infrastructure service provider. This remit forms a core part of BAI’s growth strategy, which was set out by Group CEO Igor Leprince in mid-2020 and aims to cement the business as a global leader in the delivery of shared 5G network infrastructure.

With almost two decades of telecommunications expertise, O’Reilly brings a proven track record of delivering complex technology strategies and programmes to his new role with BAI. He joins from Telefónica where he was the CTO for O2’s UK operation for the past six years, boasting achievements such as leading the development of O2’s network share partnership with Vodafone, O2’s fastest 4G deployment in the UK and the recent launch of its 5G network.

Read this interview for insights into Brendan’s experience and expectations.

What made you the most excited to join BAI Communications?

BAI sits in a unique position with regards to the 5G opportunity and is a trusted partner in the transit and broadcast space.  Smart cities and neutral host services will allow operators to roll out 5G at the speed it needs to for its customers and with BAI’s experience and knowledge we can be at the forefront of advancement. Additionally, increasing implementation of private networks also presents a great opportunity for us to use our analytics expertise and drive value for our customers.

What would you like to achieve first in this role and how do you see it evolving over time?

First and foremost, I want to make a significant contribution to enabling the business to deliver for its customers in their new, as well as existing, pursuits. Our customers are in a fast-changing market and need to adapt and provide great service quickly and we can help them achieve this. I also want to establish a technology function that supports BAI’s international market entities locally in their strategy execution. Finally, I want to place BAI at the head of thought leadership in the 5G space.

You’ve taken on a global role amidst a dramatic social and economic global backdrop, what are your views about how the telecommunications industry has responded to the effects of COVID-19 and the post-COVID world in which we will operate?

The role that communications is playing in our lives is more important now than ever before. We have all relied on connectivity to work, socialise and stay in touch with those we love for some time now; however, it has become a lifeline for so many people globally over the past year and it will help us rebuild our lives as we enter the post-COVID world. While we are yearning for more social contact, our ability to work remotely and stay in touch is key to our survival on several fronts, including emotionally and financially. 5G will be a key enabler for growth for so many industries and many will start using it a catalyst for growth in the coming years.

What is the potential for 5G to revolutionise enterprise operations and consumer expectations of connectivity?

The possibilities of 5G are endless as it presents a world of opportunity for small business owners. It gives them a chance to do things faster, seek new income and revenue opportunities, and take their business further than ever before. Augmented and virtual reality, data and analytics, and private networks will fundamentally change key aspects of our economy; for example, the way factories and ports operate as well as how big business delivers a great customer experience and drives efficiency for shareholders. 5G’s revolutionary capability ultimately lies in its ability to make systems operate more effectively, allocate resources more efficiently, and minimise waste more than any other technology. As a result, output improves in quality and quantity and return on investment improves.

What is the most significant technological development this century and how do you think it will evolve?

For me it’s not about only one development, rather what’s possible when we can combine great technology. For example, 5G private networks coupled with insightful analytics can fundamentally change the transit industry. 5G Coverage, ultra-reliable low latency, and ubiquitous fibre will enable significant development in our cities of the future that will, in turn, allow us to drive a green agenda, safer society and education for all.

Finally, we want to know more about you personally… How do you spend your time outside work?

I’m a massive sports fan. I love rugby, cricket, football, and NFL, but not as much as hanging out with my family or a combination of family and sport. I’m also a keen baker and I love travelling.