On 1 May 2020, global wireless communications executive Igor Leprince joined BAI Communications as its Group Chief Executive Officer. Igor is an experienced and highly respected leader who has more than two decades of global experience designing, building, and operating wireless communications infrastructure. He also offers BAI considerable experience in growing and running large-scale global telecommunications businesses.
In the second of this two-part interview, Igor shares his views about BAI’s ambition and the industry in which we operate, including 5G.
What do you see as your greatest challenge and opportunity?
There is clearly a great opportunity in becoming the leader in 5G neutral host with a focus on transport and public safety, building on the incredible technical and operational expertise we have in running neutral host networks in key cities around the world.
We also have excellent relationships with local authorities, telecommunication operators and other participants in the broader ecosystem to drive 5G connectivity in the markets where we operate, today and beyond.
What are the economic benefits of being an early adopter of 5G technology for infrastructure providers and cities?
I think the more businesses and, in fact, countries as a whole understand the importance of 5G (and also artificial intelligence and its potential), the more efficiency and innovation they will be able to drive for their industries, public services and people. So, in short, the economic benefits of being an early adopter from a productivity and job creation standpoint could be huge.
What will it take to achieve BAI’s ambition of becoming a globally significant provider of 5G neutral host services?
We are lucky to have sizeable presence, knowledge and expertise in some of the most important cities in the world such as New York, London, Sydney, Toronto, and Hong Kong. Our focus must be on developing and driving our 5G services in these locations. We can then look at developing our business in and beyond the countries where we already operate. While our business today is already global, it has significant potential to develop beyond its current reach.
Are acquisitions a possibility to fast-track our move into the 5G market?
Mergers and acquisitions are always an option, but you can never base your strategy on M&A. There are capabilities that we will need to develop organically and some that will be easier and faster to acquire. I think the ‘how’ of any strategy must include both. We are fortunate to have excellent shareholders that support BAI’s development both organically and through acquisition.
What are the most important new relationships BAI must look to pursue?
I think BAI already has an excellent set of relationships with key players in the telecommunications ecosystem. We are in a unique position of dealing with the municipalities and transport authorities as much as the key private companies in the telecommunications sector. I believe we need to continue to understand and get closer to the needs of our telecommunication operator partners so that we can develop solutions that bridge the gap with the asset owners, which will be critical for 5G.
Finally, a little about you…How do you manage your work-life balance and wellbeing?
Well, first I admit that I am not always good at it. I tend to be very passionate about what I do, and I like to do things well, which sometimes leads to an ‘average’ work-life balance. Having said this, I have improved in the last few years and learnt what works for me and for my family, including the right amount of time to recharge and exercise, but I am nowhere close to writing the book on how to best manage work-life balance 😉