Fledgling Infrastructure Provider Strategic Venue Partners Wants To Make Wireless 'The Fourth Utility'

As wireless connectivity quickly becomes a necessity to an overwhelming portion of the global population, mega-carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, Spring and T-Mobile face increasing difficulty sating an exponentially growing data appetite because of the financial burdens associated with supporting and servicing the requisite infrastructure.

Newly-founded Strategic Venue Partners, a wireless infrastructure provider based in Los Angeles, aims to change that by taking the investment and upgrade responsibilities off prospective clients' hands and negotiating with wireless carriers on their behalf once the infrastructure has been built.

"We become that fourth utility," said CEO Justin Marron. "Wireless is the fourth utility, and it needs to be provided to every tenant, every patron of every concert, every person at a hospital and every person at a hotel."

[Related: Report: Verizon Poised To Pounce On More Fiber, Sights Set On WideOpenWest's Network Assets ]

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Marron, who co-launched SVP earlier this year alongside AT&T veteran Rich Grimes and longtime corporate finance specialist Chad Aaron, explained that if the carrier expects to make money off a given system, SVP will funnel that money to the client. Otherwise, he said SVP will pay for the carrier to service the contracted area of operation.

SVP will fund these systems over a 20-year period, he added, during which the venue could push the associated costs into common area charges, events fees or charge by usage as one would for a utility.

Marron views SVP's "20-year solution" as a long-term real estate investment for the client, which he said would generate positive return over time as would a REIT.

"We're taking their initial investment off their hands," Marron said. "Then we're taking all the refresh and upgrades off their hands… If you invest it today, and then invest when needed in the refreshes and upgrades, it's a huge amount of money they'd be making rather than spending in a system that doesn't make them money."

SVP – backed by mid-market private equity firm Tiger Infrastructure Partners – has eight people on its staff and plans to expand to 30 employees within the next six to 12 months. And although Marron said the company will place intense focus on any one of its target vertical industries, he noted that there are obvious needs for stadium and concert venue owners, hospitals and universities.

For many of these entities, the need for adequate wireless connectivity is high. As data reshapes the education industry, more postsecondary institutions are expected to keep pace with technology's rapid evolution. Healthcare facilities arguably have an even greater need for top-notch infrastructure support, Marron said, given the high personal risks associated with the industry.

As the need for massive amounts of data mounts and more businesses require the corresponding infrastructure, SVP's leadership team of networking veterans sees significant opportunity in several different spaces moving forward.

"We have tremendous opportunity to fulfill all of these opportunities," Marron said. "We've hit the ground running partnering with the OEMs, with the distributors inside these verticals we're targeting and then of course with the immigrators, that actually install this stuff and are client-facing.

"We're a heaven-send for them because they need the financial solution not just up front, but over 20 years."