DIF Capital Partners, through its DIF Core Infrastructure Fund III (DIF CIF III), announced that it has agreed to invest growth capital in Airtower Networks (Wireless Everywhere LLC), a U.S. developer, owner, and operator of in-building wireless networks (i.e., distributed antenna systems or DAS) and provider of managed services. Specifically, DIF Capital’s funding will support Airtower’s expansion of its wireless network solutions and enable the company’s goal of becoming the nation’s largest in-building neutral host 5G and wireless network provider.
Presently, Airtower Networks is also backed by Lumerity Capital, a private equity firm focused on investments in cloud and data infrastructure.
Formerly, Airtower Networks has operated under the names Wave Wireless and DAS Worldwide.
Airtower Networks – Overview
Airtower Networks is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and designs, builds, owns, and operates cellular networks used by major wireless carriers, such as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Additionally, the company deploys Wi-Fi and private LTE networks that support residential tenants, hotel guests, and business enterprises. Finally, the company builds public safety networks that serve emergency first responders.
Beyond infrastructure, Airtower Networks provides network management services for smart buildings, data offloading & mobile access, and maintenance & monitoring.
Airtower Networks’ solutions help building owners, property developers, enterprises, and mobile network operators manage their wireless infrastructure and improve broadband connectivity in indoor environments. Particularly, the company’s cost-effective network solutions and managed wireless services help enhance communication within buildings through improved coverage and capacity.
Airtower Networks’ customers include commercial real estate owners, government, and private enterprises. More specifically, the company serves building types including data centers, industrial, residential, healthcare, education, office, hospitality, retail, stadiums, and public venues. Below are a few examples of these customers:
- Crowne Plaza The Hamilton Hotel Washington, D.C.: Airtower designed, installed, and maintains a guest Wi-Fi system serving an average of 1.5k unique visitors per day, with peak usage of 4.0k+ people
- Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, D.C.: Airtower provided a public safety distributed antenna system (DAS)
- Sofia Los Angeles Condos: Airtower implemented a hybrid solution, consisting of both DAS and small cells
Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)
Airtower Networks is a member of the OnGo Alliance (formerly CBRS Alliance), a coalition of 185+ member companies who promote 4G and 5G CBRS technology, use cases, and business opportunities. To this end, the company has previously tested and trialed equipment and services in CBRS spectrum from 3.65 GHz to 3.7 GHz.
Airtower Networks is led by Oliver Valente as Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Valente served as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for ExteNet Systems. He was also Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Product Development for Sprint.
Additionally, Manny Dureja is Airtower’s Founder and President. Prior to founding Airtower, Dureja served as Managing Partner for Telecom Capital Group (TCG), a regional cell tower owner and operator.
Airtower Networks’ key competitors include Boingo Wireless, ExteNet Systems, Mobilitie/BAI Communications, and American Tower.
Transaction Advisors – DIF Capital, Airtower Networks
DIF Capital’s financial advisor was Bank Street Group. Additionally, DIF Capital’s legal advisor was White & Case.
Airtower Networks’ financial advisor was Greenhill & Co. Additionally, Airtower Networks’ legal advisor was DLA Piper.
DIF Core Infrastructure Fund III (DIF CIF III) – Overview
DIF Capital Partners is an infrastructure investment manager with €10bn+ in assets under management (AUM). The firm’s fund, DIF Core Infrastructure Fund III (DIF CIF III), invests in small- and mid-sized Core+ infrastructure assets globally, targeting mid-term contracted cash flows with a modest risk profile.
DIF CIF III is an infrastructure fund which invests predominantly in the sub-sectors of digital, transportation, and energy. Through DIF CIF III and its predecessors, DIF CIF I and DIF CIF II, the firm has made investments in:
- Joink: provides enterprise fiber, residential fiber, and fixed wireless services in rural markets of Western Indiana and Eastern Illinois in the United States
- Valley Fiber: investing ~$260m USD ($328m Canadian dollars) in rural Manitoba, Canada, via its portfolio company Valley Fiber
- Edsger: 49% equity stake in seven data centers located throughout the United States. Each facility offers ~5 megawatts to 15 megawatts of critical power capacity
- ADTiM: 55% equity stake in two fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) concessions in the Ardèche and Drôme regions of South-East France