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Mobilitie CEO Karmis To Lead Boldyn’s US Ops

Telecom infrastructure firm Mobilitie in Newport Beach will be expanding its local operations under a new, global umbrella company as of next month, with a familiar face, Christos Karmis, staying at the helm in the U.S.

Karmis, the Mobilitie Chief executive and president, joined the company almost 18 years ago. Effective July 1, he will be CEO of Boldyn Networks U.S., which will roll Mobilitie into a giant new entity being set up by the local company’s owner, BAI Communications of Australia.

“I will continue to be based in Orange County,” Karmis told the Business Journal on May 4.

“We will be expanding our local presence with additional office space and employees.

“We have approximately 500 employees throughout the U.S. with about 100 based in Orange County,” according to Karmis, whose company is currently based out of offices at 660 Newport Center Drive.

“We expect the team to continue growing rapidly as the business expands at an exponential rate.”

Mobilitie ranked No. 13 among OC telecommunications and wireless companies by local headcount last year, according to Business Journal research.

The companies under the Boldyn umbrella will focus on super-fast 5G wireless networks.

Mobilitie’s focus has been wireless infrastructure services, including cell towers, small cell base stations, and projects at large buildings and venues where thousands need cellphone service.

Business sectors it serves include sports and entertainment arenas, commercial real estate and hospitality properties.

LA, SF

Some recent Mobilitie projects include a 5G Distributed Antenna System (DAS) network throughout Crypto.com Arena, one of the busiest and largest pro-sports venues in the country, as well as its adjacent 4 million-square-foot L.A. Live entertainment district.

Mobilitie also delivered a world-class DAS network to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Central Subway line.

Karmis cited Mobilitie’s acquisition of military and government facility-focused Signal Point Systems of Kennesaw, Ga., to the business, saying “we have combined our technical capabilities and project expertise to enhance mission readiness and improve quality of life for those living and working on military bases across the country.”

BAI said other projects include expanded connectivity in the New York and New Jersey metro region through thousands of miles of fiber networks, data centers, small cells, and the LinkNYC project.

BAI, which focuses on “shared communications infrastructure,” will officially operate as Boldyn Networks along with the other portfolio companies. However, BAI will continue operating as BAI Australia in its home country.

In the U.S., BAI is in the process of integrating its four portfolio companies—Mobilitie, Signal Point Systems, Transit Wireless and ZenFi Networks—into Boldyn Networks along with BAI itself.

Boldyn Assets

The rebranding of Boldyn Networks will be completed by the end of June.
The company says only that the headquarters will be in the “Northern Hemisphere,” declining to specify further.

Industry website Telecom Ramblings said Boldyn Networks is “a pretty unique set of assets and capabilities that doesn’t look much like any other infrastructure provider out there.”

“When you add it all up, the assets include 2,000 route miles of fiber, 300 macro towers, some 10K+ small cells, connectivity for seven transit systems touching 1K stations, DAS infrastructure for 250 venues, and 77 on-net colo locations,” the website said. “They also operate Wi-Fi networks in NYC, London, and Las Vegas as well as 75 military bases and 2K Link kiosks.”

“It’ll take them some time to properly integrate it all together, but it should be interesting to see what new directions the combined company is able to take,” Telecom Ramblings said on March 10.

Founder Jabara

Mobilitie was founded by OC entrepreneur Gary Jabara and sold to BAI of Australia in 2021 for a reported $1.7 billion. It called itself the largest privately held telecommunications infrastructure company in the U.S. before its sale.

Working with mobile and fixed network operators, Boldyn Networks aims to deliver 5G connectivity to interconnected transit hubs, sports and entertainment venues, commercial real estate properties, smart cities, hospitality venues, military bases and more.

“This strategic move will better position Boldyn Networks in the U.S.marketplace as the neutral host provider of choice for carriers and customers that share our vision of an interconnected future,” CEO Karmis said.

The newly formed Boldyn Networks’ solutions include indoor and outdoor neutral host DAS, small cells, Wi-Fi networks, towers, private networks, fiber and other infrastructure used by wireless carriers to enable high-speed mobile communications.

BAI’s global operations span the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.

Canadian Fund

Boldyn Networks is backed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which has been the majority owner of BAI Communications since 2009.

Some of the many projects of the companies soon to come under the Boldyn Networks banner include long-term agreements with transit authorities to deliver connected solutions for subway systems in Toronto, Hong Kong and London in addition to San Francisco and New York.

“The company has ambitious plans for the future, including exploring new potential acquisitions,” BAI said.

BAI said Boldyn will be a “new powerhouse” that will immediately become one of the world’s largest shared network infrastructure providers, supporting mobile and fixed network operators and customers in the transit, venue, government, military, and enterprise sectors with an integrated portfolio and expanded capabilities.

From SC to OC: Christos Karmis’ Journey

Christos Karmis, the new head of Boldyn Networks U.S., received his bachelor of science degree from Clemson University in South Carolina in 1997.

He picked up an MBA from the University of Florida in 2001.

Karmis was a telecommunications consultant with Deloitte Consulting for four years starting in 2001. Mobilite founder Gary Jabara also hailed from Deloitte’s wireless practice.

He’s been with Mobilitie—soon to be rolled into the new Boldyn Networks—since September 2005.

“We are fortunate to have such a great team of people at the company, and as we continue to grow and expand it’s a top priority to ensure we maintain our great company culture,” Karmis told the Business Journal on May 4.

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