When Communication Is King

King Communications calls on MOB Traffic to support better cellular.  

In any other city or town, most people are sleeping when cell tower repair crews are dispatched to field an after-hours 5G service call. But this isn’t the case in Las Vegas. Traffic flow is in a constant start of change, 24 hours a day.

Traffic mitigation plans need to be drafted on the fly and traffic control dispatched in tandem with the repair crews. Timely setups and punctual pickups are mission critical.

“This is one of the reasons we appreciate the responsiveness of MOB Traffic and wish we had them in every market,” says Travis Bozzano, founder of King Communications, LLC in Las Vegas. “They recognize traffic flow, understand government jurisdictions, know what we need, and always deliver, even if our traffic needs change during the job. They’re experts in what they do, so we can be experts in what we do.”

There is no question that King Communications crews are also experts. They are the largest wireless telecommunications contractor in the region, with a service area expanding into three states. To keep up with the demand for 5G connectivity, the company employs about 100 technicians with versatile skillsets.

“The work isn’t easy. New cell site construction and existing cell site modifications require excavation work, elevation work, and everything in between,” said Bozzano. “They have to be physically fit, safety minded, and up-to-date on the newest technologies and unique specifications of multiple service providers — AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile among them.”

Technicians also have to be flexible, sometimes working both day and night during the same week, depending on the jobs and service calls. Like many contractors and construction companies, finding qualified and skilled labor tends to be the biggest challenge even for companies willing to train novices like King Communications.

“It takes about two years of experience to become a competent wireless telecommunications technician,” says Bozzano. “But we’re always open to training new employees — people who can keep up with the demands of a fast-paced industry, frequent safety training, background screenings, and random drug testing.”

Training includes a host of certifications, including radiofrequency safety and hazard awareness, confined space entry training, aerial operations training, first aid, and CPR. For the effort, technicians lock a career in what is expected to become a $30 billion industry within the next five years.

“We do our part as an employer too. We value our employees and provide fair pay, good benefits, and flexible daily life as much as possible,” said Bozzano. “We’re doing something right. There is plenty of tenure here. We’re a fast-growing company, but more than 40 percent of our technicians have been here more than seven years.”

Bozzano attributes some success to having walked in his employees’ boots. While most of his time is now spent managing workflow and making the machine work, he founded King Communications with only one employee — a kid — in 2005.

“I started all this in a garage and had to learn everything I ask our technicians to learn now,” says Bozzano. “The technology is different, but the principles are the same. King Communications earned a reputation for being the premier 3G contractor, then the premier 4G contractor, and now the premier 5G contractor. We install and work on more small cell jobs in the valley than all other contractors combined.”

Specifically, about 80 percent of cell site and distributed antenna systems (DAS) work is split evenly between new construction and existing site modifications such as structural retrofits. The remaining 20 percent includes architectural design, permitting, and repairs. There is no shortage of demand, especially as wireless providers are always looking to increase speed, reduce weight, and draw less power.

What makes the work especially interesting is the scope of service. During a typical new construction job, one crew could be responsible for site preparation and excavation, foundation and ground control installation — including concrete mesh and conduit cases, tower erection, fiber optics, antenna installation, and system optimization. Every phase of the job has to be completed, inspected, and tested to ensure it meets the wireless provider’s specifications as well as any jurisdictional requirements.

“There isn’t any room for error because we‘re installing as many as 10 or 15 new towers in a week,” says Bozzano. “To get it done, we have to secure materials, manage our crews, and pay attention to jurisdictions. Somehow, we always find a way.”

Most recently, finding a way included the largest cellular distributed antenna system (DAS) deployment in Las Vegas. King Communications completed a year’s worth of work at Allegiant Stadium in a matter of months, ensuring their part of the stadium’s Wi-Fi 6 network was ready for game one and able to meet the high service demands of IPTV, video, and Wi-Fi.

How did it go? According to Stadium Tech Report, Allegiant Stadium delivers speeds above 68 Mbps down/83 Mbps up in a club area, 46.8 Mbps/58.5 Mbps on the upper concourse, and 30 Mbps for download outside the main entry gates. In other words, it’s better than most people have at home despite huge broadcast demands.

It’s both impressive and all in a day’s work for King Communications. The cellular world might be an alphabet of technical standards and protocols, but they have always taken it in one direction: forward.

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