I was recently chatting to a consultant from a highly regarded multi-asset alternative investment firm. He knows and understands the telecommunications business, but he mentioned to me that the sort of insight Real Wireless offered was on a different level: an in-depth understanding of technology and the trade-offs it can involve and an ability to offer a detailed evaluation of multiple different factors. Due diligence capabilities, in other words.
This is not to diminish the role of analysts – some of our best friends are analysts. But you go to an analyst to understand market trends and get a feel for the direction of the telecoms industry in a certain timeframe. You might come to Real Wireless, by contrast, for an understanding of the technical difference between two technologies and their value in a practical implementation. We have in-depth understanding of the technology, and field experience of its implementation in the real world.
In other words, people turn to analysts for an idea of how the market is evolving, how buyers are thinking, what sort of products and services they may be buying. People turn to us to hear more about the product platforms and technology platforms that underpin those products and services. What do they do? Will that capability be relevant in the long term? What trade-offs may be involved? Could one technical approach soon be superseded by another? Could it nevertheless still be a worthwhile investment (our earlier blog on DAS and small cells discusses just this question)?
These are the areas where we can come up with a strengths and weakness analysis and engage from a position of both technical and business expertise with different factors. We can then apply some rigour in terms of a quantitative method: numbers, graphs and images that bring the issues to real, understandable life.
Our clients can then use this analysis to make informed decisions. In fact, they often have. Our insights have helped to assess valuations for company purchases. We have been used as experts in courts to validate and value IP and giving expert evidence on the interpretation of regulations relating to network deployment. We have, more simply, added relevant and telling detail to the options in front of our clients, be they building owners, governments, vendors, operators or investors.
We have been asked to assess a business plan for an operator investment, performing a critical review of their network investment plans and advising on how realistic the figures in the business plan are.
We have been asked to assess the claimed needs for spectrum in a multi-party negotiation, acting as an independent reference in the negotiations based on providing an independent technical model of the coverage and capacity needs of Operators.
We have been asked to assess a technical architecture and approach for a specialist network deployment, assessing and advising on risks. In these and other cases we are trusted for our independence and depth and breadth of view on the technologies, and the commercial context for their applications, working directly with an investor or within a team including legal and business due diligence service providers.
All the factors that due diligence in telecommunications can involve – engineering, economics, regulation, spectrum management, marketing, technology evolution and more – are part of our service, and the experience of our staff.
In other words, when you ask for due diligence you require a much deeper insight. And that’s what we do best.