In two separate cases, just lately, outstanding telecom leaders have been concerned with particular goal acquisition firms (SPACS). These telecom leaders are Dish Community Chairman Charlie Ergen and Related Companions Managing Director Invoice Berkman.

A SPAC, which can also be known as “a blank-check firm,” is an funding firm that has no operations however raises cash by an preliminary public providing after which makes use of these proceeds to accumulate one other firm. In keeping with the Securities and Change Fee, a SPAC is created particularly to pool funds to be able to finance a merger or acquisition.

Final week Ergen based a SPAC known as CONX Corp. The SEC document forming CONX, states, “Whereas we could pursue an acquisition alternative in any trade or geographic area, we intend to focus our search on figuring out a potential goal that may profit from our operational experience within the expertise, media and telecommunications trade, together with the wi-fi communications trade.”

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CONX has filed for a $1 billion preliminary public providing and is in search of an inventory on Nasdaq.

Why would anybody need to put money into an organization that sounds so unclear and convoluted?

Bill Berkman, an funding banker and longtime telecom govt, stated that within the case of CONX individuals will need to make investments as a result of, “They belief Charlie.” He stated that by CONX, Ergen can doubtlessly put money into spectrum, or an present wi-fi operator or in fiber belongings, for instance. Berkman stated CONX is “mutually unique” from Dish Community and has nothing to do with the funds of that firm.

However CONX may doubtlessly put money into a startup that does telecommunications expertise that Dish Community may need to use for its new wi-fi community.


For his half, Berkman just lately used a SPAC to propel his personal enterprise within the wi-fi trade. His firm Digital Panorama Group went public through SPAC in February and this week re-listed from the London Inventory Change to Nasdaq. The corporate has additionally been renamed to Radius Global Infrastructure.

Berkman comes from a Pittsburgh household whose telecommunications pedigree goes again two generations. His grandfather, the late Jack Berkman, and his father Myles Berkman had been entrepreneurs who shaped cable tv techniques, a CLEC known as Teligent, and one of many nation’s first mobile phone firms known as Related Communications.

“Our background is constructing networks,” stated Berkman.

As for Radius World Infrastructure, it’s a real-estate firm that serves as an middleman between wi-fi carriers and the property house owners who personal the actual property on which cell towers and different wi-fi tools is deployed. 

“Radius is a pure-play specialty actual property firm,” stated Berkman. The corporate owns floor and rooftop actual property and leases it to wi-fi carriers and tower firms. Radius will get rental earnings from about 5,000 websites throughout 19 international locations. It has greater than 300 staff.

Radius expects to learn from 5G build-outs. “Candidly, I’ve by no means seen such a frenzy to get infrastructure constructed,” stated Berkman. “Carriers want to maneuver antennas round or get extra space on roofs. “The European international locations, Canada, Mexico, Chile – they’re all on hearth.”

He additionally sees alternative in edge computing with 5G, mentioning that the house on the base of towers is an effective place for cloud RAN tools.