Meet “TAZ” Advantage Engineers’ 3D Printer

An innovative approach to printing DAS and small cell design models

taz

Our LulzBot TAZ 6 3D printer allows our engineers to take an innovative approach to design by thinking beyond traditional photo sims. This innovative approach to printing DAS and Small Cell design models enables us to create deployment designs printed to scale and creates 1/10 scale models. Elements of the design can be modified in real-time, reducing design turnaround and expediting the approval process. For example, the magnetized antennas and radios can be relocated dynamically to get a real-time visual, allowing for design partnerships with local government officials. Supporting our staff with access to advanced technology to deliver exceptional service to our customers is a core value at Advantage Engineers.  Chat with one of our staff members to learn more about TAZ.

The Critical Nature of Wireless Infrastructure During the 5G Technology Evolution

The Critical Nature of Wireless Infrastructure During the 5G Technology Evolution

By John Mastrangelo, Esq. - Real Estate Manager, Advantage Engineers

This article is featured in The Chronicle - 2020 Vol. 28                         Published by Southern New Jersey Development Council (SNJDC)
antenna modification

“Can you hear me now?”  A phrase that has taken on extra importance over the last 6 months.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world in many ways.  Communication has never been more important, especially these days.  Healthcare workers and first responders’ access to instant information can mean the difference of life or death and with many working and learning remotely, the need for fast and reliable wireless service has become essential.  5G is next generation wireless network technology that is expected to change the way people live and work. It will be faster and able to handle more connected devices than the existing 4G LTE network, improvements that will enable a wave of new kinds of tech products.  The emergence of 5G technology is not only enabling facetime calls, zoom meetings, and Instagram scrolling, but also telehealth visits, pop-up hospitals, and testing centers.  5G technology has the potential to support millions of devices at ultrafast speeds thereby improving the way businesses operate and individuals go about their daily lives.

The ultrafast speeds and higher capacity of the 5G signal require a greater amount of infrastructure due to the low distance the 5G signal travels.  While newer types of cell sites such as small cells and in building solutions have dominated the industry recently over what we know as traditional macro sites, the existing towers, rooftops and watertanks are still a critical aspect in achieving the goal of bringing 5G to everyone.

Telecommunication companies racing to provide 5G to the public will require partnerships with companies with the expertise to support the installation and maintenance of the 5G infrastructure that will spur the growth in economic and personal development moving forward. The deployment of temporary cell sites, COWs, and critical capacity installs for the ever changing and immediate needs of the wireless carriers in the southern New Jersey area.  For the past 10 years, communication companies and governmental entities in southern NJ have put their trust in the professionals at Advantage Engineers to provide the comprehensive engineering and consulting services to satisfy their telecommunication infrastructure needs.

In April, a major wireless carrier had multiple critical capacity needs to support the community and first responders amidst a surge of COVID-19 cases in Lakewood, NJ.  Advantage’s team of engineers and designers responded with a design and analysis of the temporary facilities that were brought in to relieve the strain on the network.  The team also managed the construction and coordinated with the landlord and general contractor to ensure construction was completed quickly and to the satisfaction of our client.

The full benefits for the 5G technology for individuals and businesses will not be realized for some time as communication companies continue to expand their network.  Further investment in the infrastructure that will bring 5G to everyone will be required.  Whether that investment in infrastructure calls for tower modifications, fiber, in-building wireless and small cells, communication companies can look to Advantage to provide the level of service required to meet their goals of making 5G a reality for everyone.


Advantage Engineers is a nationally recognized engineering and design firm, providing expert turnkey professional engineering and consulting services for the wireless, broadband, and fiber communications industry. We have 18 locations across the U.S. and are professionally licensed in 49 states and Washington, D.C.  We are experts at deploying telecommunications infrastructure from inception to completion and are driven to bring creativity, experience, and value to every project. To learn more about Advantage Engineers, visit www.AdvantageEngineers.com.

Advantage Engineers Gears Up for 5G

Engineering Firm Gears up for 5G

BY J. SHARPE SMITH, SENIOR EDITOR - AGL eDigest

The fifth generation of cellular communications is not only changing expectations of wireless speeds, but it is also having an effect on how corporate resources are being marshalled to meet the opportunity. Recently, as John McGrath looked forward to 5G, the CEO of Advantage Engineers decided to focus his firm on building out small cells and sell its division that provides geotechnical, environmental and construction materials testing.

“There are far fewer new towers than there were five years ago,” McGrath told AGL eDigest. “The business of the geotechnical, environmental business was focused on general commercial construction. We want to focus on telecommunications exclusively and really optimize that business as we go into this 5G buildout.”

Within the realm of telecommunications, Advantage Engineers is still diversified across tower modifications, fiber, in-building wireless and small cells. The firm provides program and project management, site acquisition, construction management and all engineering related to wireless site development.

“With the 5G buildout, we are going to continue to see an increase in small cell, in-building and venue opportunities. We are focusing on that,” McGrath said. “Macrosite modifications are still a significant part of our business. Our fiber-optic business has been growing for the last five years. We see a ton of opportunity there, as well.”

Capitalizing on Convergence

The advent of small cells has accelerated the convergence of two ecosystems, wireline and wireless, according to McGrath. “They used to be very separate. Wireline used to be seen as a necessary evil by the wireless folks, but now it is all co-mingled,” he said.

Advantage Engineers has capitalized on the convergence of the wireless and wireline spaces in its operations. Essentially, small cells are fiber dependent, and there is a lot of crossover of resources. The fiber-optic group works closely with our wireless group on certain projects.

“We see a lot of synergies between our small cell and fiber-optic businesses,” McGrath said. “We have a very collaborative environment where our project managers and engineers can seek out the expertise. It happens daily. People working on completely different projects are huddled around the same table working out a problem.”

Concerning infrastructure deployment in the right of way, Advantage Engineers may work with the same municipal officials on a fiber run and then a small cell deployment.

“At a jurisdictional level, where we have done fiber-optic routing in the right of way, it makes it a lot easier to go back to the municipal officials to deploy small cells,” McGrath said. “Still, a lot of the backhaul work is done by separate, small, independent fiber providers and I don’t see that changing in the near future.”

Growing West

Two years ago, Advantage Engineers merged with Synergy Development Services and Synergy Engineering Services, a wireless telecom engineering and consulting firm, giving it a number of locations in the west, including Van Nuys, Santa Rosa, Irvine and Ventura, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Bozeman, Montana.  Synergy operates as a division of Advantage Engineers.

“We are still optimizing that merger,” McGrath said. “Further geographic expansion will depend on the resolution of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger and the deployment of Dish Network as a 5G provider.”

The Advantage Way

From the beginning, we set out to make Advantage Engineers different from other companies. We've identified 28 Fundamentals that describe the practices and principles that form the foundation of our unique culture. They're what sets us apart and what drives our extraordinary success.

We call it, THE ADVANTAGE WAY.

  1. BRING IT EVERY DAY. Be positive, have a passion for what we do, and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, focus, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of urgency to get things done.
  2. TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER. Do what’s best for others, put their needs ahead of your own, and be team first. Learn from each other and be willing to step into another’s role to help out a co-worker.
  3. ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT. Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and trust that the intent behind their actions is positive. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
  4. SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT. Our highest priority is to ensure that everyone gets home safely each day. Be an Advantage Safety Champion committed to following company safety policies, talking about safety every day, and actively looking for safety improvements. Never take shortcuts that compromise your safety or that of your teammates.
  5. HONOR COMMITMENTS. There’s no better way to earn people’s trust than to be true to your word. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, meetings, and promises. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new deliverable to be honored.
  6. PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM SOLVING. Stay focused on the solution, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Get smarter with every mistake. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve ourselves and our processes. Learn from every experience.
  7. DO THE RIGHT THING, ALWAYS. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. If you make a mistake, own up to it, make it right, and move on.
  8. LISTEN GENEROUSLY. Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more, rather than jumping to conclusions. Above all, listen to understand.
  9. SPEAK UP & SPEAK STRAIGHT. Speak honestly in a way that helps to make progress. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said and ask when you need help. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected
  10. LEARN SOMETHING EVERY DAY. Be a lifelong learner. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge, to increase your skills, and to become a greater expert. Be resourceful and intentional about learning and sharing best practices.
  11. BE A FANATIC ABOUT RESPONSE TIME. Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or by e-mail. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question and we’re “on it,” as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues.
  12. SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY. Errors and mistakes don’t define us – how we handle them does. Failure is not a person, it’s an event. Keep a level head and run to the problem. Our best chance to shine is when a teammate or customer is disappointed or frustrated. Find the silver lining in the challenges we face. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow.
  13. BE COMMITTED TO SUCCESS. While we appreciate effort, we reward and celebrate results. Follow-up on everything and take responsibility to ensure that tasks get completed. Set high goals, use measurements to track your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.
  14. INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS. Our business is built on trust and trust is built on relationships. Make smart decisions that enhance long-term relationships. Strong relationships enable us to more successfully work through difficult issues and challenging times.
  15. OWN IT. Take responsibility to make things happen. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful, show initiative, and find a way. Get scrappy! Don’t make excuses or wait for others to solve the problem. See issues through to their completion.
  16. ALIGN WITH CHANGE. What got us here is not the same as what will get us to the next level. Get outside your comfort zone, rather than hanging on to old ways of doing things. See the big picture and be excited by the possibilities that change brings.
  17. BE CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS. Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others and ask when you’re not clear on what they expect of you. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and due dates.
  18. MAKE QUALITY PERSONAL. Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. Have a healthy disdain for mediocrity. Good is not good enough. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?
  19. DEBATE, THEN ALIGN. Healthy, vigorous debate creates better solutions. Debate concepts without making personal attacks. Welcome constructive conflict and push for the best solution, rather than your solution. Once a decision is made, however, get fully aligned by putting your complete support behind it.
  20. WORK SMART. Be organized, methodical, and plan your work for maximum efficiency. Rely on data and your teammates’ expertise to solve problems. Know the priorities; work them first; and take them one at a time. Control the chaos – don’t let it control you.
  21. BE CURIOUS. In the search for the best solutions, challenge and question what you don’t understand. Don’t accept anything at “face value” if it doesn’t make sense to you. Be curious, ask thoughtful questions, and listen intently to the answers. Dig deeper to go beyond the expected. Ask the extra question. Ask why!
  22. FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS. See problems as opportunities. Be part of the solution by applying your creativity, spirit, expertise, and innovation to developing solutions, not just identifying problems.
  23. DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. The road to success isn’t always fun and easy. Be willing to do the mundane and ordinary things necessary to achieve the results.  Anticipate and solve problems before they happen.
  24. CELEBRATE SUCCESS. Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out when they do things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation — in all directions throughout our organization.
  25. EMBRACE DIVERSITY. Be open to learning from others, regardless of their age, industry experience, or tenure. Celebrate what makes each of us unique. Welcome backgrounds and perspectives different from your own. Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  26. BE A MENTOR. The best way to influence others is through your own example. Walk the talk. Take responsibility to coach, guide, teach, and mentor others. Be the change you want to see.
  27. BE RELENTLESS ABOUT IMPROVEMENT. Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo and guard against complacency. Be empowered to bloom where you’re planted.
  28. KEEP IT FUN. While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Laugh every day!
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