Memoirs of an Infrastructure Nerd

James Donovan_new James Donovan March 21, 2019

2019_tech_nerd“James, what are the three most important things in life?”

Believe it or not, this is a question I was posed by one of my colleagues several years ago. I responded, “I do not know, what are they?”

The response, “The first is your family, the second is your faith, and the third… your network infrastructure solution.”

Well, as you can imagine, I was taken aback. Whether in jest or not, it does have an important message. There is little business or social activity that does not rely on some form of network infrastructure today. Life as we know it would not be the same without it, although we could probably make more sense of it from those digital natives we call our children.

CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope's James Donovan reminds you not to take your network infrastructure choices lightly.

At parties or on a night out, I am often asked what I do and who I work for. I energetically say CommScope and that we supply network infrastructure solutions upon which internet connectivity relies. As you can imagine, the usual response is that their eyes glaze over, and they take the earliest opportunity to move on. (I have finally realized after all these years why I get left in the corner on my own.)

On the odd occasion I might get a follow up question, “I never heard of them. Are they a big company?”

“We are a global company with multi-billion-dollar revenues,” I tell them. You can see the shock and surprise. People’s perceptions and reactions show that most do not realize or have ever thought about how big the infrastructure industry is or how much people rely on it in their everyday lives. It is little wonder when infrastructure products are, by design, almost always hidden from view or concealed within other objects.

The hottest infrastructure topics today are the variety of new wireless systems and platforms being deployed or developed. To most, the word “wireless” conjures up images of freedom from cabling or wiring.

With ever increasing bandwidth requirements and number of network-connected devices (i.e. Internet of Things), coupled with the need for more and more wireless coverage and capacity, extensive cabling, both copper and optical fiber, is required to support wireless networks, whether they will be 5G cellular or Wi-Fi 6. Now, that is music to my ears.

What a great thought for all cabling evangelists still out there–wire more to wireless.

You may have concluded that I may be a little strange. (I like to think of it as passionate about the infrastructure industry.) The facts remain that infrastructure choices are and will remain extremely important, if not critical for all forms of communication, whether they be wired or wireless. As I make my way out of the corner, please remember to not take those infrastructure choices lightly.

About the Author

James Donovan_new

James Donovan

James Donovan is Vice President of the CommScope Infrastructure Academy. James joined CommScope in 1993 and has held positions in Sales, Technical, Marketing, Training and Business Development and served most recently as VP of Digital and Creative Services for CommScope. James oversees the CommScope Infrastructure Academy, which is CommScope’s partner and customer training platform. Prior to joining the company, he held positions at GEC, ITT and Alcatel. He holds a Masters Degree in Engineering and a BSc Honors degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.