The global marketplace means global competition. Language, oceans, time zones….these are now ancient obstacles. The proliferation of networked technology and acceleration of technological advancement combined with the global marketplace require businesses to constantly adapt and even reinvent to stay competitive. The traditional barriers that often served as protective walls are no more. USABROAD historically was primarily engaged in financing international trade of disruptive technologies that have a significant social impact on Middle Eastern and African cultures. In recent years, USABROAD has rapidly adapted to the global need for solutions experts who can leverage vast technology and finance experience to solve business problems.
Today there are 51 legacy mobile phone networks spanning the Middle East and Africa.
Ever since 4G LTE hit international markets in mid 2010, mobile phone companies with 2.0G, 2.5G and 2.75G technologies have been scrambling to find ways to get their networks capable of handling the new 4G LTE video and audio applications … without completely destroying their return on investment (ROI).
Today’s mobile phone operators are faced with a common problem; it takes 2 to 8 times more capacity than the operators have on their networks to handle new 4G LTE applications and current network upgrade costs can reach hundreds of millions of dollars. The operators just don’t have the ‘backhaul efficiency’ inside their legacy networks to handle new 4G traffic and they can’t afford to jeopardize their ROI with a huge upgrade.
Through our trade finance activities with governmental agencies and international lenders, USABROAD works with these operators to increase their backhaul efficiency; getting them the network capacity they need, through technologies that have been developed in the 1990s. Yes, the ‘code’ for the backhaul efficiency technology that the mobile phone companies need today has been ‘on-the-shelf’ for over 10 years and has been patented in the USA and successfully deployed in under-served parts of the southwestern United States since 2003. For the foreseeable future, USABROAD will be focused on becoming the Trade Finance Department for the suppliers and integrators of these urgently needed ICT technologies!
USABROAD builds and maintains computer systems and networks, and provides the financing to get the job done. Our goal is, simply, to provide the best possible service—whether it be a financial or technical service—to affect positive impact. Of course, the service is being provided to people; people who have different and complicated business needs. Likewise, our people and partners providing services have needs and limitations and goals. The service may be difficult and complicated—requiring highly skilled people, exposure in danger zones, or enterprising and perseverance to just get the job done. We’ve found that in the right environment, good people become great people, and great people can do anything. So, we keep things simple, 1) find good people, 2) keep good people, 3) provide great service. When we get down to basics, there’s only one way to accomplish this, and that is to keep our priorities straight.
Francis Schaffer said, “If people don’t believe in the Gospel, they will believe in anything.” Well, we don’t believe in anything, we believe in the God of the Bible. We believe that a Christ centered life is the only solid foundation, and we hope that the people who make up our company have personal relationships with our creator and redeemer to underpin our company. As the founder of Visa credit association Dee Hock said, “An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it.”
Family always comes before work. We live in the age of technology, wonderful technology that enables us to connect, unite, collaborate, and produce. However, if we let it, work from anywhere becomes work from everywhere. We respect boundaries, and strive to tip the scales of the work life balance more towards the life side.
If its ‘work’ only, drudging, grueling, draining work, then it’s certainly not third on our—or anyone’s—list of values. What about mission? A meaningful mission excites and motivates. Whatever the task, maybe establishing a new partner to bridge a gap, or building a new network for deployed troops to communicate with loved ones, or improving any single piece of what we do (because everything can always be improved); accomplishing the mission isn’t about going to work, it’s about doing what we do better, to make things better.
Once we find an ICT company with a need to finance the upgrade of a legacy network without decreasing it’s ROI, we undertake the role of their US Trade Finance office. During every step of the project, we’re there to help with financing requirements: from design, to implementation & construction and finally to the ongoing maintenance and operation of their deployment. Optimally, USABROAD will be able to draw on it’s own client base to lease back part of the increased capacity created by the network upgrade. USABROAD’s clients, looking for opportunities to sell their own value added services and applications are excellent prospects for licensees of 4G LTE capable networks.
It works like this…
As a practical example, let’s consider an average mobile phone network of 750 towers where the cost of increasing it’s backhaul efficiency by 2 to 8 times using USABROAD’s exporters would be about $7MM. In that scenario, USABROAD would finance the $7MM upgrade and also find a USABROAD client with 4G LTE applications who would leases back a ‘slice’ of the increased capacity for $1MM per month. In return for their monthly lease payment, the mobile phone operator would license USABROAD’s client the rights to sell 4G LTE applications over the operator’s newly upgraded network.
The end result is that the operator gets a 2 to 8 times increase in backhaul efficiency for $7MM and then leases a portion of its new capacity to USABROAD’s client for $1MM per month. The network operator pays $7MM and gets $12MM within the first year of completing the upgrade. That’s a return on investment of more than 40%, well within the range of an acceptable ROI for a mobile phone network!