Jorge Caja joined Tower Consultores almost five years ago with a mission: Transform the company from today’s business model to the business of the future. A company focused on the client, with high performance and capable of adapting to changes in its environment. With this in mind, he leads an ambitious process of diversification and growth to establish himself as the leading partner of services related to the management of Telecommunications infrastructure in Spain, 5G and Smart cities.
Do not miss this interview becauseJorge, also delivers a message that opens a debate: The technological revolution advances rapidly, and, as a society, we are called to adapt to the changes that its correct adoption implies. But a question arises: will we know how to manage the social risks that digitization entails?
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES TOWER CONSULTORES FROM OTHER COMPANIES SPECIALIZED IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS ENGINEERING?
Tower was founded 26 years ago to address a clear need that vendors and telecommunications operators had – manage the entire acquisition procedure of the locations on which they wanted to install their sites, whether they were residential buildings, communities, water tanks, protected spaces, or any other location. There is a whole world of procedures, permits, and expertise that goes into negotiating spaces.
We continue to offer this service today and have grown to become leaders in that market. We are currently building adjacent services that allow us to provide end-to-end solutions and more specific services related to the management of telecommunications, 5G, and Smart cities infrastructure deliveries.
HOW HAS TOWER’S BUSINESS EVOLVED SINCE ITS ORIGIN IN 1996?
During our years of experience, we have been expanding the spectrum of services that we offer to our clients. We started by legalizing the sites that we had previously negotiated. We have a method that is also valid for network sharing companies, which is why this is one of our key departments today.
We then created an engineering department to complement the previous areas, starting with legalization and infrastructure engineering, to adaptations, 5G design, radio design for any other network standard, transmission, and even radioelectric measurements.
We began to offer the maintenance and operation of these infrastructures, providing support for inventories, work orders and, in general, the large databases of the different operators and vendors. In recent years we have developed technology that allows us to automate many of these processes, to obtain efficient and sustainable results for our clients.
HAS THAT DIVERSIFICATION CONCLUDED?
Not at all. We continue to expand, adapting to the needs of each project and focusing on the objectives of each company that hires us. We still have a road ahead within the delivery management of telecommunications infrastructure. We are a leading partner for the “torreras” that outsource these tasks, as well as for other companies in the Telco sector that value our versatility and multidisciplinary work. At Tower, we have lawyers, engineers, administrators, specialists in data processing, cost control, and IT developers who allow a comprehensive development of each solution we provide. In our company, we are committed to diverse human talent since it provides a holistic vision of the sector, which makes relationships with our clients fruitful and long-lasting.
A couple of years ago, we decided to expand our activity into the public sector because we realized that the administration managed large databases that were not linked to those of the Telco sector. We have established a technical project office to attend to bids, with outstanding results.
PURCHASE OF ROOFS, INSTALLING ANTENNAS, AND MANAGEMENT OF DATABASES THROUGH…
Through renewable energies! Considering the large volumes of data that are processed and the high energy consumption of all this back-office infrastructure, possibilities open up for us in the world of self-consumption of photovoltaic energy.
Another great opportunity for our company is in IT development. We are improving the agility and experience of using the databases managed by operators or administrations, concentrating the different programming languages so those tools and applications are lighter, more efficient, and more operative.
In the end, in a modernization project, we must think about how the business itself -or administration- is going to be transformed in the following years, what network design fits into that vision, how we can make data management as efficient as possible and how to provide this infrastructure with energy efficiency. For clients such as local entities and the general administration of the state, we help design their long-term roadmaps [4 years] and, based on these, we propose technologies and services.
IN THE ‘ROADMAP’ OF BOTH OPERATORS AND ADMINISTRATIONS, WE WILL FIND PLANS TO SUPPORT USE CASES OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS, SUCH AS SMART CITIES…
In fact, it is a field in which we are already working. Town halls, starting with the remote management of streetlights and street furniture, are generating their network. We help them make this network scalable and sustainable because data processing will grow significantly in the coming years. At the same time, we work with our traditional telco clients who are technology providers.
We will manage to connect and seize the synergies and complementary requirements between digital technologies, industry, and energy efficiency in the short to medium term. The real and operational interconnection of these sectors still has a path ahead, and we know that we will be there implementing solutions, as we have always done.
The programming languages and communication protocols for the sensorization of cities are not yet standardized. That explains, at least partially, why the Smart City revolution has yet to take off. But it will, and we stand ready to advise administrations on how to do it.
CAN YOU ESTIMATE HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR THE SMART CITIES TO TAKE OFF?
European funds for post-Covid recovery will accelerate demand, driving the search for answers to these technological challenges. The Next Generation funds will be administered in the next 3-4 years, between now and 2026. So this is where we will see actual ‘smart’ cities emerge.
I am more concerned about another variable, which is not being considered sufficiently in this Fourth Industrial Revolution: the humanistic one. Digital transformation has immense sociological implications, which must be analyzed and addressed from an education perspective and the technology industry itself. Responses to technical challenges should be matched by reactions to the human challenges posed by those technologies. However, in my opinion, that is not happening.
It is not worth it to be talking about digitization or robotization if we cannot have a society capable of managing that information correctly.
WHERE SHOULD WE START LOOKING FOR THOSE ANSWERS?
We can start by incorporating more people with humanistic profiles in the digital transformation. This change cannot be directed only by engineers -and I am an engineer- because we will be leaving many things behind. For this reason, I believe that many more historians, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, and communication professionals, among others, must participate in technological evolution.
We need technology companies to be more aware of this need, and that humanistic profiles understand and care about playing a relevant role in this change of era.
With this assumption, we are proud to say that we have 50% non-technologists on our staff at Tower Consultores. Honestly, I believe this mix gives us a distinct value and has allowed us to grow rapidly in a sector that always demands being at the forefront. This same plural approach could be applied at the level of the whole society if we manage to involve all the agents of the economy.
IN ADDITION TO PROMOTING MULTIDISCIPLINARITY, WHAT OTHER ORGANIZATIONAL MEASURES HAVE YOU CARRIED OUT FOR MUTUAL ENRICHMENT BETWEEN TECHNOLOGISTS AND NON-TECHNOLOGISTS?
Most of them are measures that point to a paradigm shift from the perspective of knowledge and expertise, a change of mentality to work collaboratively, implement new technologies, and innovate methodologies – always facilitating human contact between teams. For example, we require the camera to be active during video meetings and organize in-person events and other engagements to connect and communicate. Having as a premise that everything digital is essentially human.
These connections are essential for Tower because they give us a complete vision of the market and the opportunities that arise. This is necessary for the workers because these connections validate their part in this great project, allowing them to grow personally and professionally while enjoying their time at work. On a smaller scale, these connections are also important for society because collaboration will be crucial to solving the significant social and environmental challenges caused by digitization.