Spotlight on North America
Christian Barb joined the RFS team in March earlier this year. He takes us through his first 100 days with the company, and what the next 100 hold, especially for the North America Market.
What is your background?
I came from the traditional telecom space, spending 16 years of my career at Ericsson, as well as a range of mid-sized vendors. I’d been impressed by RFS products in the past and so joining as VP Sales for North Americas seemed like a great opportunity and 100 days in, I’ve not been disappointed as the focus on product quality and customer service aligns perfectly with how I like to get things done.
Tell us about your first 100 days at RFS?
It’s fair to say that my first 100 days have seen a fair amount of turbulence, navigating through a global pandemic has not been without its challenges. However, it has emphasized what an essential role telecommunications plays in the world. Making sure that we as a company and a team have adapted to the new normal has been a big focus. I’ve always prided myself on being a team player that “walks the talk” and so a big focus has been getting to know every member of the team and working with them on the front lines to truly understand the issues our customers face at this moment in time, and helping them overcome them. We have a great team at RFS, and I feel like the quote “it is not the challenges that define us, but how we respond to those challenges” exemplifies this. The team has risen to the challenges of this year magnificently and we’re looking forward to H2.
What are the big trends you expect to see for North America this year?
CBRS is going to take center stage in the second half of 2020. The FCC auction has already started strong with 271 qualified bidders and huge demand as it paves the way for private LTE Networks for enterprises. With significant potential applications for healthcare and manufacturing in particular, the appeal is very clear, and it will be an interesting few months here at RFS. Bidding parties that are not traditional telco players, are seeking the huge reward that a private LTE network can offer, but this is not without risk. Delving into this space for the first time is daunting and with a big investment at stake it is vital that we get it right. Because we deal with the end-to-end infrastructure for LTE and 5G networks, we are ideally placed to help navigate network builds and mitigate the risk.
What RFS innovations are you most excited about?
Along with assisting customers following the CBRS auction, one of this year’s most exciting milestones at RFS has been the launch of our DragonSkin cable. It combines the best-in-class fireproofing technology, with our leading in-building cable, to deliver the only stand-alone solution on the market to meet the UL 2196 certification requirements. Having such high safety standards baked into our solutions ensures that if the worst happens communications do not fail. Being able to offer this particular product that is truly market leading is a very exciting part of being on the RFS team.
What do the next 100 days hold?
I see the next 100 days as being a similarly exciting time at RFS; continuing to stay laser focused on our customers, developing innovative products and solutions in the marketplace, will enable us to build sustainable partnership with our customers. The next 100 days will see us celebrate our 120th birthday which is a huge milestone for any business operating in the telecoms space and we look forward to continuing with the same ethos that has powered RFS over the last century.