Steven M. Sonnenstein

Steven M. Sonnenstein is a Managing Director at Digital Colony and Digital Bridge. He is responsible for the identification, evaluation, and management of new digital infrastructure investments.

What was Digital Colony’s strategy behind the investment in Aptum Technologies and what is your growth plan for the company?

We believe Canada is a large but underserved market which creates a unique opportunity for investment. In the Canadian market, incumbent Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have traditionally retained ownership of their digital infrastructure assets in order to limit competition from new entrants. We see an opportunity to disrupt that model by offering a neutral host solution. Canada is in early innings of 5G planning, which is likely to create tremendous new organic and inorganic opportunities to grow.

Aptum has two focused business units—data center and fiber. The data center business will concentrate on enabling multi-cloud services for blue chip customers across the globe. The fiber business will be Canada’s first independent, neutral-host provider of small cell and 5G infrastructure, and enterprise and wholesale fiber connectivity with an extensive metro fiber network across greater Toronto and Montreal. By focusing on these two segments, the company better meets the differing needs of customers in each market and scale.

You recently rebranded the investment from Cogeco Peer 1 to Aptum Technologies-what was the thought process behind the new brand?

Aptum means ‘adaptability’ and reflects Digital Colony’s and Digital Bridge’s heritage and our vision for the future. As businesses face exponentially increasing volumes of information, and data becomes an integral part of their infrastructure, technology platforms must adapt and harness the power of data to enable better decision making, risk evaluation and customer engagement. We wanted the new brand to embody this.

There are already talks about 6G research, which could deliver speeds up to 100Gbps; do you see this impacting or changing the way the data is delivered to the end-user? Do investors need to have their eye on this yet? Realistically, how many years out do you see 6G implementations and use cases?

Much of what makes 5G so great is its low latency of around 4 ms, but 6G networks might bring this down even further, maybe even to the point that we could say that there will be zero latency. As investors and operators in the digital infrastructure space, we always look at how each technology generation will be deployed to make sure we layer this future demand into our current business models. However, just a few telecom companies are seriously looking into 6G right now. The 6G R&D is expected to really start as we identify where 5G fails.

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