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30 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2016

Providing connected Fan experiences at Events & Venues Worldwide: Horizon Communications Technologies


“An efficient telecommunications network is the foundation upon which an information society is built.” – Talal Abu-Ghazaleh

If you have watched a game or an event in a huge stadium in the United States, you would have noticed that the stadium had an in-built WiFi network. The network could be used by fans to browse the web, interact more with their teams and take part in contests. Sponsors make use of the network to advertise and market their products. A normal stadium gets converted to a digital stadium just by implementing a WiFi network. Established in 2004, Horizon Communication Technologies is an expert at designing, installing and managing stadium WiFi networks.

Horizon is a leader in telecommunications infrastructure design, installation, and management in both the US and the UK. Based out of Irvine, California, the company specializes in all areas of telecommunications infrastructure; including the design, engineering, planning, installation, project management, security and maintenance of DAS, WiFi, Data Centers and structured cabling for any type of structure. Its customers include some of the world’s biggest stadiums, as well as large building and property management companies, telecommunications carriers, data centers and other enterprise-level operations. Horizon is backed by the strength of Solis Capital Partners, who owns an equity interest in the company.

It was initially a commercial cabling company, installing low voltage cabling in office buildings. When Mike DeGraw entered the company, he leveraged his previous contacts in Silicon Valley and entered the data center space. At the same time, AT&T started getting into stadium WiFi and Horizon was their chosen installation company. Horizon has spent the past 4 years focusing on the stadium space and believes that it is a world leader in stadium WiFi.

Horizon has also developed a monetization and analytics platform called Captivate that enables targeted advertising to a device and provides the venue and its sponsors with detailed analytics showing the demographics of who attended an event. The monetization and analytics platform provides customers with another level of fan/customer engagement.

Product Offerings
In the stadium and event space, Horizon offers a comprehensive wireless solution. With Captivate, the company takes it to another level by allowing venues and sponsors an array of information on their customers and the ability to interact with fans, both in and out of the venue.

Wireless and DAS Solutions- Horizon designs and installs some of the world’s largest, most complex wireless networks for big venues like stadiums and arenas. It also performs wireless design and installation for hospitality networks, resorts, conference centers and hotels, as well as office environments.

Data Center- The Company has created over 500,000 square feet of data center space for some of the largest names on the Internet.

Enterprise Connectivity- Horizon has been performing structured cabling and riser work in commercial office space for over 10 years. With some of the best installation technicians and project managers in the industry, it can provide comprehensive service – from the manhole to the MPOE, from riser to desktop.

Riser Management- It is a leader in riser management, with experience spanning over 13 years. The program includes all aspects of designing, implementing and maintaining building telecommunications riser systems, and is scalable based on the needs of the property.

Fan Engagement- Horizon turns stadium WiFi network into a way to generate revenue, enhance the fan experience and gain valuable audience insights.

The target area of the company’s clientele is WiFi in large and temporary venues, shopping malls and casinos. Horizon has done work for some big names including Google, Twitter, Amazon and Salesforce.com. In the stadium and temporary event world, it has worked for the LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Stanford University, Honda Center, SAP Center, Coachella Music Festival and most recently it did something that had never been done before. It implemented WiFi at 14 official Fan Zones across England and Wales for the Rugby World Cup.

Office Locations
Horizon’s headquarters is in Irvine, CA, USA. It also has offices in San Francisco, San Diego and New York across the US and in London in the UK.

Future Road Map
Captivate is the company’s flagship platform and Horizon’s future focus is on improving it further for its customers.

Knowing the Mastermind

Mike DeGraw, President & CEO
Mike assumed the role of President at Horizon Communications Technologies in July 2010. Prior to HCT, Mike served in several executive management roles within the telecommunications industry, most recently as Senior Vice President of Wholesale at DeltaCom. Prior to DeltaCom, he was President and co-owner of Huntington Telecom, an international wholesale voice operator. Prior to Huntington Telecom, he was a Vice President with private equity firm Leucadia Telecommunications Group where he managed a diverse group of international telecommunications businesses, including responsibilities at Wiltel Communications. Prior to Leucadia, Mike held sales management positions with Global Crossing, Cable & Wireless and AT&T Australia.

“We are a leader in telecommunications infrastructure design, installation, and management in both the US and the UK.”