LIFE AT AIRSPAN

Stefano B. – International Career Opportunities

Airspan is an international company with offices, people, and projects all around the globe. There are always exciting opportunities for employees to live and travel in different parts of the world. Stefano Baioni, Airspan’s SVP of Customer Support and Networks Implementation, describes the international career he’s had with Airspan. 

My career with Airspan was international from the start. When I first joined about 15 years ago, I moved from my native Italy to take the job in London. The original appeal of London was the opportunity to mix with people from different backgrounds. I’d always wanted to gain international professional experience, but while I was studying in Italy that went from being a dream to becoming a key ambition. Since then, my work with Airspan has taken me to nearly 80 countries in all corners of the world and given me a huge range of experiences that I simply wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

Since 2019, I’ve lived in Japan. I initially moved here to manage the local team while we scaled up our presence in the country, making sure we had the right people and systems in place. Now the project is nearing completion, so next year I will be moving again, this time to Dubai. 

It’s going to be sad to say goodbye after such a long time in Japan. I have made fantastic friends and we have delivered some great successes for Airspan, not least the partnership with Rakuten, which has seen us deploy tens of thousands of small cells as part of the world’s first fully virtualized commercial network. But equally my family and I are excited for the next chapter in a new place, with the chance to do it all over again. 

Airspan supports us with this of course, helping us with everything from expenses and the logistics of the move itself, to settling ourselves and our families into a new country. Moving abroad is never without its challenges. For example, relocating to Japan was a completely new professional experience. For a technical business like ours, there is a unique focus on product delivery and quality here, and the standards of customer service are incredibly demanding. 

The language barrier was also a challenge, particularly when I was initially building my team. I’ve done more than 500 interviews during my time here, but often this meant relying on some really excellent translators to make sure that we were properly communicating technical details and getting the best people in place. 

These are just some of the challenges you have to rise to meet when you are working abroad, not that this puts any of us off. In fact I think that’s what I and many of my colleagues relish about the international nature of Airspan. One thing I enjoy most is being able to do business with all kinds of companies and people, which means that every day is different and stimulating in its own way. Whether this is travelling and following major customers around the globe – drawing on the expertise and relationships I formed with them to help Airspan – or interacting with small, local ISPs in Africa and the US, or managing projects back in my home country with Italian FWA operators like Eolo and Linkem, the breadth of experience Airspan has offered me is second to none. Of course, travel also comes with its own perks too. As a racing fan, the chance to work closely with the team at Formula 1 and attend several Grand Prix around the world was a highlight. 

At Airspan, we’re not just used to working internationally. It’s our global mindset that’s helped us grow from a company of around 200 employees in 2007 to one of around 700+ today. We send our product experts to where they are needed most, allowing for a 24/7 cycle of research and development. This has made Airspan a more innovative, agile, and exciting company, and I’m proud to have been a part of this. I’m looking forward to seeing the next generation of Airspan employees go out there, build on this legacy, and cement our international reputation as a leading player in telecoms.