Managed data services provider Six Degrees Group is looking at setting up an MVNO, with the group in talks with a number of Mobile Virtual Network Aggregators (MVNAs).
Six Degrees Group, which was set up by former SpiriTel CEO Alastair Mills in June 2011, currently connects its customers to Vodafone, O2 or EE. Group strategy and marketing director Campbell Williams said: ‘In the dealer model, the operator owns the customers. That is a concern and not seen in any other sector. However, the attraction of an MVNO is that the customer has nothing to do with the operator. They are our own customers. We deal with customer billing, we have control and we can offer a joined up end to end service and some pretty interesting commercial models.’
Williams said talks with the MVNAs were at an early stage as the company remains cautious about signing up with one mobile operator. He said: ‘It is a concern of ours. One reason we have not done it yet is the advantage we gain from being able to provide the choice of three major networks to customers and not putting all of our eggs into one basket.’
Six Degrees has 3,500 customers ranging from mid-market companies to small corporates delivering an average ARPU of £2,000 a month. It also has a number of large corporate customers, including seven of the worlds’ largest investment banks and five of the UK’s top law firms, with some customers delivering six figure monthly ARPUs. Six Degrees’ underlying organic growth is strong, currently running in the ‘low to mid teens’ and run-rate revenues at £70m.
Williams is predicting continued strong growth this year with a strong pipeline of ‘chunky’ projects and plans to grow its public sector customer base. The group is also on a recruitment drive, taking on 80 new staff across all divisions in the past year, bringing the total number of employees to 250. Plans are afoot to recruit another 20 staff this year.
Last week the group completed the acquisition of BIS, adding £16m of revenues and 200 new customers, making Six Degrees one of only a handful of co-location providers with data centres in central London as well as outside the M25.
The transaction puts the group firmly in direct competition with the likes of BT, Cable and Wireless and Vodafone, Williams said. He added: ‘We now have the same asset capability as those Tier One providers but we offer customers a very different level of service – we can fix voice quality problems within 15 minutes. You’re lucky if the big boys pick up your call in 15 minutes.’
Looking to the future Williams said: ‘We want to be the most advanced mid-market provider with people who love working here delivering services to our customers that no one else has the capability to deliver. And we want our competitors to hate our guts for what we do.’
Author: Carol Millett