Telecoms company Arqiva is set to become one of the UK’s largest Wi-Fi hotspot providers after agreeing terms to buy independent Wi-Fi operator Spectrum Interactive for £23.4m.
The deal will accelerate Arqiva’s drive into the wholesale mobile data market, which is forecast to see data demand increase by around 65% per year between 2011 and 2016.
Spectrum Interactive’s customer base consists of customers in the travel, retail and hospitality sectors, including BAA, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Premier Inn, Moto, Travelodge, Radisson Edwardian and Value Retail.
The Spectrum Wi-Fi network handles over 1.7 million user sessions at 2,100 locations every month. The company also offers other wireless solutions including digital signage, internet kiosks and public printing services, as well as a nationwide estate of payphones.
No redundancies are expected as part of the deal. Arqiva said it intends to take on all Spectrum Interactive’s staff.
Arqiva CEO John Cresswell said: ‘The acquisition of Spectrum Interactive positions Arqiva as one of the UK’s largest Wi-Fi hotspot providers and uniquely we would be the only wholesale provider with no associated retail service.
‘We are well placed to help define the Wi-Fi space for all UK landlords and business providers, allowing us to individually tailor services for our customers to meet the growing demand for data capacity.’
Nicolas Ott, government, mobile and enterprise MD at Arqiva, said: ‘The strategic fit of Spectrum with Arqiva is compelling and our customers and business will benefit from the 15,500 access points in over 2,100 premium Wi-Fi locations across hotels, restaurants and leisure outlets as well as airports, airline lounges, motorway service station and public locations on high streets. We can accelerate the roll out of Arqiva’s wholesale mobile data offer, whilst enhancing services provided to Spectrum Interactive’s customers.’