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Virgin Media Confirms Deal to Acquire Arqiva’s UK WiFi Network

Thursday, September 8th, 2016 (9:45 am) - Score 2,688
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Communications infrastructure provider Arqiva has agreed to sell its national network of WiFi Hotspots to Virgin Media, which will support the Liberty Global owned cable operator’s on-going efforts to extend the reach and influence of their own public WiFi infrastructure around the United Kingdom.

Arqiva originally acquired the WiFi network in 2012 as part of a £23m+ deal to buy Spectrum Interactive and since then they’ve expanded it to include a total of 31,000 access points in 6,500 UK locations, which includes various hotspots inside hotels, banks, restaurants and airports etc. On top of that Arqiva also hold exclusive licences to deploy their kit on street furniture in 12 of London’s boroughs.

Suffice to say that gobbling Arqiva would help Virgin Media’s WiFi ambitions to catch-up with the likes to Sky (Sky Broadband), which similarly gobbled WiFi operator The Cloud a few years back. But they still have a long way to go before being able to match BT, which hasn’t been helped by VM’s initial bug ridden attempt to add public WiFi sharing to their existing SuperHub broadband routers (here).

Peter Kelly, MD of VirginMedia Business, said:

“Millions of homes and businesses across the country already rely on Virgin Media for ultrafast broadband. By complementing our existing offer with the acquisition of one of the UK’s biggest and best public WiFi providers we’ll soon be able to expand the same high quality connectivity outdoors. In today’s digital age connectivity matters, whether you are at home, at work or on the go. I look forward to welcoming the Arqiva WiFi team to Virgin Media.”

Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO of Arqiva, said:

“Arqiva’s technology is central to millions of vital connections for broadcast and telecoms in the UK and across the globe. We have made significant investment in Wifi in recent years, resulting in a scalable and robust platform for customers and I firmly believe that Virgin Media will be a great owner of the WiFi business. Under this new stewardship, the business will be well placed to grow and gain market share.”

Apparently the deal will also include more than 100 Arqiva employees that are connected to the WiFi network, which will now come under VMB’s control. According to Virgin Media, approximately 500,000 phones, tablets and laptops connect to their WiFi network every day and this looks set to rise.

Overall this is an important move for Virgin Media one that will give their existing customers free access to a much larger network of WiFi hotspots.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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