Arqiva confirms sale of WiFi business to Virgin Media and announces in-building solutions partnership
Virgin Media has today entered into an agreement to acquire Arqiva WiFi, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arqiva Group. On completion, Arqiva WiFi, which includes more than 31,000 WiFi access points across 6,500 locations in the UK and more than 100 employees, will become part of Virgin Media Business.
Arqiva WiFi hotspots are present in thousands of locations from restaurants and banks to motorway service stations extending to more than 100,000 hotel rooms and almost every major UK airport.
The acquisition gives a significant boost to Virgin Media’s capability to provide out-of-home connectivity for consumers and businesses and propels the ultrafast broadband provider to become one of the UK’s largest public WiFi providers.
Virgin Media will use this acquisition to build on its existing outdoor WiFi network which includes providing ultrafast connectivity to 250 stations on the London Underground. Approximately 500,000 phones, tablets and laptops connect to this network every day.
The Company has also trialled the use of the UK’s first ‘Smart Pavement’ to deliver superfast public WiFi.
Virgin Media is already investing £3bn to extend its ultrafast broadband network to reach 17 million homes and business by 2019, a total of four million additional premises.
Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media 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, Chief Executive Officer for 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.”