Private network operator Vilicom bought by Canada’s BAI
Canadian infrastructure company BAI Communications has bought Vilicom, a UK-based private network supplier.
This is just the latest in a series of moves by BAI to position itself as a provider of wholesale infrastructure in transport networks, sports venues and other locations.
Vilicom, which it is buying for an undisclosed price, has a similar market model. In June 2021 it announced it was building a 4G and 5G network for a 295 sq km windfarm, using open RAN technology from Mavenir, off the coast of Scotland.
Billy D’Arcy (pictured), CEO of BAI Communications UK, said: “With its focus on indoor venues, Vilicom is helping to enhance connectivity for all and by investing in its growth we can transform access to high-speed mobile coverage, not only benefitting businesses, but the UK as a whole.”
BAI provides mobile coverage in the metro rail systems in at least four of the world’s major cities: for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR), the New York subway and – following a contract this year – the London Underground.
Igor Leprince, group CEO of BAI Communications, added: “BAI’s acquisition of Vilicom brings together a highly complementary offering between the two organisations, establishing us as leader in the UK, while helping us realise our global ambitions.”
Vilicom CEO Sean Keating welcomed the acquisition. “Together, we will be able to accelerate and scale our delivery and provide an enhanced experience for our customers,” he said.
Leprince added: “The combination of the expertise and portfolios of each business positions BAI to better respond to new opportunities across UK and Europe and makes a significant contribution to our strategy for portfolio balance across North America and Europe.”
In June BAI Communications said it was to acquire US based Mobilitie, a private network operator.
That deal, which was completed in October, added Mobilitie's portfolio of 220 venues across 39 US states; 10,000 small cells across 45 states; and 300 tower sites across 14 states to BAI’s operations.
BAI Communications has been majority owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) since 2009.