Telia Carrier announces rebrand to Arelion after €935m sale

Staffan G Aurelion T-shirt.jpg

Telia Carrier, which Swedish pension funds bought for €935 million last year, is being renamed Arelion.

Staff across the world are being told about the new name in an online meeting due to start at 14:00 UK time today.

“It’s important to stay with connectivity. We’re still the same company, the same people,” said CEO Staffan Göjeryd in an exclusive interview with Capacity.

Arelion logo

The new name is pronounced “ah-ray-li-yon”, and is based on the word “reliable”, said CMO Maja Sever. The website went live today

The renamed company will expand under its new ownership from its traditional core business with telecoms carriers to include enterprises, said Göjeryd.

“We’ll still focus on the core of the past 20 years, [but] we see there are a lot of enterprises moving to internet-first.” They are increasingly wanting to connect consumers, “a big change from what they were doing before. A lot of enterprises are moving in that direction.”

He added: “It’s a matter of understanding where the market is going, where we’re heading as an organisation. We still have a strong foothold in what we’re known for. Connectivity is becoming increasingly important for different segments of customers.”

Telia Company, the former parent, announced in October 2020 that it was selling its global operation, Telia Carrier, to Polhem Infra, an infrastructure investor owned by Swedish pension funds, for 9,450 million Swedish kronor (€935 million).  

After a move that was totally unexpected by the industry, the two companies said they will have a “strategic long-term partnership”. Göjeryd gave details in an interview with Capacity shortly after the announcement

Group CEO Allison Kirkby said then: “I am confident that under the continued leadership of Staffan Göjeryd, head of Telia Carrier, Polhem Infra will be an excellent owner for Telia Carrier and that it will continue to go from strength to strength under their stewardship.”

The sale was completed, after regulatory approvals, in June 2021.

The new brand will be “a different way for us to market ourselves”, said Göjeryd. “It is important to play to the potential future, to strike out.”

Arelion’s biggest market is in the US, he said, “but the US is a very big market”. The company’s strong positions are in North America and Europe, with additional business in Asia.

Now, he plans to take it into “proximity markets”, he told Capacity, densifying its network “to get closer to where the users are”, and “maybe a bit more data centres”.

Sever, who led the rebranding as head of brand, marketing and communications, said the asterisk-shaped logo that Arelion is using represents a network map and “the convergence of local networks”. The design company, Bold Scandinavia, has also turned the asterisk into a spinning globe.

A survey of customers says they rated the former Telia Carrier highly for “quality, prestige and professionalism”, she said. “It took us by surprise that they rated us so highly.”

The branding company has also designed a new typeface, Arelion Sans, she said. There is also a version for display purposes with individual letters connected, to convey the theme “keeping the world connected” – which has been used by other telecoms organisations since the Covid pandemic started two years ago.

 Arelion has already found out there is a company of the same name, based in Bavaria. Arelion is also the hero of a series of online games and books