TalkTalk expands wholesale role with Virtual1 takeover

TalkTalk expands wholesale role with Virtual1 takeover

Tristia Harrison TalkTalk CEO.jpg

UK telco TalkTalk is continuing its transformation into a wholesale company by buying Ethernet specialist Virtual1.

TalkTalk’s move comes a year after it opted out of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) business by selling its FibreNation unit to rival UK operator CityFibre.

The Virtual1 acquisition, which has not been priced, gives TalkTalk a 25% share of the Ethernet access direct (EAD) market in the UK.

Tristia Harrison (pictured), CEO of TalkTalk, said: “As all businesses continue to experience increasing demands for high bandwidth services, we see huge benefits in acquiring Virtual1, coupling our national scale network with their market-leading APIs and software capabilities.”

Virtual1 was founded in 2007 by Tom O’Hagan, who stays with the group. He said: “Virtual1 has built an award-winning self-service portal and suite of APIs to enable businesses to virtually manage their networks with complete visibility of real-time bandwidth, reducing partners’ manual intervention and cost, whilst improving the customer experience.”

He said the acquisition would “expand the reach of our solutions and increase our scale as a network provider with TalkTalk”.

Harrison said O’Hagan “and his excellent team of 200 people will continue to lead the standalone business and we look forward to welcoming them to the TalkTalk family”.

Harrison’s team said she was “not holding interviews at this stage”. However, Capacity understands TalkTalk has bought Virtual1 to strengthen its wholesale market position and enhance its network, technical and product capability.

It sees the acquisition as strengthening its wholesale platform, especially with the introduction of Virtual1’s portals, along with automation.

Arma Partners, which advised Virtual1 on the deal, said: “The combined business will benefit from Virtual1’s unrivalled automation, sophisticated API technology and leading-edge portal experience. The acquisition will offer TalkTalk Group enhanced capabilities in its wholesale platform and increased scale.”

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