BAI buys Vilicom to expand network presence in Europe
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Moray East offshore windfarm in Scotland aerial Vilicom designed a bespoke private network covering an area of 295km² at Moray East, the UK's largest offshore network (credit: Vilicom)

Australian telecoms giant BAI Communications has announced the acquisition of Irish 4G and 5G network specialist Vilicom in a move which it says will accelerate its growth of wireless networks across Europe.

Following the deal Vilicom will continue to operate under its own name as a subsidiary of BAI using the two companies combined communications expertise to expand Vilicom’s £350m specialist wireless services covering private, indoor and offshore networks across the healthcare, real estate, retail, hospitality and energy sectors.

BAI chief executive Bill D’Arcy said the company would use their new investment to focus on developing networks within indoor venues and “by investing in its [Vilicom’s] growth to transform access to high-speed mobile coverage”.

Earlier this year, Vilicom delivered the UK's first offshore Open RAN (O-RAN) private network for wind turbine manufacturer Vestas at its 296m2 Moray East wind farm. The company has also partnered with 02 on O-RAN networking trials over the past twelve months as well as created private networks at Dublin Airport T2, Irish national stadium Croke Park and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s £1bn Cruiserath biologics plant in Dublin.

The combination of Vilicom’s technical expertise with BAI’s investment capability, will bring scale to new innovative connectivity solutions such as private 5G networks and Vilicom’s communications as a service platform that provides indoor mobile and cellular coverage for smaller venues according to Vilicom chief executive Sean Keating.

The deal marks the latest expansion into the UK and Irish telecoms market for BAI having been awarded a 20-year contract by Transport for London to deliver uninterrupted 4G coverage across all London Underground stations and tunnels as well as agreeing a 20-year strategic partnership with Sunderland City Council to “create the UK’s most advanced smart city”.

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