Leading TV and broadband provider UPC has acquired WiFi operator BitBuzz. The terms of the deal are as yet unconfirmed, but there is speculation that UPC paid up to €6M for the company.
Bitbuzz’s main business is the provision of WiFi services in public places such as bars, hotels and cafes. Bitbuzz makes money through monthly subscriptions charged to the hospitality industry. Bitbuzz also has relationships with mobile operators Three and O2 with apps available for customers to access the Bitbuzz WiFi hotspots free of charge.
UPC is set to launch its own mobile phone service in 2015 which will use the Three network. The purchase of Bitbuzz could certainly be seen as a strategic move that would compliment its broadband service and enhance its coming mobile phone business.
Gavin Smyth, UPC’s VP of business services said: “This is a first step in our plans to expand UPC’s services in the business market by adding value added services that complement our high speed broadband services.” Mr Smyth continued: “This will enable UPC Business to further expand our services across the hospitality, education and health industries.”
Shane Deasy, Managing Director of Bitbuzz said: “The combination of our two businesses will enable Bitbuzz customers to benefit from UPC's expertise, services and global reach.”
Bitbuzz currently has more than 400 WiFi hotspots across Ireland and a further 116 in the UK where the company opened a dedicated office in 2010.