Belfast Telegraph

Telecom firm strikes deal for Vodafone's Northern Ireland business services

By Rachel Martin

Belfast firm Connect Telecom has struck a deal to take responsibility for a further 15,000 of Vodafone's business connections.

The mobile services telecom firm said today it would take over rival GCI's mobile base.

It's Connect's third acquisition within weeks, following the purchase of Scotland's Vodafone partner Coltel and Carlisle-based Nortech last month and comes amid plans for the telecoms service delivery company to expand across the UK. Connect currently employs just over 40 members of staff in Belfast, including around six who will move from GCI.

The deal brings Connect's total mobile connections to more than 45,000, making it Vodafone's biggest partner in Northern Ireland.

And it will see Connect take on a further 800 Vodafone business customers and a small number of EE customers.

However, the sum paid for GCI's mobile base has not yet been disclosed.

"This deal with GCI is much more than an acquisition," said Scott Ritchie, chief executive of Connect Telecom.

"I am delighted to announce our customers will now benefit from a partnership between Connect and GCI, as we've committed to a 'Skype for business' platform from GCI to support our growing unified communications requirements across our base.

"Connect has always provided our customers with pioneering mobility services, in essence a roadmap to utilise the latest technologies, unifying their business communications.

"This deal is a win-win that has our customers firmly at the centre."

Connect offers a range of telecoms services, including cloud management, landline, mobile and broadband.

GCI chief executive Adrian Thirkill added: "This is a very positive step for both Connect Telecom and for GCI. There are some simple drivers behind our decision. Fundamentally, it's about enabling GCI to focus its energies around what we can be really great at, and that's all about managed services.

"That's good for us, good for Connect Telecom, and most importantly it is great news for our respective customer bases who will benefit from best-in-class mobility services."

Headquartered in Belfast, Connect's recent acquisitions now see the firm operate right across the UK, with offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Carlisle, Manchester and an expanded office and operation in London.

Belfast Telegraph