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United Group announces plan to acquire Wind Hellas

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Busy close season for United Group as it adds new mobile operator to its portfolio after investing in cloud native core 

European alternative telecom provider United Group (UG) has consolidated its position in August with a new cloud-native technology strategy and the acquisition of a new telco, Greek Mobile operator Wind Hellas.

In August UG announced the addition of Greek mobile operator Wind Hellas to one of its divisions, the Nova Broadcasting Group.

The purchase will close in 2022, subject to regulator approval.

Wind Hellas is a strong mobile business that can dovetail with Nova and UG’s media and the fixed-line expertise, according to CEO Victoriya Boklag.

Wind has 4.2 million users and makes €500 million ($586 million) a year from mobile, fixed, internet and TV services. “We are buying a successful business to strengthen our presence and offering to customers across Greece,” said Boklag.

“Acquiring and integrating strong local telecom and media businesses onto our platform is a core part of United Group’s European growth strategy,” said Nikos Stathopoulos, partner at BC Partners and chairman of United Group. Greece is a key market for UG as it aims to become a top converged operator, said Stathopoulos.

Building cloud native core

Earlier in the month UG announced the core of its infrastructure would be built on cloud-native Nokia kit. Its mobile operators in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia will comprise cloud packet, voice and 3G cores in their cloud infrastructure. Nokia’s subscriber data management (SDM) software will provide the foundation for network slicing and other new 5G services.

The cloud conversion of 3G and 4G networks over Nokia’s cloud infrastructure will be a precursor to 5G non-standalone and standalone services. Nokia is says it is supplying wi-fi mesh enabled equipment across the eight countries where telecom provider operates to improve the home internet experience.

Networks need to be upgraded in order to keep pace with rising user expectations, said UG CTO Željko Batistić. Operators have to transfer large volumes of data fast, securely and with very low latency.