Boldyn Networks snaps up Cellnex’s private networks unit

Ray Le Maistre
By Ray Le Maistre

Nov 10, 2023

  • Cellnex has decided private networks don’t fit into its new strategy
  • It is offloading its Edzcom unit to Boldyn Networks
  • The deal gives Boldyn more than 50 private wireless network customers and operations in multiple new European markets

Neutral host networking specialist Boldyn Networks (formerly BAI Communications) has agreed to acquire Edzcom, Cellnex’s private wireless networks unit, for an undisclosed sum, a move that bolsters Boldyn’s private networks business and takes it into new markets.  

Cellnex itself only acquired Edzcom – which designs, builds and manages private 4G/5G networks on behalf of large enterprises, mainly in manufacturing, ports, oil and gas, energy generation and mining – in July 2020, but that acquisition was made by the previous management team and private networks are no longer seen as core to the company’s strategy. 

“As part of our focus on tower-based activities and businesses and their adjacent assets, Boldyn Networks is the ideal operator to usher Edzcom into a new phase of expansive growth,” noted Oscar Pallarols, global innovation, business development and technology director, at Cellnex. “Given that private networks are among Boldyn’s core activities, they are undoubtedly the ideal partner for Edzcom in this next phase of their growth,” he added.  

Edzcom CEO Mikko Uusitalo noted: “Cellnex has enabled us to expand from the Nordics to the largest countries in Europe. We are excited about the opportunity to continue our rapid growth now under Boldyn Networks. Boldyn is a great company… We share the same vision and I am convinced that now, as one team, we’ll consolidate our market leadership in bespoke private mobile networks, expand geographically and stay committed to customer excellency.” 

As for Boldyn, it stated that the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, advances its private networks strategy. “As the largest independent provider of private networks solutions, Edzcom brings experience from [more than] 50 implementations in Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK for world-class enterprises. By acquiring Edzcom, Boldyn further increases its neutral host capabilities,” the company noted in its announcement about the deal. 

Boldyn’s CEO, Igor Leprince, noted that the “capabilities, impeccable reputation and recognised expertise” of the Edzcom team “are an important addition to our team to capture the potential of this market across continents. From venues and wind farms to ports and manufacturing sites, we are building upon being the partner of choice for 5G private and converged network infrastructure projects.”

Boldyn Networks is not new to the private networks sector: It is already involved in multiple deployments around the world, including Moray East, a wind farm supplying power to approximately 1 million homes in Scotland, while in the US it has delivered a 5G network at the legendary Cowtown Coliseum rodeo stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, and a CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) private network for improved operation and touchless enhancements for visitors at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

The acquisition will expand Boldyn’s presence in Europe, adding Finland, Spain, Germany, Sweden and France as new markets to the company’s existing operations in the UK, Ireland and Italy. It also makes Boldyn a stronger player in what is undoubtedly a growing market. Analyst house forecasts vary wildly, but according to ABI Research, the “revenue opportunity for private cellular networks is forecasted to grow from almost $7bn in 2023 to more than $96bn by 2030, with integration services accounting for almost 50% of these revenues. The market is driven by 4G/LTE deployment until 2030, when 5G connectivity will constitute most private cellular network deployments.” 

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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