Matt Evans, Partner at AMP Capital, welcomes the partnership between AMP Capital portfolio company, Spanish telecoms infrastructure business Axión, and Spanish gas company Enagás, to deliver additional fibre connectivity to the Spanish market through a new joint venture named Axent.
AMP Capital acquired Axión in 2016, with a plan to grow and evolve the business from a primary broadcast focus to one with a greater emphasis on telecommunications, keeping pace with society’s growing demand for data connectivity.
The communications sector has become a truly critical service for modern life, and as society has increased dependence on it, telecoms infrastructure has come to be considered a more essential infrastructure, while still offering investors value-add opportunities as data growth continues and newer or updated technologies are incorporated into networks.
Axent has been founded as a new operator for data transport, utilising 4,600 km of optical fibre owned by Enagás and more than 300 radio links operated by Axión, and currently holds c.5% of the dark fibre in Spain. Axent also has strong growth plans through investments in new fibre in order to extend and improve its national network presence. As the joint venture primarily makes use of existing fibre networks (originally laid by Enagás for its own needs, as many utilities companies have done historically), it expects to be more efficient and cost-effective than putting in place new fibre and related infrastructure.
Axión is bringing its experience, not only as an operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructures in Spain, but as an innovator in the Spanish telecom industry (for example, in the provision of high density indoor and exterior coverage DAS solutions). Enagás brings to the JV both its existing fibre network capacity and its technical knowledge related to fibre deployment and maintenance.
The integration of fibre and radio technologies offers great advantages for customers (such as mobile operators, content and OTT service providers) who are increasingly demanding efficiency, greater capacity, flexibility and robustness. Infrastructure providers are expected to offer robust and competitively priced solutions, which Axent’s scale and diversified networks can supply.
Communications infrastructure businesses need to keep moving to keep up with demand, both for increased capacity and speed, and quality of services. Today’s wholesale and business customers are reliant on continued access to rapid communications infrastructure, which it is Axión’s mission to provide. To ensure long-term success, businesses in the communications sector need to continue to innovate and collaborate in order to better serve the end customer, and the formation of Axent is a great example of this.
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