Modern Times Group is to acquire 80% of the Swedish communications network Zitius Service Delivery AB. The undisclosed purchase from Quadracom also give MTG the option to acquire the remaining 20% in 2016.
Zitius is Sweden’s leading independent Open Access Communications Operator, with approximately 150,000 connected fibre households. Of these, over a third currently subscribe to a service via Zitius network.
“Our intention is to strengthen Zitius’ market leading position even further, and to continue providing attractive offerings to customers from multiple suppliers in an open environment. We will continue to market our own Viasat channels and Viaplay service to consumers through as many platforms as possible,” said Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO of MTG.
The Open Access network structure is specific to the Swedish broadband market and provides an open environment where multiple service providers can sign agreements with the network operator to market their services to the end consumer, typically in multi-dwelling residential apartment buildings in towns and cities. Approximately 750,000 homes, or 16% of all Swedish households, are estimated to be currently connected to Open Access networks. The deployment and expansion of the networks since 2000 have been subsidised by Swedish local and national Government and the European Union.
Zitius was established in 2003 as an independent communications operator of Swedish Open Access broadband networks, and has multi-year agreements with infrastructure owners such as local Swedish councils and real estate organisations.
Zitius provides network management and service packaging services, and installs, owns and operates the active network equipment including routers and switches, but typically does not operate the equipment on consumer premises.