French Giant Snaps up 21net(07 Mar 2018, BWCS Staff)
Alstom is to buy 21net - one of the first companies to venture into the WiFi on trains space. According to a short company announcement, the French transport giant has signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of 21net from the Innovacom fund and other investors. 21net, which boasted a turnover of around €16 million in 2017 supplies on-board connectivity solutions based on multiple technologies such as satellite, cellular and high-speed wireless from trackside antennas. It is headquartered in the UK and has subsidiaries in Belgium, France, Italy and India.
The pioneering technology company first emerged in 2001, principally as a supplier of satellite delivered broadband connectivity to trains. However, over the years, it has developed expertise in end-to-end network design and optimization for broadband Internet on high-speed trains. Its most notable success in recent times came in 2016 when it won the much-prized SNCF contract to install WiFi equipment on high-speed trains in France. Alstom has already worked with 21net on the WiFi and infotainment equipment of the NTV train fleet in Italy.
Commenting on the deal, Jean-François Beaudoin, Senior Vice-President for Digital Mobility at Alstom said “This new acquisition, one year after that of Nomad Digital, will reinforce Alstom’s digital offering and expertise. The demand for seamless connectivity throughout passengers’ journey is today a must. Alstom will support operators in the acceleration of digital trends worldwide.”
Vincent Deltrieu, a partner at Innovacom added, “Innovacom has been pioneering the development of new technologies through start-ups and then consolidating them within leading companies for 30 years. We are pleased with this new concretization of the open innovation process to the benefit of all parties.”
The transaction is expected to close in approximately one month’s time and the transport company will begin integrating 21net into the Group from then.
The expanding market for on-board WiFi services as well as the problems of intermittent mobile coverage, proposed trackside solutions and other issues will all be covered in this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference hosted by BWCS. For more information on this year’s event please see www.Traincomms2018.com or contact Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com .
This year's Train Communications System Conference will be sponsored by Icomera, Nomad Digital, Fluidmesh, 21Net, RADWIN and BAI Communications.