Perhaps the only constant in the fixed wireless industry is that it’s always changing 🙂 For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic surge in internet traffic for all providers, while the expansion of 5G and other access technologies promise to take the industry and broadband internet access to new heights.
A recent WISPA survey revealed significant industry changes related to the pandemic. For example, average download traffic increased by over 40% during peak times compared to the pre-pandemic era. Many WISPs also reported an increase in customers and demand for higher speed packages, leading to increased revenue. Additionally, access to new billion-dollar government funding programs has local and regional WISPs aiming for significant growth.
With all this change and constant activity, it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on in the WISP world. So we’ve decided to make life easy for you!
Introducing Preseem’s Fixed Wireless M&A Tracker
Our aim with this tracker is to monitor the latest developments in the fixed wireless industry when it comes to mergers, acquisitions, and investments. We hope that this information will be of value to not only fixed wireless operators but also to mainstream media and consumers interested in learning more about WISPs and the industry in general. After all, WISPs perform a critical role in bridging the digital divide in America and around the world.
Our fixed wireless M&A tracker has three parts:
- Fixed wireless operators M&A deals
- Industry vendors / manufacturers & supplier deals
- Investment firms and banking news
Fixed Wireless Operators M&A Deals:
|Buyer||Target||Target City / State / Territory||Month||Additional Deal Information|
|Xplornet||Full Throttle Networks||Manitoba||April 2022||Xplornet acquires 1,600 customers in the deal.|
|Access Communications||KRAKR||Saskatchewan||February 2022||Access adds 70 towers with the acquisition.|
|Hunter Communications||Online NW, XS Media||Oregon||January 2022||Financial terms not disclosed but this will allow Hunter to expand broadband internet services throughout Oregon.|
|Hilliary Communications||SWOI Wireless, Southwest Oklahoma Telephone Company||Oklahoma||January 2022||Hilliary supports customers in OK, TX and IA. These acquisitions add 3,000 subscribers to their platform.|
|2degrees||Orcon||New Zealand||January 2022||In this $1.7B deal, the new combined company will serve more than 1.8M customers across NZ.|
|IdeaTek Telcom||SWKO, Inc.||Liberal, Kansas||November 2021||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Field Solutions Holdings||TasmaNet||Australia||November 2021||This $13M acquisition will help FSG's plan to build 16 new networks over the next 2 years.|
|Ting||Simply Bits||Tucson, Arizona||October 2021||Ting will acquire Simply Bits' 4,500 subs and 1,100-square mile fixed wireless network.|
|FirstMark Horizon Acquisition Corp.||Starry||Boston, MA||October 2021||This merger supplies Starry with $452M in cash and an implied enterprise value of $1.6B.|
|Great Plains Communications||USA Communications||Nebraska and Colorado||October 2021||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Pinpoint Communications||Spiral Communications||Nebraska||September 2021||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Cox Communications||Segra (commercial services segment)||Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states||September 2021||Acquisition does not include Segra’s fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) residential and small-to medium-sized business segment, which EQT Infrastructure will retain ownership of.|
|Poka Lambro Telecommunications||Vexus Fiber||West Texas||August 2021||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Schurz Communications||Knoxville Telephone Company (NKTelco)||Central Ohio||August 2021||Acquisition means that Schurz will become owners of NKTelco’s 4.5% investment in Com Net, an Ohio-based communications company.|
|Grande Communications (Astound Broadband)||Harris Broadband||Central Texas||July 2021||Acquisition adds over 6,000 customers, 12,500 homes passed, and 150 miles of fiber to Grande Communications' operations in Texas.|
|Zayo Group Holdings||Indiana Fiber Network||Indiana||June 2021||Acquisition adds more than 5,000 route miles of fiber to nearly 1,000 enterprise buildings in cities including Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Columbus, Terre Haute, and South Bend.|
|USConnect Holdings||ITC Broadband Holdings||West Point, Georgia||May 2021||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Rural Telecommunications of America, Inc. (RTA)||SCT BROADBAND LLC||Smithville, Texas||May 2021||Acquisition adds coverage to RTA's network from outside of Austin to Houston, Texas.|
|Cal.net||Winters Broadband||Winters, California||April 2021||Network enhancements including LTE technology, capacity improvements, and higher speed packages to be made available to customers as a result of the merger.|
|Altice USA||Morris Broadband||Western North Carolina||March 2021||Acquisition adds 36,500 residential and business customers to Altice USA's network.|
|Cable One||Hargray Communications||Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina||February 2021||Acquisition will capitalize on Hargray’s experience in fiber expansion and serve customers in 14 markets Southeastern U.S. markets.|
Affordable Internet Solutions (AIS)
Infinity 8 Broadband (I8)
|February 2021||Undisclosed amount. The three companies cover 15,000 square miles across 40 counties.|
|Boston Omaha Corporation (FIF Utah)||Utah Broadband (UBB)||Draper, Utah and nearby regions||December 2020||UBB serves over 10,000 customers. Deal included $21.6 million paid in cash to UBB's founder & CEO as well as 20% of common membership interests of FIF Utah, valued at US$ 5.4 million.|
|GeoLinks||TPx Communications||Bay Area, CA and Las Vegas||October 2020||Deal to only acquire network assets, including fixed wireless infrastructure and spectrum licenses.|
|NextLink||Xtremeair||Cushing, Iowa||September 2020||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Rural Telecommunications of America, Inc. (RTA)||Net3 ISP||Odessa/Midland, Texas||August 2020||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Cable One||Wisper ISP and NextLink||Mascoutah, Illinois|
|August 2020||Cable One acquired 40% stake in Wisper ISP and a less than 10% stake in NextLink. Both companies are CAF-II winners as well.|
|NextLink||Network Business Systems (NBS)||Geneseo, Illinois||May 2020||Terms of the deal were not disclosed.|
|Rural Telecommunications of America, Inc. (RTA)||Southern Broadband, LLC (SBB)||Galveston County, Texas||February 2020||RTA anticipates more than 10,000 new customers to be added to the SBB network|
|Watch Communications||Sit-CO||Evansville, Indiana||January 2020||Acquisition increased Watch's subscriber base by over 2,200 residential and enterprise customers.|
Vendor / Manufacturer & Supplier Deals:
|COMSovereign||RFEQ||Ultra-high performance microwave antennas and accessories||July, 2021|
|BCM One||SkySwitch||Managed technology solutions, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas)||January, 2021|
|Bark Technologies||Router Limits||Parental Controls Router||February, 2020|
|Minim||Aerez||Managed WiFi||February, 2019|
Investment, Banking, & Other Acquisition News:
- September, 2021: New Lisbon Holdings acquires Taylored Systems, a technology solutions company based in Noblesville, Indiana. More info here.
- August, 2021: Stonepeak (investment firm) has acquired Astound Broadband, the sixth largest cable operator in the United States, for $8.1 billion. More info here.
- July, 2021: T-Mobile and Shentel have finalized a $1.94 billion agreement for the sale of Shentel wireless assets to T-Mobile. More info here.
- January, 2021: WeLink (startup WISP operator currently serving Las Vegas) received a $185 million investment from Digital Alpha Advisors—an investment firm tied to Cisco to expand its fixed wireless internet service into ten US cities. More info here.