Back in 2003, Scottish and Southern Energy bought Neos Networks for over £13 million, to make it part of its wholesale telecoms business. The new unit was named SSE Telecoms, and has since been built into a major telecoms brand, providing networking and other services for B2B customers across the UK. However, in April 2021, the company announced that it was reviving the Neos Networks name to reflect a transformation in the business, including the purchase of a 50% stake in the business by Infracapital in 2019.
The company now aims to consolidate its position as the major B2B connectivity partner across the UK—and the rebrand is crucial in achieving this. What, then, has changed in the world of Neos Networks since our previous profile? Here’s what you need to know.
Neos Networks has moved and grown, reflecting its changing status
Back when we profiled SSE Telecoms, the company was headquartered in Perth, Scotland, reflecting its roots in Scottish and Southern Energy. Neos Networks, however, is now headquartered in Berkshire, probably highlighting the location of its customers, and the strong pull of London. The size of its network has nearly trebled, from 13,700 km to 34,000 km. The company also now has over 90 data centres compared to just 16 a few years ago.
The number of employees is also growing year on year
Data from LinkedIn suggests that the number of employees has grown steadily over the last few years. The median tenure is around 2.5 years, reasonable enough in the current economic climate. The company has also recruited several new senior managers in the last year or so, and has seen particularly strong growth in engineers and program and project managers in the last year. This almost certainly reflects the company’s fast-moving program of work and expansion.
Neos Networks has an impressive number of exchanges, with more planned
In June 2021, Neos Networks announced the unbundling of a further 201 exchanges, giving it 409 across the UK. The company’s stated ambition at that stage was to have 550 unbundled exchanges up and running by the end of 2021. Each exchange is designed to be resilient, and offer capacity of up to 100 Gbps.
Neos Networks has a number of high profile partners, including CityFibre
In August 2021, Neos Networks announced the continuation of a partnership with CityFibre, improving connectivity in nine further UK cities, including Cambridge, Peterborough, Coventry and Gloucester. The partnership will also benefit other areas, by future-proofing the UK’s digital infrastructure. However, Neos has long been a key part of the UK’s digital offering, including through a long-term partnership with Colt that has supplied London and Manchester with high-bandwidth 10Gbps Ethernet services.
Neos Networks serves a wide range of sectors
Neos Networks works with an interesting range of customers and sectors, demonstrating its importance to the UK today. The company works in partnership with several public sector organisations to improve connectivity across cities and regions. It also provides wholesale telecoms and Ethernet services via other partners. It is, however, equally happy providing services direct to enterprises, or to third sector organisations such as universities. This reflects a long history in this area, including support for the UK universities’ own network, Janet.
Neos Networks also provides a colocation service for non-critical data
Neos Networks has 15 Tier 2 Colocation facilities across the UK. The company describes these as ‘the perfect home for non-critical data’, including archives, back-ups and data replication. The colocation facilities are all close to major towns and cities. The sites are all owned by Neos, so the service provided can be tailored to customers’ individual needs.
Neos Networks provides a wide range of services for customers, including information
The company is not just a provider of Ethernet and networking capabilities. It also undertakes research and provides information to its customers. This type of support is crucial in helping customers to make business cases for investment, or to understand how they fit with other users of services. For example, a recent infographic described the case for 5G in smart cities. This sets out views among public sector and city managers about 5G, including a strong recognition that other technologies may be sufficient for many purposes. The company has also explored issues around 5G and smart cities in other interviews.