Australian telecommunications company, United Networks Limited (United), is listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Thursday 12 January 2017. The company’s code is to be UNL.
United is an international Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (“MVNE”) providing telecommunications, data and value added services, with its main product a global roaming service, operating over cellular, Wi-Fi and GPS networks around the world, linked to customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
United’s Initial Public Offering raised $7.1 million. Capital raised from the IPO is intended to be used to expand the strength and coverage of the United network as a way of broadening its corporate customer base and product range.
United derives the majority of revenue from “white labelling” the global roaming product, backed by the United platform, for corporate customers such as insurers, airlines, banks and travel agents to offer as an add-on to their customers.
In January 2017, United launched its white labelled Wi-Fi application, which connects its users to unlimited data in over 57 million hotspots in 120 countries. It was awarded The Airline Ancillary Revenue and Merchandising Innovation of the Year Award at the 2016 Mega Awards in Toronto.
According to United CEO, Mr Nicholas Ghattas, interest in the IPO had been strong from existing pre-IPO shareholders, institutions and family offices. The company is now well placed to create value for all United shareholders.
“The success of United’s white labelling has come from it being an attractive low cost customer acquisition program for corporates, as well as offering them a chance to convert this cost into a revenue earner,” Mr Ghattas said.
“With the launch of the Wi-Fi app we have streamlined the use of the global roaming product and we expect it to be the basis for its growing appeal among new and existing corporate customers,” Mr Ghattas said.
United was established in 2009, with its founder and chief executive having over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications and CRM. United currently has over 25 “white label” corporate partners.
In providing global roaming as an add-on service to their customers, these corporate customers of United are also able to develop other revenue opportunities, especially before, during and after travel as assisted by the location based services made possible from the underlying United network.
United’s location based services platform locate and alert services has been used in major events to proactively assist its corporate partners in ensuring their customers are alerted and safe. Some events in the past six months include terrorist attacks in Nice, Istanbul and Germany as well as natural disasters in Japan, Ecuador, New Zealand, Fiji and USA.
United sees broader applications of global roaming connectivity as natural disasters or terrorist incidents make it necessary to use alternative networks for contact.
To date United has activated more than 190,000 global voice and data roaming services predominantly to Australian-based customers travelling overseas, with its network connecting over 190 countries, allowing travellers to access competitive roaming rates while travelling. This number is expected to grow rapidly with the introduction of the Unlimited Wi-Fi App.
United has a customer pipeline of approximately 10 new corporate partners with several trials currently underway with some of these partners for both the Global SIM and the Wi-Fi solutions.
Following some corporate partners’ interest in offering their customers competitive local SIM products, United is also looking to contract with a local SIM provider with a view to allow international visitors to access local competitively priced telecommunications products while in Australia.
Directors of United are Messrs Anthony Ghattas (chairman, former CEO of ASX listed digital and mobile content development company and founder of United Lifestyle Group), Nicholas Ghattas (CEO, over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications, corporate financial accountant) and Charbel Nader (investment banker).
United’s prospectus identifies its growth strategy as incorporating:
- Growth in existing products and channels under its white label program
- Monetisation of analytical data
- Location based services
- Using its network and CRM platform to offer global partners local solutions for end users
- New developments such as wider utilisation of Wi-Fi hot spots and SIM-less technology