Comms Business Magazine Talks to Anthony Impey, Founder and CEO of London based connectivity and services firm Optimity about his business and where he sees post Brexit issues on the horizon
Optimity was formed in 2003 and for much of that time operated as a ‘typical’ IT services and telco business. In recent years however the company has re-aligned and now a significant proportion of their activity and revenues are derived from fixed wireless provision.
Company founder and CEO Anthony Impey says that it has become progressively more difficult for ISPs to differentiate their offerings.
“For many ISPs differentiation is a day to day challenge as the market is so competitive – the majority have to rely on either BT or Virgin for fibre connectivity.
Where Optimity is different is that we have designed our own branded service, LDN+, an ultra-low latency fibre and wireless network. This has been designed specifically for London businesses and provides between 10Mb – 1Gb of ultra-fast internet connectivity within days. We deliver the service with wireless antennas linked across the rooftops of London.
It is an exciting technology, providing the high-speed performance of fibre with a signal that is more secure, while also being quick and simple to install. Speed of installation is essential for most businesses today – they want to access and operate services and begin generating revenues as quickly as possible. Placing antennae on the roof is infinitely easier that digging up roads. What can take up to two years we can achieve in five days – and that is a game changer for both ourselves and our customers.”
Impey is quick to point out that his provisioning model received a huge endorsement last year when Google announced that they were switching to and using fixed wireless as they ‘couldn’t get the fibre in the ground quick enough’.
According to Impey the state of traditional internet connectivity in London is not acceptable.
“Businesses are struggling with huge delays for fibre and poor customer service when it eventually arrives. That’s why we created a better connection for London; it’s called Wibre and is a real alternative to a fibre optic leased line. We use millimetre wave radio technology. It takes days to have users up and running and connection speeds are from 50Mbps all the way to 5Gbps, all at a fraction of the price of fibre.”
Optimity still provides a traditional IT services portfolio; for example, cloud services including security, hosted email, SharePoint and the storage of data backups.
“For B2B sales you have to have these services. Likewise, because we can deliver so much bandwidth we also provide voice services such as SIP trunks, VOIP, and hosted telephony.
Because we can deliver 5Gig fixed wireless at a very affordable price our clients can push services in to the cloud without having to worry about bandwidth – it’s more expensive than broadband but a lot cheaper than fibre.”
The proposition is so good that Optimity are now attracting reseller partners of their own.
Outlook for Future?
Anthony Impey is concerned about some aspects of the forthcoming UK separation from the EU.
“No matter what politicians may or may not say we have created a bad feeling amongst EU citizens working in the UK and I am very concerned over the vacuum that could result if some of these skilled workers decided to return to their home countries.
A quarter of our team is made up of such individuals and we would hate for any of them to leave and talking to my peers in the industry, many companies are facing the same potential future problem.”
Impey is a member of Sadiq Khan’s Skills Taskforce and a great proponent of effective apprenticeship schemes.
“The skills system not designed for business today. All schools do is tell their pupils ‘go to university’ but student see graduates and their own peers who went to university serving coffee in Starbucks. There has to be more focus on apprenticeships as they really add value. How else can you learn in an industry moving at break neck speed and getting even faster?
Post Brexit we have to carve out our place in the world and to do that we have to be skilled and competitive.”
Here East – Success for Optimity
Optimity recently secured a huge contract to supply their Wibre fixed wireless service to Here East, a million square feet tech hub and campus recently opened in London’s docklands.
The network will provide:
Campus-wide public Wi-Fi that allows up to 1Gbps to the device connection speeds
A cross-connect platform that allows tenants to connect to all services around the campus and to the key data centre locations in the London Metro area
A sophisticated internet access product allowing more control, agility and cost efficiency.
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