Field management service provider Solutions 30 strengthened its position in the European market, acquiring the UK’s Mono Consultants Ltd. Announced in October, the deal indicates the group’s rekindled growth ambitions.
Large infrastructure companies, telecoms giants, and energy providers often outsource the provision of field management services to specialised companies. Outsourcing helps to tackle the periodic deployment challenges of networks or energy equipment — and lends an expert hand. Developing the technology is one thing; implementing and deploying the hardware throughout a country requires entirely different expertise.
For this and many other reasons, large companies increasingly turn to field management service providers. Recently acquired Mono offers mobile telecommunications infrastructure deployment, boasting British clients like Telefonica, BT/EE, and telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson.
Paul Garston, managing director of Solutions 30 UK, highlighted what he sees as the clear synergies between the two companies. “The complementary nature of our activities, customer portfolios and locations,” significantly strengthen Solutions 30’s base for development in the UK market, he explained.
A strong position
Solutions 30 is one of the largest European providers of services in IT/security, energy, and telecommunications, with around 15,000 technicians working within its network.
The group has established itself as a partner for telco and utility companies in Europe, for instance, helping France to position itself as the leader in Fibre to the Home (FTTH) deployment on the continent. The company is also contributing to FTTH network deployment in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Aosta Valley. Added to this, in September, Solutions 30 became a partner of Open Dutch Fiber, assisting in the deployment of high-quality fibre connections to Dutch households — yet another potential beachhead for expansion.
And in Germany, the recent promotion of Jörg Michael Faltermeier to the group’s local CEO gives a renewed impetus to proceedings, bringing expertise in the local telecommunications market to the top. There too, the group could find fertile ground for development efforts.
Working in the B-to-B-to-C domain, the group serves infrastructure operators and end customers, companies, and private individuals — with this diversity seemingly bringing new growth drivers. Since its original listing on the market in 2005, Solutions 30 has charted a rise with consistent double-digit growth. Among the digital players, it occupies a niche, making it the main player in its area.
Opportunities for growth
According to company figures, Solutions 30 recorded total revenues of more than €819 million in 2020. The following year was more challenging, as it was for many companies, mainly due to supply delivery shortages as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, stock market destabilisation tested the group’s resilience, though detractor concerns were subsequently discredited. These turbulences did not prevent Solutions 30 from achieving a turnover that continued to grow to €870 million.
Generally, Solutions 30 has found itself in a position where breadth in markets has offered it an advantage. The benefit of having a duplicatable strategy that is applicable to new technologies should not be ignored here either. It will likely continue to offer opportunities, with next-generation releases always just around the corner.
When done right, the field management service business model essentially offers companies new prospects with each wave of technological innovation — whether this is 5G network deployment, IoT infrastructure projects, or electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Developments like the Covid-era remote work migration have highlighted the model’s strengths. Public needs and expectations can change abruptly. Now, clearly, high-quality connectivity has become integral to the success of the European economy. Fibre optic broadband, along with 5th generation network technology, is set for a survival-imperative boom in the coming months.
The potential for new contracts or opportunities for service providers like Solutions 30 is evident. The EU’s Digital Compass policy paper sets out ambitious goals in the area of infrastructure. The commitment to create “secure and performant sustainable digital infrastructures” including the provision of “5G in all populated areas” in Europe sends a strong message.
The digital transformation has also made clear that Internet-of-things is the present and the future. Players with the expertise needed to effectively deploy connected devices at scale will likely find solid traction through opportunities with a broad range of companies.
There is similar potential in electric vehicle charging; a fiercely contested space, with governments across Europe emphasising the crucial importance of combatting climate change. The EU’s €750-billion stimulus package includes €20 billion to boost the sales of clean vehicles, with 1 million electric and hydrogen vehicle charging stations to be installed by 2025.
“Transport represents almost a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, so boosting e-mobility is very crucial if we wish to achieve climate goals. The charging infrastructure needs to be aligned with the new targets,” explained Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, a Finnish member of the European Parliament.