Unified Communications Featured Article

UC Giant GCI Acquires Freedom Communications

January 04, 2017

General Communication Inc. (GCI) has been on a bit of a roll lately. The unified communications (UC) company, located in Alaska, has worked for more than 35 years to deliver communication and technology services to some of the most remote communities in North America. It provides basic services such as cable television, Internet access and Wireline and cellular telephone service, along with more advanced options like telemedicine and education capabilities.

Aside from its many offerings, the UC company also has a knack for making strategic business moves. For example, GCI has an innovative partnership with Apple that has helped it transform communication capabilities in Alaska and other locations.

Most recently, however, GCI has acquired Freedom Communications, a cloud and data network specialist. Although the deal went through for an undisclosed sum, the end number is huge; this latest acquisition has boosted the UC giant’s annual revenues to £75 million, which is approximately $92 million.

The deal was announced today, Jan. 4, and marks GCI’s fifth acquisition in a year. Back in June the company also acquired IT provider Outsourcery, which was a notable purchase. Other companies that have been acquired over the past year include Vodafone and CommsXchange.

GCI CEO Adrian Thirkill explained why the company chose to acquire Freedom by saying, “Freedom’s heritage and skills as a Unified Communications Systems Integrator, and its focus on transitioning customers from old world to new, is perfectly aligned with our own growth strategy and is a great fit for us.”

Not only does this recent move increase GCI’s annual revenues, but its customer base as well. The number will be increased by 800 to 3,500, with Ealing Council, London University, Argos and Habitat parent Home Retail Group being added to the group. GCI’s total staff number also increased by 100 thanks to this acquisition, now totaling 300 overall. Additionally, more than 40,000 Skype for Business account will be added, taking GCI’s total number to over 180,000.

It appears to be a numbers game with GCI, and the company is winning. According to Thirkill, 2016 was a great year for GCI: “2016 was a busy and productive year at GCI. Our acquisition of Freedom is another steady step in our journey to deliver progressive and cost efficient managed services to all our customers.” With any luck, 2017 will be even better for the UC giant.

Edited by Maurice Nagle