Arqiva

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Arqiva
Type Private
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 2005
Headquarters Winchester, England, United Kingdom
Services Transmissions
Website www.arqiva.com

Arqiva /ɑrˈkvə/ is a British telecommunications company which provides infrastructure and broadcast transmission facilities in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company headquarters is located at Crawley Court in the village of Crawley, Hampshire. Its main customers are broadcasters and mobile phone network operators, and its main asset is a network of over 1,000 radio and television transmission sites. It is owned by a consortium of investors led by CPP (Canadian Pension Plan) and the Australian investment house Macquarie Bank.[1] Arqiva is a patron of The Radio Academy.[2]

Through its NOW Digital subsidiary, it operates various local digital radio ensembles.[3]

History[edit]

The company, as it stands in 2011, has a history that dates back to the beginning of regular public broadcasting in the United Kingdom, in 1922. Below is a potted history of the various organisations that are now part of Arqiva.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)[edit]

Responsibility for the transmitter assets of the BBC lay solely within the corporation until 1997. The assets were then split into a separate company, prior to being sold.

The domestic transmitter network was purchased by a US company, Crown Castle, when it was privatised in 1997. Subsequently, in 2004, this was purchased by National Grid plc, which merged in its own private communication network, the name changing to National Grid Wireless in October 2005. Transmitters used by the BBC Overseas services were sold to a new startup company, called Merlin Communications

National Grid[edit]

National Grid plc had a large internal network for the communication of its engineers serving initially the electric companies, but subsequently, the gas industry as well. This company developed on the back of the growth in mobile phones, and its large portfolio of tower locations. This was added to by the purchase of the former BBC network (as above)

National Grid Wireless, as it became, led a consortium bidding for the second UK national DAB multiplex licence, but was unsuccessful. The licence was awarded instead to 4 Digital Group in July 2007.[4]

Independent Television Authority (ITA) / Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA)[edit]

The Television Act 1954 gave birth to the Independent Television Authority (ITA). The ITA appointed and regulated a number of regional programme contractors, and built and operated a network of transmitters.

The Sound Broadcasting Act 1972 created legal commercial radio in the UK for the first time. It was modelled on ITV, in that programmes were made by local contractors while the regulator, renamed the Independent Broadcasting Authority, owned and operated the transmitters.

ITC, RA and Transcom[edit]

The Broadcasting Act 1990 split the IBA into three bodies. The Independent Television Commission (ITC) regulated commercial TV and the Radio Authority (RA) regulated commercial radio. The IBA's engineering division, which operated the transmitters as well as doing research and development, became an independent company called National Transcommunications Limited, also known as "Transcom". At this point, technical standards regulation, previously carried out in accordance with the IBA engineering "Code of Practice", seems to have disappeared from the regulatory landscape.

CableTel, Simoco and NTL[edit]

Transcom was acquired by International CableTel Inc., which subsequently built its brand around the NTL name. It ran up huge debts during the dot-com boom which crippled the company for many years. In 1998, NTL acquired the UK antenna sites business of Simoco, a private mobile radio (PMR) company formed from Philips Telecom - PMR. In 1999 NTL acquired the UK field service operations business of Simoco. In 2004, NTL sold its 'broadcast unit' to Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group, but continued as a cable operator.

Macquarie[edit]

In January 2005, Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group renamed its new subsidiary Arqiva. Subsequently in July 2009, Macquarie sold off a substantial part of its holding and moved the remaining amount to its investment fund. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) now has a 48% holding and Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 2 (MEIF 2) has 21%, with other Macquarie Group funds holding 13% [5]

Inmedia[edit]

Arqiva acquired Inmedia Communications from the Carlyle Group for £68.5 million in July 2005 to form the new Satellite Media Solutions business unit. Inmedia was owned by Kingston Communications and known as Kingston inmedia before being bought by the Carlyle Group in 2004.

BT Broadcast[edit]

Arqiva announced the signing of a Sale & Purchase Agreement (SPA) with BT to acquire the full-time service components of BT’s Satellite Broadcast Services business for £25 million in cash in November 2006. The deal will include long-term customer contracts, operations and personnel located in the USA, France, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as the UK. Deal completion is subject to regulatory approval in the UK and Germany.

National Grid Wireless[edit]

Arqiva purchased National Grid Wireless on 3 April 2007 for £2.5billion.[6] The company planned to run NGW as a separate company – Macquarie UK Broadcast Ventures Ltd – pending review of the deal by competition regulators. Regulatory agreement was reached in late 2008 and National Grid Wireless was amalgamated into Arqiva. The new company employs around 2,300 people and operates all the TV and most of the radio transmitters in the UK (BBC national and local and many commercial stations). It is deemed to be a monopoly operator and as such is regulated by Ofcom.[7]

Recent activity[edit]

OneVision DTT Licence application[edit]

Main article: One Vision (DTT)

During 2009, Arqiva were involved in the possibility of provision of digital pay TV in Ireland.[8]

SeeSaw[edit]

In March 2010, Arqiva invested in and launched a catch-up Internet television, IPTV service called SeeSaw.[9] Subsequently the holding in the company was reduced to 25%.

Companies[edit]

Company number[10] Company name
02487597 ARQIVA LIMITED
01460772 ARQIVA AERIAL SITES LIMITED
03844675 ARQIVA BROADCAST LIMITED
08336342 ARQIVA BROADCAST FINANCE PLC
05254001 ARQIVA BROADCAST HOLDINGS LIMITED
08085710 ARQIVA BROADCAST INTERMEDIATE LIMITED
08085823 ARQIVA BROADCAST PARENT LIMITED
02928653 ARQIVA COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED
05302685 ARQIVA DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLAN TRUSTEES LIMITED
03120642 ARQIVA DIGITAL LIMITED
03347387 ARQIVA FINANCE LIMITED
08336354 ARQIVA FINANCING PLC
06137924 ARQIVA FINANCING NO 1 LIMITED
05253998 ARQIVA FINANCING NO 3 PLC
06137899 ARQIVA FINANCING NO 2 LIMITED
08221064 ARQIVA GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED
08126989 ARQIVA GROUP INTERMEDIATE LIMITED
08085794 ARQIVA GROUP PARENT LIMITED
03242381 ARQIVA HOLDINGS LIMITED
08753024 ARQIVA INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LIMITED
02826184 ARQIVA MEDIA LIMITED
03246721 ARQIVA MOBILE LIMITED
02816853 ARQIVA MOBILE BROADCAST LIMITED
04107732 ARQIVA MOBILE TV LIMITED
02903056 ARQIVA NO 4 LIMITED
05393073 ARQIVA NO 10 LIMITED
05393079 ARQIVA NO 11 LIMITED
05393071 ARQIVA NO 12 LIMITED (Dissolved)
02973983 ARQIVA NO 3 LIMITED
03922958 ARQIVA NO 2 LIMITED
03390775 ARQIVA PENSION TRUST LIMITED
08556128 ARQIVA PP FINANCING PLC
03341257 ARQIVA PUBLIC SAFETY LIMITED
02192952 ARQIVA SATELLITE LIMITED
SC365509 ARQIVA (SCOTLAND) LIMITED
08127157 ARQIVA SENIOR FINANCE LIMITED
03196207 ARQIVA SERVICES LIMITED
08723426 ARQIVA SMART FINANCING LIMITED
08723422 ARQIVA SMART HOLDINGS LIMITED
08682562 ARQIVA SMART METERING LIMITED
08723419 ARQIVA SMART PARENT LIMITED
07140424 ARQIVA SWING LIMITED
03696564 ARQIVA TELECOMS INVESTMENT LIMITED
03598122 ARQIVA TRANSMISSION LIMITED
05254048 ARQIVA UK BROADCAST HOLDINGS LIMITED
04414701 ARQIVA WIFI LIMITED
03055844 ARQIVA WIRELESS LIMITED

Notable transmitter sites[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Corporate Structure". Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  2. ^ The Radio Academy "Patrons"
  3. ^ "NOW Digital Ltd - Who We Are". Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ Dowell, Ben (6 July 2007). "Channel 4 wins radio multiplex bid - MediaGuardian.co.uk". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  5. ^ Corporate Structure
  6. ^ "Arqiva and National Grid Wireless to create unfied UK communications infrastructure - Arqiva.com". Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  7. ^ [1] Reuters news report (retrieved April 3rd 2007)
  8. ^ "OneVision wants DTT licence". The Irish Times. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Internet TV service SeeSaw launches beta trial
  10. ^ "WebCHeck". Retrieved 13 November 2013. 

External links[edit]