epic (Malta)

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Epic Communications Limited
FormerlyVodafone Malta, Telecell
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded1989 (as Telecell)
HeadquartersLuqa, Malta
Key people
Tamas Banyai (CEO)
ProductsMobile phones and ancillary products
Number of employees
319
ParentMonaco Telecom
Websitewww.epic.com.mt

Epic Communications Limited (formerly operating as Vodafone Malta), is the largest mobile operator in Malta by number of customers.[1] The company offers a full range of Voice, SMS and mobile Data services over 2G, 3G, 4G and 4G+ networks. As of 17 November 2020 the company revealed its new brand name epic,[2][3][4][5] launching a new era for the company, as well as for the country's telecommunications industry.

History[edit]

Vodafone Malta was set up in 1989 and initially traded under the name Telecell Limited. The very first mobile call was made on the Vodafone Malta network in 1990 whilst the first GSM call was made in 1997. Vodafone Malta's international gateway was launched in 2004 making it the first company in Malta to offer resilience and backup on international connectivity to the local business community. The international gateway spans approximately 250 km between Malta and Catania carrying three main types of traffic: Internet, Voice and Data. During August 2006, Vodafone was the first mobile network operator to deploy 3G followed by the launch of HSDPA for high speed data transmission in December 2006. In June 2007, Vodafone Malta launched fixed broadband based on WiMax technologies.

In 2008, Vodafone opened its Mobile Network to Virtual Network Operators. This was made possible through an agreement with ASPIDER Solutions. One of the virtual operators using the Vodafone network is Redtouch Fone.[6] In 2010, Vodafone added another first when it announced the launch of an even faster mobile data service with nationwide download speeds of 14.4Mbit/s. In 2012, another first for Malta was launched by Vodafone. The new 21.6Mbit/s HSPA capability was launched live across all of Vodafone's coverage area. Vodafone started also rolling out the very latest 42Mbit/s capability across key areas and high traffic sites on its network.[7] Vodafone Malta announced its roll out of a 4G network in October 2013.[8] It is the first mobile operator in Malta with an operating 4G network and in June 2017 Vodafone Malta has announced 4G+.

In 2017, Vodafone became the first network to introduce superfast 4.5G to the Maltese islands, making it the country's fastest network. The new technology allows for the downloading of data at unprecedented speeds – 33 per cent faster than any other network available in Malta and Gozo – at 300Mbit/s.

In October 2018, Vodafone Malta introduced NB-IoT (narrow band IoT) to Malta bringing the next generation IoT technology to the local market.[9]

On 19 December 2019, Vodafone Group Plc announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell 100% of Vodafone Malta to Monaco Telecom SAM for a cash consideration equivalent to an Enterprise Value of €250 million;[10][11] the sale was accomplished on 31 March 2020.[12][13][14][15]

On November 17, 2020, the company changed its name into Epic Communications Limited (stylised 'epic'), and announced that it would be the first company in Malta that would not rely on lock-in contracts.[2][3][4][5]

Head Office[edit]

Epic Communications Limited's head office is located in SkyParks Business Centre, at the Malta International Airport. The company also operates a number of retail outlets across the Maltese Islands offering a range of customer services. On 11 November 2014, the company opened its first destination store in Malta. The store occupies 417 sq metres and is situated on the Birkirkara Bypass.[16]

Foundation[edit]

The Foundation was set up in 2003 and is a separate entity from epic's commercial organisation.[17] The Foundation focuses on supporting projects that make a difference to the Maltese community.[17] Its prime objective is to partner up with NGOs and co-create, support and fund projects that fall under the Connecting for Good Programme.[18] The aim of this programme is to harness the power of innovative mobile technology to bring about social change.[18] Gemma Mifsud Bonnici was chairperson of the foundation until 2015.[17] Michel Macelli replaced Bonnici as chairperson.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MCA Reports".
  2. ^ a b "Press kit – About epic". Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Vodafone Malta becomes Epic as part of Monaco Telecom takeover". Times of Malta. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Vodafone Malta rebrands as 'Epic'". The Malta Independent. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Giunge al termine l'era di Vodafone Malta: nasce Epic, frutto di un accurato rebranding". Corriere di Malta (in Italian). 19 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  6. ^ Darmanin, David (3 January 2010). "Mobile wars unlikely to be sweet deal for parties". MaltaToday. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Vodafone unveils highest mobile internet speeds". Times of Malta. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Vodafone brings first 4G network to Malta". Times of Malta. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Vodafone pushes boundaries of connectivity by bringing next generation IoT technology to Malta". Malta Independent. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Deal reached to sell Vodafone Malta for €250 million". Times of Malta. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Vodafone cede la sua filiale maltese a Monaco Telecom per 250 milioni di euro". Corriere di Malta (in Italian). 23 December 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Monaco Telecom devient le premier opérateur mobile à Malte – Monaco Telecom becomes first mobile operator in Malta" (pdf) (in French and English). 31 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Vodafone completes sale of Vodafone Malta". 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Monaco Telecom completes €250m buyout of Vodafone Malta". Times of Malta. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Monaco Telecom completes Vodafone Malta acquisition". The Malta Independent. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Vodafone Malta opens new destination store - The Malta Independent". Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d "Change in strategy for the Vodafone Malta Foundation - The Malta Independent". The Malta Independent. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Is mobile app solution to Malta's rush-hour gridlock?". MaltaToday.com.mt. Retrieved 21 August 2020.