Premier Telecom acquires Crimson Tide airtime base

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Vodafone platinum partner takes on 1,500 connections from gold partner as company looks to have base of 100,000 customers by the end of next year

Fareham-based Vodafone platinum partner Premier Telecom has acquired the Vodafone mobile customer base of gold partner Crimson Tide, for an undisclosed fee.

The purchase sees Premier Telecom gain 1,500 airtime connections from Tunbridge Wells-based data solutions provider Crimson Tide, taking its base to over 80,000 connections.

In return, Crimson Tide, which targets small enterprises, blue chip companies and government institutions, will provide the customer base with mobile applications on a monthly subscription basis.

Crimson Tide established an airtime relationship with Vodafone over five years ago, first through Yes Telecom before becoming a gold partner through the formation of Vodafone Partner Services (VPS) in October 2010.

The sale of the Vodafone customer base leaves it without an operator partnership and free to focus on its mobile data communications business.

Crimson Tide had found providing mobile airtime to be a distraction from providing applications, which has been its core focus over recent months.

In June, Premier Telecom managing director Darren Ridge said he expected the company’s customer base to exceed 100,000 by the end of next year, creating the biggest customer base ever assembled.

Premier Telecom said it will continue to look at acquisitions as it looks to continue growing its business.

Its last acquisition was in November 2010, when it bought FGE Mobile Phones for an undisclosed fee, adding 4,000 Vodafone customers to its base. The dealer is continuing to look to grow its customer base both organically and acquisitively.

Ridge said: “This is a strategic investment for us and we’re acquiring a good quality base. Crimson Tide is looking to focus more on developing its bespoke mobile applications, which has perhaps meant it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a high level of customer service for its Vodafone base.

“We’ll continue to look to make similar acquisitions should the right opportunities arise.”

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