By @SimonCocking in conversation with Peter Hendrick, Chief Technology Officer
Describe the company – the elevator pitch …
enet is building and operating the largest alternative telecoms network in Ireland. We operate this network on a genuinely open access basis which is contrary to traditional operators’ exclusivity of network.
The enet model allows for competition in a way that had not previously been feasible since multiple retail service providers can offer services over a single infrastructure. And for those service providers, we deliver high capacity bandwidth, so we’re considered to be the carrier’s carrier!
How are you different?
enet are a wholesale-only network operator meaning that we do not compete with our retail service provider customers and this has been vital to our success. Our success is connecting buildings and supporting retail service providers in their delivery of services and applications.
Why will the company / product do well?
Our biggest differentiator has always been our flexibility. enet has the unique ability to deliver what our competition can’t or won’t. Traditionally wholesale operators define their products to their own retail service provider’s requirements, and as all applications, both consumer and business move toward the cloud, we see an increasing demand for flexibility and scale.
As a company, we spend little or no time trying to change our customer’s strategies. For example, we like to work on the assumption that “they know how to run their business”.
Simply, our ambition is always to say “YES” to our customers’ requirements. That commercial flexibility is backed by experts in Engineering, Service Delivery and Network Operations who understand the concept of “YES” and work hard to ensure that the high levels of flexibility are backed up by rigorous testing, short lead times and high-touch customer service management. Because of this, we have consistently developed and delivered services that make the different models – Mobile, Wireless, Cable, Fixed Line, WiMax – adopted by our customers possible via the networks that we operate.
— enet (@enet_Ireland) September 28, 2017
Where are you based?
enet is headquartered in Limerick – this location houses our 24 x 7 x 365 Network Operations Centre and we also have offices in Dublin. Our network reach is rapidly growing outside of the Rep of Ireland, with expansion into Northern Ireland and UK. We also have high expectations to enter other European markets.
When was the company launched?
enet was established in 2000 but came to prominence in 2004 when we won the tender to operate the Irish Government’s Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). These networks can deliver virtually unlimited bandwidth and currently serve 94 towns and cities throughout regional Ireland.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
We now have over 70 retail service providers, including household names like Imagine, Magnet, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone, using our networks to serve over 1 million end users daily. However, for me the company’s biggest win would be our history of delivering policy benefits for the State. In operating the MANs, enet has transformed the Irish telecommunications industry by stimulating competition, reducing bandwidth costs and accelerating Ireland’s broadband position.
Specifically, the MANs underpin a policy of balanced regional development by removing a barrier to Foreign Direct Investment and there is demonstrable evidence to highlight that MAN towns now secure the clear majority of these jobs.
— enet (@enet_Ireland) September 25, 2017
What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?
enet provides world class connectivity to retail service providers who use these services to either provide core network solutions or tailored solutions for end users.
Tell us about your team?
Wholesale telecommunications is not about networks or technology – it’s about people. At enet, we have built a business and a team that is the best.
There is a real focus on developing the existing team and then recruiting when we need to. The recruitment decision is the most critical decision that any company makes and we place huge emphasis in finding the right people. For us, the three things that matter are commitment, talent and experience – in that order. An organisation comprised of people who are genuinely committed to a vision and who apply their talents to it, will always do well.
Right now, the company has almost 100 staff across our Limerick and Dublin offices, as well as in the field.
What are your long-term plans for your product / company?
enet occupies the space at the junction of the public and private sector. We are delivering policy benefits for the State while generating a financial return for our shareholders. We see potential in that model and so do our shareholders.
There are real opportunities in exploiting the need for increased state intervention in telecommunications. This is a global phenomenon driven by the criticality of communications infrastructure and the weakness of the private sector business case. enet is perfectly positioned to support and grow through further state interventions in the market – nationally and internationally.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
Prior to entering the telecoms area, I started working as an engineer in Industrial Automation, and have always focused on automation without the need for Apps or turning on a device.
For me, gadgets should give you back time, or provide pure entertainment with the family. I have two gadgets which I truly believe add value to our home life, and have the kids engaged in setting them up.
Amazon Dot – provides ease of instructions for home automation systems, and of course is a cool way to select your play list, anytime of the day. Not currently available in Ireland, however can be setup with US or UK user account.
Husqvarna Automower – Whether you have a large or small garden, this is by far the best time saver of all. I’m not an avid gardener, however always striving for a scenic outdoor room without the maintenance hassle – this has ticked all the boxes.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
Think I’ll have to wait for this wish – Autonomous Car
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
In the coming years, I think once we have solved the ubiquitous connectivity issues with Fibre to the Home and 4G/5G mobile small cells supporting true IoT, the emergence of disruptive technology companies will see a game changer in how we commute and communicate. Communications will truly be a utility that all users and devices need.
How do people get in touch with you?
National Technological Park,