In addition to Internext 2000, TPS has acquired another Internet provider, Optical Networks, and the service company Adaptivity. All of the above were owned by a group of entrepreneurs Radovan Kratochvíl, Radim Hájek, Zbyněk Glacner and Vratislav Hladký.
The three companies served about 28,000 customers and earned about a hundred million crowns a year. After their integration into TPS, CEZ’s telecommunications division should approach hundreds of thousands of clients and thus definitively enter the first league of Czech providers. “With a very conservative estimate, TPS will be at least one of the 15 largest fixed connection providers in the Czech Republic,” estimates Jakub Rejzek, President of the Independent ICT Industry Committee (VNICTP).
The semi-state company refuses to have any significant ambitions in this market. “We do not plan to be a nationwide Internet provider. With the construction, we are heading to locations where there is no quality internet connection, and we are building modern optical networks there up to the end user. However, if there are opportunities to buy and if the transaction makes sense to us in terms of price, we go for it, “says the head of Telco Pro Services Michal Drápala, adding that the company also grows itself by building an optical network.
The owners of the sold companies did not want to comment on the reason for the sale. However, Rejzek believes that this is a typical example of consolidation due to overly demanding regulatory requirements in the market. “Some regional players do not have or do not want to reserve their capacities to prosecute often unnecessary and powerful administrative burdens and threats of high fines. The trend of narrowing the number of providers will continue, but at a slower pace, because those who decided to sell have already mostly sold, “says Rejzek.
Thanks to the acquisition, ČEZ will expand with high-speed infrastructure networks in almost the entire region of the Zlín Region. Already last autumn, the group acquired the entire telecommunications division from Innoga, and last year it also put into operation optical networks in the Karlovy Vary region. Organically and through acquisitions, it will strengthen in the future, believes Drápala.
Karel Pražák’s Kaprain Group is even more aggressive than ČEZ in the field of acquisitions. Its subsidiary Nej.cz has consolidated a number of providers on the domestic market and thus gradually won third place in the area of fixed connection services, with more than half a million connected households.
“In recent years, we have succeeded in convincing major players with quality infrastructure who were also independent of the ‘big three’ mobile operators, and through these purchases we have created a telecommunications unit that provides services throughout the Czech Republic,” says Marcel. He received the investment director of the Kaprain Group.
According to the Czech Telecommunication Office, there are about 2,600 providers operating on the Czech market, most of which are among the smallest. Only hundreds of companies offer their own optical networks, ie the most modern technology for the fixed Internet. According to VNICTP estimates, the fixed connection market generates more than ten billion crowns a year.
The most important tax news of 2022
The market of Internet providers in recent years has been affected by the new regulation. For example, one of the new obligations of ISPs has been to advertise the real speed of the Internet since last January. In addition, an amendment to the Electronic Communications Act has been effective since April 2020, significantly favoring the position of consumers, who have since not had to pay fines for early termination if they stay with the new provider for at least three months.