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Telia Carrier basks in the warm glow of a corporate rebrand

Arelion brand

Clouds briefly parted this week as a shining ray of ethereal light bestowed a new name upon Swedish telco Telia Carrier, bringing unbridled joy to all.

That’s probably how any brand consultant worth their salt pictures a rebranding, anyway. What actually happened was wholesaler Telia Carrier on Wednesday changed its name to Arelion (pronounced ‘ah-ray-li-yon’) and treated itself to a new logo.

Apparently it centres on the word ‘reliable’, but according to a statement also “takes inspiration from the strength, beauty and light of the names given to star constellations such as Aldebaran, Sirius and Orion. Arelion is a guiding light in connectivity.” Telecoms.com was fairly sure Aldebaran was blown up by the Death Star, but might be misremembering.

Anyway, it doesn’t take a genius to spot the logic that a company offering reliable, optical connectivity would want its brand to convey that message. And admittedly, mashing up a bunch of names for stars with ‘reliable’ probably takes a bit more effort than trawling through a big dictionary looking for an obscure, ready-made word.

And to be completely fair, a rebranding makes perfect sense. Telia Carrier hasn’t been part of its former parent, Swedish incumbent Telia, since it completed its sale in June 2021 to Polhem Infra, a Swedish investment firm owned by a group of pension funds. Polhem Infra originally agreed to acquire Telia Carrier back in October 2020. Telia and its erstwhile wholesale division agreed a long-term partnership deal at the time, so the two still work closely together. Nonetheless a new look represents a clean break for Arelion, and there is little possibility of confusing it with its former parent.

Since the sale, Arelion has been working hard to capitalise on the growing demand for hosted enterprise services and video streaming, extending its reach to offer ultrafast connectivity to campuses and data centres. To that end, in the last few months it has launched new points of presence (PoPs) all over the US, as well as Vancouver. It has also been busy expanding in Mexico, striking IP transit deals with local telco and TV providers, and partnering with data centre operator Equinix.

It’s hard to figure out whether Arelion is doing any of this profitably, or whether it is bringing in more revenue, because since the divestment it doesn’t have to publish its financials. In the last full reporting period before the sale completed, Telia reported revenue at the carrier division of SEK1.26 billion (£101.6 million) for Q1 2021, down 7.3 percent year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA fell 5.9 percent to SEK214 million.

Arelion’s new owners doubtless demand an improvement on this performance, but for this week at least, it is going to enjoy the new brand’s first moments under the sun.

“We live in the age of connectivity where people and businesses interact in real-time, all the time – wherever they are. As we move forward as Arelion, one thing that won’t change is the core of our business: the people, our customers and partners that bring us together,” said Staffan Göjeryd, CEO of Arelion, in a statement on Wednesday. “Arelion will continue to support the mission that has resulted in 30-plus years of success and will continue to execute on our mission to connect the world to a brighter future and deliver the highest quality of services to our customers.”

On that note, Telecoms.com welcomes Arelion overlords.


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