Glemnet: Where it all began

Neil Linter first started in the UK telecoms industry in the mid 1980’s, when the UK market was first de-regulated, enabling businesses to procure hardware and maintenance from suppliers other than BT. Professionally sales trained by Rank Xerox, Neil was ready for the challenge of telecoms sales.

Starting with sales of telex and fax machines, before then moving onto sales of Key telephone systems and PBX systems, the market quickly grew. Neil was at the sales forefront, both selling and managing various sales teams for telecoms dealers, predominantly in London and the South East. Using this experience, Neil formed his own sales consultancy as the market further deregulated to allow telecoms dealers to become resellers, and to sell wholesale calls.

In the early 90’s Neil set up and ran a sales team for a London based dealer. This was to set the sales standard, becoming the biggest dealer, and ultimately reseller for several large carriers at that time, including Worldcom, Viatel and MFS, all offering cheaper calls via Least Cost Routing (LCR).

Later on that decade while working as an agent for DeTeWe, Neil met Matthew Riley of Daisy. Neil helped Matt with his business plan and to set up what was to later become one of the largest telecoms wholesale and resale businesses in the UK.

The telecoms market continued to grow and Neil recognised the huge opportunity presented when CPS and wholesale line rental became available for resale. He set up a new company, Glemnet Ltd, in 2001 in order to market these services alongside sales of PBX and other traditional telecoms services.

The business was hugely successful and expanded rapidly: from working out of his living room, to rented office accommodation, and finally into 2.5k square feet Freehold offices that they still reside in today which are located in Beckenham, South-East London.

In 2004 Glemnet made its first acquisition, TWL Europe, adding £1 million per annum revenues. In 2005 it was clear to all in the ‘know’ telecoms-wise, that the market was starting to move from traditional fixed line-based services, towards an internet-based solution using VoIP and SIP, along with hosted IPPBX technologies.

Neil, spotting the opportunity, set about establishing a new division within Glemnet, known as tiPicall, which was to specialise in these IP-based technologies. Working initially with UK-based carriers, Neil saw that the market for these services could be much, much wider. An IP Telephony network was built, and after months of careful negotiation, a distribution agreement was signed with Tata Communications, the world’s largest carrier for IP minutes. This agreement meant tiPicall became Tata’s exclusive distributors to the UK Resale and Dealer Channel for SIP Trunks and Hosted IPPBX services.

After 2 years success, the tiPicall brand was spun out into a separate operating company, tiPicall Ltd. tiPicall quickly became one of the leading suppliers of IP telephony services to the UK channel, with an annual turnover of £2 million. In early 2015, tiPicall received an approach from Talktalk Business (TTB). They were interested in entering the market, and wanted an established brand to launch their service. After several months of negotiation, an agreement was signed by Neil to dispose of his entire shareholding in tiPicall to TTB. Neil is currently engaged in a consultancy agreement with TTB.

The sale of tiPicall has enabled Neil to continue to dedicate his time to Glemnet, and a company re-structure and re-brand has meant that Glemnet is fully-prepared for the explosion of Next Generation communications services. Our Beckenham offices have been refurbished, and another 7 staff have been employed to boost sales and support teams.

Today in 2016, Glemnet employs 22 people and turns over £3.5 million per annum. Glemnet continues to grow, and is forecast to add another £500K revenues this year for Hosted and Cloud services. Neil is looking forward to the next chapter, and is already looking for the next big thing in the world of telecoms.

Find Neil on LinkedIn, and follow Glemnet on Twitter.

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