You bring the fibre, we do the rest!

About Us

Ventura Next is an exciting operation driven by industry veterans who have worked from Curacao to Kazakhstan and from the Arctic Circle down to the tip of Africa.

Founded in 2014, but built on experience of FTTH back to 1998, the company takes best practice from multiple operations we have created or helped others build – leading us to probably the World’s most experienced network open-access, network management company.

Our approach is simple, in the creation of a multi-operator, multi-services, open access network – ‘You bring the fibre, we do everything else’.

We are based in Umea in Sweden but are already operating across three continents with our team spread across Sweden, Austria, Germany, France, UK and South Africa.

Registered Office

VNext AB
903 26 Umeå
Västerbottens län

VAT Number SE556985-950601     Company Registration 556985-9506

Mikael Sandberg
Exec Chairman
Mikael is our executive chairman and has an incredible knowledge of how to build and support successful operations. This means he helps our partners build and succeed with their networks.

His experience includes the following.

  • Board member of Quadracom AB – the Management Company of Quadracom Networks, Riksnet and Zitius. The operating companies of the Quadracom Group were sold to TeliaSonera in 2014

  • Our fiber operator Riksnet was rated fourth globally for service value by Point Topic.

  • He and the team also took Zitius to be the clear number one operator of open access, fibre networks in Sweden - perhaps the most evolved market in the World.

  • Mikael guided the strategy and dealt with acquisitions and trouble shooting - spending about half his time in Sweden. The other half was spent with Ventura clients around the world.

He was previously MD and Board Director of Bostream, a leading broadband operator in Sweden (2001 – 2004). Led the growth of the business from 10,000 subscribers to 100,000, for much of the time as CEO.

Founding Partner of Ventura Team LLP, a specialist consultancy and venture investor (2004 - present)

Investment Manager and Partner at Regency Capital, an investment firm in London, UK - advising mainly Nomura International on public and private equity and debt transactions (several in telecom), including several Board positions in investee companies (1999-2004)

He was a Senior Consultant at Analysys where he worked on a wide variety of assignments for fixed, mobile and satellite operators

Mikael has an MSC in Industrial Engineering and Management from Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden (1990) and an MBA from the School of Management, University of Bath, UK

Christer Holgersson
Co-Founder and Technical Architect
Christer is our resident networking and Unix systems Guru. He is an expert on active FTTx technical equipment and systems, including configuration and automation. Christer has acted as a Senior Technical Advisor to the most successful Swedish municipal networks.

He was developed a number of businesses including as:

  • Co-founder of Ventura Next
  • Co-founder of COS Systems
  • Co-founder of Riksnet/Quadracom
  • Co-founder of Ardendo
Christer has the equivalent of a Master of Science (maxima cum laude) in Computer Science with dual specializations in Computer Networking and Distributed/Parallel Computing.

Has been working professionally with Internet networks and systems since 1992. His focus has always been on creating the best value for money, while keeping networks and systems secure and reliable.

He started his career at Umeå University where he designed the campus network and set up the support systems. Was part of the technical design team behind the early country-wide Swedish University Network (SUNET).

Performed successful tiger team attacks on behalf of IBM towards all major Swedish banks. Security and reliability must always be built into a system, never added as an afterthought.

Helped Ericsson design and optimize networks for delivering global VoIP solutions. VoIP and IPTV are the most sensitive applications in a network, and need a proven design to scale successfully.

Created the worlds first totally automated (customer self-service) network for BON (Bostaden Open Network) in 2003, serving over 18 000 tenants. The current incarnation is a gigabit to every customer open network.

The most successful Swedish municipal open networks all use the designs and systems Christer made.

Helped Jan Söderholm set up Bonet, which became Bostream (later sold to Bredbandsbolaget/Telenor). This was one of the first non-incumbent country-wide networks in the world, and the value-for-money leader.

Co-founder of Ardendo (later sold to Vizrt) . Ardendo revolutionized broadcast news by bringing asset management into the digital era. Customers including CNN (US), BBC (UK), ABC (Australia), SVT (Sweden).

Led the technical evolution of Riksnet from an idea into Quadracom/Zitius (later sold to TeliaSonera). The current network uses Huawei, H3C, Cisco, Raycore, and Inteno (among others). Building a true multi-vendor environment frees you to deploy the currently best value-for-money equipment without vendor lock-in.

Stefan Stanislawski
Co-Founder and CFO
Stefan is approaching 30 years experience in all aspects of telecom strategy, finance and implementation. His contribution to the business covers from his role as acting CFO through to supporting commercial and marketing activities. His experience includes:
  • Member of the Smart Cities – Apps and Ops Committee for the FTTH Council – MENA
  • Formerly longest serving Principal at Analysys Consulting and well known for development of finance practice to European market leadership
  • Started the process of local loop unbundling in Europe (1993)
  • Involved as consultant in approaching $100 billion of telecom transactions
  • Started up a number of telecom ventures
Assignments that illustrate his extraordinary experience include:

    Extensive work delivering strategy and business planning (feasibility to walking the streets managing the implementation of 150,000 premises passed, open-access, FTTB/H network in Oman

    Led the strategy to implementation planning for the World’s first incumbent network offering 1 Gbps to all customers.

    Creating cutting edge valuation approach for 3G/4G operation for Telenor.

    Advising Board of Orascom Telecom Holding on fixed Licence valuation based on multi-technology financial model

    Created financial model and business plan for newly licensed operator in GCC. This new entrant faces similar challenges to those the new Egyptian licensee will face albeit with differing details. Useful experience of cross-platform service design, resale, wireless infrastructure and FTTH architecture / infrastructure planning and current costs gained.

    Assisted Nordisk Mobiltelefon AB in development of CDMA 450 wireless broadband and niche voice (licences in 5 countries). Regular participant in spectrum auctions and other types of licensing process.

Stefan's finance blog
Jan Söderholm
Co-Founder and Technical Architect
Jan is a core part of our technical thinking - drawing on experience in fibre LAN since 1998. We refer to him as the father of fibre LAN and FTTH in Sweden and that reflects what an influence he has been on that leading market.

Just a few highlights of his experience include:

  • Founder of Ventura Next
  • Board member of Quadracom AB in Sweden (with services delivered as Riksnet). [Sold to TeliaSonera for £47million in dec 2013]
  • Member of management team and CTO in the Company
  • Founder of Bonet and Bostream, a leading broadband operator in Sweden (1998 – 2004).
  • Founder of Riksnet. This operator has grown from start in 2004 to be the number 6 ISP with a particular focus on fibre access. The company was rated in the top 5 globally for service value by Point Topic – while being profitable.
Bengt-Erik Sandstrom
Chief Technology Officer
Bengt-Erik is a co-founder of Ventura Next and his experience is a key reason that deployments run so smoothly. He has exceptional experience across a huge range of technologies and deployments that he has created and/or worked with.

During his time at Riksnet he, together with colleagues, created one of the major Service Providers for residential broadband services in Sweden, with responsibility for the Network and the backend systems. He also mentored co-workers and NOC personal on a daily basis to become one of the most experienced NOCs and Customer Care Centers in Sweden.

BE has since 2002 worked as his own self employed contractor to avoid being instantly part of management to be able to work with technical things instead, example of assignments:

His long experience of setting up Core IP Networks for SPs came in handy to deliver the setup on time for project OptoSunet together with personnel from IPnett, SUNET and Nordunet.

For Citylink, he created a service platform for rolling out IP MPLS services all over Sweden, from a startup company to a key player in offering advanced Tele and Data communication services in Sweden for the SME market but also as a major Carrier's Carrier.

At Bredbandsbolaget he was responsible for all Technology and all services rolled out. During his time there, they succeeded in selling and deploying over 100,000 residential customers in Sweden in over 36 cities in 12 months. Many of the services still running was created under his leadership of the Technology Department.

Richard Jones
Chief Commercial Officer
Richard is the Chief Commercial Officer and draws on experience from leading projects from across the globe. He has built/helped a number of businesses from start-up, delivering returns of up to 75 times for first round shareholders as well as building up an operator in the Gulf. His strengths are business strategy and finding ways to create businesses against the odds. He uses this to help support our customers build out successfully in even the toughest financial situations.

Chairman of the Smart Cities – Apps and Ops Committee for the FTTH Council – MENA

Extensive experience in developing strategies and commercial launch for companies East to West from the US to Kazahkstan and from close to the Arctic Circle in the North down to South Africa.

Directed the strategy to implementation planning for the World’s first incumbent network offering 1 Gbps to all customers.

Lead consultant on FTTH JV between electricity utility and telecom operator.

Led project team for start-up operation in Oman – creating a mini ‘national broadband network’ – including strategy, business and market planning, business modelling etc.

Formerly Chief Commercial Officer of next generation start-up in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – having contributed from bid stage to design of all aspects of strategy and planning for the largest WiMAX deployment in the EMEA region alongside access fibre, xDSL and FTTH

Develops business models and holds workshop for the Fibre to the Home Council – Europe, Fibre to the Home Council – Middle East, FTTH

Forum and operators across both continents – defining the technology and business choices for new and incumbent operators

Worked on project to plan a metro Ethernet deployment using electricity infrastructure in Athens and is familiar with both the business and due diligence project management issues in this area of telecoms

Developed detailed investment business plan for pan-Gulf, fibre operator

Regular chairman at industry conferences including FTTH Forum, FTTX Megna, Broadband World Forum – MEA etc.

Former Head of Venturing at Analysys including developing new venture business plans for BT plc

Author of Project Management Survival from Kogan Page and The One Day MBA (ICSA).

Author of Strategy Genius for Hodder and Stoughton – published in July 2015

Richard has a BSc (hons) in electronics an MSc. equivalent in engineering and an MBA with distinction. He is studying for a Doctorate in Strategy.

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Christian Widing
Christian has a long background in turning around troubled businesses as well as a board member on innovative companies in telecoms. He was a director of Quadracom up to the sale to Telia.