It’s official! Our company has been named the “Large Business of the Year” at the annual News Business Excellence Awards 2023.

Aerial Direct named the "Large Business of the Year"

This is a huge accomplishment for us and a testament to the hard work, dedication, and outstanding achievements of our employees.

Our growth has been outstanding. This success is a direct result of the clear vision and plans for the future that our leadership team has put in place.

One of the key factors that sets us apart from our competitors is our focus on our people and customers. We have invested in our people, we have increased available learning channels with in-house and industry-certified apprenticeships available to help you grow and develop. Our recent work on organising our data with our insights teams has given us a greater insight into customer buying habits which has allowed us to develop our customer experience.

Innovation and creativity are two of our core values, and it shows in the products and services we offer. Our team is always thinking outside the box and coming up with new and exciting ways to meet the needs of our customers. Whether it’s developing cutting-edge technology such as Connect or finding new and more efficient ways of doing things, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

In conclusion, winning this award is a huge honour for us, and it’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees. We are proud of what we have achieved and are excited to continue on this journey of growth and success.

We’re also honoured to have been shortlisted for Employer of the Year and Apprentice of the Year, and we’d like to give a special shout-out to Alfie Russell for his nomination.

We extend our congratulations to all the other winners and finalists from Friday’s event and want to express our gratitude to the judging panel for recognising our efforts.

“We are thrilled to have won the Large Business of the Year award, but what truly makes this moment special is the recognition of our people’s dedication and hard work, this is an award recognising our entire company. As we continue to push the boundaries of customer excellence, we look forward to an exciting future.” – Jason Phillips, COO

Perhaps the question that we’re asked most frequently is, are Aerial Direct part of O2?

The short answer to that question is ‘no’, Aerial Direct are not part of O2, but we are O2 Business’ largest partner in the UK. It’s a unique partnership that combines the reliability and stability of one of the UK’s most recognised carriers with the personability and incredible customer service of a dedicated business communications partner.

Aerial Direct and O2

Do you only work with O2?

We don’t exclusively build our solutions around O2, but 99 times out of 100, we do, because we believe that the unique relationship between O2 Business and Aerial Direct provides an unequivocal customer experience. Incredible reliability and coverage, hugely competitive and flexible contracts and award-winning customer management for all our business mobile customers. And that’s before we even consider Priority from O2 which is available to all business mobile customers.

We do provide contracts with other carriers, available on request.

Over 85,000 businesses choose to partner with Aerial Direct and O2 Business

There’s a reason why over 85,000 businesses work with Aerial Direct when utilising the O2 network, and that’s because we can provide the level of service that our customers expect without compromise. Our customers expect an increased level of management as business customers, having someone on-hand to support them when they need it so that their own business and customer service is not compromised. That’s exactly what we deliver in partnership with O2.

The impact of the recent Covid-19 pandemic has heightened this need. The majority of our customers are classed as SMBs, and it’s this group of businesses that have seen the largest impact on they way they and their customers work. The consequential and wide-spread acceptance of the remote workforce, regardless of company size, has shifted communications needs to the front of the queue when it comes to challenges. To combat this change and move to more inconsistent working locations, we have been able to create solutions for our customers that allow small businesses to be as agile as larger ones, with flexible tariffs, more effective mobile devices and greater connectivity whilst on the move.

A partnership that is going from strength to strength

We’re proud and honoured to have been awarded O2’s Customer Excellence Award for 4 consecutive years, coupled with the award for Mobile Industry Awards’ Best Mobile Service and Solution 2021. But these achievements pale into insignificance compared to the excellent ratings our customers award us with a 98% satisfaction rate and 4.8/5 stars from over 7,500 satisfied customers on Trustpilot.
We are driven in our promise to partners, to provide communication expertise allowing them to make the most of every conversation, and our ongoing partnership with O2 allows us to deliver upon that promise.

Aerial Direct shortlisted for The Comms Business Awards 2022

We are very excited and proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for ‘Reseller of the Year’ at the 2022 Comms Business Awards!

Comms Business Awards 2022


We have worked very hard over the past year and we are extremely excited that we have been recognised by the judges. As always we want to say a massive thank you to our staff for working so hard and we’d also like to say thank you to our customers and partners for their ongoing support and trust.

The winners will be announced on the 21st of July at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London and we can’t wait to see everyone there!

See the full lists of finalists here.

Aerial Direct shortlisted for The Mobile News Awards 2022

We are very excited and proud to announce that Aerial Direct are finalists for two categories at The Mobile News Awards 2022 for two categories, B2B Reseller and Customer Service.

We have been working incredibly hard over the past year and are delighted to hear that we have been recognised by the judges. Our customer service team have been focusing on developing a more personalised customer experience as well as improving their in house training to ensure our customers receive the best support. We’ve also recently extended our customer service hours to make us more accessible to our customers in the times they need us the most.

Mobile News Awards 2022

We want to say a huge thank you to all our employees for all of their hard work and a big thank you to our lovely customers and partners for the ongoing trust – we wouldn’t be here without you!

The winners will be announced at the Mobile News Awards event on May 19th at the InterContinental Park in London. Congratulations again to all fellow finalists and we look forward to seeing everyone there.

To see who else are the finalists for The Mobile News Awards 2022 visit their website.

We’ve been recognised as the Best Mobile Service & Solution Provider.

In a recent blog, I reflected on the enormous dedication of the whole team at Aerial Direct as we continue to gain recognition in our highly competitive industry. And I’m pleased to let you know we’ve won Best Mobile Service & Solution Provider at the Mobile Industry Awards! This marks our second win from this prestigious event, as we were recognised for the category of Business Growth Award in 2019.

The ceremony took place on September 29 at the stunning Royal Lancaster London. This is a huge achievement in one of the most prestigious industry awards. And I can tell you the list of finalists was not just long, but very impressive.

Mobile Industry Awards 2021

The Best Mobile Service & Solution Provider news comes as the latest in a string of industry awards and recognition this year. And this is no happy coincidence.

In this award, we were recognised for:

  • Rebuilding our customer journeys to centre on their problems, not our systems.
  • Further investment into our CRM and use customer data in an intelligent transparent way to create helpful, personalised and effortless customer experiences.
  • Communicating with customers in ways that suit them, not just during office hours.
  • Providing live alerts and tips in real-time on customers’ usage and spending.
  • Improving our insights portal to provide live data, which allowed us to be more proactive than ever.

We were also recognised for the lengths our teams went to, to ensure the wellbeing of fellow staff and the wider community. The Aerial Direct team provided continual support provided to each other throughout the pandemic, which included Town Halls and gift baskets. Meanwhile, many of our employees volunteered with Robert’s Centre and made generous donations to local food banks, as families faced particularly tough times.

What we achieved through the pandemic has been phenomenal and I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to each and every member of staff at Aerial Direct. We’re continuing to gain momentum.

Well done everyone.

Being shortlisted for an industry award is a point of pride for any company, at any time. But this year it felt different.


I’ve been struck by how we’ve continued to deliver the same level of service our customers have come to expect, even in extremely challenging situations. I have been deeply impressed by our team’s ability to adapt when working remotely in new and unfamiliar ways.

And yet the company excelled.

Here are some stats that demonstrate how our team smashed it during the pandemic:

  • 90% of our online chat reviews were positive
  • Customer retention rate rose by 4%  compared to one year before
  • O2 customer satisfaction index score rose 2.9 points from the previous year

Now back to the awards

First is the Comms Business Awards, where we were shortlisted in the Enterprise Reseller of the Year category. And fast approaching is the Mobile Industry Awards ceremony where we’ve been shortlisted in the Best Mobile Service & Solution category.

Our entries for both awards outlined how, in the face of adversity, we demonstrated that we were able to commit to the same guiding principles that have underpinned our success – to constantly adapt to new technologies, changing customer needs and market conditions; to provide customer service that goes beyond our peers; to build long-term relationships with our key stakeholders, and to constantly ask what we could be doing better through innovation.

We didn’t just survive. We continued to ask the hard questions so that we could continue to improve our customer service, innovate our product offerings to cater to emerging demands and serve new markets, and further staff development.

While we didn’t win at the Comms Business Awards ceremony on 21 September, we’re deeply proud to have been shortlisted in this competitive entry. It was highly competitive in this category. And in fact, one organiser took the time to write to us to say, the Aerial Direct entry “has been judged as one of the very best submitted in this record year.”

Despite the pandemic, 2020 marked a significant year for Aerial Direct’s growth and development. We added more than 7,000 new Mobile Private Networks to our existing client base. We increased our revenues and have hired an additional 29 members of staff. And our staff still found time to help those adversely affected by the pandemic, putting in time to volunteer with local charities.

Aerial Direct Staff

Group Sales Director, Ben Kempster and Head of Mid Market Acquisitions, John Ryder were invited to join Gamma’s table on the night. Included in the image is Senior Product Manager at Gamma, Sara Sheikh.

A big thank you to the Aerial Direct staff

Most importantly, our staff showed what true teamwork is. Somehow, our colleagues maintained – if not improved – their levels of motivation and partner engagement. Meanwhile, customer happiness rose through what was the most challenging record to date. When times were tough, I saw first-hand how employees looked out for one another; supported fellow colleagues and kept in constant communication. It has been truly awe-inspiring.

Loyal and dedicated employees are the foundation of any successful company. So I’d like to say directly to the Aerial Direct team, thank you for your contribution to our success! Throughout this time, you have supported each other and the community. As we look to celebrate our award nominations, I’d like to remind everyone that this is thanks to you. This is your nomination.

Congratulations again to all the winners at this year’s Comms Business Awards. Find out more about the winners.

The way we’re working is changing

Technology is advancing more and more which is enabling more and more people to work from tablets, smartphones and mobile apps to complete their work on a daily basis. Employers are moving existing systems to cloud based technologies and investing in collaboration tools to support cultural and digital transitions giving people the chance to work just like they would in the office.

Did you know that 80% of remote workers are reporting higher morale?*

As your digital transition takes shape and you help your people work when, where and how they want too, you’ll start to see the benefits, like higher morale, stronger productivity and cost savings. However, some of the new challenges you might face are working securely and keeping your company data safe. Working remotely, people will need to access your systems and information on multiple devices and possibly on different wifi networks which has the potential of putting your data at risk, which means that you need to find a balance between keeping your data safe and letting your people work flexibly when and where they want to work. In this blog we’ll be looking at 7 actionable data security tips.

1. Password-protect everything

Front line workers are making up an estimated 80% of the global workforce (1) however, surprisingly, the majority of digital transformation initiatives have so far left these workers behind. Despite the emergence of a host of technologies revolutionising how these workers operate, organisations are failing to empower this essential segment of their workforce. Numerous studies have shown that front line organisations that have equipped front line employees with the right technology and unlocked their dormant potential have seen real transformation. Not only have these workers been left behind but employees no longer expect to be disconnected from the office, in fact front line employees report that they don’t have adequate access to the information they need. 73% of front line workers report they need to pause or completely stop work regularly to find information they don’t have at their immediate disposal. (2)

Fortunately, the tools that can remedy these types of situations are now readily available from Samsung and those who are properly equipping employees are witnessing the benefits and returns in multiple ways.

2. Keep your devices virus-free

Should a device become infected by a virus or malware, hackers can use it to dig through data and steal your identity or even lock up your files and demand a ransom for their return. Anti-virus programs like “Norton” “McAfee” protect your devices from these types of attacks. A good working practice is to keep up to date with software updates and running the latest security patches on anti-virus software.

3. Secure your browser

Advertisers use cookies to analyse what you’ve browsed so they can tailor advertisements to you. Hackers can also use cookies to follow your web activity. Wherever possible you should block cookies. This is supported by almost any browser.

Advertisers and hackers can also track you through JavaScript. JavaScript can be disabled to keep them at bay, however disabling this will stop some webpages from working. In this situation you need review the security risk versus the disruption it could cause to your workflow. If disabling JavaScript will enhance business protection over productivity then removing the application could be the right choice.

Working in the field and using public wifi (coffee shops/malls/restaurants) brings an element of risk where connections can be intercepted by somebody else on the same network. Best practice here is to avoid public wifi and only work from a secure network.

4. Be mindful of scams

Hackers and scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated when it comes to mimicking businesses or individuals which makes the scam more difficult to spot. Paying more attention to websites, emails and phone calls that are trying to extract personal information can go a long way especially as scammers often apply pressure for you act upon – which can be an easy to spot indicator. If you feel this pressure and are uncomfortable, the best thing to do is to hold off on sharing your details, take a step back and come back later. Legitimate companies are willing to wait.

5. Only use software from trusted suppliers

You shouldn’t download software from just about any website, no matter how good the opportunity looks. Always choose software and apps from a trusted developer or brand.
When it comes to applications for tablets and smartphones, always check the privacy policy to understand what information and permissions they are asking for. Are they requesting access to your camera, microphone or files, without it having anything to do with the functionality of the application? If yes, this is a huge red flag and you should find an alternative to using the app.

6. Upskill users

Adding extra layers of security awareness in your culture and training sessions within your organisation won’t go a miss. Training users to recognise phishing scams, setting strong passwords and how to protect devices when working remotely, people are more likely to protect themselves and your company against cyberattacks.

7. Stop auto-forward e-mails

If a hacker does manage to gain access to a mailbox, they can easily extract emails from your account by using auto-forwarding emails. This can be done without the user even being aware. The way to prevent this is by configuring mail flow rules.

If you’re looking for extra help in protecting your devices, get in touch to speak to one of our specialists – https://www.aerial-direct.co.uk/contact-us/

* https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrealoubier/2017/07/20/benefits-of-telecommuting-for-the-future-of-work/#6abb911916c6

Rugged devices have been servicing many industries for decades, allowing workers on the front lines to operate even in the harshest conditions. But even during these times, they’ve rarely attempted to break out of those niches and have developed a reputation of being tools for specific needs with durability and security coming at the cost of limited functionality, really bulky design and a hefty price tag. Businesses have in turn relied on using consumer devices, choosing performance, ranges of features and evolution at the expense of becoming damaged or even failing in the field.

Whether you’ve worked with rugged for a period of time or have so far steered clear, now is the time to introduce you to a new age of business mobility. Throughout this article we’ll take a look at how a new generation of rugged devices are merging with the functionality, power and price you’ve come to expect from consumer devices with the durability and security you need from rugged handsets. You’ll see how this combination is more than just the sum of its parts—it is in fact ushering in a front line revolution as workers become empowered to achieve more than ever before.

Why Rugged?

Front line workers are making up an estimated 80% of the global workforce (1) however, surprisingly, the majority of digital transformation initiatives have so far left these workers behind. Despite the emergence of a host of technologies revolutionising how these workers operate, organisations are failing to empower this essential segment of their workforce. Numerous studies have shown that front line organisations that have equipped front line employees with the right technology and unlocked their dormant potential have seen real transformation. Not only have these workers been left behind but employees no longer expect to be disconnected from the office, in fact front line employees report that they don’t have adequate access to the information they need. 73% of front line workers report they need to pause or completely stop work regularly to find information they don’t have at their immediate disposal. (2)

Fortunately, the tools that can remedy these types of situations are now readily available from Samsung and those who are properly equipping employees are witnessing the benefits and returns in multiple ways.

Productivity, efficiency, communication and satisfaction.

The use of connected smart devices on the front line sees productivity skyrocket, whether this is giving employees great access to information they need at their fingertips, speeding up the decision making process with better communication on the device or simply being able to access the correct tools designed to do the job in a digital manner. Employees using smart phones to complete work say they gain 58 minutes on average each day. (3) With productivity comes satisfaction as well – with new digital tools, over 40% of front line employees agree that it would be easier to complete on a computer or mobile device rather than using paper. (4) By equipping them with the tools you’re going to improve the experience in the workplace which in turn could see lower employee turnover. (5)

Regardless if your employees operate on a construction site, warehouse or on the shop floor, one thing every business needs in a working environment is reliability. Consumer devices aren’t designed to handle the punishment in this type of setting, they are likely to become damaged quicker from either a knock, spill, dirt or notoriously a drop! Rugged devices were designed and built specifically for this type of industry and have been tried, tested and certified to withstand the most hostile environments, the heat, the wet, the dirt, the dust, the cold and of course the endless times it could be dropped. With an international standard rating of IP68 and the highest military standard for survivability MIL-STD-810G (6) means it can withstand anything you can throw at them including 1.5 meters of submersion up to 30 minutes. (7)

Revolutionising design, traditionally the rugged/tough device ranges have been well known to be chunky, lumpy, barely able to fit into your pocket and only come in 50 shades of beige! This is no longer the case. Samsung’s latest generation of devices have seriously strayed away from this stereotype, there’s no better example of this than Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro – sleek in design and giving you the ease of use that you’d come to expect from a consumer alternative with a host of features that will come as benefit to any front line worker. With superior battery life and interchangeable batteries, glove and wet touch responses screen help workers keep going without the need to remove personal protective equipment to carry out tasks.

Samsung ad

Reducing the price gap is key for any business watching the bottom line whilst maintaining innovation and efficiencies. Where rugged devices were once far more expensive in comparison to consumer devices the gap is now closing quickly. Couple this with longer life and replaceable battery and they are now far more cost effective to run in the long term.(8)

As a business, you have an unprecedented opportunity to empower your front line workforce with the right mobile technology. Fortunately now you no longer need to make the choice between reliability and functionality. By investing in the new generation of Samsung rugged devices, you can combine both these worlds, unshackle front line employees and open yourself to a world of new possibilities.

Samsung ad

For further information on Samsung rugged devices please reach out to your Aerial Direct account manager alternatively visit https://www.aerial-direct.co.uk/samsung/

It comes as no surprise that Samsung is leading the smartphone industry across the globe. As a prominent innovator and producer of liquid crystal displays (LCD) and quality memory chips, their devices are often sort after by consumers for the best digital experience.

The South Korean brand has recently built its way up as the top 5G contender with even more devices ready to support the new generation network. In fact, in 2019 over half of all 5G phones bought worldwide were Samsung phones which speaks volumes to Samsung’s competitiveness and as well as the loyalty of early adopters of the technology. Early 2020 estimations see its market share continue to grow by almost 40%.

A key element in Samsung’s adoption by technology lovers has always been the attention to functionality and end user focus, even more importantly in a business environment. Samsung’s focus is to keep productivity high and running by incorporating all-in-one assistant features as well as further expanding the user experience in an intuitive manner. Some of the innovated tech features we see from Samsung devices, asides from supported technology embedded for 5G, includes in the Infinity-O display that enables users a wider viewing experience; the intelligent S pen that harnesses the power of Bluetooth technology and act as a remote for all Note functions; and the groundbreaking Samsung DeX that connects the small Galaxy screen to any monitor for a desktop experience. What is truly required for businesses ranging from SME to larger organisations, is an extensive layer of protection for data held on devices including business and personal contact details, chats, image and document files.

Businesses requiring future proof and data securing solutions get a lot more than possessing a functional and aesthetically pleasing handset, they get to be ahead of the game. With one smartphone that is ready to tackle the future before anyone else, whether it is usage trends or supporting 5G, it becomes a powerhouse when businesses have a whole fleet using the same secure technology. The ability to manage and control the mobile fleets on how it should function for each organisation’s department can help pave a constructive communication strategy amongst the workforce, a system built entirely to focus on growing your business.

What is the Galaxy Enterprise Edition?

The Galaxy Enterprise Edition is an all-inclusive mobile technology and service package built into top ranges of Samsung Galaxy devices, innovated to empower businesses across all industries.

Samsung for Business: Galaxy Enterprise Edition

The advantage and benefits to this edition encompasses simplicity and complete accessibility for users, which cuts down the time and inconvenience of turning to a third-party software for additional security. The Galaxy choices range from rugged devices ready to face any outdoor challenges, to intelligent handsets that can multitask and assist your day-to-day needs.

So why should organisations invest in this edition, let alone a good smartphone? Reports suggest that a good smartphone can save business users up to almost an hour each day and have up to 34 percent of increased productivity; it gives greater flexibility in being mobile, and improves the quality in their work and collaboration with others. This is a great cut-down on cost and time of extra curricular activities and travel, but a massive increase in business growth, leading more organisations to allow their employees access to business mobile devices.

Smartphones holds masses of sensitive corporate and personal data built up from the first initial use, and with technology growing faster and becoming accessible to the public, it creates more concerns over data security as organisations starts allowing their employees to access the corporate server and network within and outside or the organisations premises, creating potential risks at anytime. This prompts companies to purchase additional secure encryptions, VPNs and further authentications to barricade their server from computer viruses and malware.

With Samsung’s Galaxy Enterprise Edition, users and organisations will have even more power over data security management; their mobile fleet is encrypted and secured, and the devices work together creating an integrated ecosystem that make management much easier. The Galaxy Enterprise Edition includes multiple innovative qualities that not only protects and defend any infiltrations, but with Samsung’s notable mobile functions and features, it makes them the ultimate power phone for businesses.

More Choice, more control, and more protection

Samsung for Business: Galaxy Enterprise Edition

Last year we introduced Samsung Knox through one of our blogs; it is a pre-installed mobile security foundation built into Galaxy devices that provides a secure environment for corporate data and apps. The additional license-based Knox Configure allows users to configure their smartphones with ease, customising each device on its profile, settings, restrictions, required mobile apps, and other mobile content. The configuration process enables users to set-up and switch specific user groups remotely through automatic updates via wireless Internet or mobile data. This enables the workforce to keep things moving without worries of data loss.

Enterprise Firmware Over the Air on MDM (E-FOTA on MDM) is a B2B security solution notable for enabling your fleet of devices to regularly and remotely update Android and Samsung firmware and security patches via the Mobile Device Management (MDM) software. With this add-on feature, it ensures that all devices are up-to-date with the latest version.

The greater part is that the Enterprise Edition provides a 4-year monthly or quarterly security and maintenance update. This takes out tons of pressure off the IT support team with fewer worries over threats such as malware, phishing or any software malfunction, and a reduction in inbound support calls. Additionally, users can also test and validate the updates before confirming deployment across all their business mobile collection, and if required, businesses will be assisted with support from the Samsung Business Service Centre.

All Galaxy Enterprise Edition devices are equipped with an extended product life cycle, which means longer availability than a standard device*. Moreover, with the Enterprise range already furnished with Knox configuration, it extends the whole entire fleets longevity when newer handsets are added. Managing has never been more quick and hassle-free, and this guarantees your business with continuity and consistency in your mobile fleet, and less interruptions in your business.

Asides from all of the mentioned remote security functions, businesses and professionals will receive another extra hand. Samsung is giving 3 years of enhanced service support** that will guarantee continuous top performance of the device, including assistance in operating all the built-in security technology, and regular check-ins to ensure that your device is performing well. Combined with Aerial Directs award-winning customer service, an all-round protection for your fleet of business handsets couldn’t get any better.

* Devices will remain on sale for a defined period of time after first global market release. The defined period will differ according to each specific device. Subject to change without notice.

** Registration on the Knox Portal and Support request required; Doorstep exchange with Samsung gold stock; All requests must be placed before 3:30pm and confirmation of MDM removal must be confirmed before proceeding with repair/swap.

The Galaxy Range: available Enterprise models

There are a number of models available and fit for every business needs, whether your business requires a strong-featured hardware ready to tackle any out-door challenges, or a smartphone that is on standby as your personal assistant. Below are some of the available ranges, visit here for the full range.

Visit our dedicated Samsung page and explore which handset will answer your business needs.

Large Business of the Year

We are thrilled to announce that Aerial Direct has won Large Business of the Year at The News Business Excellence Award 2020. The event took place on the evening of Friday 21st February at Portsmouth Guildhall, where we competed against two others, reputable finalists.

The News Business Excellence Award is held yearly to celebrate and acknowledge professional individuals and businesses within the South Coast region. The acquired award category requires companies to demonstrate past achievements, the process of overcoming challenges, innovative projects, creativity, and clear visions and future plans to continue and innovate company growth. For Aerial Direct to win this award is a testament to the hard work that has been put in from everyone in the business.

Gary Strickland-Smith, Director of Operations said ‘Aerial Direct has come a long way to earn the success it currently has, and this has only been possible through the dedication of everyone in the company. To win such a prestigious award with the local community can only prompt me to say how proud I am of all the teams at Aerial Direct, and how grateful we are to all our customers, suppliers and partners for their loyalty and continued support’.

All of us at Aerial Direct would like to thank our customers and clients for their trust and support, and all our staff members for putting in the hard work throughout the years. We would also like to congratulate all the winners from other categories, as well as express our gratitude for being amongst our fellow finalists.