BUSINESS communications and cloud computing specialist Commsworld is planning to widen its data network and invest a seven-figure sum in unbundling more local exchanges in Scotland.

The Edinburgh business intends to install its own equipment at telecoms exchanges across the country which will remove the need for it to piggy-back onto the equipment of larger operators such as BT.

The company says customers close to those exchanges will benefit from quicker data transfer times as there is no need for information to be routed via sites in England.

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Founder Ricky Nicol said Commsworld has seen customer and revenue growth since it started unbundling exchanges in March last year.

He said: "The growth we have had over that period is exceptional.

"A reason for that is we have so many customers, existing and new, who are near exchanges.

"Once they see the technology they come to us and say 'Can we get that as well?'

"What we are finding is we are winning a lot of new customers and customers that would not have spoken to us had we not had these technologies at our fingertips."

Now Commsworld is aiming for a further 12 unbundled exchanges across the next year with a longer term plan to update close to 40.

At the moment the bulk of its exchanges are in Edinburgh and Glasgow, although it has some presence in Aberdeen and has recently moved into Dundee.

Mr Nicol indicated he is keen to make more of a push into Aberdeen and Inverness in the coming months.

He said: "We are looking to do another 12 exchanges in the next 12 months.

"We are trying to do 39 in total in Scotland over the next couple of years.

"The big areas for us for new growth are Aberdeen and Inverness.

"We have a couple of thousand customers in Edinburgh and Glasgow and are quite well known."

According to Mr Nicol, Commsworld - which was formed in 1994 - is on course to grow its turnover in 2014 by around £1 million to £9.5m.

The business currently employs more than 50 people. Mr Nicol said there is likely to be a small amount of jobs growth as the size of the company increases.

While Commsworld also has points of presence (POPS) in Manchester and London, it says its network in Scotland means companies here do not have to see their data looped via sites in England. Mr Nicol also pointed out the network is for business customers only so does not have to compete with residential use where tasks such as streaming video are taking up increasing amounts of bandwidth.

Andy Arkle, commercial director, said: "Our network has been set up to offer increased resilience by using multiple exchanges to deliver information to and from our clients. This means if one exchange should fail there will be a back-up in place.

"We ensure our clients' applications run smoothly and there is low-latency, which means there is a notable difference in how quickly staff can perform online tasks, therefore increasing productivity and improving customer service."

Commsworld's customers include Glenmorangie, Eastern Western Motor Group, law firm HBJ Gateley, oil and gas engineering business Subsea 7 and office equipment supplier Capital Solutions.