Irish mobile operators pay €448m in 5G spectrum auction | Jobs Reply

Vodafone, Three and Eir are each expected to pay more than €140m for key frequency bands to support the rollout of 5G across Ireland.

Widespread rollout of 5G services in Ireland is expected to get a big boost after mobile operators spent €448 million in a spectrum auction.

ComReg, the government agency responsible for regulating communications in Ireland, has announced the results of the main phase of its multi-band spectrum award for next-generation 5G mobile and wireless broadband services.

Ireland’s three major telecoms companies – Eir, Vodafone and Three – have each paid the state more than €140m for frequency bands from 700MHz to 2.6GHz.

“These bands are suitable for deploying 5G and broad mobile coverage as well as increasing mobile and fixed network capacity,” ComReg wrote in a statement published yesterday (December 14).

The spectrum rights award is expected to last around 19 years and will increase the spectrum available for fixed and mobile services in Ireland by 46 per cent.

Ireland is currently one of only three EU Member States that still have long-term rights to use the important 700 MHz band.

In the most recent auction, Eir, Three and Vodafone each received two lots in the 700 MHz band.

“The results of this award should prove very good for the competition and consumers,” ComReg continued, adding that other band groups saw significant competition.

“The award would significantly increase the available spectrum and make it easier for operators to make long-term investment decisions, which are essential for the widespread rollout of 5G services in Ireland.”

Sean Bolgers Imagine, which offers high-speed broadband across Ireland, also spent a total of €21.4 million on the spectrum auction.

Specific frequency allocations for each band will be determined in the next phase of the process, which has been slowed due to legal action by Three.

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