€500 million expected from Irish licence auction
02 April 2012 | Kavit Majithia
The Irish telecoms market will raise over €500 million for the government from high-speed broadband and 4G licence auctions this year, according to local media.
The Sunday Times newspaper reported Irish regulator ComReg has indicated the country’s auction process will be completed by the end of July with stiff bidding competition expected, but the paper did not reveal its specific source.
Ireland is home to four major operators; Vodafone, Telefónica, Hutchison Whampoa and Eircom Group. The country also has three major broadband providers which will have an interest in investing in licences, including UP Ireland, Imagine Communications and Digiweb.
News of a cash injection from operators in the market will come as welcome news for Ireland’s telecoms industry. Reports in the Financial Times last week stated that Eircom, the country’s former state-owned company, was struggling to find bidders and investors for its business, which has struggled heavily in light of the recent financial crisis. The company’s €4.08 billion debt is to be restructured, in a move believed to be the biggest in Irish corporate history.
Eircom’s fixed-line and mobile operations has faced stiff competition from lower prices from international operators like Vodafone and Telefónica.
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