Ireland should finally get 4G in 2013, after spectrum auction shatters expectations

Gigaom

In a salutary reminder of just how valuable radio waves are these days, Ireland’s mobile networks have shattered expectations for the country’s 4G spectrum auction haul. Having projected a win of €170m ($216m), the actual total turned out to be five times as much: €855m ($1.1bn).

With €481.7m going into the Irish government’s coffers by the end of this year, that’s a pretty timely Christmas present for a country whose economy remains somewhat shaky these days. The winning bidders – Three, Meteor, O2 and Vodafone – will pay out the remaining €373m in spectrum usage fees up until 2030.

And with the ensuing 4G rollout likely to lead to serious improvements in Irish broadband coverage, there should be further economic benefits too.

“I expect that the telecoms companies who were the successful bidders will move quickly to build the infrastructure so that we can start to benefit from 4G mobile…

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