Ireland progresses with national broadband tender
Ireland’s telecom market has been invigorated by the economic recovery seen during the last few years, emerging from a period in which it had been held back by low broadband uptake, reduced investment among operators as lower spending among consumers. Operators including eir, enet and Vodafone Ireland have extensive fibre-based networks deployments in pace aimed at providing 1Gb/s services, while the government is also promoting its National Broadband Plan by which all premises are expected to receive a service of at least 30Mb/s by 2022.
This Plan, requiring a state investment of up to €600 million, will greatly boost the adoption of IP-delivered content, including e-government, e-health and e-learning. Although only a consortium including enet was in a position to bid for the tender in November 2018, the government is confident that the Plan can be achieved to schedule.
The mobile market is dominated by Vodafone Ireland and 3 Ireland which have a similar market share. They are followed at some distance by the incumbent telco, eir, which has about 17% of the market by subscribers. There is room for a small number of MVNOs, the largest of which is Tesco Mobile. Although the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscribers has fallen since 2016, mobile broadband use, supported by extensive LTE networks, remains popular among consumers, particularly since the introduction of flat-rate data plans. LTE forms an integral part of the government’s national broadband strategy.
The broadband market has also developed steadily in recent years, supported by an improved investment climate for the key players, as well as by government efforts to facilitate wholesale access. In late 2018 the regulator published three decisions on wholesale access pricing resulting from its Broadband Market Review.
This report provides statistics and analysis on the key sectors of the Irish telecom market, presenting an overview of the regulatory environment, the fixed network operators and services, and telecom infrastructure. In addition the report covers the fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless and mobile broadband, Wi-Fi and internet via satellite. Statistics and analyses on the mobile voice and data markets and reviewed, including the recent regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, and an assessment of emerging technologies and operator strategies. The report also includes broadband and mobile subscriber forecasts.
National Broadband Ireland remains sole bidder for National Broadband Plan tender;
Ireland-France Cable-1 (IFC-1) system secures additional finance;
Eir requests to close copper infrastructure in some areas upgraded with fibre;
Regulator rules that eir make fibre networks available to altnets;
Vodafone launches a commercial NB-IoT service, makes its first 5G call;
Regulator revises strategy to manage radio spectrum;
Vodafone Ireland completes national LTE network upgrade project;
VDSL connections grew 8.5% in the year to September 2018;
Vodafone Ireland and SIRO launch the Gigabit Hub Initiative;
Casey Cablevisión acquired by Virgin Media;
Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q3 2018, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2018, recent market developments
Companies mentioned in this report:
Vodafone Ireland, O2, eir, eMobile; Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media Ireland, Casey CableVision, Digiweb, BT Ireland, Smart Telecom, Tele2
Henry LancasterFebruary 2019
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Major Key Points in Table of Content:
Regulatory authority Telecom sector
Interconnect Access Leased lines
Fibre access Number Portability (NP) Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
Fixed network operators Introduction Eir BT
Ireland Smart Telecom Other operators
Overview of the national telecom network
Submarine cable networks
Satellite networks Broadband market
Introduction and statistical overview
Market analysis National Broadband Plan
Government networks Regional infrastructure
Broadband statistics Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2023; 2023
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