Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ireland Nets €855 Million in 4G Spectrum Auction

Ireland completed a very successful auction of spectrum in the former GSM-only bands (900 MHz and 1800 MHz) and in the 800 MHz band (the so-called ‘Digital Dividend’), which became available on 24 October last following the switch-off of analogue broadcasting.

The auction raised approximately €854.64 million for these spectrum rights, comprising of €481.7 million in Upfront Fees (adjusted as necessary by transitional arrangements), along with annual Spectrum Usage Fees totalling €372.95 million which will be adjusted for inflation and paid in instalments until July 2030.

"The proceeds of the auction are greater than many people expected and are a statement of confidence in the economy. The total licence payments of €845M are front loaded so over 50% of the money (at least €450M) will go to the exchequer this year. The balance will be paid over by Telecoms companies on a phased basis over the coming years. 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 broadband services in 2013. This will be an important dimension of Ireland's competitiveness in the coming years. It is a key component of the Government's National Broadband Plan which envisages high speed broadband services being rolled out across Ireland in the lifetime of this Government," stated Pat Rabbitte, Ireland's Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.