Ireland has raised €855 million at an auction of 4G mobile phone licences, providing a welcome boost to the country’s struggling finances.
“The proceeds of the auction are greater than many people expected and are a statement of confidence in the economy,” Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said.
The winners – which include Vodafone, O2 and 3 – will pay €482 million upfront and the balance over the life of licences, which are valid until 2030.
“We can now look forward to the rollout of much needed faster, fourth-generation 4G mobile internet services which will maintain and boost this country’s competitiveness,” Rabbitte added.
Ofcom expects mobile operators to be able to provide 4G services from June.