Ireland-US corporate broadband package launched

14 Jul 2004

Fast moving Irish telco Smart Telecom has joined forces with the Irish Exporters Association to introduce a dedicated corporate broadband package for Irish companies that trade regularly with the US.

The bundled package includes a 1.5Mbps voice, data and internet circuit and will cost corporate firms €999 a month. The package also includes the provision of a node (optical termination box) from Luminous Networks allowing businesses adjacent to metropolitan area networks (MANs) to connect to the fibre ring.

The package is a managed solution that includes the provision of fibre into offices in Ireland and the US with a virtual private network between the two countries.

Smart Telecom was formed when founder Oisin Fanning raised €2.5m in private equity funding, which he used to buy the prepaid call cards business of Switchcom for €600,000. Fanning went on to acquire the phonebox business of Alphyra for €2.4m as well as a further 600 payphones from Esat BT, which divested itself of this business for a sum of €1.2m. Smart Telecom now has 35,000 customers and reported annual revenues of over €16m. The company has grown from a staff of 20 people to 180 people. A further 100 jobs are to be created in Cork following the lighting of the MAN there.

The company in recent months revealed plans to use the Cork metropolitan area network (MAN), the largest of the 19 MANs being created by the Government, to connect with the 28 main business parks around Cork. The company has already established a network node, or point of access, at the National Software Centre in Cork.

Smart has also signed a contract with ESB Telecom to connect the Cork MAN with its own 120km fibre optic network around Dublin, using ESB’s €50m 1,300km network that connects with 11 of the 19 proposed MANs. Smart’s own Dublin network connects into the 2km fibre optic ring around the Digital Hub district as well as the T50 broadband network that straddles the west side of Dublin and Bord Gais’ Aurora fibre optic network.

A month ago Smart Telecom signed a significant technology deal with IT services giant IBM and voice-over IP (VoIP) switching systems player Cirpack to deploy its next generation nationwide network across Ireland to enable single billing and future broadband services.

Speaking of the new Ireland-US flat rate broadband service, Fanning said: “This new service devised by Smart Telecom is reliable, flexible and very cost effective. We can offer phenomenal savings to any company based in Ireland which regularly does business with the US. Put simply, any company trading on a regular basis with the US can’t afford not to do business with Smart Telecom.

“We use state of the art technology which enables us to provide advanced services that can give our customers the competitive advantage and cost effective solution they need to survive in a global market place. We are delighted to be in a position to offer this new service to Irish exporters and believe it will make a serious difference to their business.”

By John Kennedy