Smart Telecom was last night granted an interim injunction restraining the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) from awarding the nation’s fourth 3G license to any other operator.
It emerged yesterday that ComReg withdrew its offer of the fourth 3G license to Smart because it believed the telco failed to meet certain conditions of its original offer. It is understood that the drama hinges around the wording of a performance bond document contained in Smart’s licence agreement.
Smart said it refuted the grounds on which ComReg took the action and instigated proceedings at Dublin’s High Court.
In a statement last night Smart said it was granted an interim injunction, ex parte, restraining ComReg from awarding the 3G licence to any other party until further ordered by the High Court.
A further hearing of the injunction is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, 16 February). “Further announcements will be made regarding the legal process in due course,” the company said last night.
Smart Telecom was awarded the fourth and final Irish 3G mobile licence in November 2005 and made its initial payment of €56.75m for the licence on 15 December.
It has also negotiated a €200m network rollout contract with major equipment manufacturers and arranged a €100m performance bond with the banks to underpin the project.
By John Kennedy