Eircom fibre network reaches 800k premises, 4G now covers 50pc of Irish population

28 May 2014

Eircom chief executive Herb Hribar

Eircom has revealed its fibre network now passes 800,000 premises and its 4G network rollout is proceeding ahead of schedule, with 50pc population coverage across Ireland.

In reporting its Q3 financial performance, which saw a 5pc decrease in revenues to €315m, the incumbent operator said its finances are beginning to stabilise. It reported EBITDA of €119m, which is flat year-on-year.

Operating costs have fallen by 2pc and its €100m target has been achieved.

However, CEO Herb Hribar said the company incurred an unexpected one-off cost of €10m due to the chaotic storms that swept Ireland in January and February.

The company’s group broadband base has grown 6pc – its fourth consecutive quarter of growth – while post-paid mobile customers now account for 39pc of its entire mobile base.

The company is at an interesting strategic crossroads and is mulling a potential IPO.

Eircom on track to pass 1m premises with fibre

“Our significant programme of investment continued, and at the end of March 2014, the fibre footprint had passed 800,000 homes and businesses,” Hribar said.

“We are on track to pass 1m premises during summer 2014 and 1.4m premises by 2016, which will provide 70pc of all homes and businesses in Ireland with access to high-speed broadband.”

Hribar said that during the quarter, Eircom became one of the first operators in Europe to deploy vectoring technology, which enables broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps.

“We are starting to see the benefit of our investments, with some 103,000 customers already taking up our high-speed broadband services at the end of March, representing a 13pc penetration of the 800,000 premises passed.

“Our 4G rollout is ahead of schedule and now covers 50pc of the population in Ireland. Our investment in converged billing platforms enables us to be the only operator to offer a ‘quad play’ of services, including TV on a single bill.

“Finally, the Irish macro economy continues to provide a positive backdrop for the business,” Hribar said.

Red Fibre, via Owen Byrne on Flickr

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years