Irish mobile operators pay €448m in 5G spectrum auction

15 Dec 2022

Image: © starlineart/

Vodafone, Three and Eir are set to pay more than €140m each for key spectrum bands to help with the roll-out of 5G across Ireland.

The widespread roll-out of 5G services in Ireland is set to get big boost after mobile operators spent €448m in a spectrum auction.

ComReg, the State agency responsible for regulating communications in Ireland, has announced results for the main stage of its multi-band spectrum award for next-generation 5G mobile and wireless broadband services.

Ireland’s three major telecom companies – Eir, Vodafone and Three – have each paid the State more than €140m for spectrum bands ranging from 700 MHz to 2.6 GHz.

“These bands are suitable for providing 5G and widespread mobile coverage, along with increasing the capacity of mobile and fixed networks,” ComReg wrote in a notice published yesterday (14 December).

The award for spectrum rights is set to last for around 19 years and will increase the spectrum available for fixed and mobile services in Ireland by 46pc.

Ireland is currently one of only three EU member states yet to assign long-term rights of use in the key 700 MHz band.

In the latest auction, Eir, Three and Vodafone have been awarded two lots each in the 700 MHz band.

“The results of this award should prove very good for competition and consumers,” ComReg went on, adding that other band groups saw significant competition.

“The award would significantly increase available spectrum, while facilitating operators in making long-term investment decisions essential for the widespread roll-out of 5G services in Ireland.”

Sean Bolger’s Imagine, which offers high-speed broadband across Ireland, also spent a total of €21.4m in the spectrum auction.

Specific frequency assignments for each band will be determined in the next stage of the process, which has been slowed down because of legal action taken by Three.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic