Magnet to invest €50m in ADSL2+ network

24 Nov 2005

Triple-play broadband operator Magnet Networks has signed a deal with Icelandic systems integrator Industria for the provision of Ireland’s first ADSL2+ network. A spokesman for Industria said the contract was “potentially worth more than €50m”.

Industria will design and implement an internet protocol TV electronic programming guide (EPG) platform including associated software and the supply of ADSL2+ access technologies.

Magnet plans to use the network to offer digital telephony, interactive TV and residential broadband service with speeds up to 24Mbps. The company currently has transmission rights to about 100 TV channels, including the premium BSkyB channels, and a high-definition television content trial. The project is to be managed by Industria Professional Services, Ireland, an operating unit of Industria.

In common with other DSL technologies, ADSL2+ will operate over Eircom’s existing copper network and Magnet will therefore require local-loop unbundling to offer the service direct to customers. The company said it plans to roll out the network to cover much of Dublin in the coming weeks and to reach the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford by early 2006, bringing ADSL2+ access to some 2.6 million users, or around 65pc of Ireland’s population.

Magnet already has a limited fibre-to-the-home network, the first phase of which was also completed by Industria in December 2004.

Commenting on the network contract, Magnet CEO Ingvar Gardarsson said, Industria had played “an integral role” in the development of Magnet’s network.

Industria currently operates in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria and the UK as well as Ireland.

By Brian Skelly