Regional and rural customers of Vodafone Ireland’s mobile broadband service are set to benefit from a €17m deal the company has struck with MAN provider E-net.
E-net is the company responsible for managing the Government’s extensive fibre-optic infrastructure known as the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs).
Under the terms of the 15-year deal, E-net will provide high-capacity fibre-optic connectivity to a large proportion of Vodafone Ireland’s regional and rural transmission sites across the country.
This deal will allow Vodafone to deepen its mobile broadband capability and will provide the company with sufficient data capability to support its future roadmap of data products and services.
It also sees Vodafone adopting E-net and the MANs as a primary network partner in regional Ireland, and marks the start of a long-term partnership between the two companies.
Welcoming the deal, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD, said: “This collaboration is good news for broadband in Ireland. The MANs fibre-optic network is an important tool by which broadband providers can extend and develop their services, particularly around regional towns.
“This latest commitment by Vodafone and E-net will enhance connectivity for local business, and along with Government broadband programmes, will further improve the quality and availability of broadband in regional Ireland.”
Charles Butterworth (pictured), Vodafone CEO, explained the importance of the deal to Vodafone and its customers: “This is a significant investment that will enable Vodafone to develop our data and mobile broadband capabilities fully by providing sufficient fibre capability to support future developments and uptake.
“This deal will allow us to extend and deepen mobile broadband coverage outside Dublin in a cost-efficient and effective manner. We anticipate that we will be able to carry more than half of our data traffic on this network – underlining the importance of this deal.
“Access to this fibre will enable us to lift our regional and rural mobile broadband capability. Vodafone has Ireland’s No 1 mobile broadband network and this deal will ensure that we maintain that position going forward.”
E-net CEO, Conal Henry, added: “E-net is extremely proud of our partnership with Vodafone, as it underscores the importance of the MANs to the development of next-generation telecoms services in regional Ireland.
“The decision by Vodafone to select E-net as regional network partner vindicates the MANs project and the E-net offering. E-net is exceptionally well-positioned to support Vodafone in providing flexible and reliable communications solutions now and well into the future.”
By Jennifer Yau
Pictured: Charles Butterworth, Vodafone CEO