IrelandOffline Logo
2017
3
March

Irish Mobile Phone Coverage has SHRUNK YET AGAIN in 2016.

Irish Mobile Phone Coverage has SHRUNK YET AGAIN in 2016.

IrelandOffline regularly warned in the period between 2010 and 2012 that there was a serious risk that mobile phone coverage would shrink catastrophically in Ireland once the mobile phone licences were sold off in December 2012. This is exactly what happened, especially in 2013 and 2014.

Commenting on this Eamonn Wallace (Chair of IrelandOffline) said “Furthermore the state took many hundreds of millions for these licences and cannot make the operators ‘unshrink’ the coverage as they would be sued. So what does Denis Naughten do, he invites the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and Irish Rural Link onto a mobile coverage taskforce in July to tell him what he knew anyway. Coverage is rubbish.

Wallace continued “There is no realistic probability now that any significant increase in mobile phone coverage will be possible before 2021, largely because of the ineptitude of Comreg  

To Explain:

  1. Comreg spent around 4 years in consultations before the late 2012 Spectrum Award. They have not started consulting yet so no new licences before end 2020.
  2. Once a new licence is finally awarded Comreg seem to think that growing coverage (by) [for] 15-20% of the population every year is good enough. So it will take years before the have not mobile areas see themselves included in the coverage area.
  3. The spectrum that could be awarded in late 2020 or so, is presently in use in rural areas but currently occupied by Saorview and it will take some time to clear it (and to compensate RTE and Saorview users) before it can be reused for mobile. That process has not started either. The UK will complete it by Q2 2020.

 

Minister Naughten has one mechanism available to him to push this process along”

Wallace explained: “Under Section 13 of the Communications Act 2002 the Minister can give a DIRECTION and for the avoidance of more regulatory/policy stupidity IrelandOffline will write this direction for him.(1)

 

“That by the 31/12/2022 spectrum be licenced by Comreg with rollout conditions attached such that 95% of the population of Ireland can make receive and hold a telephone call at their present location (outdoor) on their mobile telephone on that date and further, under the same rollout conditions, by 31/12/2025 99.9% of the population of Ireland can make receive and hold a telephone call at then their present location (outdoor) on their mobile telephone. ”

 

At present the area covered well is around 25% of the extent of the state at most. We have a long way to go to get to 90% of the population never mind 99.9% “

 

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