ComReg reveals 46pc radio spectrum boost for broadband roll-out

Ireland’s radio spectrum sector, which includes mobile telcos and wireless ISPs, is responsible for supporting 17,000 jobs and generating gross national income of 3.5pc or €6.2bn a year.

That’s according to the latest economic analysis conducted by telecoms and postal regulator ComReg.

This analysis, which is based on company financial records and data from the national accounts, conservatively estimates gross value add of €4bn. Each individual working in the radio spectrum sector generates the equivalent of €233,000 in value add.

The data reveals that at the end of June 2018, there were 6.1m mobile subscriptions in Ireland, which includes 930,806 machine-to-machine subscriptions.

The report comes on heels of a number of reports commissioned by ComReg that analysed the feasibility of universal wireless broadband coverage in Ireland.

A valuable national resource

ComReg has also revealed a strategy to make an additional 350MHz of spectrum available to support wireless broadband delivery – an increase of 46pc.

The regulator emphasised that Ireland’s radio spectrum is a highly valuable national resource that supports a plethora of everyday services and applications that span the consumer, business and public services world.

ComReg commissioner Jeremy Godfrey said that this allocation will place Ireland at the forefront of spectrum availability across Europe. “ComReg’s commitment during this strategy period to further develop and finalise its proposals for the release of this spectrum will go a considerable way toward meeting Ireland’s ever-increasing mobile data needs.”

Many other advances are also foreseen, including the release of spectrum that could be used for smart grid applications and the potential deployment of LoRa (long range), a machine-to-machine wireless technology that operates in the 900MHz band.

The plans also include spectrum availability for the backbone delivery of communications in networks, and measures for developing broadcasting, business radio, aeronautical, maritime and scientific uses.

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