Carphone Warehouse is to launch 4G operator here
The Carphone Warehouse has announced the creation of a new Irish mobile phone operator, to go live in mid-2015.
The new 'virtual' operator, which has yet to be named, will use the newly-combined networks of 3 Ireland and O2 Ireland. The new entity is expected to create 50 new Irish jobs in marketing, finance, IT, sales and technology. The company already employs 700 people in Ireland across its 91 stores and main Dublin office.
The announcement comes after cable television and broadband operator UPC announced that it would launch a new Irish mobile operator in 2015, also using 3 Ireland's network. Both new networks are the result of a regulatory deal that allows 3 Ireland to purchase O2 Ireland.
The managing director of The Carphone Warehouse, Peter Scott, said that the company was currently seeking to allay concerns from existing operators of inhouse favouritism toward the new venture.
"We want to protect our strategic relationships with existing networks," he said. "So we intend to treat the operator and the retail business as separate units. This way, the retail business will treat the new operator in exactly the same way that it would any other operator. There will be no added incentive for our retail staff to sell an operator connection over another operator's connection."
He said that the new service would offer high-end smartphones including Apple's iPhone.
The head of 3 Ireland said that the new Carphone Warehouse network would see state-of-the-art 4G connections.
"We welcome Carphone Warehouse to the mobile market," said Robert Finnegan. "Today's announcement further reinforces how Three's acquisition of O2 Ireland will revitalise the Irish telecoms market."
However, Mr Scott said that the new operator is unlikely to purchase 4G spectrum from 3 Ireland, as it is being encouraged to do under the terms of the regulatory deal.
"No, we're not looking to do that in the first three to five years," said Mr Scott.
"We haven't ruled it out in the long term, but it will depend on how many customers we get and how the business model develops."