Monday 15 October 2018

BroadNet beats Telenor to Norway broadband licence

By CHARLIE WESTON A TELECOMS company headed by Galway entrepreneur Declan Ganley has secured another valuable European broadband licence,...

A TELECOMS company headed by Galway entrepreneur Declan Ganley has secured another valuable European broadband licence, despite losing out in this country recently.

BroadNet, which is 37.5pc owned by Ganley-controlled European Telecoms Holdings, has just won a potentially lucrative wireless broadband licence in Norway, it has been learned.

Incumbent Telenor failed to get the other licence on offer.

BroadNet is now expected to quickly roll out its service to five major cities in Norway.

That country is one of the most web-wise countries in the world.

Brussels-based BroadNet plans to spend $500m and create 500 jobs rolling out its services across the EU this year.

So far BroadNet has won 42 regional licences in Germany, and one of the national licences recently awarded in Portugal.

Ireland is the only country where it has failed to win a wireless broadband licence.

BroadNet, which is 62.5pc owned by massive Nasdaq-quoted telecoms company Comcast, was granted leave last month by the High Court to seek an order quashing a decision by telecoms regulator Etain Doyle awarding the Irish wireless telecoms licences.

Formus, Eircom, Esat and Princes Holdings could end up in a legal limbo after the High Court cleared the way for BroadNet's legal challenge.

alternative means to provide the connection from the customer's premises to the nearest network access point for the provision of telecoms services.

It offers a radio-based alternative to copper or optic fibre cable and it may supplement existing access technologies, such as MMDS, for television retransmission.

Ms Doyle's office last month denied it had shown a bias in favour of Telecom Eireann, now Eircom, when awarding telecoms licences last year.

BroadNet was last summer reported to be worth about $875m after it was awarded 42 telecoms licences in Germany.

BroadNet's German success leaves it well placed to become Germany's second largest local loop operator after Deutsche Telekom.

BroadNet is applying for broadband licences in 19 other European countries and had the potential to be a major player, according to market analysts.

The company has teamed up with Lucent Technologies to roll out its broadband wireless access network.

Mr Ganley has said in the past BroadNet would consider a flotation in the next 18 months to fund the multi-million dollar roll-out of its broadband network.

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