French win for Ganley
THE telecoms company linked to Galway businessman Declan Ganley said yesterday it would become the largest wireless broadband provider in Europe after it won more valuable licences.
BroadNet, which is 37.5pc owned by Ganley-controlled European Telecoms Holdings, has just won 14 regional wireless broadband licences in the biggest cities in France, including Paris and Nice.
It has also won a national broadband licence in Poland and a regional one in the Warsaw area.
The company already has a lucrative national broadband licence in Spain, while earlier it won 40 regional licences in Germany, along with national licences Portugal and Norway.
However, it failed to win a wireless broadband licence in Ireland. Following a recent High Court case taken by BroadNet, telecoms regulator Etain Doyle decided to review a decision to award a licence to Eircom after it emerged five members on her judging panel held shares in the company.
Mr Ganley commented yesterday: ``Every country in Europe in which we have applied for a licence has given us them and we have come first in the assessments. The fact that we were not awarded a licence in Ireland is beyond a joke.''
BroadNet would now need to raise around $1bn in a private placing to roll out its broadband services, which are focused on small and medium sized businesses, across Europe.
Mr Ganley has said in the past BroadNet would consider a flotation in the next 18 months to fund the roll-out.
The Galway businessman also recently started a new dot.com venture.
Platform Ltd will be headquartered in Galway and aims to provide a one-stop-shop for companies that want to get involved in e-commerce.
It is understood the new company has around $35m in funds to finance its initial growth. Ganley Holdings owns around 60pc of the new firm.
Mr Ganley is behind online retailer of upmarket jewellery Adornis.com.