| 18.8°C Dublin

3 will bid for Irish 4G licences

FAILED Eircom bidder 3 Mobile will be among the contenders when the State auctions off Irish 4G "spectrum" licences this summer, the Irish Independent has learned.

It comes as the company rejected reports it is considering pulling out of the UK market -- something that would have had implications for the future of the company's much smaller Irish business.

Sources last night confirmed 3's continued interest in Ireland, and said it intends to be among the bidders when the communications regulator ComReg holds an auction of so-called 4G spectrum licences pencilled in for later in the summer.

The 4G spectrum licences will be fought over by companies that want to create new faster mobile networks.

The State could reap a windfall in the region of €250m from a series of spectrum auctions.

An auction process is under way in the UK, and sparked weekend reports in the press claiming 3 Mobile's UK operations could be in doubt unless the company is guaranteed a slice of the UK spectrum.

Yesterday, however, its Hong Kong-based parent Hutchinson Whampao rejected the claims.

Irish Independent