Business Irish

Friday 15 December 2017

Imagine Communications boss is confident of victory in €138m case

Imagine CEO Sean Bolger poses with the WiMAX coach
Imagine CEO Sean Bolger poses with the WiMAX coach
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The boss of telecoms firm Imagine Communications, Sean Bolger, said he's confident the firm will prevail in a €138m court action it initiated against a unit of global giant Motorola five years ago and which is at last set to go to trial next year.

Imagine sued Motorola in 2010 alleging breach of contract and negligence arising from the roll-out of a WiMax network.

When it initiated the action, Imagine claimed that the delay in the roll-out of the WiMax network resulted in the Irish company shouldering financial problems and losses because of a failure to connect consumers to the internet, or because of poor connectivity.

Imagine was the first company to bring WiMax wireless technology to Ireland. Its business plan had envisaged that 234 base stations would be installed by the end of 2010, but by the middle of 2011, just 125 had been installed. Imagine has sued Motorola, whose network assets are now part of Nokia Siemens, and which has denied the claims and insisted that it met its contractual obligations.

Motorola claims that there was no timetable for the roll-out of the project.

The High Court has heard that the commencement of the trial has been delayed due in part to a "plethora" of preliminary pre-trial applications which have delayed its progress.

The pair were in the High Court recently to appeal aspects of a February ruling related to discovery.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Bolger, pictured, said that now the appeals have been finalised, the trail should be able to get under way.

He said he was "absolutely" confident of being able to win the case.

He conceded that the issue had had a major impact on Imagine over the past five years but that the business has worked through it.

"It's a tough path," he said of the court action, "but we're fairly resolute. We're very confident that it will be justified."

Imagine has claimed that the Motorala WiMax network that was supplied didn't have sufficient capacity to meet Imagine's needs.

It contends that Motorola undertook or represented that the network would have sufficient throughput and capacity.

While the network might have had sufficient throughput or capacity, Imagine contends that the network did not meet both requirements.

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