Mobile roaming firm challenges Irish operators
A dispute over roaming charges between Ireland's biggest phone operators and a British online mobile company is set to go to the telecoms regulator for adjudication.
Cloud 9 Mobile, which offers international low-cost roaming services, is challenging both Eircom and Vodafone Ireland on their demands for set-up charges and monthly recurring charges on their networks in Ireland. The dispute will also decide whether Eircom is entitled to seek a bank guarantee from Cloud 9 as a precursor to entering into a business arrangement.
The two Irish-based operators are understood to have concerns about entering into a trading relationship with the firm without a basic framework that delivers income regularly.
Cloud 9 provides discount roaming services to travel companies, which then resell the services to their own customers. The UK-based firm, which is run by the Belfast-born telecoms entrepreneur Gerry O'Prey, is part of the Blue Mango Communications group.
Cloud 9 has sold 1.5 million sim cards to travel companies in the last three years and is focused on the European, US and Middle Eastern markets.
The dispute resolution between Eircom, Vodafone and Cloud 9 is expected to commence in coming weeks.