Friday 23 August 2019

Cignal to invest €25m in telecoms infrastructure across Ireland

Donal O'Shaughnessy, chairman of Cignal and Colin Cunningham, Chief Executive of Cignal
Donal O'Shaughnessy, chairman of Cignal and Colin Cunningham, Chief Executive of Cignal
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Cignal is to invest €25m in building telecoms infrastructure in Ireland.

The investment will see it build 300 new towers, which will help improve the availability of high-speed wireless broadband in rural areas, and help mobile phone operators address coverage blackspots.

This investment, from  the country’s newest provider of telecommunications infrastructure, represents the single biggest rollout of new towers in the last 10 years. 

The group currently has a portfolio of over 450 towers, representing almost 20pc of the Irish market for infrastructure supporting mobile, fixed wireless broadband communications, and broadcast services.

"We are pleased to announce our plans to invest €25m to add 300 towers to our existing portfolio," Colin Cunningham, Cignal CEO, said.

"This infrastructure provides the platform from which operators can deliver high-speed broadband and mobile services to their consumers. Though our strategy of hosting equipment for multiple operators on each tower they can provide a much more cost-efficient service."

The latest planned investment will cover every county in Ireland, with sites constructed on 'Build to Suit' contracts, and leased back to mobile phone and wireless broadband operators.

The announcement was welcomed by the Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development Sean Canney TD.

"The construction of 300 new towers represents a significant investment in network infrastructure, which will assist in addressing mobile phone coverage blackspots and the availability of wireless broadband across rural Ireland," Minister Canney said.

Cignal’s investment has been supported by its majority shareholder Infravia Capital Partners, a specialist infrastructure investor managing over €4bn in assets.

In Ireland Infravia has acquired hospital group the Mater Private and nursing homes operator CareChoice.

The news comes as Eir earlier this month announced that it is to invest €150m in rolling out 4G mobile broadband that will cover 99pc of Ireland's geographical territory within two years. This is the first time that a mobile operator has offered universal land coverage.

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