Monday 11 December 2017

EC criticises our 4G coverage

European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes
European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

THE vice-president of the European Commissioner has slammed Ireland for its lack of available 4G mobile services.

Ireland is only one of three countries, along with Malta and Cyprus, that does not yet have some available 4G services, said Neelie Kroes (inset).

All four Irish mobile operators are due to launch 4G by the end of the year.

The network is capable of delivering internet connection speeds of 30 megabits per second. Vodafone is due to be the first network to launch 4G services in September in Kilkenny.

"The EU is teetering on the edge of network collapse. This is no way to run an economy," said Ms Kroes. "I know millions of Europeans share my frustration."

Ms Kroes said that only 25pc of EU citizens have access to 4G networks, while in the US the equivalent rate is 90pc. She said that the EU market is almost four times as expensive as the US, with prices varying widely between member states.

However, Ms Kroes admitted that "high auction prices" for licences meant that many firms "cannot afford to invest the €27bn needed for networks upgrades". In Ireland, the Government raised €855m in 4G licence auctions last year.

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