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New phones needed when 4G comes in

MOBILE phone customers will need to buy new handsets and pay higher charges to avail of the latest high-speed 4G internet technology.

The country's four main mobile operators – Vodafone, O2, Meteor and Hutchison 3G – agreed to fork out over €850m to secure licences that will enable them to deliver the high-speed mobile services.

Between 4G licences, renewals and upgrades, the phone companies will probably be forking out the guts of nearly €2bn. They will need to charge more in order to recoup the massive investment.

The mobile companies are planning to roll out 4G networks to consumers next year.

"There could be some premium," Tony Hanway, chief executive of O2 Ireland, noting many consumers would be prepared to pay for faster service.

Irish Independent