14/12/2006

Minister welcomes all-Ireland communication services

Enterprise Minister, Maria Eagle, has today welcomed the announcement that an all-island radio spectrum will be released next year.

The announcement of the all-island radio spectrum was made by the two telecoms regulators covering the island of Ireland, OFCOM and COMREG.

The regulators have been working together on release of the same radio spectrum on both sides of the border, which will make it possible for the first time for the private sector to have licences covering both parts of the island.

Licences will be awarded to use radio frequencies between 1785-1850 MHz. These frequencies can be used for a variety of products including broadband wireless access, digital video links and CCTV mobile technologies.

Welcoming the opportunity to deliver all-island communications services, Minister Eagle said: “The demand for communication services is constantly changing. The phenomenal growth of mobile phone and wireless services proves that there is a demand for communication products and services that people can access wherever they are.

“This is an example of where North/South co-operation makes good business sense and should benefit businesses and consumers throughout the island.”

The Minister continued: “There is no doubt that close co-operation with my counterpart, Minister Dempsey, in the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, and between the two regulators, makes good sense. It helps remove barriers to companies who want to deliver services throughout Ireland, and it increases choice to the consumer.”

The announcement by the two regulators follows public consultation.

The proposed release of spectrum will be the first time the regulators have adopted a joint approach to the release of spectrum licences.

(EF)

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