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Environment, Climate and Communications | Update on mobile telephone services in Ireland compared to other European countries

To ask the Minister for the Environment; Climate and Communications the extent to which mobile telephone services here remain good when compared with other European Union or adjoining countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Ireland’s digital connectivity strategy aligns with EU priorities, under the Digital Decade 2030. Providing telecommunication services, is a matter for the relevant service providers operating in a fully liberalised market regulated by the Commission for Communication Regulation (ComReg), as independent Regulator. Mobile coverage obligations are set out in licences granted by ComReg, to mobile operators who advise that the current minimum coverage obligations are being exceeded by all operators. Capital investment by telecommunications operators over the last 5 years came to €3.3 billion for both fixed and mobile services covering both voice and data, throughout Ireland.

ComReg completed a Multi-band Spectrum Award in January this year to assign long term rights of use in four spectrum bands to enable the market to provide improved services to meet increasing consumer demand for mobile data and new services. This award will represent a 46% increase in the harmonised spectrum assigned for the provision of wireless broadband services in Ireland and will include significant coverage obligations for operators.

ComReg has developed an online national outdoor coverage map and app to provide clear information on where operators have good coverage. The map will continue to be updated quarterly.

The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce is a driving force for improving access to telecommunications services nationwide to alleviate mobile and fixed connectivity barriers. The current work programme focuses on Planning and Licencing, Improving Information and Access to Assets and Infrastructure, and Improving Consumer Information, Advice and Experience. 
My Department worked with EU Member States to develop the EU Connectivity Toolbox, a collection of best practices which Member States can implement at national level to lower the cost of deploying very high-speed networks in order to foster better connectivity across the EU, which is being implemented via the new work programme of the Taskforce. The best practices include streamlining administrative and permitting granting procedures, and improving access to State assets. 

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