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DUBLIN, IRELAND, 17 December 2008

Wireless will be of paramount importance to Ireland’s broadband future but key issues regarding spectrum must be resolved to gain the greatest public benefit says Analysys Mason, the premier adviser in telecoms, IT and digital media (www.analysysmason.com).

Due to the higher rate of wireless broadband used in Ireland, decisions on wireless spectrum will have a greater impact than in many other nations.

Several landmark issues are facing regulator ComReg and the telecommunications industry in the near future including:

– use of 2G spectrum for 3G services

– the ‘digital dividend’ from the switchover to Digital Terrestrial Television

– and uncertainty over the future use of 2.6GHz spectrum – used in Ireland for MMDS, but is pivotal for future LTE and WiMAX services.

According to Patrick Kidney, Senior Manager and Head of Analysys Mason Ireland, policy and regulatory decisions must be made to ensure a fast and effective resolution of any doubt in the marketplace as to how spectrum will be allocated for these three key areas.

“The 2G spectrum at 900MHz is ideally suited to rural broadband, as is the extra spectrum from the digital dividend – though technical standards in the latter are currently less well defined,” explains Kidney. “2.6 GHz spectrum is currently used for TV distribution, and will continue to do so until at least 2012-14, however, this could hinder the future deployment of high capacity wireless broadband via LTE and WiMAX unless alternative bands can be made available.”

According to Kidney, Ireland presents a mixture of situations for telecommunications providers – from rural areas with low population densities to urban areas with much higher populations. Different parts of the wireless spectrum are suited to these different scenarios. Lower frequency ranges can carry a limited amount of data but over a wide area, therefore suited to rural demographics; higher frequencies have greater data capacity, but shorter range, thus more appropriate for urban situations.

“The role of wireless networks is more important in Ireland than in other leading EU economies. More than 14% of broadband connections in Ireland are wireless, compared with less than 1% in the UK, France and Spain. There is no sign of a fall-off in the near future - the rapid growth of 3G mobile broadband is one clear example that wireless in Ireland is increasing from this already high base,” explains Janette Dobson, Manager at Analysys Mason.

Dobson adds, “It is predominantly Ireland’s rural demographics, combined with other factors, that are the root cause of the strength of wireless, and these underlying drivers are unlikely to significantly change. Put simply, the UK has five times the population density of Ireland, which means the population would need to increase to 20 million before reaching parity with the UK.”

Tough decisions must be made, but Ireland is in a position to reap the greatest rewards from wireless infrastructure.

For all media enquiries, or to arrange and interview with Janette Dobson or Patrick Kidney, please contact Gina Ghensi press@analysysmason.com or telephone +44 (0)1223 460600.

Alternatively visit our website for more information and views from Analysys Mason www.analysysmason.com

About Analysys Mason (www.analysysmason.com)

Analysys Mason delivers strategy advice, operations support, and market intelligence worldwide to leading commercial and public-sector organisations in telecoms, IT, and media. Analysys Mason consistently delivers significant and sustainable business benefits. We are respected worldwide for the exceptional quality of our work, our independence and the flexibility of our teams in responding to client needs. The company has over 300 staff worldwide, with headquarters in London and offices in Cambridge, Dubai, Dublin, Edinburgh, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Paris, Singapore and Washington DC.

Media contact:

Gina Ghensi
Press Office
Analysys Mason
Tel: +44 (0)1223 460600
Email: press@analysysmason.com
Web: http://www.analysysmason.com


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