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Spectrum Auction to contribute €450m to State – Minister Rabbitte

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte today welcomed the "digital dividend" so soon after the digital switchover, as ComReg announced their spectrum auction would contribute €450m to the Exchequer before the end of this year.

The licences are being granted over a period to 2030, providing certainty to mobile operators in a highly competitive and dynamic environment.

The Minister said:

We can now look forward to the roll-out of much needed faster, fourth generation 4G mobile internet services which will maintain and boost this country’s competitiveness.

The proceeds of the auction are greater than many people expected and are a statement of confidence in the economy. The total licence payments of €845M are front loaded so over 50% of the money (at least €450M) will go to the exchequer this year. The balance will be paid over by Telecoms companies on a phased basis over the coming years.

The outcome of this auction is to provide valuable spectrum for the rollout of advanced telecommunications services.

I expect that the telecoms companies who were the successful bidders will move quickly to build the infrastructure so that we can start to benefit from 4G mobile broadband services in 2013. This will be an important dimension of Ireland’s competitiveness in the coming years.

Read the full press release here.