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Three to buy O2 Ireland for €780 million

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Comments

  • #2


    and in an extreme irony the three network collapses this morning...(24/6/13)


  • #2


    Yes, it's bad (but not for the reasons that Comreg might suggest), be better the other way round. O2 was owned by a Spanish telecom company with a clue. Three is owned by Hutchinson Whampoa (Hong Kong) who out source almost everything, main support for all countries in India and their only Telecom expertise is selling contracts. Their "3G repeaters" for NBS should have been illegal and their supply of Satellite services particularly inept.

    There is Irish expertise to make sensible Engineering decisions, but Three are unlikely to employ it.

    Three's strategy of pricing, data caps and marketing of 3G/HSPA data is unsustainable.

    But Comreg's only judgement of fitness to hold a 3G licence seems to be paying the fee. Have they ever either had decent licence conditions or properly enforced the conditions that do exist?


  • #2


    watty wrote: »

    But Comreg's only judgement of fitness to hold a 3G licence seems to be paying the fee. Have they ever either had decent licence conditions or properly enforced the conditions that do exist?

    pfft enforcing licence conditions is "bad for business" and therefore revenues for Comreg.

    The whole NBS conditions/requirements are a fantasy and utterly ignored by Comreg and the DECNR, so yes I agree the only condition required by Comreg is cash and lots of it, things like consumers or engineering knowledge are irrelevant.

    After all these are the guys that gave you LTE will do 180Mb/s without any problems....


  • #2


    bealtine wrote: »
    and in an extreme irony the three network collapses this morning...(24/6/13)

    Three are real comedians...It's the fault of somebody else that fault and nothing to do with us...
    Our backhaul provider failed so obviously we didn't bother to do simple engineering tasks like install network redundancy and have only ONE backhaul provider (or whatever) it's all their fault...

    This is engineering 101...never have a single point of failure.


  • #2


    It comes very quickly after O2 announced that they improved their coverage. I can see where this is going now...


  • #2


    If this happens will Vodafone and 3 still go ahead with their plan to share infrastructure?

    Might be the right time for the Govt to set up a single company that owns the infrastructure and lease it to the mobile networks?


  • #2


    funnyname wrote: »
    If this happens will Vodafone and 3 still go ahead with their plan to share infrastructure?

    Am curious about this myself. This deal seems to make their NetShare joint venture with Vodafone somewhat redundant.


  • #2


    This is a dark day for Irish telecoms


  • #2


    writhen wrote: »
    Am curious about this myself. This deal seems to make their NetShare joint venture with Vodafone somewhat redundant.

    It does?


  • #2


    Doubtful the regulator would allow Netshare to handle Vodafone/Three and now o2 sites.

    Think there might be objections from other network providers.
    It does?


  • #2


    elderlemon wrote: »
    Doubtful the regulator would allow Netshare to handle Vodafone/Three and now o2 sites.

    Think there might be objections from other network providers.

    Certainly going to be interesting to see how it plays out.


  • #2


    elderlemon wrote: »
    Doubtful the regulator would allow Netshare to handle Vodafone/Three and now o2 sites.

    Think there might be objections from other network providers.

    a) I don't see Comreg really interfering, they don't much once they are sure of their revenue

    b) The only other Mobile Network provider is Meteor (also sold as eMobile), belonging to Eircom.

    I'm beginning to suspect that as market matures you tend to get one dominant player that supports the others so as to not appear a monopolist (MS saved Apple) or a Duopoly (Bottle / bulk gas, Hard Disks). Bell/AT&T was split up and now the bits are practically together again.

    Interesting that Vodafone does Broadband as well as Mobile in Germany also has just bought a German Cable operator and is getting into Fibre here. They also took over all BT Ireland's Retail DSL customers.

    02 only resells eircom DSL.

    So Three/O2 is essentially without any Broadband delivery to customer of their own, but their competition do have real broadband, though BT still only resells its DSL infrastructure (dating from ESAT) and has not transferred that to Vodafone yet.

    Sky is only a eircom Reseller.

    UPC is reaching saturation in their rollout and is unlikely to invest much more as their parent has just bought UK's Virgin Media.


  • #2


    I wonder what will happen with the contracts landowners have made with meteor and o2 with sharing the masts, would three now take over the contracts with meteor instead?


  • #2


    Eh? Eircom (meteor & eMobile) sold most of their masts to Threefold (no connection to Three) and leased back a lot.

    Any contracts with site owners are unaffected by changes of ownership of companies anyway. c.f. Chorus and NTL cables on houses --> UPC.

    Some masts belong to ESB, Private mobile operators, Bord Gais, 2RN (formerly RTENL), vodafone, BT, O2 or Three. What ever arrangements to share sites or actual masts are likely to be unchanged.

    Since O2 uses 900 (and probably 1800 also) as well as 3G, there may be few duplicates to rationalise. You can be sure Three will ditch any close to each other sites where it's possible to move the base-station and aerials to a single site.


  • #2


    Is it now the right time for the Govt step in and take control of the mobile infrastructure?


  • #2


    funnyname wrote: »
    Is it now the right time for the Govt step in and take control of the mobile infrastructure?

    I know its slightly OT, but when Telecom Eireann was sold, Eircom should have gotten the retail side and the government should have kept the network. That way at least we know its not some private company that owns the whole network ripping us off. Line rental is the most expensive in Europe (€20.96 + VAT), I've no doubt eircom aren't going to reduce it themselves. I don't think the state have any money to spend taking over the mobile infrustructure. Its complicated as it is.


  • #2


    Mr. G wrote: »
    I know its slightly OT, but when Telecom Eireann was sold, Eircom should have gotten the retail side and the government should have kept the network. That way at least we know its not some private company that owns the whole network ripping us off. Line rental is the most expensive in Europe (€20.96 + VAT), I've no doubt eircom aren't going to reduce it themselves. I don't think the state have any money to spend taking over the mobile infrustructure. Its complicated as it is.

    Line rental works out at €25.36 so el gov is coining it on line rental too through VAT so you can see there's no real incentive for the gov to do anything about it. However the line penetration rate has fallen significantly over the last few years so the "law of diminishing returns" has kicked in...

    IOFFL have long been calling for a single RAN (radio access network), where the benefits of a RAN are obvious....better mobile internet for everybody as there would be more spectrum available and no duplicating of expensive civil and infrastructure works so cheaper for telcos, the telcos could do what they do best sell stuff to consumers (with one honourable exception as they have some engineers). But that wouldn't be in Comreg's interest.

    It also looks like the mythical market (so beloved of Comreg) seems to agree.


  • #2


    Some interesting thoughts / comments, here.

    I have to agree that this is very bad news for mobil customers in Ireland.

    As has been stated already, 3 outsouce most of their core activities, the result of which is typically poor service and delievery of their core infrastructure. Their BTS supplier rolls out, almost as many software upgrades / patchs as microsoft, which usually results in prolific hardware failures. Their backhaul network is not engineered to take into account typical Irish weather, and believe me the weather has a massive impact on the performance of microwave transmission.

    O2 on the other hand, designed and engineered its own network for the most part, and has been fairly reliable in recent years. Of course they do suffer faults and outages, but nothing like what 3 currently do.

    The futher for the backhaul networks will be to provide fibre connections to remote hub sites and reduce the dependancy on multiple microwave links, this is becoming more and more of a reality as fibre is getting cheaper to supply.

    Most if not all LTE base stations can support either multi vendor or multi band networks, so reducing the amount of civil infrastructure (towers, cabins, antenna's and even power supply) will be easily achievable in the futher.

    If one company supplied the infrastructure and just leased RF / transmission bandwidth to the various network vendors, this would level the playing field from a technical perspective. The big advantage of this would be that all vendors networks would be equal, leaving them to get on with their preferred business of marketing.

    As for who currently owns the site's, there are a multitude of companies involved. This causes a massive problem for the network maintenance providers, as each and very one of them has their own proceedures and policies around access and health and safety, which often leads to prolonged delay's restoring service after outages.

    There are several companies currently buying up the lease's etc. to the sites here in Ireland which may lead to further problems, for the maintenance providers, some of these companies have been going around the country removing the vendor locks from the sites and replacing them with their own locks without informing anyone.

    http://www.tiger.ie/news/newsarticles.html
    http://www.wirelessinfrastructure.co.uk/home/
    http://www.netshare.ie/Pages/default.aspx

    As for the network sharing deals currently in operation or planned, O2 / Meteor is fairly well stalled, and 3 / vodafone's proposed deal has to be doubtful at best.


  • #2


    Pete69 wrote: »
    The futher for the backhaul networks will be to provide fibre connections to remote hub sites and reduce the dependancy on multiple microwave links, this is becoming more and more of a reality as fibre is getting cheaper to supply.
    Fibre is cheap. Digging, not so much.
    There are several companies currently buying up the lease's etc. to the sites here in Ireland which may lead to further problems, for the maintenance providers, some of these companies have been going around the country removing the vendor locks from the sites and replacing them with their own locks without informing anyone.
    Locking someone out of a site to which they have a right of entry is a problem easy solved with a pair of bolt cutters. Not that I've ever done a thing like that...


  • #2


    The most expensive aspect of Microwave can be Comreg's spectrum tax. Why isn't the VAT on the services sold enough?


  • #2


    Does anyone know when 3 are likely to start using O2 as their mobile back haul provider. I am currently a 3 customer but find their coverage and reliability suspect at best in Cork city suburbs, whereas O2 who I was with previously were excellent for coverage , but a good deal more expensive unfortunately.

    So I'm wondering whether to hold out until 3 start using the O2 mast network, which I presume they'll do when their proposed takeover of o2 goes through and assuming they can exit their Vodafone deal. Anyone got any ideas??


  • #2


    You don't say if you use mobile as Mobile, or as a fixed solution.
    You don't say if mainly phone or data use.

    In any case I doubt anyone knows.


  • #2


    watty wrote: »

    In any case I doubt anyone knows.

    or particularly cares either as mobile will never be broadband no matter what the shiny brochures and endless sales pitches seem to say


  • #2


    The competition regulartors will make their final decision to approve the sale of o2 to 3 on the 24th March 2014. As for 3's backhaul, they are still consolidating sites with VF, mostly cutting their traffic over to VF backhaul. Therefore their backhaul will continue to be split over 3/BT, and VF networks for now. One possibility when the sale goes through will be for 3's customers to be moved onto the o2 network.


  • #2


    daithi7 wrote: »
    Does anyone know when 3 are likely to start using O2 as their mobile back haul provider. I am currently a 3 customer but find their coverage and reliability suspect at best in Cork city suburbs, whereas O2 who I was with previously were excellent for coverage , but a good deal more expensive unfortunately.

    So I'm wondering whether to hold out until 3 start using the O2 mast network, which I presume they'll do when their proposed takeover of o2 goes through and assuming they can exit their Vodafone deal. Anyone got any ideas??

    Daithi, as the only operator who will still engineer, build, and operate their own network, if I had a choice I would go with Meteor subject to pricing packages local coverage etc. Although I've no personal experience of their network, customer care etc.

    Even if 3 were to cut their traffic over to O2's back haul network, this would require some major upgrading to O2's exisiting network to accommodate the extra bandwidth required to carry the additional traffic. Therefore it's unlikely you would see any improvement any time soon.


  • #2


    Pete69 wrote: »
    Daithi, as the only operator who will still engineer, build, and operate their own network, if I had a choice I would go with Meteor subject to pricing packages local coverage etc. Although I've no personal experience of their network, customer care etc.
    Eircom are about half way through the process of getting rid of over 1/3rd of their workforce, and outsourcing even more stuff.

    http://pressroom.eircom.net/press_releases/article/eircom_statement/

    www.independent.ie/irish-news/staff-keep-vans-as-eircom-cuts-830-more-jobs-29762669.html


  • #2


    Eircom are about half way through the process of getting rid of over 1/3rd of their workforce, and outsourcing even more stuff.

    http://pressroom.eircom.net/press_releases/article/eircom_statement/

    www.independent.ie/irish-news/staff-keep-vans-as-eircom-cuts-830-more-jobs-29762669.html

    Be that as it may, the Meteor staff have been ring fenced, and even those who expressed an interest in redundancy are still there for the fore see able future.


  • #2


    Article in the Irish Times about Eircom's concern regarding competition once the merger goes ahead.

    Eircom wants the Commission to reallocate some spectrum held by Three and O2 to Meteor and Vodafone.

    Three will have 3 blocks of spectrum in the 900 band when the merger goes ahead with Meteor and Vodafone having 2 blocks each. They also want 1800 and 2100 spectrum reallocated also.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/technology/eircom-pushes-eu-for-concessions-from-merger-of-mobile-rivals-three-and-o2-1.1652931

    One error I saw in the article, Three doesn't currently have any spectrum in the 800 band. Meteor, O2 and Vodafone have 2 blocks each. So no problem there.


  • #2


    AFAIK Three only has 3G 2100 spectrum. I see IT is maintaining their standard of Tech journalism.

    There should be one wholesale only operator with all the Mobile Bands/Spectrum. This would almost double apparent average capacity and benefit consumers and operators. It wouldn't benefit Comreg.


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