Vodafone pays 161 million euros for Irish spectrum

DUBLIN Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:39pm GMT

A woman talks on a mobile telephone as she passes a Vodafone store in central London November 8, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A woman talks on a mobile telephone as she passes a Vodafone store in central London November 8, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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DUBLIN (Reuters) - British mobile operator Vodafone (VOD.L) has paid 161 million euros (129 million pounds) for fourth-generation spectrum in Ireland which will enable it to offer faster services in the country, it said on Friday.

Ireland said the auction of 4G licences would raise 855 million euros over their life, including annual usage fees, a welcome boost to the country's struggling finances.

Mobile operators Eircom-owned Meteor Mobile, Hutchison Whampoa's Three (0013.HK), Telefonica Ireland (TEF.MC) and Vodafone Ireland (VOD.L) secured the licences, which will run until 2030.

Both Meteor and Vodafone were awarded 12 packages of spectrum, with Meteor paying 145 million euros, while Telefonica paid 125 million for 10 packages.

Three, which paid 51 million euros for 8 packages, said it did not need as many packages to serve its customers because it is not supporting old 2G technology.

(Reporting by Lorraine Turner; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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