Ireland’s telecoms regulator, ComReg, has announced that it will release additional mobile spectrum to ease network congestion on the country’s networks during the Covid 19 pandemic.
The move comes after an application from Eir, Three Ireland and Vodafone Ireland for the release of additional spectrum as millions of people across the country are forced to work and study from home.
The regulator will release additional spectrum in the 700MHz and 2.6GHz bands, while simultaneously relaxing restrictions on spectrum use in the 2.1GHz band.
“Now, more than ever we are depending on technology to connect with others and to access services. These regulations will ensure that our mobile network operators have the capacity to accommodate the increase in demand. I’d like to thank ComReg for responding to this need so quickly,” Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton said.
The move has raised objections from both the Irish Aviation Authority and home broadband provider Virgin Media, who both use spectrum in these bands for their current operations. The Irish Aviation Authority is particularly concerned, as the 2.6GHz band is close to the band it uses to provide coverage for air traffic controllers, according to a report by SP Global.
Virgin Media uses spectrum in the 700MHz band on its fixed line home broadband services.