UPC – the company formerly known as Chorus NTL – may have to turn off the TV services of up to 77,000 customers unless telecoms regulator Comreg stops “dragging its heels”, according to The Sunday Times.
The regulator and UPC are discussing the future of the Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) spectrum, which the company uses to provide TV to rural areas outside its urban cable network.
Mobile phone companies want MMDS taken away from UPC and handed to them to allow them build the next generation of mobile broadband, or 4G.
UPC currently owns 10 licences, which more or less cover the entire state. The first tranche is up for renewal in 2012 and the remainder in 2014.
If UPC is forced to hand MMDS over, it would have to buy new equipment to service its rural customer base.
The investment by UPC in its fibre-optic network is a serious threat to the former stage monopoly, Eircom. The Sunday Times’ business focus entitled “End of the Line” wonders how long Eircom can cope given its potentially crippling debt mountain.
Last week a union official told the Communications Workers Union conference there was a “real possibility” the company could go bust within months unless it sorted out major internal difficulties. Eircom dismissed the claims immediately but this has done little to ease the nerves of staff who are expecting a huge jobs cull in the near future.
And in case anyone is unaware of just how quickly telecoms technology is changing, consider the Sindo’s piece on the speaking clock. At its peak, the service was logging almost 3m calls a year but nowadays that has shrunk to around 2,000 – yielding Eircom a mere €420 a year.
The clock might be ticking but it clearly isn’t going to be the answer to Eircom’s problems.
A Dublin software firm is planning to expand after becoming profitable for the first time last year, The Sunday Business Post reports.
Information Mosaic, which makes software to manage financial risk and employs 250 people, made a profit of €1.2m in 2009. The company is projecting revenues of more than €20m in 2010, up from €17.3m last year and expects to increase revenues by 30% a year for the next five years.
The firm will open a sales and support office in Malaysia to complement the eight offices it already has overseas. John Byrne, the founder and chief executive, said the company had been experiencing significant growth in Asia in particular, fuelled by the volatility in international markets.
Byrne founded the company in 1997 and has subsequently raised €40m in funding.
Mobile phone operator 3 is planning a major upgrade of its network to next-generation technology, the Sunday Business Post reports. The company is expected to announce plans for the commercial voice and data I-HSPA – internet high-speed packet access – network this week.
A new nanotechnology laboratory at Trinity College in Dublin has already won €3m worth of research contracts against competition from overseas, according The Sunday Business Post.