Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (414)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

414. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the extent to which mobile phone technology and quality of service here compares with the best available throughout Europe and worldwide; if it is possible to encourage the service providers to take any particular initiative to improve and upgrade the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10333/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The award of spectrum licences including the imposition and monitoring of associated quality and coverage requirements for the spectrum rights to provide mobile telephony services are statutory functions of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) under the Communications Regulation Act, 2002 as amended.

Section 11 of the Act, requires that “Subject to this Act, the Commission shall be independent in the exercise of its functions” and such independence is also a requirement under the EU Directives which underpin the electronic communications regulatory framework in all Member States.

In late 2012 ComReg concluded a process to allocate access to radio spectrum suitable for use in the provision of mobile telephone services, including the current fourth generation “4G” standard technology. The “4G” technology is the most modern currently available to support mobile phone services, which the successful applicants are expected to commence rolling out later this year. It is a matter for ComReg to monitor compliance by the successful applicants with the terms and conditions of the spectrum allocation process.