3 Ireland picks Samsung as it gears up for LTE launch

3 Ireland picked South Korean vendor Samsung Electronics to handle its LTE network deployment, as the mobile operator readies itself for a service launch in August.

Samsung will supply the radio access network as well as the core infrastructure equipment, and said this deal marks its second commercial mobile network rollout in Europe and its first in Ireland.

"Samsung is delighted to partner with 3 Ireland to build the first Irish LTE network," Youngky Kim, executive vice president and head of networks business at Samsung, said in a statement. "This contract will spur Samsung to accelerate our business in Europe."

3 Ireland acquired LTE spectrum during the auction in Ireland at the end of last year. The Hutchison Whampoa-owned operator paid €51.14 million for 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum, but did not buy any 800 MHz spectrum. Vodafone Ireland bought the largest share of the spectrum, paying €160.8 million upfront for bandwidth in all three bands. Telefónica Ireland and Meteor Mobile both agreed to pay over €100 million for spectrum.

"Today's announcement marks a further milestone in our 4G rollout strategy and further demonstrates our commitment to maintaining our No.1 leadership position in providing mobile broadband and data services to Irish consumers,' said Robert Finnegan, CEO of 3 Ireland.

For more:
- see this 3 Ireland release

Related articles:
LTE auction roundup: Finland starts 800-MHz process, Ireland raises €855m and UK mulls 700-MHz
EU increases available LTE spectrum to meet growing traffic demand
LTE's early benefits hindered by obstacles, according to Economist study
UK operators form JV to clear 800 MHz for rapid LTE launch
CCS Insight: Everything Everywhere bets on 1800 MHz LTE, but for how long?
Mallinson: Consumer interests should trump fairness in UK LTE launch

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