Eircom commences major restructuring

Irish operator Eircom has commenced a major organizational restructuring, and will shift its business focus towards wholesale and global IP transit services.
The company, which was acquired by ST Telemedia for €140 million last month, also plans to fiber-enable its mobile base stations, new ST Telemedia managing director Terry Clontz told  Silicon Republic.
Eircom's structural transformation will see the company's IT and networks division operating in tandem, with both units under the control of managing director of technology Brendan Lynch. This will allow the company to take advantage of new synergies and operational efficiencies, he said.
Under the new system, the company's fixed and wireless access will be converged, Lynch added. “For example, over the mobile network we are going to backhaul substantial amounts of data that will require us to fiber-up base stations where previously microwave and leased lines were adequate,” he said.
Operationally, the transformation will focus on global IP networks, as that is where Clontz believes the best growth opportunities lie. The company also plans to acquire a digital terrestrial television license.
The company also plans to change its stance on wholesale services – Eircom has in the past been accused of crippling its wholesale offerings in an effort to protect its retail base. But Clontz said he will take a “much more open” approach to the wholesale business.
Eircom intends to pursue LTE instead of Wimax for its 4G path, and in the meantime will expand its 3G network, which currently covers 50% of the country.
But he warned that the company's fortunes will not be reversed overnight – with Eircom struggling under debts worth €4 billion, it could take five to 10 years to realize the company's ambitious plans, he said.