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Vodafone still undecided on Irish 3G license

DUBLIN, Ireland-While its major competitor O2 Ireland has accepted the terms of its third-generation (3G) mobile license, Ireland’s largest mobile operator, Vodafone, has further delayed a decision on whether to accept the B license it was offered in June (see related “Europe” news).

ODTR, Ireland’s telecommunications regulator, has granted Vodafone an extension to the deadline for confirming its acceptance of the license and making the initial payment of 44.4 million euros (US$43.8 million). The company now has until 12 September to make its decision.

Vodafone requested an extension under the tender rules, which included the option of an extension beyond the original acceptance period.

While it is widely assumed-in Ireland at least-that Vodafone will finally accept the ODTR’s terms and take up its 3G spectrum allocation, the company has been less than unequivocal in its recent comments on the matter. The company is said to be “carefully considering the offer in the context of the mobile market in Ireland,” and a decision is not expected until just before the new deadline expires.

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