News just coming in. Confirmed with them too. No reasons for doing so yet. The final tender was meant to be decided by Autumn so this is cutting it close. The Department go on hols (just like the Courts) in the next while too. BT Ireland will still be the tech partner for Three who along with eircom are the only ones left in the tender process.
Not sure will the Department be as happy with a two horse race and them leaving this late into it. I wonder what changed recently?
Update: Irish Times coverage.
A BT spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that it had withdrawn “due to the lack of spectrum being made available” for the scheme.
BT planned to provide coverage using a wireless technology called WiMax. Industry sources said that 10Mhz of radio spectrum was being made available for the NBS.
Following a technical analysis, BT found this was not sufficient as it would have required a large number of base stations to provide the broadband speeds required by the Department of Communications.
It is interesting to read alright that the alledged main reason for pulling out is the lack of allocated spectrum. Which again shows the lack of understanding and in-flexibility of those “in charge”. Ireland has buckets of spare spectrum and to allocate sufficient spectrum fro a workable solution would not have been hard at all. However I suspect that there wasn’t a standard from for it so the request was denied.
BT’s bet to only enter as 3’s “tech partner” makes perfect business sense though. That way they will have a contractually determined return on investment rather that having to invest on their own and try to sell the service in order to create sufficient ROI. This way it does not matter what revenues 3 generates through this network, BT will still get a pre-determined payment.
My bet is though that Eircom will get the deal, that or it will be canceleld at the last moment 😉