Vodafone ‘fully committed’ to Ireland with plans to invest €500m

Telecoms company named Ireland’s ‘best in test’ mobile network for eighth year in a row

Vodafone Ireland says a plan to invest €500 million in its Irish network over the next five years shows that it is “fully committed” to its presence in the Republic despite the significant headwinds the British telecoms group is facing across the continent.

Last week, the London-listed group announced plans to shed 11,000 jobs, more than 10 per cent of its global workforce, after Vodafone reported weak earnings for its core German, British and Italian markets for the year to the end of March.

Larger, structural issues across the group and the telecoms industry more broadly have seen Vodafone’s stock, down more than 3 per cent so far this year, losing almost half of its value in the four-year period to the end of 2022.

Some investors had hoped that Vodafone, under the leadership of new chief executive Margherita Della Valle, might explore the option of breaking up the group and selling some of its regional units, raising questions about the future of the Irish business.


On Thursday, Vodafone said it plans to invest €500 million in the modernisation of its Irish network over the next five years to improve call and text reliability as well as its 4G and 5G offerings among other elements of its business. It comes shortly after the company completed a €300 million investment in its network here, which began in 2020.

A spokeswoman for the telecoms group said the announcement is “a testament to our commitment to Ireland”. She said: “Vodafone is fully committed to Ireland, and we believe this investment will allow us to stay at the forefront of technological advancements, empowering users with lightning-fast data transfer speeds and opening doors to a world of innovation and productivity.

“We firmly believe this investment will ensure that Irish communities can continue to access the latest services,” the spokeswoman added. “Digital traffic flows have increased by 600 per cent in just seven years, with 45 per cent growth in data traffic in Ireland year on year . . . As a business, we monitor external pressures, such as inflation and energy costs, along with the overall sustainability of our sector so we can continue to invest in Ireland.”

Vodafone, which has also been named “best in test” mobile network for the eighth year in a row by Accenture-owned engineering services company Umlaut, said the €500 million investment will facilitate the “phased transition” of its 3G service on to its stronger and more sustainable 4G and 5G network.

“We are delighted to have achieved ‘best in test’ for the eighth year in a row,” said Amanda Nelson, Vodafone Ireland chief executive. “The recognition is very much aligned with our ambition to provide the best and most reliable level of network coverage around the country for our customers, so we are thrilled to be receiving this award once again.”

Accounts for Vodafone Ireland filed late last year show the company swung to an operating loss of €26.3 million for the year to the end of March 2022, driven by investment in the business and the lingering impact of Covid-19 restrictions on travel.

At €936.4 million for the 12-month period, turnover was up 2 per cent on foot of a respective 3.7 per cent and 3.5 per cent increase in mobile and fixed-contract customer numbers over the period.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times