Telecom tower infrastructure grows as Cignal ups investment

Irish company spends €15m in site acquisitions as its sees potential in signal blackspots

Cignal has invested more than €15m in the past 18 months in expanding its tower infrastructure

Cignal has invested more than €15m in the past 18 months in expanding its tower infrastructure

 

Irish telecommunications company Cignal has invested more than €15 million in the past 18 months in expanding its tower infrastructure as it aims to deal with communications blackspots in Ireland.

The company, which acquired a portfolio of 400 sites from Coillte in 2015, has been acquiring and building mobile and broadband communications towers around the country. It offers services to the main mobile and wireless service providers in Ireland, the emergency services and FM radio stations, with multiple customers using each tower. Cignal said the approach helps to cut costs for customers, particularly in more sparsely populated areas in rural Ireland and eliminates the need for multiple towers in one location.

Backed by majority shareholder Infravia Capital Partners, which recently bought the Mater Private Hospital, the company said it has now added another 100 sites to its network bringing its total portfolio to more than 500.

“We have been growing rapidly through the acquisition of new tower sites and we see opportunities for further consolidation of the telecoms infrastructure sector in Ireland,” said Cignal chief executive Colin Cunningham. “The efficiencies and cost savings we can provide through hosting multiple operators is beneficial to customers and helps avoid the need for unnecessary towers being built.”

According to Cignal, it now has 18 per cent of the Irish market for infrastructure, supporting mobile, fixed wireless broadband communications and broadcast services.

In 2017, it acquired 30 towers from a private tower operator, and a further 10 towers from Telent earlier this year. Cignal has built new sites, focusing on addressing coverage blackspots.

Mr Cunningham said Cignal would continue to invest in expanding its network throughout Ireland, with Infravia committed to further investment.

Infravia partner Bruno Candes said the company viewed Ireland as an “attractive market”.

“With phone and broadband users requiring faster speeds and increased capacity, there will inevitably be strong demand from operators looking to provide the best network service to subscribers,” he said.