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Ireland's eir maintains network investment momentum after 'solid' Q3

Ireland's former incumbent operator eir said its network investment program will continue in the coming months, after it reported a relatively robust performance in its third fiscal quarter covering the three months to March 31, 2020.

The operator is in the middle of a somewhat ambitious €1 billion ($1.1 billion) broadband investment program that aims to expand fiber and 5G coverage throughout Ireland. According to eir, its fiber network has now been rolled out to more than 70 towns in Ireland, passing over 72,000 premises in these locations. In the country as a whole, over 1.9 million premises have been passed with the fiber network, with 501,000 premises covered by fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).

The 5G network is now said to be available in 20 towns and cities across Ireland, providing outdoor population coverage of more than 28%.

In terms of the operator's financial performance, revenue fell by 1% in the quarter to €307 million ($336 million), although EBITDA increased by 5% to €154 million ($168 million). In the first nine months of the financial year, revenue fell 2% to €924 million ($1 billion) while EBITDA grew by 4% to €441 million ($483 million).

On the COVID-19 pandemic, eir noted that over 97% of its staff has been working remotely or in the field, and the company has closed all but one of its Dublin offices as well three regional care centers.

Carolan Lennon, CEO of eir, said the investment program "will continue in the coming months, where it is safe to do so, with plans to roll out 5G to every major town in Ireland and continue passing more homes and businesses with superfast fiber to the home broadband."

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— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

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