Vodafone to get foothold in Ireland after BT deal

BT and Vodafone have signed a partnership worth &euro;4.8m (&pound;4.1m) which will see Vodafone become the Republic of Ireland&rsquo;s second-largest fixed-line broadband provider.<br /><br />Under the agreement, which is still to be approved by the Irish Competition Authority, BT Ireland will transfer its 84,000 consumer and 3,000 small business customers to Vodafone, and provide the company with wholesale access to its broadband network for seven years.<br /><br />BT &ndash; which also announced that it plans to build an advanced broadband network to provide speeds of up to 24Mbps to two thirds of Irish broadband customers &ndash; will continue to focus on providing networks to mid and large-sized businesses in the Republic.<br /><br />Vodafone Ireland&rsquo;s chief executive Charles Butterworth said the deal will allow it to launch some &ldquo;exciting and innovative&rdquo; new services.