In our latest Business Briefs roundup, we look at the launch of the 5G network, what Brexit could mean for horse racing and more…
PADDY POWER OWNER SAYS NO-DEAL BREXIT COULD MEAN FEWER HORSES AT RACE MEETINGS
According to the boss of Flutter, which owns bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfair, fewer horses at race meetings is a real possibility under a no-deal exit from the EU, because transporting them between Ireland, France and UK will become more difficult. And, according to an analyst at broker Shore Capital, fewer horses would mean smaller fields and therefore shorter-priced favourites. For Flutter, which attracts more racing punters than its rivals, that could theoretically trim margins, but would seem to have little impact on its business as a whole: last week, it maintained its full year earnings guidance.
FRIENDS FIRST BID TO USE DUBLIN APARTMENTS FOR SHORT-TERM LETS FAILS
An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission to Friends First Life Assurance DAC for the temporary use of six apartments at 43-44 Clarendon Street, off Grafton Street, for short-term letting. Friends First said it had discerned a demand for short-term letting of the apartments as they are located in the heart of Dublin city, surrounded by hotels, cafes, restaurants and shopping streets. However, the board refused the application, stating that permission would be contrary to the city development plan, which recognises residential units as a scarce resource that needs to be managed in a sustainable manner so that the housing needs of the city are met.
5G GOES LIVE: THE STATE’S FIRST NETWORK GETS SWITCHED ON
Vodafone expects to have rolled out its 5G mobile network nationwide by the end of next year. However it has again stressed that the new network cannot be considered as a possible replacement for the National Broadband Plan (NBP). The company became the first mobile operator in the State to go live with a commercial 5G service on Tuesday with coverage restricted to certain parts of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. It said it would expand the network to other locations over the coming months with a full roll-out forecast by the end of 2020.
While Vodafone said it expects 5G to eventually be available even in hard-to-reach rural locations, it reiterated that it should not be seen as a substitute for the NBP, which has still to get off the ground after a sequence of controversies and delays.