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About Cignal Infrastructure

Cignal Infrastructure is a provider of communications infrastructure towers and sites throughout Ireland.

Cignal Infrastructure Headquarter Location

Unit 311 76 Furze Rd Sandyford Business Park, Sandyford

Dublin, D18 T9N1,


+353 1 4825890

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CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Cignal Infrastructure in 1 CB Insights research brief, most recently on Oct 16, 2019.

Latest Cignal Infrastructure News

Cork city residents hit out as 'ugly as hell' mobile signal booster masts multiply

May 3, 2022

While it costs a telecoms company just €125 to request permission for one of these masts, it costs €220 to lodge an appeal against them Cllrs Sean Martin and Paudie Dineen with residents of Friars Walk who on Tuesday blocked the installation of a second telecoms mast in six months outside a house. The first mast is visible in the background.      Eoin English Described as “ugly as hell” and “visually intrusive”, communities say mobile signal booster masts have been “dropped from the sky” on them without consultation, sparking unease and concern. Despite being up to 12 metres high, these mobile broadband signal booster masts do not require planning permission and are dealt with through the same local authority licensing process as street furniture - the tables and chairs placed outside pubs and restaurants. And while it costs a telecoms company just €125 to lodge a Section 254 licence application requesting permission to install one of these masts, it costs €220 to lodge an appeal with An Bórd Pleanála against any local authority decision to grant a mast installation licence. This system, with zero public consultation and prohibitive appeals fees, one which seems to be balanced in favour of telecoms companies, has prompted renewed calls from members of Cork City Council for a review of the national legislation and licensing process to rebalance the system back towards local communities. The telecoms mast at the junction of Friar's Walk and St Patrick's Road that was installed over the October bank holiday weekend. It follows the installation of yet another one of these large structures in Cork city over the October bank holiday weekend. Pensioners Margaret and John Quirke, who have lived at the junction of St Patrick’s Road and Friar’s Walk in Ballyphehane for decades, are furious at a system that allowed a telecoms company to install a huge signal booster mast and an associated equipment cabinet against their boundary wall, just feet from their house, without their knowledge. “I have lived here for over 60 years and have been very upset by this,” Ms Quirke said. “I couldn’t believe it was happening to us. They should have an obligation to give us notice, to give us an opportunity to object to it. “And we, and our neighbours, are worried about the health implications. It’s towering over our house, there is a children’s nursery school two doors down and there is a secondary school up the road. “We are not medical people, but as a layperson, I am absolutely worried about whatever might be coming from this mast.” The system which allowed the installation of a mast in this residential area was the subject of a lengthy council debate last month. It’s not the first time that this issue has been raised by councillors. But despite their calls for change at the time, little has changed. In December 2019, the installation of two such telecoms masts on the northside - one on Harbour View Road in Knocknaheeny, the other at Ardcullen, Hollyhill, close to Apple’s European headquarters - sparked a great deal of unease locally and subsequent debate in the council chamber. The mobile Telecommunication mast on Harbour View Road in Knockaheeney, Cork City, that sparked a great deal of unease locally. Photo: Larry Cummins No one in the area knew the masts were coming, and no one knew what they were, triggering a raft of conspiracy theories locally. One mast was damaged in a suspected arson attack soon after its installation. Fianna Fáil Cllr Tony Fitzgerald quizzed city officials at the time about the masts and sought information about who was installing them, what they were for, and how their installation was approved. It emerged at the time that such masts are exempt from planning and unlike a ‘regular’ planning application, there is no requirement on the applicant to erect a site notice in advance or to place an ad in a newspaper, which means there was no opportunity for people to object or make a submission. Cignal Infrastructure Ltd had applied for the licences to install the masts on the northside. Photo: Larry Cummins All that is required is an application for a Section 254 licence, and an engineer’s referral report to ensure that the masts are not a hazard to road users or pedestrians. Councillors were told at the time that a registered telecoms firm, Cignal Infrastructure Ltd, had applied for the licences to install the masts on the northside. Cignal works with mobile operators to identify ‘blackspots’ for mobile phone signals and wireless broadband, and is authorised by ComReg to apply for licences for over-ground electronic communications infrastructure such as towers, masts, and rooftop structures to meet the requirements of operators including Eir, Vodafone and Three. Councillors were told that a number of mobile phone and data device blackspots had been identified across Cork city and applications to the city council were made on behalf of Cignal for three-year licences to install 16 masts to boost 3G and 4G mobile phone coverage in and around these areas. At that stage, the council had granted licences for 10 such masts - two sites at Ardcullen, two sites on Harbour View Road, and on locations on St Finbarr’s Road, Grange Road, the junction of Victoria Ave and Boreenmanna Road in Ballintemple, Drummond Warehouse in the Glen, Glendale Grove, and Rossa Ave near CIT. Applications for masts on Curraheen Road, Lakeland and on the Rochestown Road have been refused, but because there is no planning process, the reasons for these decisions are not known. Since then, a further 11 licences have been approved for the installation of these telecoms masts at other locations around the city. A mobile telecommunication mast on Borreenmanna Road at the junction with Wallace's Avenue and Victoria Avenue in Cork City. Photo: Larry Cummins The mast at the junction of Friar’s Walk and St Patrick’s Road is one of the latest installations. While it was the focus of a lengthy debate at last month’s city council meeting, the issue had been raised at local area committee level last November. Independent Cllr Paudie Dineen said he had been approached by several local residents who had expressed serious concerns about how such an installation could occur without their knowledge and without consultation. This particular mast is one of an estimated 600 new masts that Cignal, since rebranded as Cellnex, said it plans to install across the country by 2026 as part of a €60m investment in telecoms infrastructure here. Cignal, which described itself as Ireland’s fastest-growing provider of telecommunications infrastructure, rebranded as Cellnex in late 2021 and took the name of the business that had acquired it just a few months earlier. Cellnex, one of Europe’s leading operators of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure, and listed on the Spanish stock exchange, has delivered “complex connectivity projects” throughout Europe, including solutions for the Madrid and Paris metros, and a solution called distributed antenna systems (DAS) to improve mobile coverage for fans at major sporting stadiums, including Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and the San Siro, home of AC Milan and Inter Milan. But Mr and Mrs Quirke couldn’t care less about those projects. They say they and their neighbours should have been consulted in advance and should have had an opportunity to object or make submissions. Correspondence obtained by the Irish Examiner shows how the Section 254 process worked in this case and how the public is completely excluded from the decision-making process until the mast is installed. A mobile telecommunication mast at Clashduv Road in Cork City. Photo: Larry Cummins An application for a licence to install a mast on Friar’s Walk was lodged with Cork City Council in March 2021. An engineering firm acted as agents for the licence application and described the mast as a “smart street-pole”. It prepared the various drawings and technical documents for the application. The council granted a licence in June 2021 to Cignal Infrastructure, and the pole was installed close to the Quirke’s property on the Saturday of the 2021 October bank holiday by a company called Delmec, which builds and manages telecoms tower infrastructure. Ms Quike said a large green cabinet housing telecoms equipment was installed against their boundary wall the previous August, also without notice, and when she enquired with Delmec about the structure afterwards, was told nothing about a mast coming down the tracks. She wrote a letter of complaint about the cabinet to City Hall, describing it as a hindrance and nuisance, and the council replied with details on how she could appeal the licence decision to An Bórd Pleanála. Ms Quirke said she was woken at 6am on the Saturday of the bank holiday, October 23, by the noise of workers digging a hole against her boundary wall outside. “I assumed it was an emergency, I thought it was a burst pipe or something, and then I saw this giant pole on the back of a truck parked across the road in Deerpark and thought they were replacing a light pole,” she said. And the next thing, this huge pole is up against my wall. The top of it is a few feet from a bedroom. She said nobody in the locality knew what it was for, or that it was planned. Three days later, on October 26, the Tuesday after the bank holiday weekend, a letter from Delmac arrived through the doors of some homes in the area explaining that telecoms pole installation work would be occurring in their area on October 23 - three days earlier. But Ms Quirke said she never got that letter. “This has had a terrible effect on me and no one had the decency to come and explain this to us,” she said. A 'CAUTION' warning sticker has been placed on the electrical box beside the mobile telecommunication mast at Clashduv Road. Photo: Larry Cummins “We, none of us, knew anything about this until the morning the work was being done. “The cabinet, the box was bad enough, but the pole is outrageous.” Public representatives like Mr Dineen were equally baffled. He made inquiries and was told that Eir was and is upgrading its network in Cork to provide customers with good quality voice and high-speed data services and that a new mast site at this location was required to provide indoor service to residents in the area and to meet customer demands. He was told that Eir’s existing coverage in this part of the city “suffers from a lack of dominance” and the new site would improve coverage for the many residential and commercial users within the area. The Quirkes say they’ve never had phone signal issues. Mr Dineen said he was also assured that all appropriate regulatory steps were followed in the “deployment of this technical solution”. But he says consideration should have been given to locating the mast away from homes, and on a nearby large green in Deerpark, where large mature trees could have helped hide the mast. An excerpt from a planning report attached to the licence application said the green was one of several alternative locations reviewed, but it was discounted because the council said the area was “still under the ownership of the housing estate”. Read More An area on a public footpath to the front of Greenmount Industrial Estate was also considered but planners advised the withdrawal of that application as the location would contravene the city development plan for the area and it was located very near to a private property. The report said the owner of the industrial park was also contacted about the possibility of locating a mast there but the report says he said his tenants would not support the proposal. Mr Dineen said this just doesn’t make sense given that the policies within the city development plan apply equally to the Friar’s Walk area, and that it appears some people were approached about the possibility of the mast being located close to them, but the residents were never approached or consulted. The report says a nearby filling station was deemed not to have enough space to accommodate a mast and a commercial building next door was ruled out because its roof was not suitable for a rooftop installation. A mobile telecommunication mast at Curraheen in Cork City. Cignal Infrastructure, National Broadband Ireland and Vantage Towers (Vodafone) are among a number of registered providers, authorised by ComReg to provide electronic communications networks and services to the communications industry, to eliminate identified ‘blackspots’ for mobile and wireless broadband. Photo: Larry Cummins The report says the current location is across the road from where Eir is currently sharing equipment with Three, but there was not enough space on the rooftop there to support the equipment required for two operators, and no ground was available within the property to support a structure. Other areas were also investigated but no suitable locations were found because of narrow footpaths, overhead cables or linear settlement of residential housing including along Bandon Road, Gould Street, Green Street and Pouladuff Road, the report says. The engineering firm insists that a detailed site analysis was done and care was taken in choosing the final location, which was ultimately approved by the city council. Before Christmas, Mr Dineen asked city officials for a full report on this Section 254 licensing process. The report, which came before full council in March, said Cignal Infrastructure, National Broadband Ireland and Vantage Towers (Vodafone) are among a number of registered providers, authorised by ComReg, to provide electronic communications networks and services to the communications industry, to eliminate identified ‘blackspots’ for mobile and wireless broadband. Their applications for masts or towers are considered by the relevant planning authority under Section 254 of the Planning and Development Act, which exempts structures up to 12 metres high. When considering such applications, planning authorities must have regard to four key areas as prescribed by the act, including: the proper planning and sustainable development of the area; any relevant provisions of the development plan, or a local area plan; the number and location of existing structures on, under, over or along the public road; and the convenience and safety of road users, including pedestrians. The council’s roads operations section considers road safety and planning considerations and can make recommendations in relation to conditions that should apply to the licence, if granted. And where appropriate, a referral report can also be received from the council’s Housing Capital and Regeneration Section. But, unlike a planning application, there is no requirement for the applicant to put up a site notice or to place an advert in a newspaper, and crucially, the Section 254 licensing process does not provide for the consideration of third-party submissions as part of the decision-making process. Councillors were told that by November of last year, 12 applications for masts under Section 254 had been made to the council, with eight approved, and just one refused. Mr Dineen criticised the process which completely excludes those most affected by the installation, which sees them being informed about it after decisions have been made and masts have been installed, and which leaves householders having to consider an appeal against something which has already been installed. “This lack of communication is far from what the residents deserve, and they were not very impressed with this, and neither were the local elected representatives,” he said. A mobile telecommunication mast at Clashduv Road in Cork City. Councillors were told that by November of last year, 12 applications for masts under Section 254 had been made to the council, with eight approved, and just one refused. Photo: Larry Cummins “The pole is aesthetically out of character with the area and as we say in council regarding derelict sites, the said installation detracts or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the amenity character or appearance in the neighbourhood. “It is much too close to residents’ homes and due to its height, it overwhelms the houses that are close by.” He said he’s been assured that the Friar's Walk structure has been built in accordance with current health and safety legislation and guidelines, and that the equipment and installation are designed to be in full compliance with the limits set by the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. Anyone with concerns on this issue has been directed to ComReg. Also, on the question of compensation for residents who feel their property has been devalued following the installation of one of these masts near their home, Mr Dineen was simply told that these structures are “designed to blend with the urban and suburban streetscape and blend with the existing street furniture and map standards, signage etc. However, he said the mast on Friar’s Walk detracts from the visual amenity of the area. “It doesn’t fit in in any way or shape whatsoever and most disturbing of all, nobody knew about it,” he said. And following a number of inquiries from me to the company involved, and considering the report from council officials, it transpires that nobody can do anything to stop this. “There needs to be some form of dialogue when such structures are being put in place because they totally detract from the area.” He said he has concerns that installing such masts close to homes could affect property values - an issue of grave concern to Mr and Ms Quirke. Mr Dineen said: “An application for a mast in the Greenmount industrial estate was withdrawn because it would have contravened the city development plan and yet it was located close to private property?That just doesn’t make sense,” he said. He urged officials charged with making the decisions on these Section 254 applications to have empathy for the residents in affected areas. “They need to have a look at this mast - have a look at what they have done to the road, at what has been put in there. It is totally out of character. It overwhelms the streetscape. We all want the best connectivity but we must remember the residents.”  Read More

  • Where is Cignal Infrastructure's headquarters?

    Cignal Infrastructure's headquarters is located at Unit 311 76 Furze Rd, Dublin.

  • What is Cignal Infrastructure's latest funding round?

    Cignal Infrastructure's latest funding round is Acquired.

  • How much did Cignal Infrastructure raise?

    Cignal Infrastructure raised a total of $75.6M.

  • Who are the investors of Cignal Infrastructure?

    Investors of Cignal Infrastructure include Cellnex Telecom and InfraVia Capital.

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