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Ireland - Mobile Market Insights, Statistics and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Ireland’s mobile market has undergone considerable changes in recent years. The market enjoys effective competition between five main players as well as a small number of MVNOs, which promise to provide additional market competition in coming years. Mobile broadband, on the back of expanding HSPA networks, has become very popular among consumers since the introduction of flat-rate data plans. The regulator has also set aside UHF spectrum for use by mobile TV services, while spectrum in several bands has been freed up for use by 4G/LTE. This report provides statistics and analysis on the Irish mobile market, including the key regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, emerging technologies, and the growth of mobile data services.

Key developments:

Tesco Mobile profit turnaround; regulator prepares 130MHz of sub-1GHz spectrum for mobile broadband; Meteor and O2 sign network sharing deal; Vodafone and 3 agree to a 50/50 JV; O2 launches MVNO and is sold to Hutchison; MNOs prepare for LTE service launches; SMS traffic shows recovering growth; mobile broadband subscription growth slows; Vodafone increases investment; half of Vodafone subscribers using smartphones; MTRs reduced again; regulator auctions multi-band spectrum for 4G; Vodafone fined for roaming data cap breaches; mobile retail revenue continues to fall; mobile ARPU continues to slide; regulator’s market data to Q1 2013; telco operating and financial data to Q1 2013; market developments to mid-2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Vodafone Ireland, O2, Meteor, Eircom Mobile; Tesco Mobile.


1. Synopsis
2. Overview of Ireland’s mobile market
2.1 Mobile statistics
2.1.1 Operator market shares
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
3.1.1 3G spectrum
3.1.2 Digital dividend spectrum
3.1.3 900MHz
3.1.4 1800MHz
3.1.5 26GHz licences
3.1.6 1785-1805MHz band
3.1.7 2.6GHz band
3.1.8 2.3GHz band
3.1.9 70-80GHz band
3.1.10 UHF spectrum
3.2 Roaming
3.2.1 Data roaming
3.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
3.4 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
3.5 Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)
3.6 Network sharing
4. Mobile technologies
4.1 Digital
4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
4.2.1 Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
5. Major mobile operators
5.1 Vodafone Ireland
5.2 O2 Ireland
5.3 Meteor Mobile
5.4 Eircom Mobile
5.5 3 Ireland
5.6 MVNOs
6. Mobile voice services
6.1 Prepaid
7. Mobile Messaging
7.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
7.1.1 Premium SMS (PSMS)
7.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
8. Mobile data services
8.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
8.2 High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HSCSD)
8.3 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
8.4 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
8.4.1 Vodafone
8.4.2 O2
8.4.3 3 Ireland
8.4.4 Meteor
8.5 Enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+)
8.6 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
9. Mobile applications
9.1 Overview
9.2 Mobile TV
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts – mobile ARPU – 2009 - 2010; 2015
10.2 Forecasts – UMTS subscribers – 2009 - 2010; 2015
10.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
11. Related reports
Table 1 – Operator blended ARPU – 2005 - 2013
Table 2 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2004
Table 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2014
Table 4 – Mobile market revenue, voice and data – 2005 - 2013
Table 5 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2005 - 2013
Table 6 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2005 - 2013
Table 7 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2012
Table 8 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2005 - 2013
Table 9 – Cumulative mobile numbers ported – 2003 - 2013
Table 10 – MTRs by operator – 2010 - 2013
Table 11 – 3G SIM cards in use by type – 2011 - 2013
Table 12 – Vodafone mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2013
Table 13 – Vodafone fixed-line subscribers – 2010 - 2013
Table 14 – Vodafone service revenue – 2010 - 2013
Table 15 – Vodafone blended ARPU – 2006 - 2008; 2010 - 2011
Table 16 – O2 mobile financial data – 2007 - 2013
Table 17 – O2 mobile data statistics – 2007 - 2013
Table 18 – O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract – 2006 - 2013
Table 19 – O2 subscribers – 2006 - 2013
Table 20 – Meteor Mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 21 – Meteor Mobile services revenue – 2009 - 2010
Table 22 – Meteor Mobile ARPU - 2006 - 2010
Table 23 – 3 Ireland subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 24 – 3 Ireland financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 25 – Mobile voice minutes – 2005 - 2013
Table 26 – Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers – 2000 - 2013
Table 27 – Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator – 2008 - 2013
Table 28 – SMS messages sent – 2000 - 2013
Table 29 – MMS messages sent – 2005 - 2013
Table 30 – Mobile data as proportion of total revenue – 2006 - 2013
Table 31 – Forecast mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2012; 2015
Table 32 – Forecast UMTS subscribers – 2006 - 2010; 2015
Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2014
Chart 2 – Mobile market revenue, voice and data – 2005 - 2013
Chart 3 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2013
Chart 4 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2006 - 2013
Chart 5 – O2 mobile financial data – 2007 - 2013
Chart 6 – O2 annualised ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract – 2006 - 2013
Chart 7 – O2 subscribers – 2007 - 2013
Exhibit 1 – 3G licence results – June 2002
Exhibit 2 – Multiband frequency award process - 2012
Exhibit 3 – WDMDS licences: operators, spectrum and fees – 2005

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