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Ireland - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses


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Ireland - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Ireland’s telecom regulator updates radio spectrum strategy to 2018

Ireland’s telecom market has recently emerged from a long period in which it had been held back by poor broadband uptake, underinvestment, and mismanagement among some of the key operators. Eir perhaps suffered most from the recent financial crisis, though the government’s indebtedness also obliged it to rein in investment in infrastructure. However, although there is a continuing downward trend for overall telecom revenue, there was an encouraging 1.4% increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015, year-on-year.

The main operators, including the incumbent eir as well as Vodafone Ireland and Virgin Media Ireland, are pressing ahead with renewed, and significant, investment programs geared to improving broadband infrastructure and to providing 1Gb/s services. In addition, the National Broadband Scheme will ensure the delivery of a 30Mb/s service nationally by 2022. This will greatly boost the adoption of OTT videostreaming services, as well as encourage services including e-government, e-health and e-learning.

For many years Ireland’s broadband market was underdeveloped by European standards, although government efforts to improve local loop unbundling and wholesale access has meant that growth, albeit from a relatively low base, has been strong in recent years. Separate efforts undertaken by eir, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone Ireland, as well as a small number of small-scale fibre operators, has resulted in a rejuvenated broadband sector where average download speeds are now among the highest in Europe. The National Broadband Plan, underpinned by government investment of about €500 million, will see services extended to some 900,000 premises considered uncommercial by market players.

Ireland’s mobile market has undergone considerable changes in recent years, particularly after 3 Ireland acquired O2 and so secured a 36% market share, behind only Vodafone at 38%. Despite this consolidation, the market enjoys effective competition between three main players as well as a small number of MVNOs. Eir returned to the mobile sector with its Meteor division, although it also operates an MVNO, eMobile, hosted by Meteor. Mobile broadband, on the back of expanding HSPA and LTE networks, has become very popular among consumers since the introduction of flat-rate data plans, and LTE forms an integral part of the government’s national broadband strategy. The regulator has revised its strategy to manage spectrum through to 2018, so improving the provision of mobile broadband services.

This report provides statistics and analysis on the key sectors of the Irish telecom market, presenting an overview of the regulatory environment, fixed network operators and services, and telecom infrastructure. It also profiles the fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless and mobile broadband, including forecasts for broadband uptake to 2021. In addition the report provides statistics and analyses on the mobile market, including regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, emerging technologies, and the growth of mobile data services.

Key developments:

Government expected to sign contracts for the National Broadband Network build by June 2017;
Emerald Networks secures loan approval for 100Gb/s cable linking Ireland to Iceland and the US;
Eir obliged to open fibre networks to altnets;
Eir reports continuing falling revenue into fiscal 2016;
Vodafone launches 1Gb/s IP service;
Virgin Media Ireland increases broadband speed to 360Mb/s;
Eir delivering 100Mb/s services to over a million premises;
Recovery in the number of Wi-Fi hotspots and access points;Regulator rules that eir make fibre networks available to altnets;
Vodafone Ireland becomes a quad-play provider with its IPTV launch;
Virgin Media Ireland discontinues its MMDS service;
Regulator revises strategy to manage radio spectrum to 2018;
3 Ireland invests €300 million to provide 225Mb/s ‘4G Plus’ service nationally;
3 Ireland extends Nokia vendor relationship with a five-year managed services contract;
Vodafone Ireland completes national LTE network upgrade project;
SMS traffic shows continuing decline;
Mobile broadband subscriber base falls;
Mobile retail revenue and ARPU continue to fall;
Report updates includes the regulator’s market data to Q4 2015, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2016, recent market developments

Companies mentioned in this report:

BT Ireland, eir (Eircom), Smart Telecom, Tele2, Virgin Media Ireland (formerly UPC Ireland), Casey CableVision, Digiweb, Vodafone Ireland, O2, Meteor, eMobile; Tesco Mobile


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2015 (e)
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2015
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2015
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2015
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2015
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2015
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • Table Telecom sector retail revenue - 2012 - 2015
    • Table Market revenue annual change by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors - 2010 - 2015
    • Table Market revenue by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors - 2010 - 2015
    • Table Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors - 2002 - 2015
    • Table Market revenue share by retail fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors - 2012 - 2015
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • REVISED NFR
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION IN IRELAND
    • PRIVATISATION OF EIR
    • INTERCONNECT
    • ACCESS
      • Table Unbundled loops and access lines - 2005 - 2015
    • LEASED LINES
    • FIBRE ACCESS
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
      • Table Annual ported fixed-line numbers - 2010 - 2015
    • CARRIER PRESELECTION (CPS)
      • Table Indirect access lines: CPS and WLR - 2006 - 2014
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • INTRODUCTION
      • Table Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes - 2008 - 2015
      • Table Fixed-line share of retail revenue by operator - 2012 - 2015
    • EIR
      • Table Eir financial data (historic) - 2001 - 2007
      • Table Eir financial data (year to June) - 2009 - 2016
      • Table Eir revenue by sector (year to June) - 2009 - 2016
      • Table Eir subscribers by sector - 2010 - 2016
      • Company restructure
    • BT IRELAND
    • SMART TELECOM
      • Table Smart Telecom financial data (historic) - 2003 - 2005
    • TELE2
    • OTHER OPERATORS
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Historic - Fixed voice subscriptions in service and teledensity - 1995; 1997; 1999 – 2009
      • Table Fixed voice subscriptions and teledensity - 2010 - 2016
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • National Development Plan
      • Government networks
      • Regional infrastructure
      • Wholesale bitstream
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Broadband penetration by technology - 2006 - 2015
        • Table Dial-up internet subscribers - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Total internet subscribers - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Total fixed-line broadband subscribers - 2012 - 2016
        • Table Retail broadband revenue - 2014 - 2016
        • Table Total broadband subscribers by access type - 2002 - 2015
        • Table Total broadband penetration - 2003 - 2016
        • Table Share of broadband subscribers by platform - 2007 - 2015
        • Table Market share of fixed broadband subscriptions by operator - 2010 - 2015
        • Table Residential market share of broadband access speed - 2012 - 2015
        • Table Total market share of broadband access speed - 2013 - 2015
      • Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
        • Table Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
    • HYBRID FIBRE COAX (HFC) NETWORKS
      • Table Virgin Media Ireland subscribers - 2006 - 2016
      • Table Virgin Media Ireland revenue - 2006 - 2009; 2013 - 2016
      • Table Cable broadband subscribers -2002 - 2016
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table DSL access provision by type and operator - 2002 - 2015
      • Table Eir retail broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2015
      • Table DSL subscribers - 2010 - 2016
      • Alternative operators
      • ADSL2+
      • VDSL
        • Table VDSL connections - 2013 - 2015
        • Table Proportion of VDSL connections by access type - 2014 - 2015
      • Vectoring DSL
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Eir
      • BT Ireland
      • Vodafone/ Electricity Supply Board (ESB)
      • Sky
      • Other developments
    • BROADBAND POWERLINE (BPL)
    • WIRELESS BROADBAND
      • Table Fixed wireless broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2016
      • 1.7GHz band
      • 10.5GHz band
      • 3.5GHz band
      • Other spectrum
      • Digiweb
      • National Fixed Wireless Point to Multipoint Licences (FWPMA)
      • Other developments
      • Other bands
      • Wi-Fi
        • Table Wireless hotspots and access points - 2015
      • Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX)
      • Wi-Fibre
      • Internet via satellite
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • INTRODUCTION
    • BUSINESS MODELS
      • Bundled services
        • Table Proportion of bundled services, by type - 2011 - 2015
      • Smart Telecom
      • Magnet Networks
      • Virgin Media Ireland
        • Table Virgin Media Ireland bundled service subscriptions - 2015 - 2016
      • Vodafone Ireland
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Systems (MMDS)
    • DIGITAL TV
      • Overview and statistics
        • Table Statistical overview of Ireland's broadcasting market - 2008 - 2015
        • Table Proportion of homes by reception method - 2008 - 2015
        • Table Proportion of pay TV and FTA households - 2003 - 2015
        • Table Proportion of digital and analogue households - 2007 - 2015
      • Videostreaming
      • Communications: VoIP
      • Cable TV
        • Table Virgin Media Ireland subscribers - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Virgin Media Ireland revenue - 2006 - 2009; 2013 - 2016
      • Satellite TV
        • Table Historic - Satellite TV antennae and home penetration - 1992 - 2004
        • Table Satellite TV antennae and home penetration - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Sky TV subscribers by bundled type - 2013 - 2015
      • Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
      • Digital cinema
      • Interactive TV (iTV)
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • EHEALTH
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Operator blended ARPU - 2005 - 2016
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Mobile subscribers (not incl. mobile broadband, M2M) - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Mobile retail market revenue, voice and data - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Mobile share of subscribers by operator - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Operator share of subscribers (excl. M2M and broadband) - 2014 - 2015
        • Table Mobile share of revenue by operator - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers - 2000 - 2015
        • Table Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator - 2008 - 2015
      • Mobile voice
        • Table Mobile voice traffic - 2005 - 2016
      • Mobile data
        • Table Mobile data traffic share by technology - 2014 - 2015
        • Table Data use per subscriber - 2011 - 2015
        • Table SMS messages sent - 2000 - 2015
        • Table SMS and MMS messages sent per subscriber - 2011 - 2015
        • Table SMS and MMS revenue - 2012 - 2015
        • Table MMS messages sent - 2005 - 2016
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2015
        • Table Mobile broadband market share by operator - 2010 - 2015
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
        • Table 3G licence results - June 2002
        • Table Multiband frequency award process - 2012
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2016
        • Table European data roaming charges - 2012 - 2016
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Annual mobile numbers ported - 2005 - 2015
      • Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
        • Table MTRs by operator - 2010 - 2013
      • Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)
        • Table WDMDS licences: operators, spectrum and fees - 2005
      • Network sharing
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Analogue networks
      • Digital networks
        • Table Mobile subscriber market share by technology - 2013 - 2015
        • Table 3G SIM cards in use by type - 2011 - 2015
      • Other infrastructure developments
      • Machine-to-Machine (M2M) networks
        • Table M2M connections - 2013 - 2016
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Vodafone Ireland
        • Table Vodafone mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone fixed-line subscribers - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone mobile service revenue - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone blended ARPU - 2006 - 2008; 2010 - 2011
      • O2 Ireland
        • Table O2 mobile financial data (historic) - 2007 - 2014
        • Table O2 mobile data statistics (historic) - 2007 - 2013
        • Table O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract (historic) - 2006 - 2013
        • Table O2 subscribers (historic) - 2006 - 2014
      • Meteor Mobile
        • Table Meteor Mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Meteor Mobile services revenue - 2006 - 2010; 2012- 2016
        • Table Meteor Mobile annualised blended ARPU - 2014
        • Table Meteor Mobile prepaid and contract ARPU - 2016
      • 3 Ireland
        • Table 3 Ireland subscribers - 2006 - 2015
        • Table 3 Ireland financial data - 2007 - 2015
        • Table 3 Ireland revenue by sector - 2013 - 2015
        • Table 3 Ireland annualised ARPU - 2013 - 2015
      • MVNOs
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Mobile TV

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