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

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

Irish government poised to invest €600 million for national broadband coverage

Ireland’s telecom market has emerged from a long period in which it had been held back by low broadband uptake and a poor economic climate which hindered investment among operators as well as spending among consumers. The country during the last two years has recorded the highest GDP growth within the European Union (EU), and this has reinvigorated the telecom sector. Operators including eir, enet and Vodafone Ireland (in cooperation with the utility ESB) have extensive fibre-based networks deployments in place aimed at providing 1Gb/s services, while the government is poised to award a contract as part of its National Broadband Plan by which all premises will receive a service of at least 30Mb/s by 2022. This Plan, requiring an investment of up to €600 million and expected to deliver broadband services to about 900,000 premises considered uncommercial by market players, will greatly boost the adoption of OTT videostreaming services as well as services including e-government, e-health and e-learning.

Although there was a downward trend for overall telecom revenue after 2010, this has been reversed since 2015. There was an encouraging 1.4% increase sector revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015, year-on-year, and a 1.6% increase in the fourth quarter of 2016.

In the broadband market investment has been channelled into fibre-based access. In the cable sector, Virgin Media Ireland expects to increase its footprint from 50% of premises to 70% within the next two years, and is looking to upgrade it network capabilities by deploying the DOCSIS3.1 standard, which can deliver data at above 1Gb/s.

Ireland’s mobile market is dominated by Vodafone Ireland and 3 Ireland, followed at some distance by Eir Mobile. The market has room for a small number of MVNOs, the largest of which is Tesco Mobile. Competition in the market in recent years has left some MVNOs struggling. Although the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscribers fell in 2016 for the first time, mobile broadband use, supported by extensive HSPA and LTE networks, remains very popular among consumers, particularly since the introduction of flat-rate data plans. LTE forms an integral part of the government’s national broadband strategy, with upgraded LTE technologies being used to provide the required minimum service in many rural areas.

This report provides statistics and analysis on the key sectors of the Irish telecom market, presenting an overview of the regulatory environment, the fixed network operators and services, and telecom infrastructure. The report also profiles the fixed and wireless broadband markets as well as the mobile market, together with analyses of developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless and mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, internet via satellite, LTE and5G. The report includes forecasts for broadband and mobile uptake to 2022.

Key developments:

Government to tender for vendors for the National Broadband Plan by mid-2017;

Eir challenges some elements of its USO;

Ireland-France Cable-1 (IFC-1) system secures additional finance;

Eir requests to close copper infrastructure in some areas upgraded with fibre;

Eir reports slight increase in revenue into fiscal 2017;

Regulator revises strategy to manage radio spectrum to 2018;

3 Ireland invests €300 million to provide 225Mb/s ‘4G Plus’ service nationally;

Vodafone Ireland completes national LTE network upgrade project;

Vodafone launches NB-IoT services;

SMS traffic shows continuing decline;

VDSL connections grew 40% in 2016;

Vodafone Ireland and SIRO launch the ‘Gigabit Hub Initiative’;

Government completes Broadband Intervention Map;

Eir launches VDSL vectoring services;

Eir’s eFiber service accounting for 57% of its broadband connections by end-2016;

Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q4 2016, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Eir, BT Ireland, Smart Telecom, Tele2, Virgin Media Ireland (formerly UPC Ireland), Casey CableVision, Digiweb, Vodafone Ireland, O2, Meteor, eMobile; Tesco Mobile, Magnet Networks.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2016 (e)
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2016
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2016
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2016
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2016
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2016
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Telecom sector retail revenue - 2012 - 2016
      • Table Market revenue annual change by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors - 2010 - 2016
      • Table retail and wholesale revenue by sector - 2010 - 2016
      • Table Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors - 2002 - 2016
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • REVISED NFR
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
    • PRIVATISATION
    • INTERCONNECT
    • ACCESS
      • Table Unbundled loops and access lines - 2005 - 2016
    • LEASED LINES
    • FIBRE ACCESS
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
      • Table Annual ported fixed-line numbers - 2010 - 2016
    • CARRIER PRESELECTION (CPS)
      • Table Indirect access lines: CPS and WLR - 2006 - 2016
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • INTRODUCTION
      • Table Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes - 2008 - 2016
      • Table Fixed-line share of retail revenue by major operator - 2012 - 2016
    • EIR
      • Table Eir financial data (historic) - 2001 - 2007
      • Table Eir financial data (year to June) - 2009 - 2017
      • Table Eir revenue by sector (year to June) - 2009 - 2017
      • Table Eir subscribers by sector - 2010 - 2016
      • Company restructures
    • 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 - 2018
      • Table Market share of fixed voice lines by operator - 2012 - 2016
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • National Broadband Plan
      • Government networks
      • Regional infrastructure
      • Wholesale bitstream
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Average fixed-line broadband traffic by platform - 2015 - 2016
        • Table Broadband penetration by technology - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Dial-up internet subscribers - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Internet users - 2005 - 2018
        • Table Total fixed 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 - 2016
        • Table Total broadband penetration - 2003 - 2016
        • Table Share of broadband subscribers by platform - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Market share of fixed broadband subscriptions by operator - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Residential market share of broadband access speed - 2012 - 2016
        • Table Total market share of broadband access speed - 2013 - 2016
      • Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecasts - fixed broadband subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 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 - 2016
      • Table Eir retail broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2016
      • Table DSL subscribers - 2010 - 2016
      • Alternative operators
      • ADSL2+
      • VDSL
        • Table VDSL connections - 2013 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of VDSL connections by access type - 2014 - 2016
      • Vectoring DSL
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Eir
        • Table Eir fibre broadband subscribers - 2013 - 2016
      • BT Ireland
      • SIRO
      • 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 - 2007 - 2016
      • Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX)
      • Wi-Fibre
      • Internet via satellite
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • INTRODUCTION
    • BUNDLED SERVICES
      • Table Proportion of bundled services, by type - 2011 - 2016
      • 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 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of homes by reception method - 2008 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of pay TV and FTA households - 2003 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of digital and analogue households - 2007 - 2016
      • Videostreaming
      • Communications: VoIP
        • Table VoB subscriptions - 2013 - 2016
      • 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 - 2009
        • Table Satellite TV antennae and home penetration - 2010 - 2017
        • Table Sky TV subscribers by bundled type - 2013 - 2016
      • Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
      • Digital cinema
      • Interactive TV (iTV)
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • E-HEALTH
  • 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 - 2018
        • Table Mobile subscribers (not incl. mobile broadband, M2M) - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Mobile retail market revenue, voice and data - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Mobile share of subscribers by operator - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Operator share of subscribers (excl. M2M and broadband) - 2014 - 2016
        • Table Mobile share of revenue by operator - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers - 2000 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator - 2008 - 2016
      • Mobile voice
        • Table Mobile voice traffic - 2005 - 2016
      • Mobile data
        • Table Mobile data traffic share by technology - 2014 - 2016
        • Table Data use per subscriber - 2011 - 2016
        • Table SMS messages sent - 2000 - 2018
        • Table SMS and MMS messages sent per subscriber - 2011 - 2016
        • Table SMS and MMS revenue - 2012 - 2015
        • Table MMS messages sent - 2005 - 2016
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Mobile broadband market share by operator - 2010 - 2016
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • 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 - 2014 - 2017
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Annual mobile numbers ported - 2005 - 2016
      • 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 - 2016
        • Table 3G SIM cards in use by type - 2011 - 2016
      • Other infrastructure developments
      • Machine-to-Machine (M2M) networks
        • Table M2M connections - 2013 - 2016
      • Internet of Things
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Vodafone Ireland
        • Table Vodafone Ireland mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone Ireland fixed-line subscribers - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone Ireland mobile service revenue - 2010 - 2017
        • 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
      • Eir Mobile
        • Table Meteor Mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Meteor Mobile services revenue - 2006 - 2010; 2012- 2017
        • Table Meteor Mobile annualised blended ARPU - 2006 - 2014
        • Table Meteor Mobile prepaid and contract ARPU - 2013 - 2016
      • 3 Ireland
        • Table 3 Ireland registered subscribers - 2006 - 2016
        • Table 3 Ireland active subscribers - 2013 - 2016
        • Table 3 Ireland financial data - 2007 - 2016
        • Table 3 Ireland revenue by sector - 2013 - 2016
        • Table 3 Ireland annualised ARPU - 2013 - 2016
      • MVNOs
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Mobile TV

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