Ireland - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Ireland’s mobile market is dominated by Vodafone Ireland and 3 Ireland, followed at some distance by eir. The market has room for a small number of MVNOs, the largest of which is Tesco Mobile. Although the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscribers has fallen since 2016, mobile broadband use, supported by extensive LTE networks, remains 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 of 30Mb/s in many rural areas.

The regulator has set aside spectrum in several bands for mobile data services, including that in the 3.6GHz band which was auctioned in mid-2017.

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.

Key developments:

  • MVNO iD Mobile ceases trading;
  • Vodafone launches a commercial NB-IoT service, secures loan to develop 5G infrastructure;
  • Regulator revises strategy to manage radio spectrum to 2018;
  • 3 Ireland invests €300 million to provide 225Mb/s ‘4G Plus’ service nationally, 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 shows quarterly increase in 2017;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q4 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2018, recent market developments.
  • Companies mentioned in this report:

Vodafone Ireland, O2, eir, eMobile; Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media Ireland.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
  • 4. Mobile infrastructure
    • 4.1 Analogue networks
    • 4.2 Digital networks
      • 4.2.1 5G
      • 4.2.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 4.2.3 3G/UMTS mobile
      • 4.2.4 GSM
      • 4.2.5 Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
    • 4.3 Mobile voice
    • 4.4 Mobile data
      • 4.4.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 4.4.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    • 4.5 Mobile broadband
    • 4.6 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • 5. Regulatory issues
    • 5.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • 5.1.1 3G spectrum
      • 5.1.2 Digital dividend spectrum
      • 5.1.3 26GHz licences
      • 5.1.4 2.6GHz band
      • 5.1.5 2.3GHz band
      • 5.1.6 3.6GHz
      • 5.1.7 70-80GHz band
    • 5.2 Roaming
      • 5.2.1 Data roaming
    • 5.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 5.4 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
    • 5.5 Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)
    • 5.6 Network sharing
    • 5.7 Machine-to-Machine (M2M) networks
    • 5.8 Internet of Things
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 Vodafone Ireland
    • 6.2 O2 Ireland (historic)
    • 6.3 Eir
    • 6.4 3 Ireland
    • 6.5 MVNOs
  • 7. Mobile content and applications
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Operator blended ARPU – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 2 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
  • Table 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 4 – Mobile subscribers (not incl. mobile broadband, M2M) – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 5 – Mobile retail market revenue, voice and data – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 6 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 7 – Operator share of subscribers (excl. M2M and broadband) – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2005 – 2017
  • Table 9 – Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers – 2000 - 2017
  • Table 10 – Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 11 – 3G SIM cards in use by type – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Mobile subscriber market share by technology – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 13 – Mobile voice traffic – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 14 – Mobile data traffic – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 15 – Mobile data traffic share by technology – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 16 – Data use per subscriber – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 17 – SMS messages sent – 2000 - 2019
  • Table 18 – SMS and MMS messages sent per subscriber – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 19 – SMS and MMS revenue – 2012 - 2015
  • Table 20 – MMS messages sent – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Mobile broadband market share by operator – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 23 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 24 – Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 25 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 26 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 27 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 28 – M2M connections – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 29 – market share of M2M connections by operator – 2016 - 2017
  • Table 30 – Vodafone Ireland mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 31 – Vodafone Ireland fixed-line subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 32 – Vodafone Ireland mobile service revenue – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 33 – O2 mobile financial data (historic) – 2007 - 2014
  • Table 34 – O2 mobile data statistics (historic) – 2007 - 2013
  • Table 35 – O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract (historic) – 2006 - 2013
  • Table 36 – O2 subscribers (historic) – 2006 - 2014
  • Table 37 – Eir mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 38 – Eir mobile services revenue – 2006 - 2010; 2012- 2018
  • Table 39 – Eir mobile annualised blended ARPU - 2006 – 2014
  • Table 40 – Eir mobile prepaid and contract ARPU - 2013 – 2018
  • Table 41 – 3 Ireland registered subscribers – 2006 - 2017
  • Table 42 – 3 Ireland active subscribers – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 43 – 3 Ireland financial data – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 44 – 3 Ireland revenue by sector – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 45 – 3 Ireland annualised ARPU – 2013 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2019
  • Chart 2 – Mobile market revenue, voice and data – 2005 - 2017
  • Chart 3 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2017
  • Chart 4 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2006 - 2017
  • Chart 5 – Mobile subscriber market share by technology – 2013 – 2017
  • Chart 6 – 3 Ireland financial data – 2007 – 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – 3G licence results – June 2002
  • Exhibit 2 – Multiband frequency award process - 2012
  • Exhibit 3 – WDMDS licences: operators, spectrum and fees – 2005
  • Exhibit 4 – 3 Ireland spectrum concessions –2018

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