Ireland - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Ireland’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- February 2018 (17th Edition) 

Executive Summary

Ireland’s National Broadband Plan left with a single bidder

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 one of the highest GDP growth rates 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 pace 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 are expected to receive a service of at least 30Mb/s by 2022. This Plan, requiring an investment of up to €600 million, will greatly boost the adoption of IP-delivered content, including e-government, e-health and e-learning. Although only enet remained among the bidders by early 2018 the government is confident that the Plan can be achieved to schedule.

The downward trend for overall telecom revenue after 2010 was reversed from 2015. Nevertheless, the sector remains under pressure, with a discouraging 1.1% fall in retail revenue in the third quarter of 2017, year-on-year.

The 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. Investment in network upgrades with LTE has been supported by additional spectrum releases in several bands, to be used for mobile data services. In mid-2017 spectrum in the 3.6GHz band was auctioned, greatly increasing the overall amount of spectrum available.

In recent years the broadband market has developed strongly, supported by an improving economic climate which has revived investment among the key players, as well as government efforts to improve wholesale access. Vodafone Ireland and Sky Ireland both have plans to increase the availability of 1Gb/s services.

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 assesses the mobile market, including regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, emerging technologies, and the growth of mobile data. In addition the report covers the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband and mobile broadband. The report in addition provides mobile and fixed-line broadband subscriber forecasts to 2023.

Key developments:

  • French holding company NJJ and the telco Iliad together acquire a 64.9% stake in eir;
  • Vodafone an eir withdraw from National Broadband Plan tender;
  • Regulator rules that eir make fibre networks available to altnets;
  • SIRO trials reach 10Gb/s data rates;
  • VDSL connections grew 21% in the year to September 2017;
  • Virgin Media Ireland looks to expand 1Gb/s service;
  • Vodafone launches a commercial NB-IoT service;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q3 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to December 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Eir, BT Ireland, Smart Telecom, Vodafone Ireland, O2, eMobile; Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media Ireland, Casey CableVision, Digiweb, SIRO, enet, Sky Ireland.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authority
    • 3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 3.4 Privatisation
    • 3.5 Interconnect
    • 3.6 Access
    • 3.7 Leased lines
    • 3.8 Fibre access
    • 3.9 Number Portability (NP)
    • 3.10 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Eir
    • 4.3 BT Ireland
    • 4.4 Smart Telecom
    • 4.5 Other operators
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.2.2 Satellite networks
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 National Broadband Plan
      • 6.1.3 Government networks
      • 6.1.4 Regional infrastructure
      • 6.1.5 Wholesale bitstream
      • 6.1.6 Broadband statistics
      • 6.1.7 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.3.1 Alternative operators
      • 6.3.2 VDSL
      • 6.3.3 Vectoring DSL
    • 6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 6.4.1 Eir
      • 6.4.2 SIRO
      • 6.4.3 Sky Ireland
      • 6.4.4 Other developments
    • 6.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
    • 6.6 Wireless broadband
      • 6.6.1 1.7GHz band
      • 6.6.2 10.5GHz band
      • 6.6.3 3.5GHz band
      • 6.6.4 Digiweb
      • 6.6.5 National Fixed Wireless Point to Multipoint Licences (FWPMA)
      • 6.6.6 Other developments
      • 6.6.7 Other bands
      • 6.6.8 Wi-Fi
      • 6.6.9 Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX)
      • 6.6.10 Wi-Fibre
      • 6.6.11 Internet via satellite
  • 7. Mobile communications
    • 7.1 Market analysis
    • 7.2 Mobile statistics
      • 7.2.1 General statistics
      • 7.2.2 Mobile voice
      • 7.2.3 Mobile data
      • 7.2.4 Mobile broadband
      • 7.2.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 7.3 Regulatory issues
      • 7.3.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • 7.3.2 Roaming
      • 7.3.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 7.3.4 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
      • 7.3.5 Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)
      • 7.3.6 Network sharing
    • 7.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 7.4.1 Analogue networks
      • 7.4.2 Digital networks
      • 7.4.3 Machine-to-Machine (M2M) networks
      • 7.4.4 Internet of Things
    • 7.5 Major mobile operators
      • 7.5.1 Vodafone Ireland
      • 7.5.2 O2 Ireland
      • 7.5.3 Eir
      • 7.5.4 3 Ireland
      • 7.5.5 MVNOs
    • 7.6 Mobile content and applications
    • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2017 (9M)
    • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 5 – Broadband statistics – 2017 (Sep)
    • Table 6 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 7 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 8 – Telecom sector retail revenue – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 9 – Market revenue annual change by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 10 – Retail and wholesale revenue by sector – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 11 – Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 12 – Unbundled loops and access lines – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 13 – Annual ported fixed-line numbers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 14 – Indirect access lines: CPS and WLR – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 15 – Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 16 – Fixed-line share of retail revenue by major operator – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 17 – Eir financial data (historic) – 2001 - 2007
    • Table 18 – Eir financial data (year to June) – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 19 – Eir revenue by sector (year to June) – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 20 – Eir subscribers by sector – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 21 – Smart Telecom financial data (historic) – 2003 - 2005
    • Table 22 – Historic - Fixed voice subscriptions in service and teledensity – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
    • Table 23 – Fixed voice subscriptions and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 24 – Market share of fixed voice lines by operator – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 25 – Average fixed-line broadband traffic by platform – 2015 - 2017
    • Table 26 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2006 - 2016
    • Table 27 – Broadband penetration of households by technology – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 28 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2005 - 2016
    • Table 29 – Internet users – 2005 - 2018
    • Table 30 – Total fixed and mobile broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 31 – Total fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 32 – Retail broadband revenue – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 33 – Total broadband subscribers by access type – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 34 – Share of broadband subscribers by platform – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 35 – Market share of fixed broadband subscriptions by operator – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 36 – Residential market share of broadband access speed – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 37 – Total market share of broadband access speed – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 38 – Forecasts – fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Table 39 – Virgin Media Ireland subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 40 – Virgin Media Ireland revenue – 2006 – 2009; 2013 - 2017
    • Table 41 – Cable broadband subscribers –2002 - 2017
    • Table 42 – DSL access provision by type and operator – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 43 – Eir retail broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 44 – DSL subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 45 – VDSL connections – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 46 – Proportion of VDSL connections by access type – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 47 – FttP connections – 2016 - 2017
    • Table 48 – Eir fibre broadband subscribers – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 49 – Fixed wireless broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 50 – Wireless hotspots and access points - 2007 - 2017
    • Table 51 – Operator blended ARPU – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 52 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
    • Table 53 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 54 – Mobile subscribers (not incl. mobile broadband, M2M) – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 55 – Mobile retail market revenue, voice and data – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 56 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 57 – Operator share of subscribers (excl. M2M and broadband) – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 58 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2005 – 2017
    • Table 59 – Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers – 2000 - 2017
    • Table 60 – Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 61 – Mobile voice traffic – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 62 – Mobile data traffic share by technology – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 63 – Data use per subscriber – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 64 – SMS messages sent – 2000 - 2018
    • Table 65 – SMS and MMS messages sent per subscriber – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 66 – SMS and MMS revenue – 2012 - 2015
    • Table 67 – MMS messages sent – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 68 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 69 – Mobile broadband market share by operator – 2010 – 2017
    • Table 70 – Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Table 71 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 72 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 73 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 74 – Mobile subscriber market share by technology – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 75 – 3G SIM cards in use by type – 2011 - 2016
    • Table 76 – M2M connections – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 77 – Vodafone Ireland mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 78 – Vodafone Ireland fixed-line subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 79 – Vodafone Ireland mobile service revenue – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 80 – O2 mobile financial data (historic) – 2007 - 2014
    • Table 81 – O2 mobile data statistics (historic) – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 82 – O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract (historic) – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 83 – O2 subscribers (historic) – 2006 - 2014
    • Table 84 – Eir mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 85 – Eir mobile services revenue – 2006 - 2010; 2012- 2018
    • Table 86 – Eir mobile annualised blended ARPU - 2006 – 2014
    • Table 87 – Eir mobile prepaid and contract ARPU - 2013 – 2017
    • Table 88 – 3 Ireland registered subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 89 – 3 Ireland active subscribers – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 90 – 3 Ireland financial data – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 91 – 3 Ireland revenue by sector – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 92 – 3 Ireland annualised ARPU – 2013 - 2017
    • Chart 1 – Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors – 2002 - 2016
    • Chart 2 - Unbundled loops and access lines – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 3 – Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes – 2008 - 2017
    • Chart 4 – Fixed voice subscriptions and teledensity – 2005 - 2018
    • Chart 5 – Total broadband subscribers by access type – 2002 - 2017
    • Chart 6 – Virgin Media Ireland broadband, phone, cable TV subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Chart 7 – DSL access provision by type and operator – 2002 - 2017
    • Chart 8 – Wireless hotspots and access points – 2007 - 2017
    • Chart 9 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2018
    • Chart 10 – Mobile market revenue, voice and data – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 11 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2017
    • Chart 12 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2006 - 2017
    • Exhibit 1 – Access and the local loop
    • Exhibit 2 – 3G licence results – June 2002
    • Exhibit 3 – Multiband frequency award process - 2012
    • Exhibit 4 – WDMDS licences: operators, spectrum and fees – 2005

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