Ireland’s largest mobile operator Vodafone is to create 100 jobs at a new international contact centre in Leopardstown, Dublin, on the heels of strong subscriber growth in the Irish market, which is now nearing two million customers.
Reporting its annual results for the 12 months ending 31 March, Vodafone said it grew its subscriber base from 1.86 million to 1.95 million customers in the past year, which it says reflects a strong performance in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Blended ARPU (average revenue per user) grew from €582 last year to €608, reflecting an increase in the take-up and usage of services that outweighed price reductions. Postpay customer ARPU increased to €1,198 from €1,123 and prepay ARPU rose to €375 from €361 over the same period.
Voice and data consumption continued to grow during the year with usage levels in Ireland leading the group’s European operations. Vodafone Ireland’s monthly minutes of use grew by 6pc during the year and voice consumption remains the highest in the Vodafone Group’s controlled businesses.
Data performance was equally robust, and at 20.8pc of total service revenues it reflects the ever-increasing text consumption and strong usage of Vodafone’s 3G/GPRS Mobile Connect Card and Vodafone Live! services. There are now more than 640,000 Vodafone Live! customers on the Vodafone Ireland network, and at 33pc penetration this represents the successful uptake of Vodafone Live! services across its customer base.
As well as reporting robust growth, Vodafone said this morning 100 jobs are to be created at a new international customer contact centre that will be based at Vodafone’s headquarters in Leopardstown, Dublin. The centre will provide a central point of contact for some of Vodafone’s global customers.
The availability of a well-educated, skilled and motivated workforce with English and other European languages, leading-edge IT capability and support frameworks and a track record in delivering excellent customer service were key determinants in the decision to locate this Vodafone Group function in Ireland, the company said.
Commenting on Vodafone Ireland’s Performance, David Boorman, Vodafone Ireland’s chief financial officer, said: “The figures announced today represent a robust performance in a challenging, competitive period. Vodafone Ireland has continued to achieve growth by delivering value to our existing customer base, while also acquiring new customers in a highly penetrated market.
“Despite intensified competition and downward pricing pressures, ARPU is increasing, as our customers opt to consume greater quantities of voice and data services. Exclusive, innovative, compelling services, powered by the best mobile network in the country and accessed across our Vodafone Live! portal are attracting customers and driving data usage. Major pricing initiatives during the year such as a six cent text rate and Talk Weekends 1000 have had a positive impact on overall usage patterns as customers chose to use more for less.”
Vodafone Ireland’s new CEO Theresa Elder added that the mergence of mobile-only homes, the desire for mobile working solutions and the availability of a range of functions across a mobile device were major drivers in the marketplace. “Irish customers are to the forefront in embracing wireless technology, and the mobile phone now commands an integral position in our daily lives.
“This year Vodafone delivered on its promise of commercial 3G services — making broadband services accessible on the move for the first time in Ireland. Our 3G Mobile Connect Card has been readily embraced by the business community, while the availability of new and exclusive content across our Vodafone Live! portal is driving revenues in gaming, downloads and sports/entertainment,” Elder said.
By John Kennedy