3 boasts 40,000 mobile broadband users

9 Nov 2007

3 Ireland is claiming around 40,000 3G mobile broadband subscribers since launching its service earlier this year. The company has also moved to address coverage and connection issues with the service.

3 Ireland’s broadband service had been the subject of complaints on the popular Boards.ie website during the summer, but the company said many of these problems had since been resolved.

“There was a period of time when we were moving our ISP from the UK to here because we had contention on the lines going across the Irish Sea,” said Robert Finnegan (pictured), managing director of 3 Ireland.

“We spent an awful lot of money moving it, investing in it and upgrading it. And there was contention for that period and there were a lot of hits on Boards.ie. Since then, the incremental hits on Boards have been very, very few.”

Finnegan said he did not believe negative customer feedback was affecting the company’s standing in the market. It recently polled a cross-section of mobile broadband customers and claimed the majority said they were satisfied with the service.

“I don’t believe we’re getting bad word of mouth and the rate of sale we’re seeing doesn’t suggest that in any shape or form,” Finnegan said.

“There’s been huge demand for this product and I suppose what’s out there is a huge expectation,” he added.

“What we’ve said to people is, we’ve got coverage in these areas, go and look at our coverage maps. We show indoor and outdoor 3G coverage. If you’re unsure, take it home and if it doesn’t work for you within 14 days, bring it back. We encourage people to bring it back and we give a full refund.”

3 Ireland has close to 88pc 3G coverage throughout the country. According to the most recent report from ComReg, which covers the quarter to the end of June, 3 has the lowest market share of any of the mobile operators in Ireland at 2.8pc.

When contacted for comment, O2 did not disclose its mobile broadband subscriber figures. Vodafone’s second-quarter report, issued in July, showed it had 30,000 mobile broadband customers and 50pc subscriber growth.

By Gordon Smith