Communications revenue increases 3pc to €3.5bn

18 Jun 2004

Total revenues for the fixed, mobile and broadcasting communication markets in Ireland now stand at an estimated €3.57bn, up 3pc on 2003, the latest quarterly report from the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) reveals.

The quarterly report found that the number of carrier pre-select (CPS) lines increased 12pc during the quarter and now stands at 252,000 lines.

The report also found that flat rate internet access (FRIACO) subscriptions increased by 58pc from 40,000 to 63,100 in the last quarter.

Digital subscriber line (DSL) access has also increased significantly from 25,300 to 36,000 in the last quarter.

Mobile phone penetration in Ireland at the end of March stood at 88pc of the population, or some 3.5m subscribers. More than 122,000 mobile users took advantage of mobile number portability and managed to port their numbers to different network operators.

The use of text messaging grew 25pc on the year, with over 910m messages transmitted, averaging at 88 messages per subscriber, per month.

According to ComReg’s survey of internet usage in Ireland, which was carried out by Amarach Consulting, internet usage grew 6pc during the quarter, with one in four people claiming to use the internet every day. Amarach found that one in three people in Ireland claim to use the internet several times a week.

A quarterly survey of 400 small and large businesses by ComReg found that 57pc of the businesses now use DSL for broadband access, while 21pc say they use leased lines.

ComReg commissioner Isolde Goggin commented: “ComReg welcomes the increase in broadband penetration and availability in both the business and residential markets.

“However, there are businesses who continue to have difficulty getting broadband. We also welcome the increase in CPS numbers, which reflects greater competition in the fixed line market,” Goggin said.

Some 75pc of the businesses believe that broadband prices have become more competitive in the last quarter while 91pc say that broadband has become more available to businesses over the last 12 months. However, 20pc of the businesses say they are having difficulty getting broadband.

In terms of teleworking, 44pc of the businesses surveyed say they provide broadband for remote access for teleworkers.

By John Kennedy