Telefonica O2 Ireland has reported a 23pc increase in its mobile broadband customer base which grew to 170,000 at the end of Q1. In its Q1 KPIs O2 said that smartphone usage on its Irish network increased by 39pc during the quarter.
The company said that its postpay customer base increased by 7,000. Year-on-year the postpay base increased by 5pc – an extra 34,200 – largely driven by an acceleration in the take-up of data services.
Data traffic was up 40pc by the end of March.
The company, which recently launched its O2 Money Card, revealed that some 25,000 people have opted for the card, which is neither a debit or credit card.
Telefónica Ireland recently announced a major strategic partnership with Eircom Group to create the first comprehensive mobile network sharing arrangement in Ireland to deal with increasing demand for bandwidth.
Little sign of recovery in the Irish economy
It seems mobile operators are becoming bellwethers for economic health and O2’s CFO Paul Whelan said consumer confidence in Ireland remains very low.
“In response, O2 continues to innovate and extend its range of tariff options, focusing on value and flexibility,” Whelan said. We recently launched O2 Simplicity, our lowest ever postpay tariff, available on a 30 day rolling contract.
“For business customers, we have completely overhauled our pricing model, enabling them to buy only what they need and giving them the necessary control to reduce costs”.
“We are particularly pleased with the continued growth in our postpay business in Q1, a result of the accelerated uptake of data services as the number of customers using smartphones and mobile broadband increases.
“Data traffic on O2’s network was up over 40pc year on year at the end of March. Looking to future growth opportunities, O2 is expanding into adjacent services and in February entered financial services with the launch of the O2 Money prepay card. It has already exceeded all expectations with over 25,000 people signed up. We see further opportunities in this sector as we look to expand our range of O2 Money products”.
Summary of O2’s key performance indicators
· O2’s total mobile customer base at the end of March 2011 was 1.680 million, down from 1.696 million in the last quarter
· In addition, O2 had over 15,000 fixed line business customers at the end of Q1, up from 4,000 for the same period in 2010
· Service revenue for Q1 was €177.8 million (down from €191 million in Q4 and down from €196.2 million for the same period last year). The revenue decline is mainly driven by cuts in the mobile termination rates charged by O2 to other operators to carry calls on its network in line with regulatory changes, as well as by the better value for money products O2 is offering its customers
· Monthly average blended ARPU for Q1 was €34.39, down from €36.6 for the last quarter. Monthly average ARPU for prepay customers for Q1 was €20.11, down from €24.35 for the last quarter, while for postpay customers it was €53.02, similar to the last quarter (€53.06).