Telecoms spending down as consumers tighten their belts

23 Dec 2009

While broadband subscription in the Irish Republic continued to rise and surpass the 1.4m milestone, overall telecoms revenues and traffic have declined in the third quarter of 2009.

The quarterly report for July to September of this year showed that overall market revenues declined 1.8pc in Q3 to just over €996m.

Total voice traffic minutes declined by 0.5pc in the quarter to over 4.5 billion minutes. Mobile minutes still represent the majority (56pc) of these minutes.

Total internet subscriptions increased to 1,517,449. Narrowband subscriptions (156,195) continued to fall as broadband subscriptions (fixed and mobile) increased by 4pc to 1,361,254.

The broadband per capita penetration rate is 30.5pc (including mobile broadband) and 21.3pc (excluding mobile broadband).

Mobile penetration per capita (including mobile broadband) was 117pc and 108pc excluding mobile broadband.

Mobile phone average revenue per user (ARPU) declined to €37.88 per month in the quarter. In addition SMS volumes fell for the first time quarter on quarter by 4.1pc.

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD was upbeat about the increase in broadband penetration saying that progress is being made.

“Continued investment in our communications networks is reaping rewards,” Ryan said.

“Our National Broadband Scheme is working well, with further rural schemes due next year. We are bringing high-speeds of broadband into our schools and are making State infrastructure more easily accessible.

“This is undoubted progress in our broadband record, progress which we will increase in the year to come,” Ryan said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years