Vodafone launches 24Mbps broadband service for businesses

24 Jul 2009

Vodafone’s Irish operations reported a total telecoms base of 2.21 million users at the end of June, out of which the company’s fixed-line and DSL business stood at 84,791 subscribers.

The company said that customers increased their consumption of voice minutes and texts in the quarter, despite the difficult economic climate. Voice minutes of use rose by 3.3pc quarter-on-quarter to 254 per customer, and users increased the number of texts they sent by 4.9pc to 172 per customer.

Vodafone Ireland’s customers’ consumption of voice minutes and texts remained higher than the Vodafone Europe average of 148 voice minutes and 82 text messages per customer for this quarter.

Total voice minutes used in the three months ended 30 June remained stable with a 0.1pc increase to 1.59 billion from the previous quarter, while total texts increased by 2.3pc to 1.1 billion from the previous quarter.

Average mobile blended monthly ARPU decreased by 7.4pc to €38.60 since the same period in 2008.

In May, the company became the only operator to offer free on-net calls and texts to all pre-pay and pay monthly customers on current price plans. In the same month, Super IOU was launched, giving all pre-pay customers the opportunity to get a loan of €4 credit when their balance runs low.

“Value is paramount to customers in today’s environment,” said John Kent, CFO, Vodafone Ireland. “Over the past year, Vodafone has delivered overall price reductions of approximately 17pc, demonstrating how we are working with customers to deliver best-in-class products at an affordable and competitive price.”

This week Vodafone Ireland, which last year acquired Perlico and 62,000 broadband subscribers for €80m, made a bold foray into the Irish fixed-line marketplace through a joint venture with BT, which will add 84,000 consumers and 3,000 small businesses to its fixed-line base.

The two companies will work together to grow the number of unbundled exchanges now within Vodafone’s remit to 58 exchanges – covering approximately two-thirds of the Irish fixed-line population.

“Vodafone continues to focus on being a strong challenger in the fixed market,” Kent explained.

“Last week, we announced a bold pricing move to drive growth in the fixed-line market – we are now offering guaranteed savings of at least 20pc versus Eircom, and at least 30pc for existing Vodafone pay monthly mobile customers.

“Vodafone also signed a strategic partnership with BT that, subject to Competition Authority approval, will see the Company become the No 2 player in the overall fixed market and gain wholesale access to BT’s advanced broadband network, which will enable us to launch an innovative roadmap of fixed products and services that are strongly differentiated from those available in the market today.

“In the last quarter we also announced a significant €17m multi-year investment in the MANs network, which will deepen our mobile broadband coverage in rural and regional areas.

“We continue our momentum in the fixed-line market with the launch today of Vodafone Office multi-line, a tailored voice and broadband offering for SMEs.

“Offering speeds up to 24Mbps, 25pc reduction on all calls to Vodafone mobiles and a single point of contact for fixed and mobile care issues, Vodafone Office multi-line offers existing Vodafone customers up to 20pc off an equivalent Eircom offering,” said Kent.

By John Kennedy