Vodafone will continue to invest in Ireland’s Gigabit Society

16 May 2017

Vodafone store sign. Image: M DOGAN/Shutterstock

Vodafone reaffirms commitment to fibre and 1Gbps speeds as industry shifts see consumers move from prepaid to contract and 4G services.

Telecoms operator Vodafone is continuing to invest in its fibre network to achieve its vision of the Gigabit Society, CEO Anne O’Leary said today (16 May 2017).

Her comments come amid speculation that Vodafone had been considering pulling back on its fibre plans as part of its Siro joint venture with ESB, following the Government’s deal with Eir to connect 300,000 out of 900,000 premises in need of intervention under the National Broadband Plan.

Vodafone Ireland announced its quarterly results today, while its parent company today posted a €6.1bn loss for the year ending in March.

The company attributed a large chunk of the loss to a €3.7bn write-down in the value of its Indian business as a result of the merger with Idea Cellular.

Revenue fell 4.4pc to €47.6bn, partly due to a 1.9pc rise in foreign exchange movements associated with organic revenue that it makes from calls and data.

Excluding the Indian business, Vodafone’s chief executive, Vittorio Colao, said that adjusted core earnings rose 5.8pc to €14.1bn.

Fibre roll-out

Vodafone Ireland to invest €250m in Gigabit Society transformation

Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary. Image: Vodafone

Locally, total service revenue for Vodafone Ireland for the fourth quarter was €235m, up 2pc on an organic basis.

The company said it grew its contract base by 48,800 customers, up 4.9pc year-on-year as industry trends see a continued shift away from prepaid. The total number of mobile customers stood at 1.95m.

Vodafone said that there were about 1.2m 4G-enabled devices on its network, up 42pc on last year, including an 87pc year-on-year growth in 4G-enabled plans.

Customers in Ireland used more than 10TB of mobile data, up 37pc quarter-on-quarter.

Vodafone said that it recently passed 70,000 homes and businesses with fibre under Siro.

“During the year, we completed our nationwide mobile network upgrade, improved our voice and data services, and have further increased our 4G coverage, which now reaches over 95pc of the population,” O’Leary said.

“That has been received positively by our customers, with the number of high-value contract customers growing for four quarters in a row and more 4G-enabled devices on our network.”

O’Leary said that the company will continue to invest in fibre.

“Looking forward, we are continuing to invest so that Ireland can become a Gigabit Society. Vodafone Ireland is the first Irish operator to achieve gigabit speeds on its mobile network.

“We have also launched our nationwide Gigabit Hubs Initiative, which gives two years’ gigabit connectivity to digital, business and community hubs in towns across Ireland. The initiative has the capacity to stimulate local job creation and economic growth significantly,” O’Leary said.

Vodafone store sign. Image: M DOGAN/Shutterstock

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