Stephen Mackarel (pictured) is chief executive of the Carphone Warehouse in Ireland, which has 45 stores nationwide
What predictions do you have for the Irish mobile market in the year ahead?
We’re going to see one, possibly two, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in Ireland over the next 12 months.
There are several different organisations in negotiations with the networks. We are also considering an MVNO play.
My understanding is that one of the big networks has pulled back from MVNOs because of the last ruling from ComReg.
Who or what these MVNOs will be is unclear; there are a number of names mentioned in the marketplace. Even Ryanair has been mentioned.
You’ll definitely see an MVNO from somebody.
You have expressed an interest in rolling out broadband to the Irish market. What are your plans?
We’re looking at the feasibility of the supply of broadband in Ireland. We’re talking to a number of people about partnering and we are also looking at the opportunity of local loop unbundling ourselves.
We will definitely have a broadband offering under our Talk Talk brand at some stage and it’s just a matter of timing really.
What do you think of the advent of triple play service encompassing broadband, TV and voice?
It’s the way forward. If you can provide all of these services for customers it makes it much easier for customers when only dealing with one provider to get mobile, their phone and broadband and TV channels down one line.
It makes sense, why not? We would look at it but would be a long way off. Mobile is still our core business but we are looking to expand our fixed-line business.
Last year we bought Tele2 — which has given us about 80,000 residential customers on our fixed-line business in Ireland.
We want to hit the 100,000 mark by mid-2006 and we’re well on target to get there. We intend to continue to acquire customers aggressively.
By John Kennedy