The Friday Interview: Robert Finnegan, 3

22 Sep 2006144 Views

This week’s interviewee is Robert Finnegan (pictured), chief executive of 3.

How do you plan to wrest customers away from the three other established mobile operators in the Irish market?

We might be the last operator to enter the market but we have a superior 3G network to anybody else that covers 80pc of the population, reaching 85pc by the end of this year.

But it won’t be easy considering the market is saturated at 102pc and both Vodafone and O2 have the majority share?

The market has been dominated by those two players and it has proved extremely lucrative for them but we intend to provide better value and bring much better content via 3G.

What will you be doing differently?

Basically we will be showing the Irish market 3G as it is meant to be used, giving people simplicity and value instead of giving them a nasty surprise at the end of the month when the bill arrives.

3G wasn’t the magic bullet everyone predicted. How should it be used?

I think our competitors have misunderstood 3G and haven’t embraced it properly because of their lucrative position. It’s like the difference between black and white TV and colour TV. We’re bringing people to colour and interactive services. That’s where 3G sits, allowing people to interact and pursue their interests be it football, music or TV on the go.

Can 3G technology really be harnessed to cure Ireland’s broadband problems?

Later this year we will be offering broadband speeds at three times the speed most people get at home. As a result, I think we will have a role to play in moving Ireland up the broadband ladder

How important is music to 3’s strategy?

Music is very important in terms of how people will embrace 3G. We have found Tom Dunne’s The Hive show to be very popular here. In Sweden, 3’s music sales are outpacing those of iTunes. Some 76pc of all music sales in the UK are on 3’s network. In Ireland, we want to be at the forefront of similar developments

By John Kennedy

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