3 Ireland hits 500,000-customer milestone

14 Jun 2010

Mobile network 3 has hit the milestone of more than 500,000 customers subscribing to its voice and data services, of which more than 200,000 are mobile broadband users.

3 entered the Irish mobile services market in 2005 and was the first company to launch a high-speed mobile broadband service in Ireland.

The business is continuing to grow from strength to strength and earlier this year the Hutchison Whampoa subsidiary announced a multi-million euro investment to open 28 new stores around the country, resulting in 90 new jobs.

The company will have 50 3Stores nationwide by the end of 2010.

“Surpassing the half a million customer mark is a significant milestone for 3,” the company’s CEO Robert Finnegan said.

“We are the most ambitious operator in the market and aim to continue to grow our customer base this year through our great value price plans and excellent service.

Continuing to grow and invest in technologies to stay ahead of the competition is a focus for our business and we recently switched on the world’s first commercial voice and data iHSPA (Internet High Speed Packet Access) network. ”

3 has 26.8m customers worldwide and to date has invested more than €600m in its network, including a €50m upgrade to iHSPA as it moves towards Long Term Evolution (LTE) or fourth generation GSM.

The company launched its datacard modem in 2006 with 3.6Mbps speeds. Today it offers 7.2Mbps speeds and will move to 14.4Mbps speeds in the coming months.

In 2008, the company was appointed by the Government to manage the roll-out of the National Broadband Scheme to provide connectivity to rural areas.

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