3 reports one million mobile broadband users across Europe

24 Jul 2008

Over one million mobile broadband customers have signed up to use 3’s European 3G network, encompassing Ireland, the UK, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Austria, the company claimed today.

In Ireland, the company said some 90,000 people have signed up for its mobile broadband service.

“We’ve made great strides in Ireland in particular,” said managing director of 3 Ireland, Robert Finnegan. “Little over a year ago, no one was talking about mobile broadband. Now, it’s growing faster than any other broadband solution and connecting the unconnected in rural Ireland where the old fixed-line providers have failed to reach.

“As the only mobile operator shortlisted for the Government’s National Broadband Scheme, we’re very confident of our credentials as the country’s leading provider and we are committed to driving Ireland up the broadband league tables,” Finnegan said.

3 launched mobile broadband in Ireland with a data card modem in 2006 and a high-speed network with technology to support speeds of up to 3.6Mbps.

Earlier this year, 3 launched the first pre-paid mobile broadband service in Ireland.

A recent ComReg report for Q1 shows growth in the mobile broadband market increased by 46pc.

“This milestone shows people everywhere want to access our mobile broadband services,” said Christian Salbaing, managing director, European Telecoms at Hutchison Whampoa.

“Since we launched our offers late last year, we have seen phenomenal growth from customers who are using it to both supplement and replace their fixed-line broadband. For many customers, it is their first personal broadband connection.’

Last month, 3 signed a €44m agreement with BT to upgrade its network across Ireland.

3 is currently upgrading its network with technology to support speeds or 7.3Mbps and will upgrade to 14.4Mbps next year. 3’s mobile broadband network covers 88pc of the population of Ireland, the company said.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: 3 USB modem for mobile broadband

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