4G price wars to accompany arrival of new iD mobile operator in Ireland

17 Aug 2015

Dixons Carphone’s mobile brand iD’s arrival in the Irish smartphone market will spark a 4G price war, analysts claim.

Dixons Carphone’s mobile brand iD’s arrival in the smartphone market, not to mention cable broadband player UPC’s impending mobile brand launch, will spark a 4G price war, analysts have claimed.

Originally due to launch in July, the new brand – provided as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on the back of Three’s network in Ireland – aims to shake up the existing market, particularly in the 4G stakes.

Dixons Carphone is aiming to carve a 6pc share of the Irish mobile market within its first five years.

A new report by Killbiller suggests that iD is aiming to be the cheapest of the mobile operators for 4G at launch.

Killbiller claims that an average SIM-only price plan on iD will cost consumers €20.18 per month, which is €166 per annum less than the average billpay cost per user in the Irish market.

Killbiller conducted an analysis of 15,000 mobile users and more than 350 price plans and found that more than 76.2pc will get the best value out of iD’s proposed SIM-only price plan for 4G.

Shaking up the 4G competition

The analysis involved more than 7.9bn cost calculations, with both prepay and billpay analysed.

iD’s closest competitor in the 4G space will be Three, which will have the cheapest 4G plan for 14.3pc of users.

Taking both 3G and 4G into account, Killbiller said  iD will be the best value for just less than one-in-three Irish smartphone users (31.5pc). Tesco Mobile is the cheapest overall for four-in-10 users (42.4pc), but none of the Tesco Mobile plans include 4G data. Vodafone is the most expensive operator on 3G and 4G; it is only best value for 1.8pc of users.

“The entry of a new operator will always be watched closely by its competitors,” said Killbiller’s Bart Lehane.

“Given how competitive iD is set to be at launch, we can expect to see the other operators react with offers and updated propositions.

“With increased competition in the market, we would advise consumers to shop around to find the best value plan that best suits their usage requirements.

“The KillBiller app will perform a phone audit for you and recommend the cheapest plan based on your actual call/SMS/data usage, meaning it is the most accurate way to select a mobile phone plan,” Lehane said.

Mobile consumer image via Shutterstock

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