Data explosion as 57pc of mobile phones in Ireland are smartphones

20 Jun 2014

Some 57pc of mobile phones in Ireland are now smartphone devices, according to the latest quarterly report from ComReg. This is up 12.2pc on last year and is contributing to a massive 48.1pc increase in data volumes to 13,897 terabytes.

The quarterly report claims that broadband subscriptions – including mobile and fixed – increased by just 0.7pc on the last quarter – with total broadband connections standing at 1.7m at the end of March.

ComReg (Commission for Communications Regulation) estimates that the total household broadband penetration in Ireland now stands at 67pc.

In terms of broadband speeds, almost 57pc of all broadband subscriptions are now above 10Mbps, up from 32pc last year.

ComReg estimates that 37.7pc of all broadband subscriptions are now greater than 30Mbps.

Decline in fixed and mobile voice traffic

Perhaps influenced by the rise of services such as Viber and WhatsApp, ComReg noted that fixed and voice traffic declined in the last quarter by 1.3pc while mobile traffic declined by 0.8pc.

The total number of text messages sent by mobile users in Ireland amounted to more than 2.02bn in Q1 2014, down 25.0pc on Q1 2013. The number of multimedia messages (MMS) sent decreased 7.4pc compared to Q1 2013.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in Q1 2014 totalled €26 per month, down from €28 on the previous quarter.

ComReg says the drop in ARPU is due, in part, to cheaper mobile plans and increased sales of bundled products.

There were 5,619,777 mobile phone subscriptions at the end of March, which marked a decrease of 0.1pc on the previous quarter.

Ireland’s mobile penetration rate for the quarter stood at 121.9pc.

The number of smartphone/tablet users increased to 2.7m this quarter, up by 4.2pc from Q4 2013 and up by 12.2pc compared with the first quarter of 2013.

Overall electronic communications network and service retail revenues were €765m, down 3pc on the previous quarter.

In the entire year, industry retail revenues decreased by 3.7pc to €3.1bn.

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