Irish customers keep tills ringing for mobile operators

8 Oct 2004

Ireland’s two leading mobile operators will continue to increase revenue, according to a report on the indigenous telecoms market from IDC. The analyst firm has identified three factors likely to result in the continued dominance of Vodafone and O2.

Among the findings of IDC’s new report Telecoms Trends and Expenditure in Ireland, 2004, it emerged that a mere 2pc of those companies use the services of the country’s third mobile operator, Meteor.

Furthermore, 56pc of those polled said that they plan to spend more on mobile telephony in 2004 than they did last year. Among large organisations of more than 500 users – which IDC said tend to have higher mobile expenditure anyway – the budgets will be greater still. Some 71pc of these larger firms said they expected their own mobile spending to increase this year.

The third factor indicated by IDC was the high level of customer satisfaction for each operator. Only a small minority of customers claimed to be dissatisfied with their mobile provider, the survey showed.

From the report’s findings, Vodafone is the leading operator with 61pc of the organisations surveyed as customers; O2 has 50pc and Meteor 2pc. According to IDC, the reason why the overall market share figure adds up to more than 100pc is that almost 10pc of the companies surveyed said they use more than one mobile operator. The transport sector was one where this trend was especially noticeable, said Gilsenan. He added that this does not mean that organisations using two mobile operators are necessarily dividing their spend equally between both providers.

The combined dominance of Vodafone and O2 is also likely to hinder the prospect of new entrants to the market such as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), Gilsenan speculated. MVNOs have been successful elsewhere in targeting niche markets that incumbent providers have overlooked, but this factor doesn’t appear to be evident in Ireland’s case. “There’s no resistance to the leading brands and in Ireland, the overall market seems to be covered,” he told

To compile its report, IDC surveyed 301 organisations in Ireland in May of this year. The firm plans to release findings on the local fixed-line market, compiled for the same report, next week.

By Gordon Smith