Mobile users to save €100m as ComReg cuts rates

16 Apr 2009

Irish consumers are set to save €100m from 2010, following a decision by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) to reduce mobile termination rates charged by operators by up to 47pc in the next three years.

Ireland’s three largest mobile operators – Vodafone, O2 and Meteor – are to reduce their mobile termination charges in line with similar reductions occurring in EU member states.

ComReg chairman John Doherty said that in order to ensure that consumers benefit fully, it is important that these reductions at the wholesale level are passed on to them.

The reductions should ultimately benefit both fixed and mobile customers, he added.

These lower termination rates follow on from recently announced reductions in international roaming tariffs.

Through regulatory interventions and competition in the mobile sector, many consumers have seen a reduction in their average monthly bills. ComReg estimates that for Irish mobile phone users, the monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) has fallen by 23pc from €54.00 in the fourth quarter of 2006 to €41.20 by the fourth quarter of 2008.

According to the European Commission’s 14th Implementation Report, a mobile phone call costs an average Irish consumer €0.11 per minute, making them better off than the EU average (€0.23).

“These reductions by the mobile operators should deliver significant cost savings to Irish consumers over the next three years, and ensure Ireland remains competitive among its European peers,” Doherty commented.

By John Kennedy