O2 data revenues continue on growth trajectory

14 Nov 2008

Ireland’s second-largest mobile operator Telefonica O2 said that data revenue continues to grow, with non-SMS revenue in the third quarter up 12.5pc year-on-year. Broadband numbers stand at 82,000.

Service revenue was €234m for the quarter, down 3.4pc year-on-year from €243m.

Data revenue as a percentage of revenue was 26.2pc in Q3, and non-SMS data revenues were up 12.5pc as broadband customers reached 82,000.

Monthly blended average revenue per user (ARPU) at O2 was €43.70, down from €47 for the same period last year.

O2’s customer base at the end of September was 1.7 million, its highest level to date.

Some 26,000 net new customers were added in the quarter, bringing the total number of net new customers to 67,000.

There was a 12.7pc rise in the number of text messages sent in the quarter, up from 540 million to 609 million.

Year-on-year there was a 55.1pc rise in text usage, from 393 million last year.

O2 attributed this growth to continued uptake of new value-led price plans like O2 Experience.

“We know that cost and value are now more important than ever for our customers. O2 has led the market in 2008 with its value-for-money price plans across both prepay and post pay, and we continue to win customers as a result,” explained Paul Whelan, chief financial officer of Telefonica O2 Ireland.

“Almost 67,000 net new customers have been added this year alone. Despite the increase in overall customer numbers, ARPU has fallen, mainly due to the extra value that our customers are enjoying.

“In terms of data usage, however, the success of our mobile broadband product, with over 82,000 customers to date, is driving growth in non-SMS data revenues. Most recently, O2 introduced new data pricing for prepay customers, offering internet browsing for just 99c per day up to a daily limit of 50MB.

“As the economy tightens, we continue to support and meet the changing needs of our customers through new cost-management services available with O2 price plans including Spend Alerts, a text service that alerts customers when they have reached a particular amount on their bill, allowing them to control their spend,” Whelan said.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: O2 broadband modem in action

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