O2 Ireland expands customer base but data revenue falls slightly

31 Jul 2008

While O2 Ireland’s service revenue for the quarter ended 30 June 2008 was at €22m – a 4.9pc decrease on this time last year – its customer base had expanded by almost 25,000.

This result is “due to the additional value that customers are receiving” on pre-pay and post-pay price plans, said the mobile operator.

The 3.4pc year-on-year increase in subscribers to O2 Ireland may be partly attributed to the O2 Clear and O2 Experience price plans, especially the Experience package which meant that pre-pay customers were able to text any mobile operator for free for life as long as they topped up their phone credit by at least €20 per month.

The free-text plan led to a massive 33.6pc increase in the amount of SMS messages being sent – 540 million – in a three-month period, in comparison to 404 million sent in the same quarter last year.

Meanwhile, O2 customers were talking a little more as there was a 0.3pc increase to 249 in the average monthly minutes used, and this in itself was a 4.1pc increase from Q1 of this year.

With the abundance of smart phones like the Nokia N95, and with O2 exclusively carrying the iPhone (first-generation model only as the iPhone 3G was released after these figures were complied), it is strange to see that data revenue (25.8pc) was down by 1pc on the first quarter.

Also, O2’s mobile broadband service “continues to exceed expectations”, according to the mobile operator, but no figures of this quarter’s growth were given, just the total number of subscribers, which stands at 60,000 at present.

It seems the Irish love their pre-pay phones and texting but the masses are not quite ready to go mobile for their web and email needs just yet.

By Marie Boran

Pictured: Danuta Gray, chief executive of O2 Ireland