O2 rolls out 21Mbps broadband in key urban centres

13 May 2010

Ireland’s second-largest mobile operator O2 has successfully trialled 21Mbps mobile broadband in four urban locations and plans to make the services commercially available later this summer in Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

The company said benefits of the new network upgrade include improved download speeds of up to 21Mbps as well as uplink speeds of up to 5.7Mbps.

O2 currently has more than 142,000 mobile broadband subscribers on its network. The company says it has invested more than €1bn in its network.

The company said that the increasing popularity of smartphones such as the Apple iPhone has resulted in a three-fold increase in data usage levels in the last two years.

The company introduced its key performance indicators for Q1 today and said that it increased its post-pay customer base by 10,000 bringing this base to 701,833, its highest level yet.

The company’s total customer base in Ireland at the end of Q1 stood at 1.7m.

Service revenue during the quarter was €196m, down from €207m at the end of Q4 last year and down from €210m in Q1 last year.

Data revenues now account for 12.2pc of overall service revenues, up from 10.3pc last year.

Some 833 million text messages were sent in the quarter, up 11.1pc year-on-year.

Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) was €37.37, down from €39.46 in Q4.

“As a result of the extremely tough trading conditions, but also the better value for money products we are offering our customers, we continued to see downward pressures on revenues in the first quarter of this year,” Paul Whelan, chief financial officer, Telefónica O2 Ireland, explained.

“Despite the economic climate, we again grew our postpay base, exceeding 700,000 customers for the first time ever, as we focused on customer loyalty and reward in the quarter through initiatives such as O2 Treats and Priority Ticketing at The O2. To date, over 140,000 customers have signed up for Priority Ticketing.

“A trend which also continues this quarter is the uplift in data usage, driven by the increasing number of smartphones on the network alongside growth in our mobile broadband customer base. To ensure our customers get the best broadband and internet experience possible, we have today also announced that significantly faster broadband speeds will start to be made available to our customers from this summer as part of our ongoing investment in the network,” Whelan said.

By John Kennedy

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