O2 signs up more new customers than Vodafone

4 Feb 2004

In the saturated market that is Irish mobile telecoms, the Irish subsidiary of Mm02 signed up 96,000 new customers in the final months of 2003, compared with 68,000 signed up by competing mobile operator Vodafone in the same period. However, O2 still lags Vodafone in size, with 1.37 million Irish customers, compared to Vodafone Ireland’s 1.87 million.

Across the Mm02 group, the company added some 855,000 in the fiscal third quarter, which includes the key Christmas period, taking its total base in the UK, Ireland and Germany to 20.1 million customers. The company added 430,000 customers in the UK, 335,000 in Germany and 96,000 in Ireland.

MmO2 raised its average revenue per user (ARPU) by 6.5pc year-on-year in Germany and by 8.5pc in the UK. In Ireland, however, it increased it by just 2.5pc to €556. The number of text messages sent on the MmO2 networks rose by 12.2pc in the third quarter from the previous three months to 2.89 billion, the company said. Data as a proportion of service revenue increased to 20.9pc, up from 19.2pc.

In the Irish market revenue from data services, excluding text messaging, rose to 21.1pc of total revenue, exceeding the group average of 19.8pc. Some 91,000 of the new customers signed up for prepay mobile services, with the remaining 5,000 signing up for post-pay mobile services.

O2 Ireland CEO Danuta Gray (pictured) said she expects further growth in the data services area as more customers begin to use their mobile for picture messaging and internet access.

Within Ireland, ARPU rose to €355 for prepay customers in the third quarter, up from €337 in the same period a year earlier. ARPU for post-pay customers increased to €1,048, up from €1,017. Blended ARPU on a monthly basis increased from €543 to €556.

By John Kennedy