As Vodafone begins its femtocell strategy in Ireland, the company reported a 34,000 increase in customers in the past quarter and that despite the recession Irish people still talk a lot.
The company ended its October-December quarter with 2.4m customers, of which 200,000 are fixed-line and DSL business customers.
Vodafone said its customer base growth was driven by a combination of strong smartphone sales and uptake of mobile broadband.
Nearly one in two of all devices sold in December 2010 were smartphones. Average blended monthly ARPU decreased by 6.9pc to €34.90.
Despite the recession, Irish customers are continuing to talk more, with minutes of use per customer continuing to grow to 273 minutes, an increase of 5pc on the same quarter last year. In addition, data usage increased in the quarter, some of which can be attributed to the poor weather conditions resulting in a higher number of people working from home during the month of December.
Femtocells arrive in Ireland
Vodafone also today launched Sure Signal, the first femtocell device in the market delivering enhanced 3G signal for both the home and office, giving reliable coverage indoors on all 3G handsets and data devices, including mobile broadband.
During the quarter, Vodafone launched Vodafone Performance Plus, the first HSPA+ tariff to allow users achieve speeds of up to 14.4Mbps. Performance Plus currently has 59pc population coverage and its rollout will continue in 2011.
This is part of Vodafone’s ongoing investment, which has reached €800m to date, to increase population coverage on the network.
Vodafone global revenues up 3pc
Vodafone Group reported total global revenues of €11.8bn, up 3pc on the year, driven by strong service revenue growth in India, Turkey, the UK and Vodacom.
Verizon, which has just taken on the iPhone in the US, delivered a robust performance with service revenues up 7pc.
Vodafone Group’s data revenues were up 27pc, driven by higher smartphone penetration and data usage in Europe.
Enterprise service revenues in Europe were up 1.3pc and Vodafone Global Enterprise revenue was up 6pc.
Fixed-line revenue across Vodafone Group were up 4.7pc while the number of fixed broadband customers grew 11.7pc.
“This is the fifth successive quarter of service revenue growth improvement, with strong results from India, Turkey, the UK and Vodacom,” Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said.
“In addition, Verizon Wireless continues to show strong momentum. Our performance has been driven by the effective execution of our strategy to strengthen our businesses and deliver growth, particularly in data services and emerging markets.”