Opening shot fired in mobile broadband wars

3 Jul 2008

Mobile broadband provider 3 has fired the opening salvo in a skirmish amongst wireless operators with a new price drop and product offer.

The company last night reduced the purchase price of its mobile broadband service by offering a free dongle with its monthly price plans.

The latest move by 3 to offer a free dongle, the Huawei E220, further heats up a competitive market that not only sees the mobile operators competing for market share but also the old fixed-line providers.

“We’ve consistently driven down prices across the board on broadband and the competition have continually had to react to keep up,” explained Elaine Carey, head of sales at 3.

“This free device with a monthly fee of €19.99 for 10GB of data is throwing down the gauntlet again to the old providers,” Carey added.

3’s mobile broadband service currently supports speeds of up to 3.6Mbps.

Earlier this year, 3 launched the first pre-paid mobile broadband service in Ireland and currently has more than 90,000 high-speed broadband customers.

A recent ComReg report for Q1 shows growth in the mobile broadband market increased by a massive 46pc – helping 3 become the fastest-growing network in Ireland.

3 is one of three companies shortlisted for the National Broadband Scheme vying for government funding to bring broadband to rural areas in Ireland.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: 3 USB modem for mobile broadband

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