Irish telecoms spending to clear €4bn in 2006


20 Dec 2005

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Irish businesses and consumers are set to spend more than €4bn on telecoms services next year; the highest amount yet according to the technology research and analysis firm iReach.

This represents an increase on this year’s spending, which iReach estimated at over €3.5bn. The firm has forecast that the higher telecoms outlay over the next 12 months will be driven by several factors including mobile data services, 3G, internet protocol (IP) telephony and telecoms hardware.

The Irish company recently surveyed small, medium and large organisations across a number of sectors, in addition to a panel comprising more than 2,000 consumers. IReach analyst Brian Foley said that mobile data growth in Ireland next year would come from a wider availability of rich content from a range of sources – on top of services already available from Vodafone and O2.

The iReach consumer panel survey found that of the 17-25 age category, 9pc of respondents currently have their phone 3G enabled and a further 19pc said they intend to buy a 3G phone over the next six months.

Revenues for fixed-line data traffic are also set for “dramatic” growth, said iReach, which added that this sector would be the single-largest growth area for telecoms spending next year and beyond. The company attributes more prevalent and cost-effective broadband services as the main reason for this higher spending.

Foley said that year-on-year growth of the fixed data market in Ireland will be almost 17pc, which is nearly double the expected yearly growth in most western European countries. The markets in Germany, Italy and the UK are predicted to grow between 5pc and 12pc next year.

IReach said it expects the fixed-line data growth trend to continue in Ireland as greater use of voice over IP takes place across the corporate market, SMEs and private residential broadband lines.

By Gordon Smith