Meteor, the country’s third-largest mobile network, said it has grown its customer numbers by 50pc in the past year, giving the company a market share of 16pc.
The total number of customers stands at 750,000, up from 500,000 this time 12 months ago, Meteor said. It attributed the increase to “accelerated and sustained growth”.
Meteor chief executive Robert Haulbrook called it an “exceptional performance”, adding: “We have been investing in our network, investing in marketing and investing in our customers by offering better value across all sectors and consumers are responding and moving to Meteor.”
The mobile operator, which was acquired by Eircom last year, also claimed to top the charts on number portability. It said that more mobile users are switching to its service than changing from Meteor to Vodafone, O2 or 3.
“The ability to switch networks while keeping your full number tends to be more important to bill pay and high-use prepay customers,” Haulbrook commented. “The fact that we have attracted more number portability customers than the bigger networks have gained from us and from each other combined shows that we are competing successfully across all sectors”.
According to the company’s figures, Meteor has also upped its presence in the post-paid mobile market. Bill-paying customers now account for close to 10pc of the total, up from 2pc last year. Haulbrook also claimed credit for having increased competition in the mobile market. “This is good for all consumers,” he said. “We are driving call costs down.”
Network investment continued throughout the year, with Meteor’s own coverage reaching 95pc of the population, up to 99pc when national roaming is factored in. Meteor’s marketing strategy to offer the best value in the market continued with the launch of ‘Free Talk and Text For Life’ for bill pay customers and ‘Free Text or 5c Calls for Life’ for prepay customers
The operator is also increasing its presence in the retail sector, with plans to add a further 10 stores to its current slate of 30 outlets around the country. Three new shops are to be opened in Dublin, with others in Ennis, Tralee, Sligo, Wexford, Portlaoise and Drogheda.
By Gordon Smith