Ireland’s total internet market, including subscriptions to narrowband, DSL broadband and other broadband technologies, increased by 9pc in 2005 and is currently estimated at 874,000, the latest quarterly report from the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) reveals. Mobile penetration in Ireland, it revealed, now stands at 102pc.
The ComReg report claims the Irish broadband market is continuing to grow, with over 270,000 subscribers at the end of December 2005.
The report claims more than 58,000 new broadband subscribers were added in the fourth quarter of 2005, compared with more than 34,000 net additions in the previous quarter.
Some 31pc of all internet subscribers are now using some form of broadband as their means of access compared with 17pc of all internet subscriptions at the end of 2004.
In terms of the variety of broadband solutions consumers and businesses are opting for other than DSL, cable broadband, fixed wireless, satellite and fibre subscriptions combined now account for around 25pc of all broadband subscriptions.
In terms of the overall telecoms market, the market for electronic communications in Ireland is now valued at €4bn. Some 48pc of this revenue was generated by the mobile sector.
Alternative operators’ provision of carrier pre-select (CPS) and wholesale line rental (WLR) services has increased by 19pc since December 2004.
By December 2005 almost 200,000 lines were being supplied by operators other than Eircom using the single-billing/wholesale line rental product.
There are now 4.2 million mobile subscriptions in the Irish market — equal to 102pc of the Irish population.
It is understood that some 500,000 mobile subscribers have switched operator whilst keeping their mobile number since number portability was launched in 2003. In the first quarter of 2005 80,000 numbers were ported.
By John Kennedy