• Average Revenue Per User ("ARPU") continued to decline. In Q3 2013 mobile ARPU was €26.2 per month, down from €29.3 per month in Q3 2012. This may be due to reduced consumer spending due to the worsened economic climate, lower priced mobile plans, increased sales of bundled products and reductions in roaming and termination rates. The increasing prevalence of VoIP and smartphone messengers such as 'What'sapp' is likely to continue to play a part in this decline.
  • There has been an increase in broadband subscriptions (fixed and mobile) by 0.6% this quarter and by 1.0% compared to Q3 2012. The decline in dedicated mobile broadband subscriptions has continued (down 9.1% on Q3 2012). This could be attributed to the rise in smartphone/tablet usage which has increased by 16.5% compared to Q3 2012.
  • The migration from narrowband internet access to high speed fixed and mobile broadband continued with narrowband subscriptions falling by 24.6% since Q3 2012. Average fixed broadband speeds continued to increase. 42.1% of all fixed broadband subscriptions were equal to or greater than 10 Mbps (up from 31.0% in Q3 2012). The arrival of 4G services in Ireland should see further improvements in mobile broadband speeds and will be welcomed by data hungry users.

ComReg's End of Year Review (published on 6 January 2014) confirms the data in the Q3 quarterly report – notably, the growing trend in both the fixed and mobile markets towards data services, and the take-off of bundled services (according to the Review, almost half of all fixed market subscriptions are double or triple play bundles). The six page Review provides a very useful roundup of key developments in 2013 across the Irish telecommunications market and priorities for 2014. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.