Smartphone bounce for Vodafone as Irish sales surge


IRISH CUSTOMERS continued to embrace smartphones in the last quarter of 2011, with sales of the devices rising by 50 per cent at Vodafone Ireland.

The Irish division of the telecoms operator said smartphones represent about two-thirds of all bill-pay mobile sales. However, average blended monthly revenue per user was slightly lower, falling to €32.20.

The Irish division added 22,700 customers in the quarter ended December 31st, bringing its customer base to 2.47 million. Vodafone Ireland currently has 2.24 million mobile customers, and its fixed line and DSL customer base recently reached 232,000.

Video traffic across its fixed customer base rose by 80 per cent in the past 12 months.

Parent company Vodafone Group said service revenue growth slowed in the fiscal third-quarter as consumers in Spain and Italy cut spending amid the European debt crisis.

Service revenue excluding currency swings and acquisitions in the three months through December gained 0.9 per cent, after rising 1.3 per cent in the prior quarter. Service sales include voice, data, messaging and broadband services. They exclude handsets and accessories.

“Despite the further deterioration of the southern European economic environment during the quarter, our broad geographic mix is delivering a resilient overall performance,” chief executive Vittorio Colao said in the statement.

Vodafone has sought to drive data sales from smartphones including Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android software to counter weak European service revenue. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)