Eircom launches new mobile brand


ITS METEOR mobile subsidiary already has about one million customers but Eircom yesterday launched a second brand in the hope of capturing a slice of the “mainstream market”, backed by a €2.5 million marketing campaign.

EMobile officially signed up its first customer at 10.01am yesterday and will target an older subscriber base to Meteor, which has been successful selling prepay deals to teenagers and foreign nationals and has a 20 per cent market share.

Eircom chief executive Paul Donovan said Meteor had made “a brilliant success” of targeting under 25s, a segment of the market where it has a 50 per cent share. “We have left the mainstream market to our competitors until today,” he added.

Mr Donovan wouldn’t reveal the overall investment by Eircom in eMobile or how many subscribers the new business hopes to gain. But its launch is backed by an extensive 12-week marketing and advertising campaign in the run-up to Christmas.

EMobile will provide prepay and bill-pay offers to customers. In prepay, it is offering seven days for €10. This will give users 200 voice minutes to any network at any time and 200 texts.

Mr Donovan said bill-pay customers will save €180 by choosing its Select 200 price plan when compared to Vodafone’s Perfect Fit 200 offer.

Eircom fixed-line customers will be eligible for a €5 discount per month on their eMobile bills by bundling their services.

But customers will be billed separately for mobile and fixed-line and broadband services.

The new service will use the 085 prefix, the same one used by Meteor.

Eircom has opened five retail shops to sell the eMobile service directly to customers, creating 50 jobs.

It has also signed distribution deals with PC World, Currys, Xtravision and Carphone Warehouse. This will give it access to about 250 outlets around the Republic.

Eircom said the new mobile company would offer subscribers a number of perks, including Sim card back up, cheap phone insurance and mobile applications.

When asked if the launch might fall flat given the current economic climate and intense competition, Mr Donovan said: “We are a trusted brand . . . a damp squib we will not be.”

He also ruled out selling Meteor in the future, something that would help it offset its €3 billion-plus debt.

“There are no plans to sell off Meteor,” Mr Donovan explained.

Ireland’s mobile market is already extremely competitive with average revenues per user in decline. Vodafone and O2 lead the way, followed by Meteor and 3 Ireland.

A number of virtual operators are also in the market, including Postfone and Tesco Mobile. These piggyback on the networks of established operators.

A new company called Just Mobile is also planning to launch soon as a virtual operator. It is backed by entrepreneur Seán Melly and will be sold through Spar retail outlets.