More than half of all mobile phones are Smartphones

Broadband subscriptions and speeds also increase, according to new Comreg report

With the rise in smartphones comes an increase in data volumes, which rose by 48.1 per cent in the year to the end of March to reach 13,897 terabytes

With the rise in smartphones comes an increase in data volumes, which rose by 48.1 per cent in the year to the end of March to reach 13,897 terabytes

 

Smartphones are more popular than ever before, according to new figures published by the Communications regulator Comreg.

Its latest quarterly report shows that 57.2 per cent of all mobile phones in use in Ireland are smartphones, up 12.2 per cent for the first quarter 2013.

The study reveals there are now 3,206,880 active 3G and 4G users in the country.

With the rise in smartphones comes an increase in data volumes, which rose by 48.1 per cent in the year to the end of March to reach 13,897 terabytes.

According to the figures there were 5,619,777 mobile phone subscriptions in total in the first three months of 2014, down 0.1 per cent on the previous quarter. Ireland’s mobile penetration rate for the quarter was 121.9 per cent.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) was €26 per month, down from €28 on the previous quarter. Comreg attributed the decline in ARPU to cheaper mobile phone plans and increased sales of bundled products.

The total number of text messages sent by mobile users in Ireland was over 2.02 billion in the first three months of the year, down 25 per cent on the same quarter in 2013. The number of multimedia messages (MMS) sent declined by 7.4 per cent.

Fixed voice and mobile voice traffic also declined during the quarter. Fixed voice traffic was down by 1.3 pe cent while mobile traffic fell by 0.8 per cent.

Comreg’s report shows that broadband subscriptions rose by 0.7 per cent versus the previous quarter to stand at 1.7 million at the end of March. The estimated household broadband penetration rate was 67 per cent.

Average broadband speeds continue to rise with 56.7 per cent of all subscriptions equal to or greater than 10 Mbps, up from 32.2 per cent for the same quarter a year earlier. Approximately 37.7 per cent of all broadband subscriptions were equal or greater than 30 Mbps up from 21.3 per cent.

The number of WiFi hotspots and access points increased by approximately 18.4 per cent and 16 per cent respectively on an annual basis.

Overall industry retail revenues for telecom companies decreased by 3 per cent, according to Comreg. Total retail revenues in the twelve months to March totalled €3.13 billion, down from over €3.22 billion a year earlier.