Business Technology

Saturday 22 July 2017

Irish mobile operator iD to double data allowances in bid to get more customers

Sarah Probert
Sarah Probert
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Fledgling mobile operator iD is to double its mobile data allowances in Ireland in a bid to get more customers.

The operator, which uses 3 Ireland’s network, says it is doing so without raising its prices as it battles in a “fiercely competitive” mobile market here.

From June, the operator’s packages will increase customers’ data allowances from 3GB to 7GB, 1GB to 3GB, 500MB to 1GB and 125MB to 500MB, depending on the package chosen. Its top data allowance is increasing from 20GB to 30GB, a 50pc jump.

The company has also published its new EU roaming data allowances, to kick in once the EU-wide ‘roam like home’ law kicks in on June 15th.

While lower data packages of 3GB and under will be equal at home and abroad, the operator is restricting its prepay 30GB plan to 3.3GB of data within the EU, a 90pc reduction. This is allowed for by EU rules as the cost of the plan is €15 per month. Under the new law’s fine print, operators are allowed to restrict the amount of roaming data to as little as 5pc of the home allowance if it’s a low cost plan.

EU roaming allowances from iD for its 7GB and 30GB postpay plans will be limited to 5.6GB and 6.3GB per month, respectively.

Sarah Probert, iD’s marketing manager, said that the average data usage among its customers is between 4GB and 5GB.

“We believe it is important to be fully transparent about our charges and plans, so that there are no unwelcome surprises for our customers,” she said.

“We are taking advantage of the roaming regulation updates to refresh our own bill pay customer offering with some really generous enhancements that will more than double most of our customers’ allowances.”

Ms Probert declined to say how many customers the operator, which is part of Dixons Carphone, has accumulated since its launch in 2015.

As iD is changing the pricing on its packages, its customers have the ability to walk away from existing bill pay contracts. However, Ms Probert said that they cannot walk away with a new phone acquired as part of becoming an iD customer in recent months.

“We separate our service contracts from our phone purchasing contracts,” she said. “It’s not the same as with other operators, where it’s one and the same.”

3 Ireland recently had to give its bill pay customers the opportunity to cancel their contracts and walk away with new phones without paying the remainder for the remainder of the contract period. In some instances, this resulted in customers getting to keep high-end iPhone 7 or Samsung S7 handsets having only paid €200 or less toward their purchase.

The roaming allowance disclosure comes as Ireland’s telecoms regulator is investigating proposals by 3 Ireland to limit EU roaming allowances to as little as 2GB for packages that offer 60GB of domestic data.

Representatives from the European Commission have criticised 3 Ireland’s proposals.

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