Sunday 21 December 2014

Broadband speeds on the rise but text messaging continues to slump

Published 20/06/2014 | 13:44

Shell is wiring 132km of fibre optic cable along the pipeline used to transport natural gas from the controversial Corrib gas field under the sea off the Mayo coast
Broadband speeds on the rise but text messaging continues to slump. Picture: Thinkstock

Broadband speeds have risen sharply but text messaging continues to slump in Ireland, according to the latest industry figures from the telecoms watchdog Comreg.

The regulator’s quarterly report shows that more than half (57pc) of Irish subscriptions now over 10 megabits-per-second (Mbs), a rise from the 32pc which had the same broadband speed package last year. And the number of broadband subscriptions exceeding 30Mbs is now 38pc compared to 21pc a year ago.

But text messaging is continuing to collapse in Ireland, with the number of SMS messages in the first three months of this year (2.02bn) down 25pc on the same period a year ago.

The slump is largely down to the continued rise of smartphone use, now 57pc of the population. It is also due to increased usage of free messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Snapchat.

And mobile operators’ fortunes are continuing to dwindle in Ireland, with the industry ‘average revenue per user’ (ARPU) falling to its lowest ever level of €26 per month, down from €28 per month a year ago. This fall is attributed to cheaper mobile phone contracts and plans and more mobile plans being sold as part of ‘bundled’ products.

There were 5,619,777 mobile phone subscriptions at the end of March which was a decrease of 0.1% on the previous quarter.

Comreg says that  67pc of Irish households now have either fixed line or mobile broadband services, representing 1.7m subscriptions.

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