Business Technology

Wednesday 1 October 2014

SMS messaging collapses in Ireland

Adrian Weckler, Technology Editor

Published 14/03/2014 | 13:36

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SMS text messaging has collapsed in Ireland, with Ireland’s telecoms regulator recording a 28pc decline in SMS messages sent between Irish people over the last 12 months.

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In its latest quarterly report, the regulator recorded 2.15bn SMS text messages sent among Irish mobile phone users in the last three months of 2013. This is 27.6pc down on the same period in 2012.

The collapse is being attributed to the rise of free alternatives, such as Whatsapp, Snapchat and Viber. According to research company IpsosMRBI, Whatsapp has approximately 800,000 registered Irish users, while Snapchat has approximately 650,000 registered users. The research firm also says that of 2m Irish Facebook accounts, 1.3m log into the service daily to communicate with friends.

The slump in traditional text messaging contributed to a further fall in operators’ average revenue per user (Arpu) figures, with the average mobile bill now falling to €27 per month, down from €29 per month a year ago.

The regulator's figures also show that prepaid mobile phone users spend an average of €16.50 per month, while bill-pay users pay an average of €40.67.

The figures also reveal a further fall in market share for O2 Ireland, which is currently in the midst of an acquisition bid by rival network Three.

Excluding mobile broadband dongle subscriptions, O2 fell from 28pc to 24pc in its Irish market share in the last year. Vodafone remains the biggest operator in the market, with 39pc of Irish customers, while Meteor and eMobile jointly have 21pc of Irish mobile customers.

Three has 8pc of mobile customer here, while Tesco Mobile and new entrant LycaMobile have 4.5pc and 2.5pc respectively.

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