Mobile users ditch traditional texts
SMS TEXT messaging has collapsed in Ireland, with the telecoms regulator recording a 28pc decline in SMS messages sent between Irish people over the last 12 months.
In its latest quarterly report, the regulator recorded 2.15 billion SMS texts 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 about 800,000 registered Irish users, while Snapchat has about 650,000 registered users. The research firm also says that of 2 million Irish Facebook accounts, 1.3 million log into the service daily to communicate with friends.
Meanwhile, the regulator reported that average broadband speeds in Ireland continue to rise, with 53pc of all fixed broadband subscriptions now faster than 10 Mbs, almost double the number a year ago. It also reports that 35pc of all fixed broadband subscriptions are now faster than 30 Mbs.
The regulator said that there were now 1.7 million broadband subscriptions in Ireland, with 75,000 new Eircom 'eFibre' subscriptions.
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 a month, down from €29 a month a year ago.
The regulator's figures also show that prepaid mobile phone users spend an average of €16.50 a month, while bill-pay users pay an average of €40.67.
The figures also reveal a further fall in market share in the last year for O2 Ireland, from 28pc to 24pc (excluding mobile dongle broadband subscriptions). Vodafone remains the biggest operator with 39pc of Irish customers, while Meteor and eMobile jointly have 21pc of Irish mobile customers.
Three has 8pc of mobile customers here, while Tesco Mobile and LycaMobile have 4.5pc and 2.5pc respectively.