Business Irish

Sunday 21 January 2018

Spend on landlines still falling as web use grows

Peter Flanagan

Consumers are continuing to spend less money on telecom services, according to new figures released yesterday. Internet usage, however, has increased significantly.

A survey carried out by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) found that consumers were spending an average of less than €40 a month on landline services, compared to a high of just under €52 in the third quarter of 2006.

The survey also found that while more than 95pc of the population now own a mobile phone, nearly a third of adults do not have a landline and rely exclusively on their mobile.

Despite the continuing rise in mobile phone usage, however, spending is now down over a third compared to the peak of the boom in early 2006. The average monthly spend per person now stands at €36.20.

The results were part of ComReg's first residential consumer survey of 2010. The survey was carried out in December 2009 and January this year. It is carried out on a quarterly basis.

In contrast to the fall in phone spending, internet usage has increased by over a third to 13.2 hours a week, compared to the last quarter of 2008.

As the recession has taken hold, there has been an increased awareness of what consumers are getting for their buck, according to the survey.

The number of broadband users now claiming to be aware of their contracted download speed (60pc) is up 10pc compared to the same period two years ago.

With an increased importance given by consumers to the speed of their internet connection (up 4pc on last year), this is perhaps not surprising.

Eircom's share of the home internet service provider market continued to fall precipitously in 2009. It now holds a 43pc share of the market, compared to 55pc at the end of 2008 and 78pc in 2007.

As more and more companies offer a range of bundled internet offers, the use of bundled services has increased sharply. Some 40pc of consumers now use them, compared to 27pc at the end of 2008.

Bundled services usually combine broadband access with a landline but can include cable TV access and mobile phone services as well.

Irish Independent

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