On 12 September 2013, ComReg published its key quarterly data report for Q2 2013. The report (which covers the period from 1 April to 30 June) has highlighted some key trends in the Irish communications industry. ARPU, is down, but unsurprisingly smartphone usage and data revenue is on the up. For the first time, information on SIMs used in M2M communications has been included, evidence of the rising importance of the M2M sector.

  • Although mobile revenues are up slightly from Q1 2013, overall mobile revenues have decreased from the same time last year, with Average Revenue Per User (“ARPU”) continuing to fall due to lower priced mobile plans and the increased sales of bundles. Given the increasing prevalence of VoIP and smartphone messengers (eg, Whatsapp) it is hardly surprising that mobile voice and SMS revenues have declined. The decline in ARPU is also consistent with a general downward trend across Western Europe and the continued difficult economic conditions in Ireland. Conversely, the rise in the number of customers using their mobile devices to access traditional media services (eg, TV, film, gaming) has led to an increase in mobile data revenues. We believe the data sector will continue to be of importance to customers going forward.
  • There has been a decline in dedicated mobile broadband subscriptions (down 6.7% since Q2 2012); this may be due in part to the increase in smartphone and tablet usage (up 11.2% compared to Q2 2012).
  • ComReg’s publication of separate figures on SIMs used in M2M communications further shows the rapid growth in this sector.
  • The migration from narrowband internet access to high-speed fixed and mobile broadband subscriptions continues, with narrowband subscriptions falling by 41.0% since Q2 2012. Average broadband speeds continue to increase, and it is hoped that, with the advent of 4G services in the State (following the Multi-Band Spectrum Auction last year), there will be further improvement in mobile broadband speeds.

You can read ComReg’s quarterly data report for Q2 here.