Vodafone Ireland gained 400 customers a day in the last quarter, according to the company’s interim management statement, despite the group describing Europe as difficult.
The mobile phone operator said its contract base increased by 12.6% compared to the same quarter last year. More than 36,100 Irish consumers were attracted to Vodafone’s Red Plan which offers limitless calls and texts and the option of a new phone every year.
Despite the rise in users there was a marginal drop in the average blended monthly revenue per user to €28.
The proportion of customers using smartphones has now reached almost 60%, making mobile internet the fastest growing segment of the market. Mobile data has increased by 12.7% compared to the same period last year.
To facilitate the rise in mobile internet usage the company has allocated €37.9m for investment in 4G networks in Ireland. Vodafone recently announced that its 4G network will be rolled out to six cities and 31 towns across Ireland. Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Limerick and Waterford have already started to receive the new service.
Chief executive Vittorio Colao is investing billions to bulk up Vodafone’s network, adding cable and internet assets across Europe and introducing high-speed, fourth-generation wireless technology, as he banks on the industry’s recovery. Germany, Vodafone’s biggest market, reported a 7.9% drop in service revenue, as competitors cut prices for consumers and business customers. Service revenue in the UK declined 5.1%.
“In Europe, conditions are still difficult, and we continue to mitigate these challenges through ongoing improvements to our operating model and cost efficiency. Our revenue performance will begin to improve as regulatory headwinds ease and customer appetite for video and content services increases.” Colao said.
Vodafone described the pressures in Europe, where it competes with the likes of Telefonica, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, as intense.
Nordic operator TeliaSonera posted quarterly profit below expectations due to weak trading in its developed markets.
Additional reporting Reuters
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