Irish people are intensely loyal with regard to which mobile carrier they use, but age bears a large factor in terms of what company people go for.
The two largest carriers in terms of market share in the Irish market are Vodafone and Three. However the former is greatly favoured by older customers, with Three gobbling up the vast majority of younger subscribers.
That data is contained in the latest mobile service usage trends in Ireland survey released by Comreg, the Commission for Communications Regulation.
A massive 84% of Vodafone’s customer base is over 50 years of age, with 80% of Three’s users being under 34.
Vodafone had 36.1% of the Irish market at the end of March 2019, compared with 32.3% for Three. The next closest competitor was Eir with 19.7%.
However, while Irish people across the board tend to stick with the operator they know, that figure declines rapidly as the age profile decreases. 58% of those aged between 18 and 24 had been with their provider for three or more years, a figure that jumps hugely to 81% for the over-65s.
More people in Ireland these days are using a bill plan for their mobile compared with the last time the survey was conducted in 2017. Some 48% of the country is now on billpay, compared with 46% two years ago. That may explain why bills are increasing in size. The average monthly spend is now €42.31 versus €40.28 two years ago - a jump of 5%.
Billpay is at its most prevalent in the 35-64 age grouping.
Average prepay bills meanwhile have stayed broadly static at €20.79 per month compared with €20.58 in 2017.
A total of 98% of people own a mobile phone, and 84% of them own a smartphone. That figure is 47% for the older generations aged 65 and over.
Google’s Android operating system dominates the market here with a 68% share, versus Apple’s iOS with 32%.
Meanwhile, Samsung Galaxy smartphones are the most popular handsets, with 40% of the market versus the iPhone’s 32%.