Irish SME eyes smiling for mobile broadband

Mobile broadband in Ireland growing steadily over the last three years and especially during 2008

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are key drivers in the increased uptake of mobile broadband across the Irish Republic according to research commissioned by O2.

According to Irish telecommunications regulator Comreg, mobile broadband in Ireland has grown steadily over the last three years and especially during the last twelve months to December 2008 when mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 142% compared with the 2007 calendar year.

On a quarter-by-quarter basis, mobile broadband in Ireland —via HSDPA, HSPA and 3G networks—increased by 15% in Q408 compared with Q407. However the 40,204 new mobile broadband customers in the final quarter of 2008 represented a 13% dip compared with those reported in Q308.

In the midst of this general market growth, O2 announced that the number of SMEs using its O2's mobile broadband service in the Irish Republic had reached the 100,000 milestone.

According to research carried out on behalf of O2 by TNS mrbi, the number of senior SME managers using mobile broadband jumped from 12% in 2007’s survey to over a third (34%) by the end of 2008. n 2008 O2 became the first mobile broadband provider in Ireland to also roll out a high speed uplink packet access (HSUPA) service to complement its HSDPA technology which it claims offers has 89% coverage of the population of the Irish Republic.

Commented Jude Lynch, Business Sales Director, Telefónica O2 Ireland, said, "Our research clearly suggests that more and more Irish SMEs are seeing the benefits that mobile broadband can offer them in terms of convenience, productivity, cost effectiveness and control. This is mirrored in the growing popularity in general of mobile broadband which continues to increase its share of the broadband market in Ireland ".

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