The number of broadband subscriptions in Ireland climbed 6% in the first three months of this year to 1.272 million, up from 1.200 million as at 31 December 2008, according to data published by the national telecoms regulator the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). By 1 April the country’s broadband per capita rate, including mobile broadband, reached 28.8%, cementing the Republic’s position as 14th in a league table of 27 EU countries.
Mobile broadband has helped drive a 28.2% year-on-year rise in overall broadband take-up, to reach 45,765 mobile internet users by 31 March 2009.
Despite the increased popularity of mobile broadband services, ADSL remains the most popular access platform accounting for 46% of all high speed internet subscriptions by end-March. Meanwhile, dial-up (narrowband) users continue to dwindle, reporting 200,433 users by the end of the period under review, down from 237,475 in 1Q08. ComReg also noted a small decline in the Republic’s cellular user base – the first time it has fallen in four years. At the end of March 2009 there were 4.928 million cellular subscribers in the country, down 74,000 or 2.4% quarter-on-quarter. The regulator added that total fixed and mobile voice traffic minutes fell 8.5% in 1Q09 to below 4.7 billion minutes, partly due to a correction in mobile traffic reporting. Mobile minutes accounted for 53% of voice minutes in the first quarter, with fixed minutes accounting for the remainder.