The number of active broadband connections in Ireland (fixed and mobile) passed the 1.2 million mark at the end of 2008, up 35% year-on-year, according to data published by the national telecoms regulator ComReg. Excluding mobile broadband subscriptions however, the figure for xDSL, cable-based and other (WiMAX etc) lines was 891,000. The regulator said that broadband per capita penetration reached 27.1% at the end of the year, with DSL subscriptions accounting for 45.9% of all internet subscriptions. During the fourth quarter, the number of dial-up internet subscribers fell to just 237,475, down 27% y-o-y; total internet subscriptions stood at 1.4 million, 18.5% higher than a year earlier.
ComReg’s quarterly report notes that cellular penetration in the Republic stood at 121% by 31 December 2008, as the total number of mobile subscriptions passed 5.3 million. Vodafone remains the leading player, with a 41.1% market share, followed by O2 with 37.9%, Meteor Mobile with 18.2% and 3 Ireland with just 2.8%. ComReg reported that the total number of text messages sent in the three months to 31 December reached over 2.8 billion, up from 2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. In addition it noted that approximately 1.487 million people have switched mobile provider since the launch of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in June 2003.