News in Brief

Mobile costs to fall
The cost of mobile phone calls is likely to fall in the republic during 2006, according to the Telecommunications and Internet Federation of Ireland.Ireland has been criticised for having the highest tariffs in Europe, but more competition in the sector is expected to improve services for business and personal customers next year. The return of Eircom to the mobile market is also expected to intensify competition.

Recycle unwanted phones
Around 15m mobile phones in Ireland are believed to be unused and unwanted, but only one in 25 is recycled. Children’s charity the Jack and Jill Foundation has launched a campaign today calling for donations of mobile handsets that will be recycled to aid young people with severe development problems. Visit the website www.folamh.ie to request a freepost recycling envelope.

Termination rates cut
Vodafone Ireland, O2 Ireland and Meteor Mobile have published reductions in their Mobile Termination Rates and committed to further cuts a year from now. The move has been welcomed by the industry regulator ComReg; the cuts in wholesale prices have already sparked moves by fixed line operators to reduce the cost of calls to mobile phones. Ireland’s MTRs remain amongst the lowest in Europe.

3 reaches 72%
3 Ireland says its network can now reach 72% of the Irish population and is well on course to meet the terms of its licence award of having 85% population coverage by the end of next year. The operator now boasts the widest UMTS coverage of all of Ireland’s 3G licensees.

One mobile per person
Mobile phone penetration in Ireland has reached the 100% mark, according to the latest Key Data Report from ComReg, which says there were 4.1m mobile subscribers in the country at the end of September 2005. Vodafone had 49.7% of the total, 38.8% were O2 customers, 11.5% were signed up with Meteor Mobile; the figures do not include 3, which launched in July.