Ok, we admit it. Sometimes we love nothing more than a good nerd out over some data. Every quarter, the Commission for Communications Regulation, or ComReg, releases a massive report. This ComReg report tells us how people are connecting online, at home and with their smartphones. We’ve gone through the report to pull out a few interesting nuggets. It turns out that your broadband is fast enough and your phone bill is cheap enough

More than one phone per person

Believe it or not, Ireland currently has more than one active phone per person. In a population of 4.7 million people, there are 4.9 million phones. The vast majority of these are smartphones with 4.3 million using 3G and 4G networks. Maybe, just maybe the Nokia 3310 will change that.

Who is Ireland’s most popular mobile network?

It’s no real surprise that Vodafone is once again crowned Ireland’s most popular network, holding 37 percent of Irish mobile customers. They might be a little worried as they used to have 38.3 percent of customers. Tesco Mobile and Three were the big winners through the end of 2016. It’ll be interesting to see if Three’s contract change letting customers leave their contracts leads to a drop in market share. The other operators also increased their share. This is largely down to Virgin Media gathering momentum.

Irish mobile network's market share

  • Vodafone
  • Three
  • Eir and Meteor
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Everyone else

Bill pay or prepay?

It’s rather interesting to see bill pay grow again. Bill pay is always growing which really makes no sense. Phones are not improving as much as they used to and prepay is generally great value. You can even check which is better for you using our handy bill pay versus prepay calculator.

There is one factor we haven’t considered too much – the convenience. Bill pay helps you afford high-end smartphones. Also, running out of credit does feel a little bit childish right? Well, running out of credit is a lot cheaper than having a bill – just look for yourself.

Prepay or Billpay?

  • Prepay
  • Billpay

So, your phone bill is grand

According to the ComReg Report, the national average for a bill pay contract is €31 per month. Prepay customers are paying about €14 per month for their service. The average cost of running your smartphone is continuously being reduced. ComReg attribute these reductions to bundling of home broadband with mobile services. Personally, I think SIM only becoming increasingly popular also plays a part.

SIM only is an increasingly popular way middle ground between bill pay and prepay. This is visible in the ComReg Report as the average cost of bill pay continues to decrease. Sure, you pay a bill but the cost is lower because there’s no phone involved.

Average monthly prepay cost: €14
Average monthly cost of services: €23
Average monthly bill pay cost: €31

Are we callers or texters?

We’re talking as much on our smartphones has we ever have. Between October and December 2016, the population of Ireland used 3.1 billion minutes. That’s roughly 277 minutes per person or 90 minutes per month. In the grand scheme of things, not a huge figure.

But, calling remains as popular as ever, unlike poor old text messages. WhatsApp, Snapchat, Messenger and the likes are killing text messages. During the same period, the people of Ireland sent 1.4 billion text messages. A substantial amount yes, but a 15 percent decline on the same period a year earlier.

Irish people love using mobile data

Between October and December 2013, Irish people used just over 10,000 terabytes of data. Towards the end of last year, we used over 50,000 terabytes. To most, that number means nothing. Here’s some perspective. It’s about the same amount of data it would take to watch 50 million episodes of stranger things.

On the move, Irish smartphone users are now each gobbling up 3.4GB of data per month. Which is less than was a lot of Irish data plans now offer. That does make sense. When was the last time you heard someone say they are running out of data?

cat downloading stuff

Oh, and your home broadband is plenty fast

Sometimes, you can’t help but doubt the stats when you see them. We’re under no illusions that many parts of rural Ireland are miles behind urbanised areas in terms of connectivity. According to the ComReg Quarterly Report, the average broadband speed in Ireland is now 30Mbps. That’s a 56% increase over the same period last year.

We can’t help but feel that’s going to be tough reading for a few people.

So, how does that make you feel? Are you on the right side of the averages? Let us know in the comments below. Also, it’s fairly heavy reading, but you can grab the whole ComReg Report in full and tear it apart if you like.