There’s a fair chance you’ve never heard of iD Mobile. That seems to be the reaction I’ve always got when I tell people what network I’m on. At least it’s what I used to tell people. Today, Dixons Carphone announced their preliminary results for 2016/2017. Contained in these results they announced their intention to remove iD Mobile from the Irish market.

Who is iD Mobile?

iD Mobile is an MVNO powered by Carphone Warehouse which runs on the Three mobile network. Following Three’s acquisition of O2 in 2013, the EU ruled that to preserve competition in Ireland, Three must support the creation of new networks. This ultimately led to iD Mobile and Virgin Mobile being created.

iD is a fairly innovative network, which keeps the cost of your phone and plan separately in the interest of transparency – a feature replicated by Virgin Mobile. Since their launch in 2015, iD Mobile has failed to make an impact on the Irish market and was dogged with technical issues and poor handset ranges. This paled in comparison to the UK equivalent of the network which continues to go from strength to strength. iD Mobile’s poor performance in Ireland has ultimately led to the news today that Dixons Carphone plans to cease the MVNO’s operations in Ireland.

iD Mobile set to leave the Irish market

We have made the decision to exit our iD mobile operations in the Republic of Ireland

In their annual preliminary report, Dixons Carphone, the umbrella group for Currys, PC World, Carphone Warehouse and iD Mobile, outlined various areas of success the business was enjoying. It concluded a generally positive roundup of the UK and Ireland by stating their plans to remove iD Mobile from Ireland:

“We have made the decision to exit our iD mobile operations in the Republic of Ireland. The iD mobile operations in the Republic of Ireland represent a different business model to the UK, as it is a capacity MVNO with options for expanding its spectrum. This brings with it excellent control, but that comes with upfront costs and increased administration, and we believe the business will flourish faster under dedicated ownership.”

What does this mean for Irish iD Mobile customers?

I can only speculate for now as the above paragraph is all we have to go on. I can’t imagine there are many organisations more interested in this news than Sky Ireland. Having just launched an MVNO in the UK, the scene would appear to be set for Sky to buy up iD Mobile Ireland. This would mean all iD customers will become Sky customers, though I’m sure it’s slightly more complex than that. Just don’t expect to be getting a free phone if you’re in a contract.

One thing is for certain, regardless of who buys iD Mobile, someone will have to in order to maintain competition in Ireland.

When will all this happen?

With the limited information we have, it’s impossible to know how long this will take. iD leaving Ireland is likely to be about as complicated as the UK leaving the EU. However, should a prospective buyer like Sky show interest, the process is likely to speed up quite a bit.

We’ll update this post once we know more.

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