Vodafone Ireland has selected Tatara Systems to provide it with a converged wireless solution, enabling it to offer users combined GSM, GPRS, 3G and Wi-Fi services under its Mobile Connect brand. Last month Tatara deployed its Mobile Service Convergence Platform to allow Vodafone customers to use third-party Wi-Fi networks alongside its own GPRS and 3G services. Vodafone’s browser-based Wi-Fi offering is billed direct to its users’ mobile accounts. In the summer the operator plans to launch a combined data card service to group together all of its services.
Vodafone is Ireland’s leading mobile operator with a 51% share of customers, ahead of O2 Ireland and Meteor Mobile. The operator is ramping up its service offerings ahead of an anticipated influx of competition in the market, with launches from Hutchison Whampoa’s local 3G business and MVNO Clever Communications due later this year. Additionally, budget airline Ryanair and alternative wireline operator Perlico Communications are both investigating the rollout of MVNO services in the Republic, whilst fixed line incumbent eircom is also mulling a return to the wireless sector, having quit in 2001 with the sale of its subsidiary eircell to Vodafone.