Ireland’s third largest mobile network operator Meteor Mobile, which was acquired by eircom in November 2005, says it now has a 16% share of the domestic market having signed up 750,000 subscribers, up from 500,000 in November 2005. Meteor also reported success in the mobile number portability (MNP) rankings, claiming that more users are switching to its network than changing from Meteor to rivals O2, Vodafone or 3. Meteor CEO Robert Haulbrook said that keeping their existing number, while switching network, was more important to contract and high use pre-pay customers. ‘The fact that we have attracted more number portability customers than the bigger networks have gained from us, and from each other combined, shows that we are competing successfully across all sectors’, he said.
Contract or post-paid customers now account for close to 10% of Meteor’s total subscriber base, up from 2% a year ago. The operator’s capital expenditure programme has continued throughout 2006 and the cellco now has coverage of 95% of the population, which rises to 99% when national roaming is factored in. The operator is also ramping up its retail activities, with plans to open an additional ten stores to boost its total to 40 outlets across the country.