the three months ended 31 March 2011, down 6.2% on the corresponding year-earlier period, while average blended ARPU fell 10.5% to EUR32.30 a month. On a more positive note the cellco said its mobile customer base grew 3.2% year-on-year to 2.213 million, fuelled by the company’s ‘Vodafone Home of the Smartphone’ strategy, and mobile broadband users climbed 30% thanks to more than 40,000 net additions in the year. Reflecting the strong surge in demand for data services, Vodafone said around 54% of devices sold on monthly contracts since December were smartphones. Including the company’s fixed line and DSL operations, Vodafone Ireland’s total subscriber base stood at 2.4 million as at 31 March 2011.
Vodafone invested EUR60 million in its Irish networks in the year to March and is upping this investment in the current financial year as part of a plan to upgrade its entire national network to handle rising demand for data from its customers. Vodafone says it has also invested EUR100 million in IT infrastructure, and now plans to spend 20% more in its networks and IT systems in the coming fiscal year.