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Ireland Broadband Providers Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Broadband Providers market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Issues covered in this Report

This Report examines the broadband providers market in Ireland and the provision of their telecommunication products to consumers. Telecommunication products include fixed line telephony, mobile telephony, internet and television. Individually these are known as “services”.

When these services are augmented with optional or necessary add-ons, they are referred to as a package, for example, “a landline and internet package”, or “a sports channel add-on was available, increasing the cost of the total TV package”.

When two or more services are sold to a consumer by the same provider at the same time, they are referred to as a bundle. Specifically, two services sold at the same time are a dual-play bundle, three services sold at the same time are a triple-play bundle and four services sold at the same time are a quad-play bundle.

The Market Size and Forecast section of the Report examines the number of broadband subscribers in NI and RoI. Value data has not been included. The Office for Communications (Ofcom) and the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) do not provide sales data. The type of internet connection that consumers in RoI have is also covered. Due to the unavailability of type of internet connection data for NI, it has not been possible to provide this information for the region.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by James Wilson, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Lower cost, faster download speeds and better connections and coverage are important considerations for Irish consumers when switching broadband providers. Emphasising their value-for-money messaging, continuing to upgrade to faster internet connections and improving the range and quality of internet access they offer will help internet service providers to attract new consumers in an increasingly competitive market. James Wilson
Technology Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Total number of broadband subscribers, by quarter, 2018
          • Forecast
            • Figure 2: Indexed estimated number of broadband subscribers, NI and RoI, 2013-23
          • Market factors
            • Broadband access increases in RoI, flat in NI
              • Internet speeds improving in Ireland but still lag behind top countries
                • Consumers most likely to complain about broadband services
                  • Multi-device households present challenges to broadband providers
                    • Companies, brands and innovations
                      • The consumer
                        • Landline services still widely used
                          • Figure 3: Consumers who have a landline service at home, NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • Majority of consumers have internet access
                          • Figure 4: Services that consumers receive from their landline supplier (other than line rental/phone service), NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • Interest in bundles from single provider low
                          • Figure 5: Services consumers have bought as a bundle from a single provider for their home, NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • Superfast connections popular among Irish consumers
                          • Figure 6: Type of internet connection Irish consumers have in their home, NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • BT the most popular broadband supplier in NI
                          • Figure 7: Broadband providers used by consumers for their home connection, NI, March 2018
                        • eir the main broadband provider in RoI
                          • Figure 8: Broadband providers used by consumers for their home connection, RoI, March 2018
                        • Cost, coverage and speed the issues that would encourage consumers to switch
                          • Figure 9: Factors that would influence if a consumer decided to switch their broadband provider, NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • What we think
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • 2018 to see slow growth in broadband subscriptions
                            • Internet access continues to improve
                              • Broadband the telecoms service attracting most complaints
                                • Irish consumers own multiple internet-enabled devices
                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                    • Broadband subscriptions to grow in 2018
                                      • Figure 10: Total number of broadband subscribers, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                    • Growth in broadband subscriptions to continue through to 2023
                                      • Figure 11: Indexed estimated number of broadband subscribers, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                    • Fixed broadband subscriptions grow in 2017
                                      • Figure 12: Total number of active internet subscriptions, RoI, 2016 and 2017
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Internet availability continues to improve across Ireland
                                      • Figure 13: Internet take-up, NI, 2011-17
                                      • Figure 14: Household broadband penetration (fixed and mobile), RoI, 2011-17
                                    • UK broadband speeds exceed global average
                                      • Figure 15: Average fixed broadband speeds in selected global markets, February 2018
                                      • Figure 16: Average mobile broadband speeds in selected global markets, February 2018
                                    • Rules on advertising broadband speeds change
                                      • Consumers spending over three years with their broadband provider
                                        • Figure 17: Length of time with broadband provider, RoI, 2017
                                        • Figure 18: Length of time with broadband provider, by age, RoI, 2017
                                      • Broadband attracts the highest level of complaints
                                        • Figure 19: Relative volume of telecoms complaints per sector per 100,000 customers/connections, UK (including NI), 2013-17
                                      • High device ownership will see increased demand for faster download speeds
                                        • Figure 20: Ownership of or access to mobile technology devices, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                      • Only one remaining bidder for the National Broadband Plan
                                        • Broadband providers agree to automatic compensation for broadband users
                                          • Figure 21: Issues covered under the automatic compensation scheme, November 2017
                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                        • Virgin Media and TalkTalk considering co-operative venture
                                          • Vodafone leading the race to bring 5G to Ireland
                                            • EE introduces AR customer support
                                              • Sky to stream paid TV content via its broadband network
                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                  • B4B Networks entering the home broadband market
                                                    • BT to launch the UK’s first converged broadband network
                                                      • EE moving into augmented reality
                                                        • Vodafone announces the first successful test of 5G technology in Ireland
                                                        • Competitive Strategies – Key Players

                                                            • BT Group (BT, EE, Openreach)
                                                              • BT (British Telecom)
                                                                • Key facts
                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                      • EE (Everything Everywhere)
                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                              • Openreach
                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                    • eir Group
                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                            • Hutchison Whampoa (Three Ireland)
                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                    • Liberty Global (Virgin Media Ireland)
                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                            • Sky Plc.
                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                    • TalkTalk
                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                                            • Vodafone Group
                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                    • Majority of consumers still have landline connection, internet remains the main service
                                                                                                                                      • Most Irish consumers have a superfast connection
                                                                                                                                        • BT the main broadband provider in NI, eir in RoI
                                                                                                                                          • Irish consumers would switch for faster internet
                                                                                                                                          • Landline Services

                                                                                                                                              • Most consumers still have a landline
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Consumers who have a landline service at home, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Older consumers most likely to have a landline
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Consumers who have a landline service at home, by gender and age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Internet the most important service
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Services that consumers receive from their landline supplier (other than line rental/phone service), NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Broad appeal in buying internet from landline provider
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Consumers receiving internet services from their landline provider, by gender and age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Types of Bundles Used

                                                                                                                                                • Little demand for bundle of services from single provider
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Services consumers have bought as a bundle from a single provider for their home, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                • TV and internet bundle appeals to RoI men
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Consumers who have bought a TV and internet bundle from a single provider, by gender, RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Type of Internet Connection

                                                                                                                                                  • Superfast broadband the most popular internet connection
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Type of internet connection Irish consumers have in their home, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Households with children going superfast
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Consumers who have a superfast/fibre internet (ie speed up to 75Mbps or higher up to 300Mbps) connection, by presence of children in the household, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Rural households more likely to have regular broadband speeds
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Consumers who have a regular broadband (ie speed up to 17Mbps or higher up to 20Mbps) connection, by location, NI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Consumers who have a regular broadband (ie speed up to 17Mbps or higher up to 20Mbps) connection, by location, RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Broadband Providers Used

                                                                                                                                                    • BT leads the NI broadband market
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Broadband providers used by consumers for their home connection, NI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • BT broadband popular amongst 45-54-year-olds
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Consumers using BT and Sky broadband services for their home connection, by gender and age, NI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • eir the main broadband supplier in RoI
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Broadband providers used by consumers for their home connection, RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Urban/rural divide in choice of broadband supplier
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Broadband providers used by consumers for their home connection, by location, RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Incentives to Switch Broadband Provider

                                                                                                                                                      • Lower costs the main motivator to switch providers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Factors that would influence if a consumer decided to switch their broadband provider, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Lower broadband costs appeal to over-35s
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Consumers who would be encouraged to switch their broadband provider for lower costs, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Students and business owners looking for reliable internet connection
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Consumers who would be encouraged to switch their broadband provider for more reliable connection/coverage, by work status, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Faster download speeds important Gen-Xers when switching
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Consumers who would be encouraged to switch their broadband provider for faster download speeds, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                        • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations