Mobile Phones (Industrial Report) - Ireland - August 2009
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The mobile phone industry in Ireland has undergone considerable changes over the past decade. New entrants such as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) have transformed the landscape of the carrier services segment of the market.
The carrier services sectors in both NI and RoI remain dominated by a small group of service providers, but in both regions new 3G services and MVNOs have introduced a new element of competition. Both the markets in NI and RoI are highly competitive, a situation guaranteed by a public regulator.
Data services have grown in importance in both regions with enhanced 3G (third generation) mobile telephony technology now available.
The mobile sector has been reshaped both by commercial forces and technological change. On the technology side, the introduction of 3G services has opened both RoI and NI markets to a wider range of end user services, with content services playing a small but growing role.
Consequently, network provision alone is no longer a guarantee of commercial success. Increasingly, it is the value-added services and content that can be delivered via 3G and increasingly 3.5G services which is determining the future competitive shape of the industry. While voice traffic continues to dominate the market, data traffic and value added services are of growing importance.
The introduction of new services has gone hand-in-hand with investment in mobile infrastructure to deliver those services and the availability of new handsets to exploit the potential of these new services.
The current economic climate has created a difficult trading environment generally. The mobile phone sector has a very wide customer base catering to both industry and consumers. Will this insulate it or leave the industry more exposed?
The mobile phone sector is complex in terms of the interrelationships between players and end users; which players control the market and how is that changing?
What are the internal and broader social, legal and economic factors impacting on the market and how are these changing?
Just how competitive is the mobile sector and what are its strengths and weaknesses?
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