ComReg think Skype is part-reason for 4% drop in landline voicecalls. Please.

Fixed call traffic in Q2 2007 was just over 2.35bn minutes, a decrease of 4% since Q1 2007, and a fall of 9% since Q2 2006. Figure 2.3.1 illustrates trends in fixed voice call minutes since Q2 2005. This decrease in fixed line minutes could be due to the increased use of mobile phones for voice telephony. Another factor which may impact fixed voice volumes over the telecoms network is the use of voice over internet services, such as those offered by Skype.

The year-on-year decrease in total fixed line traffic reported by operators is primarily a result of a fall in absolute volumes of total domestic traffic minutes between Q2 2006 and Q2 2007.

Domestic traffic, right, so we’re going to go on the computer and ring our neighbour or friend up the country on Skype? If we use Skype I bet IM will do instead most of the time. Landline traffic is going down cos it’s a damned ripoff still and people are using mobiles more and more. Dear ComReg, stop throwing buzzwords and the like into your analysis and use actual figures.

Sent this out to a few press contacts too:
The ComReg report is available from here:


* Highest mobile costs in entire EU. €14.67 per month per customer higher than EU average. French talk more than Irish yet pay almost €10 less per month

* Addition of mobile “broadband” numbers is too early. Market is too unsettled with massive ongoing problems with some networks and 100s if not 1000s of customers having severe connectivity issues with speeds just faster than ISDN.

* Line rental once again distinctly missing from fixed line comparisons, making Ireland look much better than what the average Irish phone bill actually reflects.

1. Highest mobile costs in entire EU
Pg 35 and 36 of ComReg survey

The APRU (Average revenue per user) is an indication of average monthly revenue generated by mobile subscribers in each country. Mobile ARPU in Ireland is estimated at €44.07 per user per month.

The EU average for APRU is €29.40, this is €14.67 per month per customer higher than EU average.

Meanwhile the average APRU in Germany is €19.73 a month, well over half compared to Ireland, some €24.34 a month cheaper.

Talk time. Do the Irish talk most and so have highest spend? NO

ComReg compare talktime versus spend in Figure 4.4.2 on page 38 of their report. It only samples a few countries, none of which are the talkative Scandinavian countries, however even in this tiny sample it shows France talks more than Ireland yet pay €34.66 a month for mobile bills. €9.41 cheaper a month per user than Ireland

2. Addition of mobile “broadband” numbers is too early.
See Page 23 and 24 of ComReg survey

While mobile broadband growth has been nothing short of fantastic, it appears the networks have been having problems with the unforeseen demand. Three Ireland have had numerous problems with their network with 100s of people complaining about slower than dialup speeds and blackouts. ComReg have no cut-off points which will remove a slow or disconnected “broadband” product from the stats.

Owning a dead broadband modem should not be shown as a working broadband connection on ComReg statistics as it is not a true reflection of broadband in Ireland. ComReg does not address this.

Obfuscation of satellite numbers is unwelcome

Bundling of “satellite” and “fibre” into a single number (8,900) does not show the low numbers of fibre connections and the high number of an inferior satellite product which continue to grow. Satellite Internet is a last straw “broadband” solution for those desperate for a high speed Internet connection. Install costs range from 700 euros up to 2000 euros with monthly costs ranging from 80 euros to 200 euros. ComReg need to disclose these numbers in a transparent manner in their main report.

3. Line rental once again distinctly missing from fixed line comparisons
Page 16

Line rental is not included in the ComReg landline bill comparisons. Were it included, the pricing would dramatically change, making Ireland appear as one of the countries in Europe with the highest actual phone bills for landline users. Why does ComReg leave out line rental when it contributes to the highest static cost in an Irish phone bill?

Line rental can be found in an old ComReg report here: (page 17) Since that report, Irish line rental has increased again to €25.36 a month for Ireland.

When last measured, the EU average was €15.10 Making Ireland €10.2 euros more expensive than EU average per month for line rental. Almost €6 more expensive than second most expensive country.

10 Responses to “ComReg think Skype is part-reason for 4% drop in landline voicecalls. Please.”

  1. Aidan Finn says:

    Sounds reasonable to me. I use VOIP for most of the calls I make from home now. These are calls I would previously would have made using a landline. I still have a landline (because I need it for broadband) but I rarely use it.

    At the last place I worked we were actively encouraged to use VOIP for voice calls to reduce costs.

  2. Damien says:

    Part of the 4% hit on 2 billion minutes? Not a chance. Skype is having a minimal impact and where it does impact it is International calls.

  3. We got burned so badly with our first and last experience with Eircom that we opted to ditch the landline entirely when we moved.

    Blueface: €25/month, all landline calls to Ireland, the UK and the US bundled. Paying by the minute is for suckers.

  4. Gamma Goblin says:

    I got a call from UTV earlier this year asking why I hadn’t made any calls in the past 6 months. They demanded to know which 3rd party provider I had switched my calls to. When I told them I did no such thing, that i dont make calls from that phone, they found it hard to believe, even after I told them I just use it for broadband. In the end, I told the girl if she wanted to I could hang up and make a phone call to prove everything was in order. Lucky for her she said that it was ok cos otherwise I could have had a breakdown over the phone, starting to cry and sob “Leave me alone, I know I dont have any friends… you didnt have to call me up to rub it in!” 🙂

  5. FPL says:

    Nasty broadband. Does no-one consider the employee-owners of Eircom in all this?

  6. dahamsta says:

    You can add “analyst” to you list of titles now Damien.


  7. Damien says:

    Lovely. That’s an article about Damien Mulley, not about ComReg statistics. Tabloid.

  8. Michael Walsh says:

    We all use mobiles for our calls at home.

    I would use something like Skype for calls, but where I live in the country – there is no broadband!
    No broadband through the phoneline because the exchange has not been upgraded.
    No wireless broadband because I live in a valley
    No Three reception because there are no masts near by for them
    There is voda 3g but they have a stupidly low data transfer limit

    So it’s still dialup for me and no skype 🙁

  9. Luke says:

    great post damien, comreg continue to mislead the public with their reports that hide the truth. other factors they continue is the quality of broadband on offer in ireland is awful, slow speeds, tiny caps and high connection ratios.

    keep it up damien, any word from eamon ryan yet about his proposals, if any?

  10. brim4brim says:

    Well one everyone can have a good laugh or cry about is an email Comreg sent to a 3 broadband user (see stickied thread in broadband section of boards) saying they don’t regulate broadband.

    Doesn’t seem like it, does it so when are we getting a broadband regulator or making an existing regulator responsible for regulating broadband because Comreg clearly don’t see it as being part of their job.