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Why the Irish Mobile Networks need a kick up the arse

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SKY GO

The expense of making a call on your Irish mobile phone is so high, that most people, especially those on Pay as you Go services, tend to never make mobile phone calls but rather they simply text each others. The mobile market which now includes four networks, Vodafone, O2, Meteor (owned by eircom), and the newest member Three Mobile, is well aware that a majority of their customers are teenagers and young adults, who cannot afford to pay for these top up cards.

However, little has been done, by any of the networks to reduce the price of mobile phone calls for top up customers. The networks simply introduce new packages which hide costs, and only seem cheaper than the competitor. So why are these networks not actually reducing costs, surely the market is now competitive enough for one of them to introduce a cheap package for their customers, that will prompt the others to follow suit?

I know there are networks, such as O2 that has introduced 1c weekend packages, but these are restrictive packages, designed to promote the network, and encourage higher usage at peak times. And nearly all the networks give free credit to customers who are new to that network, are they being nice?, nope, again a clever edge, to encourage people to become accustomed to spending money on their network, and thus rise the cost of making calls with that company.

But there is some hope out there, the callcosts.ie website is a great service, I’m not sure but I think it’s a ‘comreg’ service, it’s been out for sometime now, and they recently updated it recently to include landlines, and broadband companies.

The good thing about it, for me, and particularly in relation to the mobile phone site of the site, is that it gives transparency. This is something which mobile phone networks always seem to hide behind. I tapped in my basic average daily usage for text and calls, into the site, and it told me based on the information I submitted that I should be on the Meteor Network. This network I find is the cheapest one there is, but they do tend to have a lot of coverage issues, and their wap (mobile internet) service is below par. If you have to money to spend (which most people do not) Vodafone is possibly the safest bet with regards to coverage, and I love their 3G wap service, its ace but for top up customers Vodafone does seem to be expensive enough.

Three mobile seems to offer very sweet looking mobile phones, but I have yet to see them gain a competitive edge with regards price of top up call and text costs. But I must say that their Music service does seem like a nice touch, but of course the music download is currently dominated by the mighty Apple iTunes.

Here are the results from my input to the callcosts.ie website

Meteor

Call type Peak

8:00 am – 6:00 pm Off Peak

6:00 pm – 8:00 am Weekend

Fri midnight – Sun midnight

Calls to fixed: €0.40 / min €0.13 / min €0.13 / min

Calls to Mobiles:

3 €0.40 / min €0.13 / min €0.13 / min

Meteor €0.40 / min €0.13 / min €0.13 / min

O2 €0.40 / min €0.13 / min €0.13 / min

Vodafone €0.40 / min €0.13 / min €0.13 / min

Voicemail: €0.00 / min

Text messages to Meteor mobiles: €0.09 / item

Text messages to other networks: €0.09 / item

Picture messages: €0.30 / item

O2

Call type Peak

10:00 am – 6:00 pm Off Peak

6:00 pm – 10:00 am Weekend

Fri midnight – Sun midnight

Calls to fixed: €0.55 / min €0.15 / min €0.12 / min

Calls to Mobiles:

3 €0.63 / min €0.19 / min €0.12 / min

Meteor €0.63 / min €0.19 / min €0.12 / min

O2 €0.55 / min €0.15 / min €0.12 / min

Vodafone €0.63 / min €0.19 / min €0.12 / min

Voicemail: €0.15 / min

Text messages to O2 mobiles: €0.11 / item

Text messages to other networks: €0.13 / item

Picture messages: €0.25 / item

Vodafone

Call type Peak

8:00 am – 6:00 pm Off Peak

6:00 pm – 8:00 am Weekend

Fri 6:00 pm – Mon 8:00 am

Calls to fixed: €0.50 / min €0.15 / min €0.15 / min

Calls to Mobiles:

3 €0.65 / min €0.30 / min €0.30 / min

Meteor €0.65 / min €0.30 / min €0.30 / min

O2 €0.65 / min €0.30 / min €0.30 / min

Vodafone €0.50 / min €0.15 / min €0.15 / min

Voicemail: €0.00 / min

Text messages to Vodafone mobiles: €0.13 / item

Text messages to other networks: €0.13 / item

Picture messages: €0.25 / item

About the author

John

John is a long time fan of all things apple, coffee and life.

10 Comments

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Comments

  • Hummm, thanks for the suggestion Pat, I was stung by Bil Pay on Vodafone a few years back, so went back to topup on Meteor, however this might be the xmas gift i can buy for…myself! ^_^

  • Vodafone prepay works out cheaper than billpay. €500 VAT a year is not uncommon. If you have most of your friends on Vodafone it the the cheapest on the market (considering the meteor reception is very poor in alot of areas outside of Dublin and Galway.)At the moment you get free calls and texts to other vodafone customers with a €20 a month top up.Great value.

  • I have a meteor phone and I have freee text to evry network!! I thnk this is a really good offer because I would send about 5000 text a weak!! but 3 are even better 3cent text…ooor as many text and calls per 99cent a day BUT that 700 text and 300 minutes! I think bill phones are just robbin your money because with prepay you have soo many more offeres . . like free text to evry nework oor free text and calls to your own network!! I saw in a comment above that vodafone are really good and thst meteor have bad reception!I live out side Urlingford co. Kilkenny in the middle of no were and i ALWAYS have full reception and when i was vodafone I had no reception whats soo ever!!!sooo the network I tink u sould be with is meteor because::

    free text to evry network= 20 euro a mount

    free text and free calls to your network= 20 euro a mount

    calls= 5cent a minute
    text= 9cent

    Thank you for reading my comment
    Brian…

    =]

  • I signed up for Meteor free texts , am a customer anyway of meteor ,but they said on phone that I have to topup by 20eu ,I said i wouldn’t use that much each month and was told it wasn’t each month ,20eu each time 1 tops up ,was i tricked ? they said If i agreed I couldn’t go back to the 1 I had.mmmmmmmmmmmm

  • As far as I know Catherine, it is 20 euro in one go, but you must top up in one month. What they mean as far as I can tell, by one go, is you cant put in 10 euro twice in one month, it wont be counted and you wont get your free texts, but I could be wrong.

  • hi john i agree with you ive awaled my contract with o2 there the worst network who over charge and there treats are shite ive decided to get a landline and go with vodafone in the uk you get loads of deals but in ireland get nothing while these operators are getting richer ive had enough of paying 130 euros a month takes the piss

  • A major problem in Ireland is that Comreg do not regulate Mobile phone operators. From what I can gather (having gotten no reply from the Dept. of Communications) is that no one does.

    I was recently mislead by a Meteor 'customer service' agent, with the result that my €20 'Broadband to go' top up ended up being charged at €3 per day. I rang back to be told that I should run out my credit and top up again in order to get on the €20 plan per month which they themselves let me astray on!

    I also strongly dislike Meteor's penchant for publishing Freefone numbers on their literature / website for 'Broadband to go' which are not operational (ie: bogus). You dial the number only to be directed to a charged 1890 number.

    Imho Meteor were good before Eircom got them, and certainly based on these lousy experiences I would say that they are crap, and milking the customer. Comreg is obviously just another quango too.

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