Thanks to the EU’s ban on some roaming fees, Irish users now use mobiles to make and take calls 50% more than a year ago, while use of phone data services like Facebook abroad is up a staggering 256%, Comreg reports.
The roaming laws do not completely cover all data costs, however, with stiff penalties still in place for some ‘all you can eat’ phone subscribers who try to use lots of that data abroad.
Overall, the average Irish phone user now uses 5.4 gigabytes per month, with the amount almost doubling each year.
Landline calls have plummeted in Ireland in the last year, as new figures from the telecoms regulator show.
Irish people are talking on their phones 10% less than in 2017, with online and social media services such as WhatsApp and Apple’s FaceTime eating in to traditional phone habits.
There has been a similar collapse in traditional SMS text messages as people switch over to free messaging services from Facebook and Snapchat.
And phones are now outpacing computers by an even greater margin, with smartphone online data usage up by half in the last 12 months.
Fibre broadband figures have tripled in the last year, albeit still at the low level of 50,000 subscriptions.
Comreg’s new figures also reveal that Ireland is one of Europe’s more expensive countries for home broadband, with ongoing disputes between Eir and other operators over the cost of accessing Eir’s national network. Outside cities, Eir is the only major broadband infrastructure provider.
However, the figures also show that Ireland is one of the cheapest places in Europe to run a pay-as-you-go phone, at around half the price of many other EU countries.