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Communications for Expats in Ireland

Submitted: October 2014
Mobile Phones

As a first world country that experienced a large economic boom between the 1990s and 2008, Ireland has enjoyed wide expansion of telecommunications infrastructure in recent years. As such, Ireland has a subscription penetration of 120% and more subscriptions than there is population. There is close to 100% coverage on several mobile phone networks, with voice and text being especially well covered. Mobile broadband and Internet is also similarly well covered, with 3G widely available, and 4G available in major population centres. The largest providers in Ireland are Vodafone, O2, Three, and Meteor/E (a subset of Eircom).

Pay as you go phones are a good idea if you are staying in Ireland for roughly a year, and most providers offer deals where a €20 top-up will get you unlimited texts, calls or internet for a month. Perhaps the best value for pay as you go phones comes from Tesco Mobile, who offer deals such as being able to treble the value of your top-up.

However, if you are intending living in Ireland for more than two years, it may be a good idea to get a contract. As with most contracts in the British Isles, these are usually a minimum of 18 or 24 months long, though you may be able to find looser deals that allow you to pay monthly and cancel at any time. Many contracts will come with a smartphone for either a small deposit sum or even for free, and many also offer the ability to upgrade your phone for no cost at the end of your contract if you continue it. Have a look at the Carphone Warehouse Ireland website to get an idea of costs of contracts and the phones that come with them, or look at their pre-pay section to see the benefits that come with various top-ups.



Eircom, the largest telecoms company in Ireland, owns most of the telephone lines in the country. Many other networks rent these out, such as BT Ireland, Vodafone, Sky, and UPC. If you are spending significant time in Ireland, it is definitely a good idea to get a landline on top of your mobile, as many come with Internet and TV packages and the costs of calls are generally low, or even free at weekends and evenings. Uswitch.ie runs this page comparing different landline and broadband packages, ranking them based on affordability and features.



Ireland has excellent Internet infrastructure consisting mainly of high-speed fibre optic broadband. Depending on your subscriber, you may be able to get up to a 200 mb/s connection, which at peak speeds would allow a family to all stream from Netflix in full HD at the same time. Bear in mind that as with all high-speed broadband, the peak speed advertised may not be the speed you will receive constantly, as there will be much fluctuation. In actuality, you may often receive half or less than half of the advertised peak speed.

As for internet subscription, if you are buying a landline it is recommended you get an inclusive broadband deal rather than deal with two separate companies, unless you can save a large sum doing so. As before, Uswitch offers a comparison of different services. It is worth noting that Sky and UPC both offer packages that include broadband, line rental and digital TV, allowing you to keep track of your payments easily. Make sure you read the fine print with any broadband package, as many offer a low price that may then double or triple after a certain number of months.




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If you are considering moving to Ireland or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Ireland section including; details of immigration and visas, Irish forums, Irish event listings and service providers in Ireland.


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From your safety to shoppingliving in Ireland can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Ireland with relevant news and up-to-date information.


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Working in Ireland can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Ireland, and general Irish culture of the labour market.



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