Talks About Tech Weekly 103: Three and O2 Merger

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Telefonica-O2-logoOn this episode we talk about uber, three and o2 merger and more.

Uber Raises $1.2 Billion Funding
Uber originally started as a way to get a premium taxi from one place to another. Today Uber is the go to for low-cost black taxi services with UberX as well as premium taxi’s. You can simply find the closest taxi to you and hail it directly from the iPhone or Android app.

On Friday Uber confirmed that they have raised over $1.2 billion funding from a number of sources including Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, BlackRock Inc, Summit Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures. This obviously shows how many people and companies value this service.The company has also recently been valued, pre funding, at $17 billion.

This is a perfect example of how technology can be used to make services that have been around since the beginning of time more convenient and cost effective.

Three Buys O2
Talk of this deal started at this time last year but it’s only now that the acquisition has somewhat become officially official now that 02 has put up a notice on their website.

The EU Commission has now approved the acquisition which means that Three will now control 37% of of the market with over 2 million subscribers just below Vodafone with 39% and above Meteor with 20%. The EU Commission previously had issues with the acquisition due to the lack of competition but it seems like these problems have been solved.

The €850 million deal means that 02 Ireland will no longer exist and will merge with Three. Eircom has insisted that it also gets something from the deal. The EU commission gave them a permanent network-share between Meteor and Eircom’s E-mobile. Vodafone is taking Three to court to try to make the case of monopolising. They want something out of it too. As part of the deal, Three has to give some of its newly acquired spectrum to Eircom and allow 2 new virtual networks to be set up on their network.

For us this means that there will now be one less major carrier in Ireland. This means that there will be less competition and therefore potentially higher mobile services prices. I do think however, that the EU commission are doing everything they can to make sure that it doesn’t effect us negatively but only time can tell.

UPC Report on Internet in Ireland
This week UPC and Amárach Research released an interesting although slightly biased report on the internet in Ireland. Here are some of the highlights of the report:

Life Online

  • In just two years since the first UPC Report, 30% of Irish adults are now subscribing to broadband speeds of 30 Mbps or higher – compared to just 10% in 2012 – which places Ireland ahead of the EU-28 average of 18.2% for these higher speeds. 44% of Irish homes can access speeds of up to 200 Mbps.
  • Consumer spending online which currently stands at just under €6bn a year in 2014 is set to rise to almost €13bn by 2020.
  • People said that if their Internet connection was to disappear tomorrow, they would want €130 a month or up to €1,500 a year to replace this loss for them, an indication of the consumer surplus and value that people place on their Internet service.
  • 60% of parents have installed parental control software which blocks or filters certain website types.

Enterprise and Innovation

  • Irish businesses anticipate higher levels of growth through digital productivity and expect 21% of their sales to be online in 2014.
  • Ireland is far ahead of the EU average for business social media adoption and 53% of Irish firms say they are influenced by online feedback from consumers and customers.
  • 75% of Irish enterprises have websites but as many as 47,000 SMEs / SOHOs are missing out on the digital opportunity.
  • Encouragingly, 59% of businesses surveyed intend to recruit in the next 18-24 months with a strong emphasis on digital skills including analytics, programming social media and digital marketing. Over half of Irish businesses said they plan to sell to more customers outside of Ireland by using the internet over the next two years.
  • 75% of Irish enterprises have websites but as many as 47,000 SMEs / SOHOs are missing out on the digital opportunity.
  • Encouragingly, 59% of businesses surveyed intend to recruit in the next 18-24 months with a strong emphasis on digital skills including analytics, programming social media and digital marketing. Over half of Irish businesses said they plan to sell to more customers outside of Ireland by using the internet over the next two years.

The Digital Future

  • The internet economy in Ireland directly employed the full-time equivalent of 49,000 people in 2012.
  • 79,000 extra new jobs will be directly employed through the internet economy by 2020.
  • As many as 150,000 direct and indirect new jobs are forecasted from continuing digitisation by 2020.