O2 Ireland was previously called Esat Digifone when it was owned by Esat Telecommunications and Telenor from to The licence was awarded to Esat Digifone, a joint venture between Denis O'Brien 's company Esat Telecommunications and Norway's Telenor , which began operations in The Moriarty Tribunal found in that the awarding of the licence was influenced by payments made to Lowry by O'Brien. Telenor removed the word Esat from the companies name, and began the attempted removal of Denis O'Brien as chairman of Digifone. Esat Telecom retaliated by threatening to take legal action against Telenor, and make repeated offers to buy Telenor's share of Digifone.
In November , Telenor placed a bid for the entire share capital of Esat Telecom as a way of resolving the conflict. The bid was rejected by the majority shareholders of Esat Telecommunications who voted against the takeover.
In January , British Telecommunications counteracted Esat Telecom failed bid by placing its own bid to buy Telenor's shares in Digifone. In January , British Telecommunications made a takeover offer for Telenor which was backed by Esat Telecommunications shareholders. Esat Telecommunications became a wholly owned subsidiary of British Telecommunications and was delisted from the stock market. This eventually became BT Ireland. This branding lasted for less than six months. British Telecommunications shareholders received 1 BT Group and 1 mm02 share for each British Telecommunications share they held.
After the de-merger, most of mmO2's operations, including Digifone, were rebranded O2. This was then approved by shareholders and O 2 was officially purchased in mid February In January , it was revealed that Ireland was nearly the most profitable market in the world for multinational mobile operators like O2.
On 15 July , the acquisition was fully completed. On 2 March it was announced on social media that O2 Ireland and Three Ireland were merging with O2 posting the following message to their Twitter page:.
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This means the O2 logo will be replaced by a Three logo in stores, on the website, and on phones and bills. All the benefits you experienced as an O2 customer remain the same, including the same network quality and award winning customer service. You can also look forward to improved data coverage and superfast broadband.
Please visit our FAQ section if you have any further questions. This change meant that Three Ireland had over 1. The company's STD prefix was , but following the introduction of full number portability, some O2 Irish mobile numbers featured prefixes starting , , or , as customers may switch provider but keep their old phone number. They provided speeds of up to 7. Speak Easy was the name of O2 Ireland's prepaid service.
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In they became the first Irish operator to offer free text messages to all Irish mobile numbers, although it only applied for weekends. However, in early they introduced a new tariff which offered unlimited free text messages to all networks at any time, for life. The O2 Freedom plans were introduced in June which offered 2 main new price plans, Freedom talk and Freedom Internet.
O2 was the first Irish operator to offer free calls to all networks at any time on prepay. Freedom Internet offered 1GB of data and any network texts. Same terms applied as per Freedom talk. In December the data allowance of 1GB was increased to 7. Along with the new price plan O2 also launched a vast amount of prepay addons such as Talk, Text, Data, International Talk and International text.
In , O2 underwent a restructuring phase, implementing a number of cost-cutting measures which involved outsourcing internal divisions to external companies. The Network team outsource was limited to the Field Operations team along with some other support functions. It was more cost effective to retain these divisions in-house. In O2 chose Irish Autism Action as their charity of choice.
The three-year deal involved sponsorship, creating awareness, using O2 staff to assist the charity and using technology developed by O2 to assist children affected by autism. In , the company's charity of choice became Headstrong, a charity providing mental health support to young people. Over the years, O2 entered into some very high-profile sponsorship arrangements. They remained sponsors of Cork GAA for ten years. Another high-profile sponsorship agreement was their association with the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Ireland national team , which has been continued by Three.
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They were also the title sponsor of one of the country's most high-profile venue, "The O2", now renamed the " 3Arena ". They were title sponsor of the Aisling Foundation 's Ability Awards. In July the company admitted overcharging 71, customers following a review of its systems. The disclosure meant that , O2 subscribers - more than 10 per cent of its customer base - were overcharged. The European Commission upheld a ruling by the Irish regulatory body, ComReg, that the Irish mobile phone market needed greater competition, and acknowledged that "tacit collusion possibly existed between O2 and Vodafone".
We leave for Ireland on July 11, so it doesn't give me time to pre-buy a phone for delivery to me in the US before we leave. It seems like meteor is the cheapest way to go, but since I don't have a phone yet, I am confused on what to do.
What are the best SIM-only deals in Ireland right now?
My own phone in the US will definitely not work in Ireland. This is not an option. Just pretend I don't have one here. If I stop at the Vodaphone booth in Dublin airport , do I buy a phone there? Is Pay As You Go more expensive?
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They deduct payment from your credit card as you are making the call? So, what would you advise for a technophobe it is remarkable that I can even use the internet who it didn't even occur to research about phones until today- when I have only a few days before our trip and who is confused about what to get? Not sure if there is a Vodaphone booth in Dublin airport , but they are located in every town these days. If you purchase a 'pay as you go' phone they come complete with SIM card memory and enough pre-paid credit to get you started.
Vodaphone or O2 are the most common phone companies and you can get top up credit at most gas stations or food stores. Meteor is probably cheaper but they do not have the same national phone signal coverage as Vodaphone or O2. OK, I will follow your advice. I am printing it up and taking it with me. I guess once I am there and have the phone and all in front of me, I'll understand. Do cell phones purchased in the Republic also work in Northern Ireland? When I take my O2 phone to England it just automatically switches over to O2 UK or whatever its called when I put it back on after the flight , and back again when I return.
Presumably it will do the same in the North, more or less, I suppose the signals go over the border both ways. Also it is not true that Meteor have not got as good coverage. I have been a customer of other phone companies in the past and I would never go back not from a coverage point of view but a customer service point of view.
The old Meteor coverage thing is years gone. Now that you have explained everything to me, I'll wait til I get to Dublin and buy the phone. Offers probably will change daily. For convenience, I'll check out the Vodafone at the airport. Thank you again for all your help, information, and kindess. I really do appreciate the time you have taken to explain the world of prepaid cell phones. So I bought their horrible ugly candybar shape phone and got them to activate its US sim card, then I took it home and put the activated sim card into my much nicer Razr and it worked fine. The sim cards from England , Switzerland , etc.
Get the people at Radio Shack to show you how to take it out.