What's in a name? Ireland's largest telecommunications company, Eircom, has re-branded as eir and announced a new fastest broadband speed in Ireland. We take a close look at the re-brand and assess the impact it is set to have on consumers.
Shakespeare told us that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” in his classic tale of a tragic love affair, Romeo and Juliet.
As Ireland’s own affair with the oldest and largest telecommunications company in the country enters the eir era, we consider what differences consumers can expect to see to in their day-to-day lives.
Ireland’s Fastest Broadband
Eircom’s re-brand is bringing a lot more than just a new name, logo and colour pallet. It’s bringing a new fastest broadband speed in the country. And by some distance.
Speeds of 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) are now available in Ireland as part of eir’s Fibre Extreme product. To begin with, it’ll be available to 23,000 homes and businesses across 15 parts of the country, including Drogheda, Greystones, Naas, Tralee and Sandyford.
This spectacular speed is available through fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections and comes as a result of eir’s €1bn investment in its fibre broadband network.
The goal of eir’s investment is to provide superfast fibre connections to 70% of the country before 2017, and 80% by 2020. Ireland’s urban-rural divide is finally being tackled, with eir leading the charge.
eir’s Product Suite
If you aren’t lucky enough to live in one of the 15 towns that can access 1 Gbps download speeds, don’t worry! You still have a range of superfast broadband options under eir’s new product suite.
Download speeds of 150 Mbps and 300 Mbps, which are both still ridiculously fast, are available as part of eir’s quadplay bundles, or as part of a broadband-only package.
To get uncapped fibre broadband, unlimited calls to Irish mobiles and landlines and 54 digital TV channels, you’ll pay €33 a month for 4 months, and €85 per month thereafter. That comes to an average of about €73 a month.
Considering that your mobile bills are included in that monthly figure, it is one of the most attractive bundles available at the moment.
If it’s just broadband you’re after, eir’s Fibre Solo product will give you 100 Mbps broadband speeds and uncapped data for €30 a month for 4 months, and €45 every month after. That all works out to an average of €37.50 a month.
To sweeten the deal, eir is offering to cover connection costs, which are usually priced at €100.
What About Existing Customers?
If you’re already an eir customer and want to get your hands on those 1 Gbps speeds, you can transfer to eir Fibre Extreme for €67 a month for the first 6 months, and €87 a month thereafter.
24/7 Technical Support
Another major aspect of Eircom’s re-brand is a new approach to customer service, with eir CEO Richard Moat announcing that the company is “committed to improved customer care”.
And they’re putting their money where their mouth is.
Around-the-clock technical TV and broadband support will be made available to eir customers in the next few weeks. This will be music to the ears of customers who will be accessing fibre speeds for the first time and may need some help getting up and running.
What Else is Changing?
With new products and services also come new colours, logos and messaging.
You may have already noticed eir vans, ads and billboards around the place today. If you haven’t, you will soon! There will be a total of 6,000 TV ads, 4,500 radio ads and 2,100 outdoor ads rolled out over the coming weeks to spread the news of eir’s new logo, colour pallet and “look and feel”. Easy to see why the re-brand is costing €16m!
What Does the Future Hold?
eir’s identity is more “dynamic and modern” than its predecessor, according to CEO Richard Moat. With even a quick glance at the new market-leading download speeds, unlimited mobile and landline calls and 24-hour customer service that are on offer, it’s hard to disagree.
eir is aggressively adapting to a new Ireland, in which people are constantly connected and seeking more control over when and how they communicate and consume. And that can only be a good thing for customers.
Welcome to the era of eir!