Good morning Ladies and Gentleman. I am delighted to open this new Carphone Warehouse Support Centre.
Communications is an integral part of all our daily lives. It is driving businesses forward, it opens new networks and strengthens existing one. It also eliminates many of the disadvantages of being an island nation.
In Ireland the total revenues for fixed, mobile and broadcasting markets are €4 billion a year and account for over 3% of GNP.
The telecoms industry is a fast paced and exciting sector.
We now have over 300 private operators in the communications arena and a mobile phone penetration rate of 106%.
Consumers now have more choices in terms of products and services than ever before. For example text messaging services that tell when your next train is due and the ability to download video clips from your favourite football teams.
Socially, the role of telecoms has changed dramatically and with this comes a social responsibility too.
I know many of the industry players take this role very seriously and I welcome this.
And I am satisfied that the initiatives in place inform people of the risks that they potentially face from the use electronic communications technology.
They also show steps the customers can take to protect themselves, their information, their families and their businesses.
Two such initiatives that come to mind include the ICIA’s Code of Practice, developed by the mobile operators, and the Make It Secure Campaign, a national IT security awareness campaign run by my Department in partnership with a number of private companies and representative organisations.
These protections, matched with quality customer service, are key to building on your customer base in Ireland.
As the Minister responsible for communications, I believe that my role is to ensure that the industry has good regulation and a competitive environment. This supports and encourages companies, like Carphone Warehouse House, to grow and to continue to offer sustainable jobs in Ireland.
Today we are launching this new support centre and it is a credit to the company and all who work here. I urge Carphone Warehouse to continue to invest in the customer service offering independent, impartial advice on the full range of networks and tariffs.
There are 2.5 billion what we call ‘mobile phones’ in use around the world. But the handsets are also cameras, personal MP3 players and videos.
While this technology is amazing, I believe that there is a need for the industry to be as creative and revolutionary when developing their customer care services.
The technology retail sector has a responsibility to ensure that their customers have speedy access to this help and advice.
I congratulate Carphone Warehouse on their success in Ireland over the last ten years. This has resulted in the opening of over fifty shops and employment for 450 staff.
Apart from their mobile phone retail enterprise, TalkTalk the landline company from Carphone Warehouse is continuing to grow in the Irish market and has 100,000 Irish customers.
As you know, the electronic communications industry is of key importance to the economy and is a significant factor in determining national economic competitiveness.
My Government colleagues and I are totally committed to working with the technology sector in Ireland to ensure that we continue to break new ground in innovation and create more sustainable and high value jobs.
I commend Carphone Warehouse for establishing this new centre.
I hope that each and every one of you working here develops your careers in the technology sector and enjoy a good quality of life working here.