Flag of Ireland.svg

Basics Edit

3 physical operators remain in the Republic of Ireland:

  • eir (Meteor and eMobile)
  • Vodafone (Ireland)
  • Hutchison 3 (= Three)

O2 in Ireland was acquired by Hutchison Whampoa (Three) in 2014 and previous O2 customers have been transfered to the Three brand in 2015 while the networks haven't been fully merged yet.

Vodafone is still market leader by subscribers, Three has improved its network because of the ongoing merger with O2 and is closing the gap on Vodafone. eir, former Eircom, still offers a very good coverage and speed throughout the country under the Meteor and eMobile brands.

eir/Meteor was the first to offer LTE in 2013 on 800 and 1800 Mhz, Vodafone started shortly afterwards. Three started its LTE network on 1800 Mhz in 2014, but still has a more limited coverage in populated areas. LTE on prepaid is given out on all network oerators, but not all resellers.

EU flag
Ireland is part of the EU, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. In most European countries you can now 'roam like at home' at domestic rates rather than excessive roaming rates. Irish operators may cap some large data packages for roaming. For specifics about the new regulation check European Union chapter and every provider below.

Vodafone Edit


Vodafone has the most subscribers in the country and a good coverage and speed on 2G, 3G and 4G Vodafone Coverage. Vodafone covers 90% with LTE in 2015 and is available for postpaid (bill pay) and some prepaid (= pay as you go) plans.

Availability and start-upEdit

The pay-as-you-go SIM can be purchased at their stores (store locator) and other agents like Carphone Warehouse for € 10, if you need a new number. All three SIM sizes are available.

Top-ups can be made by vouchers or by any international credit card on their website. SIM cards need to be topped up every 180 days to maintain service or they can no longer make calls/texts. SIMs are then deactivated 2 months later.

Pay as you go Edit

Their prepaid SIMs are called pay-as-you-go. You need to activate their Data Extra offer first by texting the activation code 'Data Extra' to 50222. Then you need to top-up 20 €. This is your base plan valid for 28 days. It contains 5 GB in 4G/LTE, unlimited VF calls and texts plus a € 10 general credit.

For more data you can buy add-ons valid for 28 days:

  • 1 GB add-on on 4G/LTE, charged at € 5 by texting '5DATA' to 50233
  • 5 GB add-on on 4G/LTE, charged at € 15 by texting 'DATA' to 50233

Remaining data allowances for the Data Extra plan and above data add-ons can be checked by texting "bal" to 50233

Warning: If you don't subscribe to the Data Extra plan or overuse, data will billed at € 1.99 per day for 100 MB (only the days you use data), then horrendous € 1 per MB thereafter.

Mobile Broadband Pay as you go Edit

Vodafone also sells data-only prepaid SIMs which are managed online where you can buy the following packages, that are open to 4G/LTE too:

  • Broadband Daily: 500 MB from midnight to midnight: € 3
  • Broadband Weekly: 2 GB for 7 days: € 10
  • Broadband Monthly: 7.5 GB for 28 days € 20

Overuse or out of bundle use will be charged with € 0.19 per MB.

Roaming Edit

From June 15, 2017, you can use any mobile plan in the EU just like you would at home for no extra cost. Vodafone has imlemented roam like home rules without restrictions.

For roaming out of the EU/EEA zone their old RED roaming plans still apply:

  • Albania, Canada, Monaco, Republic of San Marino, Kosovo, Turkey, USA: 200 MB per calendar day for 2.99 €
  • Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Macedonia, Mexico, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, US Virgin Islands: 200 MB per calendar day for 4.99 €

For more info, see Euro2.

More infoEdit

  • APN:
  • APN:

Hutchison 3  (= Three)Edit


After the acquisition of O2 by Three, Hutchison merged the two brands in March 2015. This has been largely a re-branding exercise and the networks won't be fully united for the time being.

Customers of both networks have been experiencing some problems during the merger as it requires Three to built some new base stations and all the associated back-haul capacity while they will also consolidate some of their existing sites. e.

3G coverage can be very good in very isolated and remote areas due to the (now defunct) NBS government subsidy to help serve these areas, but this coverage is in 3G only on 2100 MHz which gives poor indoor coverage: Three's 3G/4G Coverage Map. Three gives out 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz and 800 MHz in some rural areas without surcharge.

Availability and start-upEdit

SIMs can be purchased online or store locator or at outlets like the Carphone Warehouse. The prepaid SIMs are free, the prepaid Broadband SIMs are € 5. Standard SIMs, Micro-SIMs and Nano-SIMs for Prepay. Standard and micro SIMs only for Prepay Broadband.

Vouchers for top-ups are available in many stores nationwide. To check the balance, dial 1745 for free.

Have in mind that Three only accepts Irish- and UK-issued credit cards for top-ups online. As they are hardly any agencies to top-up Irish SIM cards, without vouchers available, it can be tricky to maintain a SIM from abroad.

Prepaid SIMEdit

The default pricing for data transfers is horrendous € 1.01 per MB. The SIM remains active while some kind of chargeable call or SMS (i.e. not part of any bundle or allowance) or a new top-up is made every 6 months. Take care of the tethering restrictions mentioned below. Three gives out allowances for top-ups as a bonus, not debited from your loaded credit.

The free base plan with the excessive default rate can be added by the only package for data:

  • 500 MB for 30 days: € 4.99

Otherwise, Three offers an All You can Eat monthly plan: for a top-up of € 20 valid for 28 days "all you can eat" data is given out. In Ireland a FUP of 60 GB applies. In the EU for roaming only 5 GB are given out, but unlimited calls and texts in both areas. Overuse fee for EU roaming is at high 0.92 € per MB.

Prepaid Broadband SIMEdit

This SIM is data-only and is not always good-value, as the normal prepaid SIM is free and a € 20 top-up includes a data allowance of 60 GB (see above), but it can be the smarter choice if you want to tether or use it out of your phone (see below). The Prepaid Broadband SIM is sold at € 5 and can be loaded with these bundles:

Data package Price 3G Volume Period
Broadband Day € 3 500 MB 1 day
Broadband Week € 10 2 GB 7 days
Broadband Month 1GB € 15 1 GB 30 days
Broadband Month 7.5GB € 25 7.5 GB 30 days
Broadband Month 20GB € 35 20 GB 30 days

Out of bundle data are charged with € 0.0615 per MB in Ireland and the EU. For more data you can buy an add-on of 5 GB for € 7.50 per month. All allowances are valid in Ireland and all over the EU.

Tethering Edit

Three Ireland bans tethering on their smartphone prepaid SIM. There are reports that they suspend the "all you can eat data" bundle, when they detect a non-smartphone use or any tethering from a phone. If you want to tether data or use it not in a phone, better choose their Prepaid Broadband SIM instead.

EU roaming Edit

You can get their "roam like home" EU rates on Prepay in the 28 countries of the EU/EEA plus Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland and San Marino. Most allowances are given out at the domestic rate, only the AllYouCanEat package is capped at 5 GB.

More infoEdit

  • "Unlimited" means a 60 GB FUP. If you exceed this, your data-speed may be throttled.
  • Prepaid SIMs are opted into Three's Adult Content filter by default
  • Broadband micro-SIM does not support personal hotspot on iPads (3 or 4)
  • Skype may be filtered in some cases. Currently, it's free with the Three mobile Skype app on a compatible phone.

Meteor (by eir)Edit

Meteor is the mobile brand provided by Ireland's largest Telecom operator eir, formerly called Eircom. Meteor has the third-largest market share and its parent eir has the advantage of owning a nationwide fibre backbone, enabling it to offer fast data speeds at a good coverage: Meteor Coverage

In 2013, eir became the first operator to commercially launch LTE/4G capability in Ireland. In April 2017, eir offers 95% coverage.

Availability and start-upEdit

Meteor offers its pay-as-you-go SIM card for free in its shops when bought with a € 10 top-up (see Meteor store locator) and other outlets. Minimum top-up is € 5. Top-up vouchers are widely available nationwide. 4G is available on prepay, but the minimum cost is a € 20 top-up per month bundle which also includes free calls or texts.

SIM cards must be topped up every 150 days to maintain service for outbound calls and texts. They will be deactivated 30 days later. You can top-up online € 5-60 using any international credit/debit card or vouchers sold at 7000 outlets in the country. Check balance by *#100#.

Data feature packsEdit

On your pay as you go SIM card, you can top up the following bundles for 30 days (from 8 June only 28 days):

Price Volume EU cap Speed Activation
Monthly add-ons with data:
€ 4.99 500 MB no cap 2G, 3G Sub Internet 500
€ 9.99 1 GB no cap 2G, 3G Sub Internet 1GB
€ 20 15 GB 4.2 GB 2G, 3G, 4G 20 calls and data
€ 30 15 GB 6.3 GB 2G, 3G, 4G 30 unlimited

To activate, text code to 50104. For more data within your running month, you can add two boosters valid for 30 days (no EU cap):

  • 500 MB: € 4.99, activation: Booster500
  • 1 GB: € 9.99, activation Booster1

Mobile Broadband SIM Edit

Meteor sells Mobile Broadband SIM cards with data only for tablets at € 1 in their stores. On their data-only SIM, these Mobile Broadband Passes can be added in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE:

Price Volume Time Activation
€ 19.99 15 GB 30 days 30 Day
€ 30 50 GB 180 days 180 Day

For activation, text code to 50104. Note the expensive € 0.99 per MB, if you go over your allowance. The Mobile Broadband Passes require a different data-only SIM card and can't be mixed with the other internet add-ons in the table above.

EU roaming Edit

Meteor caps all larger data bundles in EU roaming, but generally applies "Roam like at home" rules for roaming in the EU/EEA. How the Mobile Broadband SIM is treated is not entirely clear yet.

More info Edit

  • Standard, micro and nano size SIMs are available
  • Tethering is supported
  • VoIP works on Meteor
  • APN:
  • APN for broadband SIMs:
  • Website:

Tesco MobileEdit

Tesco Mobile is the MVNO of the leading cash & carry retailer in the country. It used to operate on O2 and migrated to the Three network on 3G only. It has the highest market share of an MVNO in the country with about 6%.

Availability and start-upEdit

The SIM card can be bought online or offline at any Tesco outlet (Tesco store locator) especially these with a phone shop attached for €5. When purchased with €15 top-up the €5 cost of SIM is discounted giving effectively a starter SIM €15 with €15 credit.

All new customers are initially signed up to the basic plan. For a monthly minimum top-up of €10 you receive standard call rates, and free texts and calls amongst Tesco Mobile. When a top up of €15 is applied, unlimited free calls to all networks are enabled for 30 days, 10GB 3G data and you keep your call credit. Tesco Mobile is one of the cheapest option for international calls when visiting Ireland.

Top up vouchers can be found at Tesco, Payzone, Paypoint, Postpoint and other stores for €5, €10, €15, €20, €25 or €30. Check balance check by *100#.

Simple plan offer Edit

New prepaid users are opted in to the "Simple" offer by default. As a bonus, a € 15 top-up provides:

  • 10 GB 3G data for 30 days (capped at 3.17 GB in EU roaming)
  • 400 domestic minutes per day for 30 days
  • and still keep your full top-up balance

Switching to this plan for existing users: text "Join Simple" to 1744. To activate the plan, top-up by €15 or more in one go.

Data feature packsEdit

The default pricing for data transfers is a low € 0.02 per MB. The following bundles can be booked:

Price Volume Period Activation
€ 0.79 50 MB 1 day Text "Data" to 174209
€ 2.99 350 MB 7 days Text "Data" to 174210
€ 5 1 GB 30 days Text "Data" to 174211
€ 10 5 GB 30 days Text "Data" to 174212

These bundles don't renew themselves, you have to book them again after expiration. No caps for EU roaming are applied.

EU roaming Edit

As of the 15th of June 2017, you can use Tesco Mobile Prepay within the EU just like you would at home in Ireland. This means that if you’re travelling within the EU and want to call/text another EU country or use data you’ll pay the same price as you would at home in Ireland. A FUP for data applies for some Prepay plans.

All existing customers as at 15th of June 2017 are eligible to receive Tesco Mobile’s new EU roaming rates. Customers that join Tesco Mobile after the 15th of June 2017 will need to pass a basic customer authenticity check before being eligible to use their allowances while roaming in the EU. To pass an authenticity check all a customer needs to do is sign into or register a Tesco Clubcard to Tesco Mobile account. Not having one of these, roaming may be declined in the future.

More infoEdit

Lycamobile Edit


The leading UK ethno provider started in Ireland in 2012. It has good coverage and speeds in 2G and 3G only, no 4G/LTE using the Three network.

Availability and start-up Edit

As usual, their SIM card is free. It can be ordered online to be sent to an Irish postal address (hotel addresses are accepted) Or you can buy it in selected retailers: Centra, Spar, Supervalu, MACE, Costcutter, Londis, Gala, Eason. Please note that availability varies greatly. SIM packs come in many different configurations - some are free without credit, some come are paid for with preloaded credit, and some stores sell free SIMs for a fee without free credit. The front of the SIM pack shows the preloaded credit value, and lists the break-out size of SIM inside. Standard, micro and nano SIMs are available from their website. Larger Easons stores stock the free €0 preloaded SIM in standard and micro only, but charge a €0.50 surcharge for purchasing a top-up.

You can top-up online using credit or debit card or using vouchers sold through PayPoint or Payzone retailers (most convenience stores in Ireland). Scratch card vouchers start at €5. To enter type *131*<voucher code>#. Check balance by *131#. There must be a billable charge on the SIM every 90 days to keep it active and all call credit now expires 90 days after it was topped up.

All calls amongst Lycamobile customers are free.

Data feature packages Edit

The default rate for data outside of package is € 0.09 per MB. Lycamobile sells monthly data packs valid for 30 days, which change quite often:

  • 5 GB: € 4.99, activation: *139*90350#
  • 10 GB: € 6.99, activation: *139*90500#
  • 20 GB: € 9.99, activation: *139*91000#
  • 30 GB: € 13, activation: *139*95000#

All packages, auto-renew if there is enough credit. To stop, type *190# at least one day before the old bundle expires.

For extra data, they offer a bolt-ons provided one of the above has already been purchased, valid for the rest period of the base package:

  • 500 MB: € 2, activation: *139*601#
  • 1 GB: € 3, activation: *139*602#

Data usage can be checked by dialing *137# for data addons, and *147# for inclusive data.

EU Roaming Edit

Lycamobile seemst to be unwilling to apply roam like at home rules to their data packages which remain valid only nationally. EU roaming remains on the domestic default rate of € 0.09 per MB only.

More info Edit

  • APN:
  • Username: lmie (that's lowercase L, not capital i)
  • Password: plus
  • Lycamobile is known to block tethering and WiFi Hotspots are blocked
  • Website:

Post Mobile (formerly Postfone) Edit

Post mobile

An Post, the Irish postal system, launched Postfone as MVNO on the Vodafone network in 2010. In 2015 it was rebranded to Post Mobile and data services were added.

Vodafone has one the best coverages in the country in 2G and 3G, but Post Mobile customers don't have access to 4G/LTE for now (coverage map).

Availability and start-up Edit

An Post (= Irish Mail) has the largest retail network in Ireland. The SIM card is sold at their branches (locator) all over the country for free, but you have to subscribe to one of their plans (see below).

You can top-up online or by vouchers from retailers displaying the Postpoint and Payzone signs. These retailers include Londis, Centra, Spar, Mace and Gala. Then you simply dial 1747 and follow the prompts to put in your credit. Check balance by *200#.

Data feature packages Edit

The default rate for data outside of packages is 16c per MB. For the data they offer 2 monthly plans:

  • Free Data: € 20 including 10 GB data as bonus, € 20 general credit
  • All In 20: € 20 including 250 mins, 250 texts, 5 GB data
  • All in 30: € 30 inclidung 300 mins, 300 texts, 10 GB data

EU roaming Edit

From June 15th 2017 Postmobile customers are able to use their allowance of data, calls and texts at no extra cost. It’s also free to receive calls and texts from the Republic of Ireland when you are travelling in Europe. Calls, texts and data add-on’s will also work like home when travelling in Europe.

Out-of-bundle calls, texts or data usage will be charged as per our standard home out-of-bundle rates. "Europe" consists of the EU/EEA, the Channels Islands and the Isle of Man.

More info Edit

iD mobile Edit

Id mobile

iD Mobile is an MVNO that has started in the UK and spread to Ireland in 2015 using the Three network. It's owned by Carphone Warehouse and unlike other MVNOs they resell Three's 4G/LTE network too (for specifics see Three above). In 2016 they added prepay offers and Mobile Broadband plans.

Availability Edit

An iD Mobile prepaid SIM card can be bought through their website to be sent to an Irish postal address. You can also get them at any Carphone Warehouse store in Ireland (locator). Their SIM is free for the price, but a first top-up is required.

Top-ups can be made online on your account starting from € 5 using an international Visa or MasterCards. In their stores, they sell vouchers from € 5-50. These are also available in 4,500 branches of Centra, Mace, Applegreen, Topaz and Spar markets. To top-up by voucher, enter *101*<voucher code>#. If you don't top-up credit or make a chargeable use of your SIM for a period of 6 months, your SIM card may be suspended.

Voice and data rates Edit

Their default rate for data is € 0.10 per MB. Bundles are given out as bonuses for top-ups. This means that you will receive data, voice and text allowance for 30 days plus the topped up credit:

  • Top-up of € 15: 30 GB, 300 mins, unlimited iD mobile mins and SMS, € 15
  • Top-up of € 20: 30 GB, 300 mins, unlimited iD mobile mins and SMS, € 20
  • Top-up of € 30: 30 GB, 300 mins, unlimited iD mobile mins and SMS, € 30

For all overuse, the default data rate applies. No other packages are offered. 30 GB are capped at 3.3 GB in EU roaming.

EU roaming Edit

When you top-up by € 15 or more your bundle allowances are available to use in Ireland and when roaming throughout the EU. But you can only use 3.3 GB of your 30 GB data allowance in the EU. An out of plan charge € 0.00947 per MB if you go outside your EU roaming data allowance until your full domestic bundle of 30 GB expires, but if the plan has already expired € 0.10 per MB are charged.

More info Edit

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