Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

A thesis presented to the Technological University Dublin for the degree of Master of Philosophy September, 2012


Following the universal acceptance of mobile telephony the once elitist gadget has become an indispensable democratic tool of everyday communications over the last three decades. Controversially, this thesis illustrates that its level of both adoption and usage did not develop in a similar homogenous pattern in selected OECD countries. In particular, the Irish performance is rather astonishing given the speed of adoption as well as the exceptional high revenue figures achieved by the wireless operators. Consequently, this work determines a selection of factors that drive and encourage both the adoption and usage of cellular telephony in Ireland. The Irish experience is examined in the light of Rogers‘ theory of adoption and diffusion of innovation and demonstrates that domestic socio-economic factors such as the traditional Irish family structure helped the adoption process as did its young demography following the launch of prepaid services. Similarly, historic events such as emigration and the policy of attracting overseas companies to settle in Ireland created traits of a cosmopolite and open economy society whereas the civil war and governmental policies hindered the adequate rollout of the PSTN which resulted in a migration towards cellular telephony. Significantly, by deploying a linear regression model this thesis showed that Hofstede‘s cultural dimension of uncertainty avoidance correlates the most with mobile telephony adoption. Controversially, while this dimension is generally link with protestant cultures this finding is rather contradictive when recalling Ireland‘s tradition of Catholicism and puts a long-cherished stereotype associated with Ireland into question. It was further demonstrated that the Irish benefited from their selection of the global TACS standard that promised economies of scale and subsequently reasonable-priced equipment. Due to this selection the incumbent establish some form of international roaming, which was a novelty outside the NMT system sphere at the time. With regard to the exceptional revenue figures which were seen as a result of a ‗rip-off‘ policy by the wireless carriers this thesis found proof that they were in fact a consequence of the Irish‘s enthusiastic mobile phone usage rather than a product of over-charging. It was further demonstrated that the stereotype of the talkative Irish is profound in their legacy of story-telling as well as a consequence of the British suppression when the mother tongue was used to both conserve and keep their culture alive. Following the independence from their occupiers this regained freedom can easily be observed by the extensive rate of speech and ‗pirate‘ radio broadcastings. Altogether, it was shown that the Irish society resonate most fortune with the adoption of an innovation such as mobile telephony. Therewith, underpinning the relevance of cultural and social factors in addition to traditional solely economic and marked-orientated models.