Relaunched its digital brand 48, providing the Irish market’s first flexible plan that gives customers control over how they use monthly data.


Migrated legacy IT systems to the cloud and leveraged TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture, Open APIs, Information Framework, Business Process Framework, and Cloud & IT Network assets to create a new digital experience.


Since the relaunch in March 2020, subscribers quadrupled to 110,000; churn reduced by 67%; the mobile-first customer portal increased mobile traffic by 40%; deployment times decreased by 80%; and 23-times more customers onboard each day on average.

When Three Ireland launched the 48 mobile service in 2012, it was the country’s first digital-only, youth brand. It captured the excitement of the market with its challenger attitude but after eight years, the brand had faded as its target market grew older and the new crop of digital-native, Generation Z youth were less attracted to the no-frills offer.

Three Ireland decided to shake things up again and relaunched 48 in March 2020 with a new brand position, product and experience. The company said that it “stripped back to our bones and rebuilt ourselves from the ground up.”

The new 48 still focuses on the youth segment but with a unique plan that gives Gen Z customers flexibility and control over how they use their monthly data, enabled by a digital operations environment that now runs in the cloud.

“Gen Z expect more from their brands. In addition to transparency, trust and authenticity, they want something different and experimental,” said Paddy Leahy, Digital Product Lead at 48.

48 offers just one SIM-only plan: 100GB per month including calls and texts for €10.99. All customer interactions are digital via online or mobile portals.

In a first for the Irish market, subscribers can choose how they use their data allowance via “Flexi Data” in the my48 application. They can use it, save it, share it with friends, carry over unused data to the next month, borrow up to 1GB if running low, swap unused voice minutes for more data, or donate data to charity. For each gigabyte donated, 48 gives €0.50 to FoodCloud, a charity that addresses the impact of food waste on climate change.

48 also builds trust with customers by offering a 30-day free trial without commitment and subscriptions can be cancelled at the end of each month, so there are no long contract lock-ins. Also, appealing to the Gen Z’s climate conscience, SIM cards are sent in sustainable packaging.

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