Vodafone has become the first mobile operator to switch on 5G networks in the Republic of Ireland.
The cities to receive the commercial 5G networks includes locations in Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Waterford. Additional locations are planned in the coming months.
Vodafone has only just launched its 5G in the UK in early July, and it already expanding its coverage in both the UK and Europe. It has also signed a 5G network agreement with O2 that will see the two operators share sites and 5G active equipment, such as radio antennas.
Vodafone Ireland launched the 5G networks in Ireland in partnership with Swedish equipment maker Ericsson.
On top of the 5G network launch, Vodafone Ireland also announced a partnership with the ASSERT Centre (Application of the Science of Simulation to Education, Research and Medical Technology) in University College Cork.
This will result in the first 5G connected telemedicine and medical robotics training centre in the world.
Unlike the UK, where Vodafone is known to use equipment from Huawei, Vodafone’s new 5G network in Ireland consists of fully standardised Ericsson 5G, which is being deployed over Vodafone Ireland’s recently acquired 5G spectrum.
For those wishing to experience the speeds offered by 5G, Vodafone’s Irish customers have the option of purchasing a Huawei Mate 20X 5G in retail stores or online this week.
Or they can pre-register for a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, (available from 30 August).
But what tarriffs can Irish customers expect to see, considering that UK 5G customers have access to a range of unlimited 5G plans?
Vodafone Ireland says that all of its consumer RED Complete Plans and RED Business plans are 5G ready, and range in price from an introductory offer of €25 euro per month for SIM only, and from €40 euro per month with a handset.
“This is truly a historic occasion for everyone at Vodafone, for me personally and for the ASSERT Centre,” said Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland. “As a business, we have spent the last 18 months preparing the groundwork for the launch of Ireland’s first commercial 5G network and today we begin our switch-on in locations in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.”
“We work closely with our customers to be at the forefront of technology and we were the first to support the launch every generation of mobile technology in Ireland,” added John Griffin, MD of Ericsson Ireland.
“Ericsson has been investing in Ireland for 60 years,” Griffen added. “Our Research and Development centre in Athlone is still one of the biggest in the country, where they have currently developing key components of 5G networks and firmly putting Ireland on the map of 5G innovation.”
But not everyone is overly happy at the arrival of 5G networks.
Last month the head of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, warned that 5G networks would result in the police being unable to track or carry out surveillance of suspects’ mobile devices.
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