Sunday, 25 October 2020

Three Ireland’s 5G network goes live

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Monday 28 September 20

The operator launched at 315 sites, covering 35% of the Irish population

Today, Three Ireland has announced the switching on of its 5G network across the nation.    Around 315 base stations have been deployed so far, giving a total coverage of around 35% of the Irish population. Around 500 more are expected to be deployed by the end of 2020, with Three having invested around €100 million in the rollout over the last year and expecting to spend the same again for the next few years to enhance coverage…

Today, Three Ireland has announced the switching on of its 5G network across the nation. 
 
Around 315 base stations have been deployed so far, giving a total coverage of around 35% of the Irish population. Around 500 more are expected to be deployed by the end of 2020, with Three having invested around €100 million in the rollout over the last year and expecting to spend the same again for the next few years to enhance coverage. Naturally, major areas initially covered include urban hubs, like Dublin and Cork, but some rural areas are also included.
 
“What we expect is by the end of next year we will be well in excess of 50 per cent population coverage and growing,” said Three Ireland’s CTO David Hennessy. “This is about actually having a very substantive proposition out there for our customers and very substantive service.”
 
Three is the last of Ireland’s three major mobile operators to launch 5G, with Vodafone Ireland doing so in September 2019 and Eir following suit just one month later. Three’s 5G launch was initially scheduled for a similar date but was delayed, primarily due to a switch from Huawei to Ericsson equipment at a late stage in the technology’s deployment. 
 
Lagging behind by around one year, one would think that Three will have much catching up to do when it comes to the next-generation mobile technology, but the company in fact claims that its initial launch is larger than its rivals’ current deployments.
 
Three’s 5G uptake should also receive something of a boost from the release of the new 5G Apple iPhone, expected to hit the market in a few weeks time.
 
When it comes to accessibility, Three’s customers on more expensive plans will have access to 5G for free – assuming they have a compatible device. However, lower-priced plans, including pre-paid, will also be able to access 5G for a €5 supplementary charge. 
 
“Connectivity is vital to our everyday lives, so we wanted to be the first in the country to offer prepay customers as well as bill pay customers a 5G experience. 5G is transforming how we connect, work, are entertained and how we live our lives,” said CEO Robert Finnegan.
 
“Having seen what 5G can do and the latency it provides, I am excited to see the economic developments and opportunities this brings to Ireland as we strive to compete in a global environment where connectivity is crucial.”
 
 
Three CEO Robert Finnegan gave a keynote speach at this year's Connected Britain
 
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