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Vodafone switches on Irish 5G network

Written by Peter Walker

Vodafone has become the first mobile operator to switch on 5G networks in the Republic of Ireland.

Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are the first cities to get faster coverage, with additional locations planned in the coming months.

Vodafone launched 5G in the UK in early July and has also been expanding its coverage in mainland Europe.

Vodafone Ireland launched its 5G networks in partnership with Ericsson and the Application of the Science of Simulation to Education, Research and Medical Technology centre in University College Cork, with the latter collaboration resulting in the first 5G connected telemedicine and medical robotics training in the world.

Unlike the UK, where Vodafone uses equipment from Huawei, the Irish network consists of fully-standardised Ericsson 5G. However, to get access, customers have to purchase either a Huawei Mate 20X 5G mobile phone, or pre-register for the new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, available from 30 August.

Anne O’Leary, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland, stated: “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.”

John Griffin, managing director of Ericsson Ireland, pointed out that the company has been in the country for 60 years. “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.”