Vodafone has switched on its 5G network in five locations including Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

The move puts the operator in pole position ahead of Eir and Three which are also due to also launch their 5G networks in Ireland this year.

5G represents the fifth generation of mobile standards, promising faster broadband speeds for data.

“5G is set to revolutionise how we use and adopt technology and will have a huge impact on businesses and society in Ireland”

Live across locations in Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Waterford, Vodafone will continue expanding the network to further locations in Ireland over the coming months.

The next generation of mobile

The new network has been built using standardised Ericsson 5G deployed over spectrum acquired by Vodafone.

The network will support many new technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things, connected cities and self-driving cars.

New handsets that will support the new 5G network include the Huawei Mate 20X 5G which goes on sale on 14 August or the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G which will be available to buy from Vodafone on 30 August.

Vodafone has revealed specific pricing plans for business and consumer users.

To coincide with the launch of the new mobile network Vodafone announced a strategic partnership with the ASSERT Centre (Application of the Science of Simulation to Education, Research and Medical Technology) in University College Cork (UCC), making it the first 5G connected telemedicine and medical robotics training centre in the world.

“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. 

“5G is set to revolutionise how we use and adopt technology and will have a huge impact on businesses and society in Ireland. It will bring high speed, ultra-low latency and highly secure connectivity to a massive amount of devices; and is a technology that will unlock a vast array of new use cases through Vodafone’s next-generation network.”

The ASSERT Centre at UCC enables clinicians, industry and academics across a broad spectrum of healthcare research, to design, develop, deploy and trial innovative and disruptive healthcare solutions, in a simulated healthcare environment that deliver real world solutions for healthcare problems in the developed and developing world.

“5G will revolutionise medicine with rapid connectivity of the internet of medical things (IoMT),” explained Professor Barry O’Reilly, Director of ASSERT at University College Cork, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

“From advanced wearable technologies that will facilitate the care of patients at home, to immediate connectivity of new diagnostic technologies like handheld smartphone connected ultrasound between point of care and hospital specialists at for example a road traffic accident and an emergency department, to remote robotic surgery.

“The ASSERT/Vodafone strategic partnership will create a Global 5G incubator for the medtech sector to test new technologies, assess 5G functionality and roll out to clinical trials providing that bridge between clinicians, research, innovation and the medtech industry.”

Pictured: Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary and the director of ASSERT Centre Dr Barry O’Reilly. Image: Naoise Culhane

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 13 August, 2019

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