DCU partners with Cellnex to make its campuses 5G-enabled

8 Feb 2023

From left: Ronan O’Connor, Kieran Mahon and Declan Raftery. Image: Shane O'Neill/Coalesce

Nearly 19,000 students along with staff and start-ups are set to benefit from the 5G upgrade which will help them trial new technologies across three campuses.

Telecom giant Cellnex is collaborating with Dublin City University (DCU) to make it one of Ireland’s first 5G-enabled campuses.

Launched today (8 February), the partnership will see Cellnex install a range of telecoms infrastructure to ensure there is uninterrupted 5G coverage across the main campus, the nearby DCU Alpha Innovation Campus as well as the DCU sports campus.

The upgrade will support smart city, connected vehicle and internet of things applications across the three campuses.

“DCU is a vibrant and research-focused university, with an existing innovation pedigree through DCU Alpha. This partnership will allow DCU to take its IoT and smart campus activities to the next level,” said Ronan O’Connor, commercial director at Cellnex Ireland.

“Continued adoption of 5G and IoT applications is vital in creating a competitive economy, while also solving pressing issues at a societal level which would not have been possible without this ground-breaking technology.”

The partnership aims to meet the objectives of the Smart DCU initiative, which is a partnership between Dublin City Council, Enable, Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics and DCU Alpha.

Smart DCU focuses on developing, testing and trialling cutting-edge tech innovations on the university’s three campuses, benefitting nearly 19,000 students. The idea is to make DCU a microcosm of a smart city – which can offer insights into how a smart city can better function.

Kieran Mahon, Smart DCU projects facilitator, said the initiative allows the campus infrastructure to be used as a “testbed for new technologies” like Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), in partnership with innovative companies such as Cellnex.

MEC, which is heavily 5G-reliant, allows for the increased adoption of bandwidth-heavy applications, such as internet of things, virtual and augmented reality, remote medical monitoring and connected and autonomous vehicles.

The latest partnership is now expected to help DCU students, staff and the founders of start-ups based in the campus with the ability to trial new technologies in a real-world environment.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic