Eir confirms GoMo won’t be getting 5G any time soon

28 Jan 2020

Image: © JLO_FOTO/Stock.adobe.com

At the launch of its 2020 strategy, Eir confirmed that its expectations for GoMo have been exceeded, but customers of the new mobile brand won’t have access to 5G for some time.

Those hoping that the newest telecoms brand on the Irish market will offer 5G connectivity could be waiting for some time, according to Eir CEO Carolan Lennon.

At the operator’s 2020 strategy launch this morning (28 January), Lennon said the company was surprised by the “phenomenal interest” in its GoMo contracts that launched last year with the promise of a limited €9.99 per month sim-only deal for life. This has now increased to €12.99.

The company had initially set a target of having 100,000 customers signed up to GoMo by June 2020, but achieved this by Christmas 2019. However, when asked whether the GoMo brand will be included in Eir’s ongoing national 5G roll-out, Lennon said there are currently no plans for it.

“I’m not saying never, but at the moment we’re playing on that online-only value proposition,” she said. Speaking of its performance in the market overall, Lennon added that the majority of those who have signed up to GoMo have come from pre-pay plans on competitor networks.

Eir’s 5G roll-out was also confirmed to be expanding by a further 20 towns by April of this year, on top of the 20 towns and cities already announced. The company aims to have 100 additional sites operational by the end of 2020.

‘Very happy’ with Huawei

Eir’s expansion of its existing 4G infrastructure was also confirmed, with the addition of 500 sites. Its aim is to achieve 99pc geographical coverage of Ireland, with only three counties so far meeting this target. However, it said that its reach nationally currently stands at 92pc. The company’s population coverage currently sits at 98pc across Ireland.

With regards to the use of Huawei for its 5G radio infrastructure, Lennon said that Eir was “very happy with them as a supplier”.

“They have really top-quality kit and we’re also very happy with Ericsson working on the core network,” she said.

Addressing the issue of its fibre broadband roll-out, Eir said its €500m investment programme will look to have 1.4m homes and businesses – covering 84pc of premises in Ireland – connected to 1Gbps speeds.

However, Lennon admitted that Eir has fallen wide of the mark when it comes to its broadband availability in Dublin and other big cities, with Virgin Media having more than 70pc of the market share there.

“We have absolutely under-indexed in broadband in both wholesale and retail in Dublin and big cities, and this [€500m investment programme] is about addressing that,” she said.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic