Knock Airport network boosts mobile coverage in Mayo

9 Apr 2019

Image: Ireland Airport West Knock

Metropolitan area networks connected to mobile high sites could play a crucial role in the onset of 5G as well as supporting the need for high-speed broadband in Ireland’s regions.

Enet has revealed that its Ireland West Airport Knock-based metropolitan area network (MAN) is now being used to deliver high-speed connectivity to mobile phone customers in the Mayo region.

The development follows the delivery of high-speed fibre connectivity to a local mobile high site.

‘The bandwidth we’re delivering will support faster speeds and lower latency for consumers’

The Knock Airport MAN is one of seven local wholesale networks operated by Enet, with the others located at Ballina, Ballinrobe, Belmullet, Castlebar, Claremorris and Kiltimagh.

Fibre in the regional economy

“Enet’s experience is that, over time, the existence of fibre infrastructure like the MAN at Knock Airport has a critical and major impact on the range, quality, and value of communications solutions for businesses and homes,” explained Enet chief commercial officer David Eyre.

He said that Enet is increasingly developing and excelling at delivering tailored core network solutions, as is the case with the mobile backhaul from the Knock MAN.

“The bandwidth we’re delivering will support faster speeds and lower latency for consumers. It also opens the possibility for next-generation devices and will, in time, enable internet of things [IoT] devices.”

Enet has a history of investing in telecoms infrastructure in Co Mayo, having spent €500,000 in 2014 to deploy fibre to the business network in Claremorris, as well as financing the €1.5m construction of the fibre network in Castlebar in 2016.

Enet, which employs about 100 people, operates fixed and wireless backhaul infrastructure across Ireland, including the 94 MANs it operates on behalf of the Irish Government. It works with more than 70 telecoms operators.

The company is one of a number of firms providing services to the final bidding consortium for the National Broadband Plan (NBP), National Broadband Ireland, which is led by Granahan McCourt. Other firms supplying this consortium include Actavo, Nokia, Kelly Group and KN Group.

Last December the Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF) acquired 100pc of Enet after buying out the remaining stake held by Granahan McCourt.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years