Vodafone to speed up Irish 5G roll-out using new Ericsson tech

2 Jul 2020

Image: © Rawf8/Stock.adobe.com

Vodafone Ireland has said it is trialling new technology that will allow it to transmit 5G speeds using existing antenna infrastructure.

Vodafone Ireland said it will be able to have 30pc population 5G coverage by March of next year thanks to new technology called dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS). The technology, provided by Ericsson’s Spectrum Sharing, will allow the mobile operator to deliver both 4G and 5G speeds on the same spectrum using existing antenna infrastructure.

By the end of the month, Vodafone said DSS will be deployed in 57 sites across 11 counties  Cork, Cavan, Galway, Dublin, Roscommon, Kerry, Limerick, Meath, Mayo, Offaly and Wicklow. Further expansion will be rolled out in the years ahead.

The technology will also provide further spectrum for the network’s 4G users, with improved data services. DSS allows for speeds up to 400Mbps on 5G, which is being deployed in dense urban areas on the 3.6GHz spectrum.

When 5G DSS launches at the end of July, Vodafone said the Samsung S20 range of 5G handsets will be the only phones in its portfolio able to access the service. However, other DSS-compatible devices will be added over the coming months.

‘Important milestone for 5G in Ireland’

“We are delighted to be the first to bring this transformative technology solution to customers in Ireland, demonstrating our commitment to increasing the availability of 5G connectivity nationwide,” said Vodafone Ireland’s technology director, Didier Clavero.

“The last few months have highlighted the important role mobile technology plays in our society and DSS will help us to bring 5G to more people in a faster and more efficient manner. This innovative technology will enhance the customer experience while also providing a platform for businesses to continue innovating and develop the 5G use cases for the future.”

A recent Ericsson report predicted that there will be more than 190m 5G subscriptions globally by the end of this year and 2.8bn by the end of 2025. Estimates suggest the adoption of the technology could be worth €42bn to Ireland’s GDP by the end of this decade.

Camilla Vautier, vice-president and head of the Vodafone global customer unit at Ericsson, added: “This is an important milestone for 5G in Ireland and comes at the right time as we embrace the critical role that connectivity and innovation can play in building our future.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic