Vodafone plans to phase out 3G in Ireland to modernise its network

30 Jun 2022

Image: © doganmesut/Stock.adobe.com

Vodafone said the move to upgrade its 3G service will make its national network more sustainable and energy efficient, while improving network performance.

Vodafone Ireland is planning to upgrade its entire 3G service onto its 4G and 5G network in a phased programme later this year.

The company said today (30 June) that it is upgrading its 3G network to the next-generation services as part of a nationwide network modernisation programme.

Vodafone Ireland said data dependency on 3G has significantly reduced in recent years, to the point where 6pc of data used on its network travels on 3G.

The decision to phase out 3G follows similar programmes in countries such as the UK, Italy and the Netherlands, as part of Vodafone’s global effort to future-proof its networks.

“Our ambition is to provide the best and most reliable level of network coverage around the country for our customers,” Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary said.

“Upgrading our 3G network and our sites to 4G and 5G will future-proof our network for our customers all across Ireland.”

The telecoms firm said its decision will lead to a more sustainable and energy efficient network, along with increased levels of network performance and resilience.

“3G provided an initial foundation to build out connectivity. The technology has now sufficiently developed to give our customers a faster and more sustainable mobile experience that lessens the impact on the environment,” O’Leary added.

O’Leary has overseen the nationwide roll-out of 4G and 5G during her time with Vodafone Ireland. Earlier this month, it was announced that she is leaving Vodafone to join Meta in September, becoming the tech giant’s new vice-president of the mid-market business division for the EMEA region.

Vodafone first launched its commercial 5G service in Ireland in 2019, beginning in population centres Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. This followed a test network site at Dublin’s docklands in November 2018.

Vodafone Ireland’s programme to upgrade its 3G network is due to begin in late 2022. O’Leary said the company is communicating the transition as early as possible so customers can stay connected while the transition takes place.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic