Vodafone Ireland announces rural home broadband network trial

12 Dec 2018

Max Gasparroni, interim CTO of Vodafone Ireland. Image: Vodafone

Vodafone Ireland will be kicking off a new wireless home broadband access trial in four locations around rural Ireland.

Fresh from the announcement of its recent 5G trial site in Dublin’s docklands, Vodafone Ireland today (12 December) unveiled details of a new wireless home broadband trial for rural Ireland.

According to the company, the trial aims to explore the possibility of operating a dedicated rural wireless network, where customers are connected to the internet on a Vodafone wireless broadband connection.

Four rural locations selected by Vodafone

The trial is set kick off this December and will be rolled out to four locations: Roscommon, Gorey, Clonmel and Dungarvan. The selected sites will cover more than 20,000 premises in rural Ireland.

Using new Ericsson 5G-capable equipment to provide wireless access over the 3.6GHz spectrum band, the network will be dedicated solely to handling the broadband traffic of these fixed-wireless customers. The company claims that the network could potentially allow customers to receive peak download speeds of up to 500Mbps at present, increasing to gigabit speeds in the future.

Each trial customer will get an external antenna installed at their house that will be connected directly to a 3.6Ghz capable in-home Wi-Fi router. This equipment will only pick up the dedicated wireless signal for this service and will not use the existing mobile network. The external antenna will help guarantee the best-possible speeds available for each trial customer, and the trial will be extended to 250 premises in the initial four locations.

Creating a gigabit society

Speaking about the fixed-wireless access trial, Max Gasparroni, Vodafone Ireland interim CTO, said: “Connectivity and connected technologies are impacting every facet of our lives today and there is a huge demand all over Ireland for high-speed broadband access. 

“Vodafone is driving forward with our ambition to create a gigabit society in Ireland, and this trial will allow us to look at how we can enhance and extend broadband access to our customers in the most rural parts of the country.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects