Vodafone Ireland announces 5G enabled fixed wireless trial

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Vodafone Ireland has recently launched Ireland’s first live 5G network cell site open for trials in Dublin’s Docklands. To showcase the site’s capabilities, the first Irish international holographic call was carried out between Ireland and Vodafone’s Innovation Centre in Germany using fully standardised 5G technology.

The network consists of fully standardised Ericsson 5G new radio cell site being deployed over Vodafone Ireland’s recently acquired 5G spectrum. Vodafone Ireland will use this site to trial the latest 5G hardware, software and services as they become available in advance of 5G products hitting the market, and will continue to expand coverage in the area over the coming months.

The first Irish international holographic call was a demonstration of the type of possibilities that can be achieved on 5G, which could become an everyday future reality across business and society in Ireland. Benefits include robotic surgery, driverless cars and real time virtual gaming on the move.

This significant technological milestone sees Ireland’s first live 5G network cell site launched to allow businesses looking to explore or validate new products or services that require the high-speed, high-efficiency capability of this network to undertake trials for the first time.

Additionally, Vodafone and Ericsson have partnered with NOVA UCD to create a new 5G accelerator programme for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin. Through the programme, participants have the opportunity to test and build potential new commercial products and services utilising 5G network capabilities, to enable them to develop a viable business plan. Candidates who successfully complete the accelerator programme will be eligible for early stage investment to expand their products and bring plans to fruition – therefore increasing the number of new products and services being generated in Ireland.

Furthermore, successful applicants can gain access to a range of support services and applications to foster the development of 5G use cases, including:

•access to talent, mentors and investors;
•access to a range of programmes for venture creation and growth;
•Internet of Things (IoT)/5G use case development programmes; and
•access to finance.

Hosted by Vodafone Ireland’s CEO, Anne O’Leary, the holographic call involved a Q&A session with Max Gasparroni, Vodafone Ireland’s Interim CTO, who was in Germany.

This landmark announcement follows Vodafone’s first successful live demonstration of pre-standard 5G technology in Ireland last February, which achieved 15 Gigabit per second speeds with a latency of less than five milliseconds.

Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland said: “As a business, we pride ourselves on being first to market with cutting edge, industry leading innovation. Our event today highlights our ongoing commitment to this. Making Ireland’s first ever live holographic call over 5G was a demonstration of how this new technology could eventually transform how we interact with each other across borders and time zones. It also demonstrates the wider potential that the launch of our 5G network can bring, not just to business, but to communities and citizens in the future.

“With the speed and efficiency now offered, we can experiment with new and innovative IoT devices that will ultimately have the power to transform how we deliver products and services. Using our testbed in the Docklands, companies can now experiment and work to improve life changing technology, such as medical devices.

John Griffin, Head of Ericsson Ireland said “Ericsson is committed to R&D and a collaborative approach working with Vodafone to develop 5G in Ireland. The accelerator programme with NOVA UCD will be a springboard for entrepreneurship in the new 5G ecosystem.”