5G arrives in Ireland as Vodafone launches test site in Dublin

Vodafone Ireland has launched the country’s first live 5G network site, although it will be some time before most of us can benefit from it.

The new site has opened for trials in Dublin’s Docklands with Vodafone planning to use it to test 5G hardware, software and services ahead of a wider roll-out of the mobile technology.

The company on Wednesday showcased the much-hyped technology with what is believed to be the first Irish international holographic call made between Vodafone Ireland chief executive Anne O’Leary in Dublin, and the company’s interim chief technology officer Max Gasparroini, who was in Germany.

Vodafone and Ericsson, which is supplying the hardware for the new network, also announced a new partnership with University College Dublin’s innovation hub, NovaUCD, to create a new 5G accelerator programme. This initiative will allow participants to test new products and services over the network with candidates who successfully complete the programme being eligible for early stage investment to help bring their solutions to market.

While long-promised, 5G has been a long time coming with research firm Ovum not expecting it to be commercially available generally until 2020. Vodafone Ireland, which successfully demonstrated the technology at an event in Trinity College Dublin in February, said at that time it expected to rollout 5G within 24 months.