The Irish carrier is currently working with Ericsson in its 5G program
Vodafone Ireland, a subsidiary of U.K. telecom group Vodafone, announced that it is extending its live 5G network testbed coverage in the city of Dublin, local press reported.
The company initially launched the 5G testbed in the Dublin Docklands in November of last year. Vodafone Ireland said that the decision to expand the testbed was driven by increasing demand from local companies looking to test 5G technology. The testbed uses a 5G site provided by Swedish vendor Ericsson.
Vodafone also confirmed that it aims to launch commercial 5G services in Ireland in the last quarter of this year.
Vodafone and Ericsson had partnered with NOVA UCD to create a new 5G accelerator program for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin. Through the program, participants have the opportunity to test and build potential new commercial products and services using 5G network capabilities, to enable them to develop a viable business plan.
In addition to the Dockland’s site, Vodafone also started trials of 5G technology via a dedicated rural wireless network in four locations late last year. The telco is planning to extend these trials to other regions in the coming months, according to the reports.
Vodafone’s other 5G network trials include an investment of 90 million euros ($102 million) in Milan, Italy, to build a 5G network covering over 80% of the city. It has launched 31 5G use cases to date working with 38 industrial and public sector partners. The use cases cover the fields of health, security and surveillance; smart energy and smart cities; mobility and transport; manufacturing and industry 4.0; education; entertainment; and the digital divide.
Vodafone also announced it will launch 5G technology in 12 new cities across the United Kingdom during this year.Vodafone said it became the first U.K. company to carry 5G traffic over a commercial mobile network in October 2018 from a location in Salford, Greater Manchester. The carrier said that 5G sites in Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool have been switched on and are streaming live 5G mobile data traffic to and from the Internet, using the latest compatible routers.
Meanwhile, the telco has installed 5G antennas and associated equipment in Birmingham, Glasgow and London ahead of going live.
Vodafone said plans for this year include the launch of 5G in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.
Vodafone Spain recently said it expects to end the first quarter of the year with 85-100 5G base stations installed in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Bilbao and Malaga, with the aim of launching commercial 5G next year.
In July 2018, Vodafone Spain started to deploy its 5G network in these six cities with the deployment of a limited number of 5G nodes.
The company also said that it is currently working with Huawei and Ericsson in the deployment of the 5G network.