Telecommunications company Vodafone, along with its technology partner Ericsson demonstrated 5G technology for the first time ever in Ireland at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity on Wednesday, February 7.
The demonstration saw the two companies achieve broadband speeds of 15 Gigabit per second with a latency of under five milliseconds. Pre-standard 5G was also tested across Vodafone’s 3.6GHz spectrum.
Vodafone have promised that 5G broadband will be rolled out in Ireland within 24 months. 5G is expected to support super-high speed broadband and provide ultra-low latency for human machine interaction. For example, it could allow students to participate in classes using virtual reality (VR) glasses or surgeries to be performed in VR environments using haptic gloves.
Speaking to Trinity News about the demonstration, Head of Ericsson Ireland, John Griffin, said: “From Ericsson’s own research, we know that millennials have very different needs from their mobile network than previous generations. It’s about apps, video, social networking etc and most of all, it’s about immediacy. Very few millennials make phone calls, unless it’s to their parents. For this reason, the networks of the future need to be reliable, responsive, fast and be available everywhere. 5G promises this and much more.
“The reality is that we do not know today what 5G will be used for in 2025, apart from mobile and high speed. The use cases are limitless and companies like Vodafone and Ericsson need the graduates of today to drive that innovation and create the apps and use cases of the future such as pilotless cars, automatic drones, and many more.”
In September, the Higher Education Authority network (HEAnet) upgraded its ultra high-speed fibre broadband to universities and institutes of technologies across Ireland. Over the past three years, the HEA has invested over €5 million to upgrade the national education and research broadband network.