The Ireland-based telecommunications and internet service provider Three Ireland Limited has announced that it has rolled out its nationwide 5G network, providing coverage in selected locations in each county.
Covering 35% of the population from day one, the company claims to immediately become the country’s largest 5G network. The mobile operator has enabled 315 sites to use next-generation technology and plans to increase the number by adding 500 sites by the end of 2020. Three has invested about $100 million for the network’s deployment in the past year and is expected to spend the same amount for several years to come to increase their coverage.
However, Three’s customers have had to wait much longer to access the 5G network than customers of other mobile operators, Eir and Vodafone, who launched their 5G technology last year. Being about a year behind their competitors, it is conceivable that Three will have a lot to catch up on in terms of next-generation mobile technology, but the company actually claims that its initial delivery is higher than the current deployment rate of competitors.
In addition, Three is launching five 5G devices, and expects the number of 5G-enabled devices to reach 15 by the end of the year. It will also become the first 5G mobile provider to offer a prepaid service to customers, using a $6 surcharge on selected plans.
Three Ireland Limited CEO, Robert Finnegan, commented: “Connectivity is vital to our everyday lives, so we wanted to be the first in the country to offer prepay customers as well as bill pay customers a 5G experience. 5G is transforming how we connect, work, are entertained and how we live our lives. Having seen what 5G can do and the latency it provides, I am excited to see the economic developments and opportunities this brings to Ireland as we strive to compete in a global environment where connectivity is crucial.”