Wednesday , June 16 2021

4G network for storing gaps in broadband




Richard Bruton replaced Denis Naughten as communications minister. Photo: Damien Eagers
Richard Bruton replaced Denis Naughten as communications minister. Photo: Damien Eagers

Adrian Weckler

Ireland is getting blank 4G mobile broadband coverage in a new twist to rural broadband controversy.

Eir will invest 150 million euros in the expansion of 4G Mobile Broadband that covers 99pc of Ireland's geographical territory within two years.

This is the first time a mobile operator has offered universal land coverage.

Where the signal is strong enough, 4G can be used for home broadband.

Speeds of up to 100 megabits per second are currently possible, equivalent to the best available on conventional telephone lines broadband services.

Eir also says that it will simultaneously upgrade the network to be 5G ready in anticipation of faster mobile broadband standards being introduced next year.

Mobile operators have so far only been required to cover a majority of the population in cities and metropolitan areas and leave large parts of the country with poor, slow signals.

Eir's move comes as the government wrestles with possible alternatives to the stalled National Broadband Plan (NBP), which awaits a report from auditor Peter Smyth this week to determine if it can continue.

A series of government leakage in the media has shown that it can rethink its commitment to investing taxpayers' money on rural broadband infrastructure.

The government-subsidized NBP offer would facilitate the expansion of fiber networks to 540,000 homes and businesses, providing fastest possible broadband rates.

However, it has become frightened with delays and risks now being interrupted if a state audit finds that meetings between former communications minister Denis Naughten and NBP bidding consortium chief David McCourt have acted unjustly with a fair process.

The eir investment is the beginning of an overview of 1 billion euros of the company's entire network, made by the commitment of the new owner, the French telecom commander Xavier Niel, billionaire.

Mr. Niel has pointed out that his two priorities for reforming Eir are a radical expansion of the company's mobile network around the country and upgrading its broadband infrastructure to fiber.

The nationwide 4G expansion will mean that hundreds of new masters will be introduced for two years.

The CEO of Eir, Carolan Lennon, has claimed that the new investment will make Ireland the most covered country in the world.

She said, "This investment in our mobile network is part of a global investment program of EUR 1 billion over the next five years. The program will also see an expansion of our high-speed fiber-to-door roll-out to deliver broadband speeds of up to 1000 Mbps to another 1.4 million homes and companies across the country. "

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