Vodafone Ireland is reported to be carrying out a new trial with a view to establishing whether it can successfully operate a dedicated rural wireless network using 5G technology, according to the Irish Times. It is understood that the mobile network operator (MNO) is planning to undertake the trial at four locations, namely: Roscommon in County Roscommon; Gorey, County Wexford; Clonmel, County Tipperary; and Dungarvan, County Waterford. With the project aiming to determine whether customers can be served via a dedicated wireless broadband connection, trial equipment using the 3.5GHz/3.7GHz spectrum Vodafone acquired last year will be used to provide access at the chosen sites, which cover more than 20,000 premises. The report notes that the trial network, which will be used solely to handle traffic from fixed-wireless customers, could potentially allow users to receive peak download speeds of up to 500Mbps. The MNO’s interim chief technology officer, Max Gasparroni, was cited as saying that the trial would allow the cellco to look at how it can enhance and extend broadband access to customers in the most rural parts of the country.
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