Vodafone Ireland launches 5G in Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Waterford

Professor Barry O’Reilly, director of ASSERT, with Vodafone Ireland CEO, Anne OLeary in the ASSERT Surgical Skills Lan

5G is live in Ireland, after Vodafone Ireland, in partnership with Ericsson, launched a service today in Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Waterford, with more cities due to roll out in the coming months. Vodafone’s new 5G network consists of fully standardised Ericsson 5G, which is being deployed over Vodafone Ireland’s recently acquired 5G spectrum.

Vodafone Ireland bill pay customers have the option of buying a Huawei Mate 20X 5G in retail stores or online from tomorrow, 14 August. Also from tomorrow, they can pre-register for a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, in store or online. The handset is available to buy from 30 August.

To connect to the Vodafone 5G network, customers need a 5G-ready plan, 5G coverage and a 5G phone. All of Vodafone’s consumer RED Complete Plans and RED Business plans are 5G-ready and range in price from an introductory offer of €25 (£22) per month for SIM only and from €40 per month with a handset.

In addition to the network launch, Vodafone has also announced a strategic partnership with the ASSERT Centre (Application of the Science of Simulation to Education, Research and Medical Technology) in University College Cork (UCC), which it claims makes it the first 5G connected telemedicine and medical robotics training centre in the world.

The ASSERT Centre at UCC enables clinicians, industry and academics across a broad spectrum of healthcare research to design, develop, deploy and trial innovative and disruptive healthcare solutions, in a simulated healthcare environment, in order to deliver real world solutions for healthcare problems in the developed and developing world.

The ASSERT Centre showcases real-time monitoring, telemedicine, and robotic surgery, integrated with wearable IoMT-based (Internet of Medical Things) devices. This provides a consolidated ecosystem that digitizes healthcare with the aim of providing personalised, precise, predictive, participatory and timely healthcare services.

Speaking at a launch event, Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary said: “This is truly a historic occasion for everyone at Vodafone, for me personally and for the ASSERT Centre. As a business, we have spent the last 18 months preparing the groundwork for the launch of Ireland’s first commercial 5G network and today we begin our switch-on in locations in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

“5G is set to revolutionise how we use and adopt technology and will have a huge impact on businesses and society in Ireland. It will bring high speed, ultra-low latency and highly secure connectivity to a massive amount of devices; and is a technology that will unlock a vast array of new use cases through Vodafone’s next-generation network.”

And commenting on the ASSERT partnership, Professor Barry O’Reilly, director of the facility, said: “Ireland has embraced the importance of this type of technology in healthcare innovation. 5G will revolutionize medicine with rapid connectivity of the Internet of Medical Things. From advanced wearable technologies that will facilitate the care of patients at home, to immediate connectivity of new diagnostic technologies like handheld smartphone connected ultrasound between point of care and hospital specialists at for example a road traffic accident and an emergency department, to remote robotic surgery.

The ASSERT/ Vodafone strategic partnership will create a Global 5G incubator for the MedTech sector to test new technologies, assess 5G functionality and roll out to clinical trials providing that bridge between clinicians, research, innovation and the MedTech industry.”