When Irish Phones Are Callin’: 5G on the Emerald Isle

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A touch o’ green is coming to Ireland’s black spots (aka “dead zones”) reports Irish journal, The Journal. Eir mobile, with approximately two million subscribers, manages the country’s most extensive network. The Journal references Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index, which ranked Ireland at #62 on the worldwide mobile speed data chart. Azerbajian edged them out for the #61 slot.

The Ireland Department of Communications mobile phone and broadband taskforce launched in 2016 pledged to study the situation and find solutions to improve service. More masts (aka “cell phone towers”) was an obvious conclusion. While Eir, Vodafone and Three Ireland have petitioned to build additional towers and antennas, local councils frequently grant their approval. 

The telecommunications carriers have appealed to the national planning body for assistance in overriding the local councils. Whether proposed facilities are suggested for buildings or rural sites, the telecoms say the applications are likely to be rejected.  When approved, the approval can include financial contributions for the awarding council that can prove very costly for the carriers.

The taskforce has recommended revising the guidelines to make it easier for the telecoms to circumvent local interference.  Waiving council fees was also strongly recommended as they discourage development of improved connectivity. The latest guidelines are available here.  Comments? Email Us.

March 15, 2019

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