Eir is one of the largest mobile network providers in Ireland, and the company aims to claim the top spot in the market in the coming years. In an announcement two days ago, the company claimed that they would invest €150 million into their mobile network over the next two years, increasing their 4G voice and data coverage to include 99% of the country. Existing mobile sites belonging to Eir that don’t support 4G will be upgraded, with additional ones being dotted around the country as well. Eir claims that this will mean that they will have the most expansive mobile network coverage in the world. The company also says that they will invest some of that money into 5G infrastructure in 2019, as well.
The plan is part of an overall 1 billion euro investment the company has pledged for the next five years.
Currently, Eir has a lot of 4G towers up yet still relies on 3G to do much of the heavy lifting on their network. 4G can be, in a lot of cases, ten to twenty times faster than 3G, at a minimum. It also tends to be a lot more stable and can allow for increased voice fidelity when phone calls are made over it. If you find yourself complaining that your data speeds are slow, then that’s likely because you are using 3G. Many of Eir’s pay-as-you-go plans only allow for 3G. 5G can also be up to 1000 times faster than 4G in ideal conditions, though admittedly, it’s unlikely to actually reach those heights when implemented.
This plan aims primarily to target customers of Eir that live in rural Ireland and may not have access to high-speed connections. The roll-out of 5G will likely only be in built-up urban areas such as Dublin at first, but it’s a good start. A limitation of 5G is that it has a much shorter signal range from the cell-tower than older technologies such as 3G and 4G. As such, it requires more cell-towers to cover a larger area, making its implementation less cost-effective at this point in time.