Three Ireland begins rolling out 5G broadband to customers

Company views fixed-line offerings as its competitor

Three Ireland has launched its 5G broadband product, taking aim at rivals Virgin Media and Eir.

The new service comes after the mobile operator made its 5G mobile service available at selected sites in every county in the Republic of Ireland. Three is s offering the unlimited broadband product to both consumers and business customers, with prices starting from €36 per month.

The company said its 5G broadband has speeds that exceeds those offered by many fixed line solutions, and can be self-installed the same day.

Business customers have the choice of the self-install product, or they can have an engineer install the service with an external antenna at their premises. There are plans to offer a similar service to retail customers in 2021.



Three Ireland chief technology officer David Hennessy said the main difference between the two products was coverage, with the antenna option giving companies a surer signal, with the self-install a more "casual" solution. "With the installed product, it's not the kind of thing you plug out when you are doing the cleaning," he said. "It's a permanent, installed product."

The product is separate to the mobile broadband offered by the network. “We see it as a broadband product. It’s over 5G, but 5G is offering speeds that are as good as or better than a lot of current fixed broadband,” he said. “We see fixed broadband as the competition – Virgin Media, Eir and whoever else if offering fixed broadband.

Although the operator has rolled out 5G in every county in the Republic of Ireland and has made progress with its coverage, it does not yet cover all areas. Customers can check if they are in a 5G Broadband coverage area on the company’s website.

Mr Hennessy said the plan was to continue to expand that throughout the next year, doubling the size of the network next year.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist