Vodafone rolls out first standalone private 5G network

Network to be used to assist Irish Manufacturing Research in developing applications

Vodafone has rolled out what is believed to be the first dedicated private 5G network in the Republic.

Irish Manufacturing Research is to use the network at its facility in Co Westmeath where it works with industry partners to develop smart applications.

IMR is an independent not-for-profit manufacturing and industrial energy efficiency research organisation based in Dublin and Mullingar that employs more than 70 researchers.

Using the standalone network, which is built using Ericsson equipment, IMR intends to develop and demonstrate innovative smart manufacturing use cases in automated production lines, mobile robots and cobots, and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) displays. These smart applications typically require the combination of bandwidth, low latency and reliability that is enabled by 5G.

“This mobile private network and the development of IoT applications will make it possible for IMR’s members and partners to achieve today, what they need to stay competitive tomorrow,” said Sinéad Bryan, Vodafone Ireland business director.

While this is the first time Vodafone has rolled out a dedicated 5G network locally, its sister company in England has partnered with a number of businesses. These include car maker Ford, which has installed a private network at its electric battery workshop in Essex to link the facility with a site in Cambridge, allowing the two to work together on welding batteries.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist

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