Three Ireland launches next evolution 5G network capability for businesses

Three Ireland launches next evolution 5G network capability for businesses Duncan is an award-winning technology industry analyst, specialising in cloud computing, blockchain, martech and edge computing.


Three, Ireland’s largest mobile network, is the first Irish operator to launch the next evolution of 5G, 5G Standalone, which has the potential to accelerate innovation across industries and unlock exciting possibilities for businesses and consumers.

Operating initially on a trial basis, the 5G Standalone technology, powered by Ericsson, will be available to select corporate customers who will have the opportunity to test and trial its capabilities.

5G Standalone is the next advancement of 5G technology – meaning the 5G network operates with a 5G dedicated core network, supporting enhanced speeds, providing minimal latency and enabling higher device density and capacity. In contrast, currently all 5G capabilities rely on a 4G radio coverage footprint and 4G core network, so while speeds are quicker and latency has improved, there is still a reliance on 4G.

With 5G Standalone, businesses can harness the full potential of 5G technology, unlocking a new era of connectivity that will empower industries and change how many operate today. 5G Standalone technology facilitates an array of possibilities including the remote operation of unmanned mobile vehicles and equipment, logistics inventory robots, enhanced Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), real-time manufacturing process controls and real-time sports analysis, helping to enhance athletes’ performances.

As the next evolution of connectivity, 5G Standalone also offers ‘network slicing’, which will enable Three to build virtual end-to-end networks tailored to specific business requirements. This key feature of 5G Standalone allows infrastructure to be divided into multiple networks, supporting greater efficiencies for businesses. In addition, network exposure functions which are unique to 5G Standalone technology will provide new business capabilities and drive innovation.

One important feature of 5G Standalone technology is that it can ensure unparalleled performance and seamless connectivity for mission critical applications such as Public Safety/First Responders including Paramedics, Fire Brigade, Garda and Disaster Recovery Teams.

David Hennessy, chief technical officer Three Ireland & Three UK comments: “Three Ireland is delivering on groundbreaking technology developments that are going to inherently advance the way we live, utilise and interact with technology. 5G Standalone is the next evolution in 5G technology, as we move fully away from a reliance on 4G and into 5G core technology. This is just the beginning for true 5G where we will see the extensive possibilities for powering advanced technologies and supporting greater connectivity for all kinds of devices and enhance user experiences.”

Three Ireland has partnered with Technological University Shannon (TUS) to trial 5G Standalone technology and begin showcasing its capabilities in real-life scenarios.

Dr Enda Fallon, head of Department of Computer and Software Engineering from TUS, said: “We are delighted to partner with Three Ireland on the launch of 5G Standalone technology in Ireland, working alongside them as we advance use case studies of this technology. This will enable researchers to design and evaluate the transformative solutions of the future, solutions that have yet not even been contemplated. There is no doubt that our lives are increasingly enhanced by technology, and we are proud to be at the forefront of the next advancement of 5G – a technology that has the potential to augment and elevate how businesses perform into the future.”

John Griffin, head of Ericsson Ireland, said: “The introduction of 5G Standalone capabilities on a public network for the first time in Ireland marks a new milestone in our partnership with Three Ireland. 5G Standalone is the ultimate next step in meeting the growing connectivity demands from consumers and businesses who require premium performance. With the network technology to offer tailored speed, latency and reliability, Three Ireland will be able to support innovative applications and services that will drive new market growth and deliver benefits for industry and society across the country.”

Why 5G Standalone technology is critical for some industries:

The key benefits of 5G are around latency, speed and capacity – which are ideal for a wide range of use cases:

  • Consistent low latency (low level of delays) for example is critical for autonomous vehicles, safety systems, manufacturing, and augmented reality.
  • Speed of data transmission is a basic ‘must have’ for applications that rely heavily on video, but significantly enhance service opportunities when associated with low latency.
  • Capacity is the ability to manage a much larger density of devices or sensors per square kilometre (10 times higher than 4G).
  • Latency is the speed by which information travels across the internet between connected devices. With the advancement of 5G Standalone technology, the latency is significantly reduced, meaning the speed by which this information travels is significantly increased and much faster than on previous networks such as 3G and 4G, significantly improving customer experience on a wide range of services. 

What makes 5G Standalone stand out in these scenarios is that its base stations can provide a greater coverage area than Wi-Fi access points. As a result, fewer base stations are needed to cover a given area, which in turn helps increase any solution’s overall reliability and make it much more cost efficient.

The trial period mentioned above is for 1 year but can be extended.

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