Vodafone claims Ireland’s first private SA 5G network at manufacturing research site
Vodafone has deployed what is being considered Ireland’s first private standalone (SA) 5G network at Irish Manufacturing Research’s (IMR) facility in Mullingar. IMR, an independent not-for-profit manufacturing and industrial energy efficiency research organization, will use the dedicated 5G network to develop and demonstrate smart manufacturing use cases in automated production lines and mobile robots, as well as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) displays.
IMR is confident that the private SA 5G network, built with Ericsson equipment, will support these demanding use cases, which all require high bandwidth and reliability coupled with the low latency that 5G provides
“The investigation of 5G IoT applications for smart manufacturing in Ireland is wonderful news for the future of the industry here,” said Vodafone Ireland Business Director Sinéad Bryan. “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.”
IMR’s Director of Digitization Dr. Niall Aughney commented that the integration of 5G capabilities into the company’s digitalization and industry 4.0 plans with allow it to “demonstrate to SME owners, CTOs, CIOs and COOs in larger organizations how 5G can offer cost-competitive solutions over traditional approaches across a range of processes.”
IMR is a key player in the Irish government’s five-year Industry 4.0 strategy designed to help manufacturing firms respond to technological change that was announced at the end of 2019. The plan included a €23.5 million of funding for the IRM Centre, which represents a 57% increase on its previous round of funding and covers the period to the start of 2025. It will see the centre leverage further funding in the region of €43 million from industry and competitive sources by 2024, the government said.
Last July, Vodafone Ireland, thanks to Ericsson’s Spectrum Sharing technology, said it would be able to provide coverage to 30pc population by March 2021. Around the same time and nearby, Vodafone U.K. switched-on what it claimed was the first live standalone (SA) 5G deployment in the country, with a new network built for Coventry University.