Mobile broadband deals in Ireland

Mobile broadband is the ideal solution for homes and businesses without a landline. Compare 4G or 5G plans and enjoy the flexibility and freedom of mobile broadband.

2 results.
5G Broadband
5G
Technology
Unlimited
Usage
12 month
Contract
€479.88
Year 1 cost
€39.99
per month
for 12 months, then €44.99p/m
You save €60
Annual price increase applies
5G Mobile Broadband
5G
Technology
Unlimited
Usage
12 month
Contract
€609
Year 1 cost
€40
per month
for 6 months, then €45p/m
You save €30
Annual price increase applies
* The “Speed (average)” displayed represents the speed available to at least 50% of customers. The “Speed (absolute)” displayed represents the speed available to customers for the advertised plan. Where a provider has not given an “average speed or absolute” speed, the maximum possible speed for the advertised plan is displayed as “up to”. Broadband product availability is subject to location.

What is mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband connects you to the internet using a 4G or 5G mobile phone network.

You don’t need a landline, fibre connection or satellite dish, instead, a portable mobile broadband device picks up 4G or 5G signals and emits Wi-Fi. This allows you to get internet access on multiple devices at home or on the move.

How does mobile broadband work?

There are several ways to connect to a mobile network, but most providers offer a modem if you sign up for a contract.

Here are your three main options:

  • USB Dongle: Plugs into the USB port of your desktop or laptop
  • 4G or 5G data SIM card: Insert into your laptop or tablet for internet access on the go
  • Mobile Wi-Fi modem: Connect multiple devices to 4G or 5G via a portable modem/router

What are mobile broadband speeds like?

The speed you get depends on your broadband provider’s coverage of the 4G or 5G network and the strength of your signal.

Network Average download speed Average Upload speed  
4G broadband 30Mbps 9Mbps  
5G broadband 100Mbps 14Mbps  

Based on Ookla Speedtest reports. This is subject to change and depends on locality.

Mobile broadband runs on the same kind of connection as your mobile phone, so if coverage is poor in your location, mobile broadband from the same provider could be slow or patchy.

Mobile broadband availability in Ireland

Three, eir and Vodafone all provide 4G and 5G coverage in the cities and major towns across Ireland.

Rural and remote areas of Ireland are less likely to get decent 4G and 5G coverage, but mobile networks are continuing to roll out across the country.

  • Three offers a range of 4G and 5G unlimited broadband plans for 12 and 24 months
  • eir offers 4G and 5G broadband 12-month and 6-month plans for at home and on the go
  • Vodafone mobile broadband includes 4G and 5G contract plans, plus a pay as you go plan

How much does mobile broadband cost?

Mobile broadband costs are similar to fixed broadband costs.

However, 5G mobile broadband is typically more expensive than 4G, and you may have to pay extra set up or equipment costs.

Some broadband providers advertise reduced introductory rates, so check how long any discounts last and what the price will be thereafter. Also, check whether there are upfront costs like equipment or installation fees.

If you don’t choose an unlimited plan, make sure the data allowance is enough for your needs because you could be charged for exceeding the data limit.

What is the cheapest mobile broadband plan?

Our broadband eircode availability checker lets you see deals available in your area.

The best broadband deal is not necessarily the cheapest, so consider the type of bundle and features you need before switching. Remember that 5G availability will depend on your location.

Can I get mobile broadband in Ireland without a contract?

Yes, some mobile broadband plans are pay as you go, so you don’t have to commit to a lengthy contract.

Vodafone’s pay as you go broadband lets you top up your modem whenever suits you, while Three offers unlimited 4G home broadband on a flexible, 30-day rolling deal.

Is mobile broadband a good option?

It depends on where you live and your usage habits, but it’s worth weighing up the advantages and disadvantages before you sign up.

Here are some of the main pros and cons of using mobile broadband:

  • Flexible and good for internet on the go
  • Connects multiple enabled devices
  • Pay as you go contracts available
  • A solution for rural areas without fixed broadband
  • 4G may be slower than fibre
  • Some rural areas may lack coverage
  • Service and speeds may fluctuate
  • Data allowances may be limited

What’s the difference between 4G and 5G broadband?

5G works in the same way as 4G mobile broadband but employs the 5th generation of data connectivity.

5G offers faster speeds, less lag and a more reliable connection than standard, 4G broadband.

On the whole, 5G provides a better mobile broadband experience than 4G. The quick speeds and low latency of 5G broadband will mean that many apps and games can achieve real-time connectivity with a rock-solid performance.

You’re likely to get a better experience with 5G if you’re:

How fast is 5G broadband?

Ideally 5G can be up to 100 times faster than 4G, but real-world monitoring has found 5G to be about 10 times faster.

This means Ireland is likely to average 5G speeds between 500Mbps and 1Gbps. This is on par with the fastest fibre broadband in Ireland so could be a good solution if you can’t get fixed broadband in your home or business.

Who has the fastest 5G plan?

In 2023, Ookla named Three the fastest 5G network in Ireland, but mobile internet speed can also depend on things like the hardware capability, network congestion and how many apps you might have running in the background.

Is 5G faster than fibre-optic broadband?

It has the potential to be faster, with blistering speeds up to 10Gpbs in theory.

In reality, speeds are between 500Mbps and 1Gbps - so on par with 2Gigabyte fibre broadband. If you’re choosing between fibre broadband and mobile broadband; fixed-line, full fibre broadband is typically more reliable and can offer better value for money.

Is 5G worth the extra cost?

5G can be a good option if you can’t have fibre or part fibre broadband.

Although 4G networks cover most towns and cities in Ireland, decent wireless broadband is sometimes limited by the number of connections and speeds on offer. 5G can solve this problem by providing super-high bandwidth for fast, reliable broadband with low latency and lag problems.

If you don’t have fibre or a landline, 5G broadband can help you access ultrafast, rock solid broadband comparable to fibre broadband without the hassle and installation costs of satellite broadband.

When will I get 5G broadband in my area?

It’s difficult to predict when each area in Ireland will get 5G.

High speed, 5G networks are being rolled out across Ireland by all the major mobile networks and it will, one day, be the dominant wireless broadband choice - just as 4G is widely used today.

Is it the best wireless broadband in Ireland?

5G broadband is the best wireless alternative to fixed broadband if you live in an area with good 5G coverage.

But bear in mind if you have a 5G modem, but no 5G in your area, you’ll only get 4G data speeds.

How to choose the best mobile broadband plan

There’s not as much choice for mobile broadband, so it’s worth taking time to compare what’s on offer to get the best deal for your circumstances.

Your checklist should include:

  1. Network coverage: Consider the performance, coverage and speed of 4G and 5G networks in your area. If you’re looking to get 4G, what’s the signal quality on your phone? If you’re considering 5G, check that 5G has been rolled out in your area.
  2. Price: Check the monthly cost after the discount period ends and how long the introductory price applies. Also, take into account equipment or installation charges. Some providers offer the modem/router for free, whilst others may charge.
  3. Data limits: Most plans are unlimited, but some data capped plans may be cheaper. If you stream movies or play games online regularly, opt for an unlimited plan because you could end up paying more if you exceed your data limit.

Mobile broadband FAQs

Can I get Netflix with mobile broadband?

Yes, as long as you install the Netflix app and pay your subscription, you’ll be able to access Netflix on your internet devices.

You may experience buffering or poor quality HD viewing if you have slow speeds or latency issues using a 4G connection.

Can I keep my mobile broadband service when I move?

Yes, mobile broadband is very portable and you can take it with you wherever you go. Although if you move to a different area, the signal quality may change.

Does 5G broadband work differently to 5G for mobiles?

5G broadband uses the same airwaves as 5G mobile networks, which can be anything between 100MHz and 800MHz and will work off the same network.

The key difference is that 5G broadband works by integrating this technology into a broadband wi-fi hub instead of a smartphone. The hub (or router) will then connect all your devices via a wi-fi signal in your home or business in the same way as a standard broadband router.

Enjoy superfast fibre broadband

Use our eircode checker to find your best deal and switch today