What is 5G broadband?
5G uses your mobile network signal to connect to the internet. It employs the 5th generation of data connectivity, offering faster speeds, less lag and more reliable connections than standard, 4G broadband.
The quick speeds and low latency of 5G broadband will mean that many apps, games and software will have real-time connectivity and bring a whole new digital experience to homes and businesses.
If you live in an area with good 5G coverage, 5G broadband is a decent wireless alternative to fixed broadband.
Put simply, if you don’t fibre or a landline, 5G broadband will help you gain access to reliable, hi-speed broadband without extra hassle or installation costs.
Is 5G broadband any good?
It will provide a much better mobile broadband experience than 4G can.
You’re likely to get a much better experience doing any of these online activities:
- Streaming or downloading HD movies, TV and music
- Online and multiplayer gaming
- Virtual reality or immersive gaming
- Video conferencing
- Homeworking or homeschooling
If you are a business in rural Ireland that relies on a rock-solid internet connection, 5G broadband could be a great, cost-effective solution for internet access without fibre-optic cables or a phone line.
Why is it better than 4G mobile broadband?
Although 4G networks are already deployed in towns and cities in Ireland, wireless broadband is sometimes limited by the number of connections it can support, the data transmitted and the speeds on offer.
5G can overcome these barriers and allow a greater number of connections, providing super-high bandwidth, ultra-fast broadband and low latency real-time experience for mobile broadband users.
How fast is 5G broadband?
5G can be anything up to 100 times faster than 4G in ideal settings, but real-world monitoring has found 5G in Ireland to be about 10 times faster than 4G.
This means Ireland is likely to average 5G speeds between 500Mbps and 1Gbps.
This is on par with the fastest pure fibre broadband offered by Ireland’s leading broadband providers so compares favourably and could be a good solution if you can’t get fixed broadband in your home or business.
5G broadband availability in Ireland
5G broadband is a breakthrough for smartphones, laptops and other devices that access the internet, but is it available in Ireland and where can you get it?
The three main telecoms providers in Ireland, Three, eir and Vodafone all provide 5G coverage in the cities and major towns across Ireland.
Similar to 4G, rural and remote areas of Ireland are less likely to get decent 5G coverage but 5G networks are continuing to roll-out across the country.
You can check this interactive 5G map to find out whether 5G is available in your area.
Which broadband providers offer 5G?
Although all three top providers have 5G coverage across Ireland, only Three offers a 5G broadband plan at the moment.
- Three are the only provider at the moment to offer a range of 5G broadband plans.
- eir: doesn’t offer a 5G broadband plan currently, but their 5G mobile coverage now extends to 55% of Ireland’s population.
- Vodafone have trialled 5G broadband in rural areas, but they’re not offering 5G broadband at the moment.
Other 5G broadband providers in Ireland:
Even if you can’t get a 5G broadband plan in your area at the moment, if you have a 5G mobile and data plan you’ll be able to get the benefits of 5G on your phone or other mobile devices.
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 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.
How much does 5G broadband cost?
Three are offering 5G plans for both home and business.
Starting at €44.27 per month for homes and €36 (ex VAT) for business it can be quite a cost-effective broadband option, especially if your home or place of work is not on the national broadband infrastructure.
There will also be set up costs to add to the monthly cost, which varies depending on whether you do a self install indoors or technician-install, outdoors.
5G broadband FAQs
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 1Gigabyte pure fibre broadband.
When will I get 5G broadband in my area?
It’s difficult to predict when each area in Ireland will get 5G or when providers will start to offer 5G broadband.
It is evident that 5G networks are being rolled out very fast 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.
Will 5G broadband replace fibre broadband?
Although it has the potential to be a really good wireless broadband alternative, it is a long way from replacing fibre broadband completely.
It’s more likely to be used in tandem with fixed-line broadband, so people will have superfast fibre broadband at home and use 5G when out and about on their mobile.
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