A discussion document argues for a five-year roadmap to remove barriers at local and national level, and that a coordinated approach is essential to realise 5G’s potential.
5G and Future Connectivity: An Emerging Framework for Irish Cities and Towns, has been published by Dublin City Council, Sligo County Council and the CONNECT* research centre.
The paper highlights the importance of “a national connectivity roadmap” to ensure Ireland remains competitive as 5G economic opportunities unfold and suggests a National Working Group to achieve this.
The document evaluates deployment options for the rollout of 5G, and the appeal of a Neutral Host model for local authorities across Ireland.
It draws on findings from an online survey of telecoms vendors, mobile operators and local authority broadband officers. It makes a number of recommendations highlighting the importance of strong alignment at local and national levels.
Dr Brendan Jennings, Interim Director of CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for future networks and communications, said:
“The economic opportunity associated with 5G and next-generation networks is well documented: the global impact in goods and services is expected to reach $12 trillion by 2035.
“A coordinated approach will ensure that all regions in Ireland can capitalise on this. The economic difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic make this all the more urgent.
Jamie Cudden, Smart City Lead at Dublin City Council, said, “Local authorities, in particular, will play a vital role in Ireland’s path to 5G, so collaboration and engagement between councils and mobile operators will be essential to facilitate a sustainable rollout.
“For instance, the challenge of accessing power in an affordable manner is a make or break issue for future deployment of 5G. So it is essential that we resolve unmetered power issues for the installation of small cells on unmetered supply.
“There is also a need for a database of assets such as street furniture, ducting, and streetlights, and an assessment of their suitability for use in 5G deployments.”
*CONNECT is the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for future networks and communications hosted at Trinity College Dublin with researchers in nine other higher education institutes around the country. It is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund.