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Dublin plans new ‘pervasive’ connectivity zone

The technology is intended to enhance, extend and densify existing mobile network deployments

Dublin strives to be at the forefront of smart city technology
Dublin strives to be at the forefront of smart city technology

Dublin City Council (DCC), through its Smart Dublin initiative, has tasked “small cells service” provider Dense Air with building a trial network to supply an industry leading 5G network and wi-fi infrastructure to support smart city services around its docklands area.


Dense Air reckons that the creation of this new connectivity network layer will drive new use cases and citizen-centric innovation for DCC, all of which will enhance the Republic of Ireland capital’s medium- and long-term competitiveness.


Smart Dublin is an initiative of the four Dublin local authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers, and citizens, with the aim to better understand and solve the city’s challenges and improve city life. Many of these ICT companies are located in and around the Dublin Docklands.


The network is being designed as a “carrier of carriers” platform operating as a neutral host and is open to both private applications for enterprises and as a platform to support existing mobile network operators.


The technology will enhance, extend and densify existing mobile network deployments, improving both the human end user experience and the quality of connectivity for machine-to-machine and artificial intelligence Internet of Things (IoT) use cases.


The trial network will combine LTE pro services from massive MIMO several macro sites with small cells operating in 60 MHz at 3.5 GHz. The small cell network will break through mmWave mesh technologies that provide both backhaul, fronthaul and access connectivity, with the ability to deliver links to use case at up to 4 Gbit/s.


The group recently obtained licensed 3.4-3.8 GHz radio spectrum in the 2017 Comreg auction. The partnership between Dense Air and DCC is exploratory, and if successful is intended to provide the framework for the large-scale deployment of a “pervasive” Gbit/s connectivity solution across Dublin and other cities in Ireland.


Dense Air, a subsidiary of Airspan Networks, is based in London, UK, with offices in Ireland and Belgium, its target launch markets. It uses “carrier of carriers” neutral host small cell technologies to deliver cost effective densification to any existing LTE mobile carrier or service provider.


Dense Air is conducting extensive trials and proof-of-concepts in 2018 and intends to offer commercial services in 2019.


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