O2 Ireland has announced that from this month, it will embark on a pilot trial of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in key locations in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The 4G trials will take place in the centre of Dublin, including the Docklands area, as well as in Citywest and Cherrywood. Sites are also being switched on in Cork city and Galway city, it said. Under the pilot, O2 Ireland is inviting a number of business customers to take part using 4G devices, which will be able to access data download speeds up to five times faster than its current 3G data transfer speeds.
O2 Ireland, part of the Telefonica group, has invested EUR225 million (USD297 million) to secure the maximum allocation of mobile spectrum bandwidth needed to provide nationwide enhanced 3G and 4G services. In addition to the LTE trial, the company says that the programme to enhance its 3G network was completed in May this year, with 250 locations across 17 counties upgraded with high speed UMTS-900 radio signals, delivering an improved data experience to over 30% of the population. The cellco is investing in upgrading a further 200 3G sites in other locations around the country before the end of the year.