3 Ireland delays its 4G launch
IRELAND'S largest mobile broadband provider has said it is to delay the roll-out of 4G until next year.
3 Ireland, which had targeted a pre-Christmas launch of the new advanced services, said that it would not now offer 4G until the end of January.
The operator, owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, is currently pursuing the acquisition of O2 Ireland for €700m, a deal that needs to be green-lighted by the Competition Authority.
Using special sim cards, 4G allows smartphones, tablets and laptops to connect online at much faster speeds than ordinary 3G services.
3 Ireland has promised it will offer 60pc coverage in the cities of Galway, Limerick and Waterford and 40pc in Dublin and Cork by the end of January.
"Users with 4G ready devices, in 4G coverage areas, will be able to download a software update and will then be ready to use the service, which will offer data speeds 10 times faster than at present," said a spokesman for the company. The 3 Ireland delay leaves Meteor and Vodafone as the only mobile operators with 4G services in Ireland before Christmas.