Vodafone has become the first mobile operator in Ireland to trial "Dynamic Spectrum Sharing" (DSS) technology to speed up the rollout of 5G coverage.
The company said the technology will enable it to deliver both 4G and 5G on the same spectrum band using existing antenna infrastructure.
It said this will allow for a smooth transition between the two technologies and a quicker, cost-effective rollout providing greater access to 5G services.
By the end of July, DSS will be deployed to 57 sites across 11 counties - Cork, Cavan, Galway, Dublin, Roscommon, Kerry, Limerick, Meath, Mayo, Offaly and Wicklow.
Vodafone also has plans to expand its 5G coverage footprint in the years ahead and is aiming for its 5G service to reach over 30% population coverage by the end of next March.
The DSS technology also provides further spectrum for 4G customers, bringing an improved data experience while 5G customers will benefit from greater coverage and a better quality of service.
Vodafone is using Ericsson's spectrum sharing technology which includes a solution that offers instant coordination between 4G and 5G. This enables the spectrum to be shared between both services down to the millisecond level.
Vodafone Ireland's Technology Director Didier Clavero said the last few months have highlighted the important role mobile technology plays in society and DSS will help the company to bring 5G to more people in a faster and more efficient manner.
"This innovative technology will enhance the customer experience while also providing a platform for businesses to continue innovating and develop the 5G use cases for the future," he added.
Camilla Vautier, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit Vodafone at Ericsson, said the trial marks an important milestone for 5G in Ireland and comes at the right time as the country embraces the critical role that connectivity and innovation can play in building its future.