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Mobile and broadband capacity ramps up to deal with sharp surge in voice and data traffic

There has been increased pressure on the networks as more people work from home and connect with loved ones.

MOBILE NETWORKS IN Ireland have experience as surge in voice and date traffic as more people rely on their operators to stay connected with family, friends and work.

While mobile networks are understood to have coped well with the extra usage, the mobile and broadband networks currently have less headroom to accommodate any further increases or potential spikes in demand over the coming weeks.

As a result, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment working with the Commission for Communications Regulation (Comreg) yesterday signed regulations to provide mobile network operators flexibility to create extra capacity for mobile phone and broadband services.

Comreg said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the increased demand for connectivity poses challenges to operators and their networks.

“It is imperative that our mobile and wireless networks are able to carry extra voice and data traffic on their systems during this period.

Over the last number of days, ComReg has been engaging with the telecoms operators to ensure that the necessary measures and plans have been put in place by networks to manage and handle the surge in voice and data traffic,” it said.

Due to the “extraordinary situation”, ComReg has released extra capacity to allow mobile network operators to cater for the increase in traffic over their networks. It has also liberalised the use of the currently licensed 2.1 GHz band so that it can be used for 4G and other technologies, rather than just for 3G.

“This will be a temporary measure in response to the current situation,” said Comreg.

ComReg Commissioner, Jeremy Godfrey said it will continue to engage with industry and support telecoms companies to ensure that our telecoms networks continue to meet users’ needs “during these extremely challenging and evolving times.”

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton said: 

“We are now more dependent on electronic communications networks and services than we have ever been before. It is imperative that communications networks and systems continue to work and cater for our changed social and economic needs during the Covid-19 situation.”

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