IMR & Vodafone Announce 5G Standalone MPN in Mullingar

Vodafone Ireland and IMR 5G Press Release

IMR & Vodafone Announce 5G Standalone MPN in Mullingar

Irish Manufacturing Research and Vodafone Ireland announce Ireland’s first 5G Standalone Mobile Private Network in Mullingar

  • Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) will use 5G technology to investigate and develop smart applications for Ireland’s high-tech manufacturing community
  • The 5G Mobile Private Network from Vodafone operates on private 5G industry equipment from Ericsson
  • Private wireless networks are the foundation for Industry 4.0 and will bring an era of advanced operations and data-driven decision-making


18th March 2021: Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and Vodafone Ireland today announced the launch of Ireland’s first 5G standalone mobile private network (MPN) in IMR’s Mullingar manufacturing facility. The wireless equipment from Ericsson enables Vodafone to provide a 5G standalone edge core and radio private network to IMR. This network will facilitate the investigation and development of innovative use-cases in Ireland’s high-tech manufacturing community.

5G is designed to enable industries like manufacturing to modernise and deliver on the opportunity of Industry 4.0 – including IoT (internet of things) applications, smart processes, improving KPIs and assisting data driven business models.

IMR’s strategy is to de-risk, de-mystify and deliver advanced and innovative technologies to Irish manufacturing, boosting productivity and reducing cost through early access to industry leading 5G technologies. The globally deployed equipment from Ericsson enables any company to connect to their factory business operations environment efficiently and securely.

Using this standalone 5G MPN, IMR will develop and demonstrate innovative smart manufacturing use cases in automated production lines, mobile robots and cobots, and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) displays. These smart applications require the combination of high capacity (bandwidth), responsiveness (low latency) and quality of service that is enabled by 5G.

The 5G standalone MPN can be configured for a specific industry or application and provide a highly sophisticated URLLC (Ultra-reliable low-latency communication) connectivity experience in terms of network reliability and quality of service in hard-to-reach places. 5G MPN networks also open up a new class of IoT applications that allow customers to control work happening in motion. This will allow IMR to meet the diverse connectivity and safety requirements of Ireland’s manufacturing community and help them to develop and implement future-focused processes and applications to stay competitive.

Ford, in the UK, working with Vodafone has installed a 5G private network at its electric battery workshop in Essex. The connectivity is linking the centre with a site in Cambridge, allowing the two to work together on welding electric batteries – which requires 1,000 welds and generates half a million pieces of data every minute, so is not supported by existing factory systems.


IMRs Dr Niall Aughney, Director of Digitisation, said “We are looking to integrate 5G capability into our ‘Digitisation and Industry 4.0 strategies’ enabling us to demonstrate to SME owners, CTOs, CIOs and COOs in larger organisations how 5G can offer cost competitive solutions over traditional approaches across a range of process, AR/VR, robotic and asset management applications.”

Sinéad Bryan, Vodafone Ireland Business Director said, “We are delighted to partner with IMR and Ericsson on Ireland’s first 5G standalone mobile private network in Mullingar. The investigation of 5G IoT applications for smart manufacturing in Ireland is wonderful news for the future of the industry here. This mobile private network and the development of IoT applications will make it possible for IMR’s members and partners to achieve today, what they need to stay competitive tomorrow.”

“Vodafone’s dedicated 5G network will provide reliability, device density, scalability, quality of service and enhanced safety that currently cannot be achieved. Working with IMR, our technology partners and customers will be empowered to explore and develop new use cases that 5G technology enables – helping to future proof Irish industry”.

John Griffin, CEO, Ericsson Ireland said “5G will have a transformative impact in the industries and technologies of the future and launching Ireland’s first 5G standalone mobile private network, together with Vodafone and IMR, is a huge step forward for our country at a critical moment. This partnership paves the way for a wide variety of 5G use cases that will serve as the catalyst to transform our economy, boost our recovery from COVID-19 and ensure Ireland remains competitive in the industries of the future.”




For further information, please contact:

Sarah Horgan, Vodafone Ireland: 0876658942

Paul Griffin, ReputationInc: or 087 6674305

Louise Kelly, Marketing Manager, IMR,, 087 2151373


About Irish Manufacturing Research

Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) is a leading manufacturing Research and Technology Organisation with labs and industrial pilot lines in Dublin and Mullingar, Ireland.  IMR works with leading global and indigenous brands to demystify, and derisk new and emerging technologies and to deliver high impact collaborative research to enable global leadership in advanced manufacturing.  IMR has over 70 researchers with 100’s years of combined Industry Expertise working in areas such as Digitisation, Advanced Robotics & Automation, Sustainable Manufacturing, and Design for Manufacturing. IMR activities span national and European research collaborations, prototyping services, training, and Industry networks.


About Vodafone Ireland

Vodafone is Ireland’s leading total communications provider with 2.3 million customers and employs over 2,000 people directly and indirectly in Ireland.

By end of March 2021, Vodafone will have a 5G presence in 26 counties (30% population coverage) and continues to build 5G capacity in Ireland’s five major cities.

Vodafone provides a total range of communications solutions including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications to consumers and to small, medium and large businesses. Since 2011, Vodafone has expanded its enterprise division, offering integrated next-generation fixed and mobile solutions in addition to cloud-based platforms, machine to machine services and professional ICT support.

Vodafone Group is one of the world’s leading international mobile communications groups with mobile operations in 25 countries, partners with mobile networks in 44 more, and fixed broadband operations in 18 markets. For more information, please visit


About Ericsson Ireland

Ericsson has been investing in Ireland for over 60 years. Our Research and Development centre in Athlone is one of the biggest in the country, where we are currently developing key components of 5G networks and firmly putting Ireland on the map of 5G innovation.

Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams.

Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York.


Related links

Ericsson Dedicated Networks

Ericsson 5G for Business

Ericsson in Industry 4.0