12 April 2023

5G vs Fibre Broadband: What's the difference?
6 minutes BY The Three Team

It’s no secret that traditionally Ireland’s home broadband infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. The past two years have really highlighted this as we’ve relied heavily on technology to work from home and connect with friends and family. Many people still find their family homes in areas with poor broadband speeds as they wait in hope that the National Broadband Plan will soon visit their area.

But new technology means we’re less dependent on that plan and we’ve launched our own Home Broadband plans that are delivering up to 500Mbps in areas that couldn’t get fast home Wi-Fi at all. We’re offering an alternative to both older, slower, networks and slow to expand fibre networks. Here’s everything you need to know about Three Home Broadband along with how it compares to other options on the market.

See if Three can give you the superfast home broadband you've always dreamed of.

 “There was no fibre in my locality, so this was the best solution.”


What Is Three Home Broadband?

You may not have had Three at the top of your mind for home broadband providers in Ireland as, until recently, the only broadband we provided needed a mobile dongle. Great for when you’re out and about, but not an ideal home broadband solution.

When we launched our 5G network we also launched home broadband. This is because our 5G network can deliver incredibly fast home broadband to many areas that previously either couldn’t get broadband or were stuck on slow speeds.

Now, thanks to 5G we’re able to deliver speeds of up to 500Mbps in some areas that were previously limited to speeds as low as 3Mbps from some providers.

This is made possible by our ever expanding 5G network which spans every county in Ireland. We’re constantly rolling out to new locations which is one of the biggest benefits of 5G over fibre broadband.

“My partner and I work fully remote from home, so a strong connection was a core requirement for us.” 


What is Fibre Broadband?

There are many ways you can connect to the world wide web. Older networks that are still in use today use copper cables. The next big advancement in home broadband was fibre. Fibre broadband uses fibre optic cables to deliver an internet connection to homes and businesses around Ireland.

It’s extremely fast and reliable, but has one huge drawback. It’s exceptionally slow and expensive to grow the infrastructure. Fibre broadband requires a physical cable to be laid which means disruption to localities, and time and cost are also important considerations.

Because of the effort required, many parts of Ireland are still using older, slower, less reliable infrastructure. Our 5G home broadband has proven to be really popular solution in these areas to date.

What is 5G Home Broadband?

5G home broadband doesn’t require any physical cables or fibre optics to bring internet into your home. You don’t need a landline either which also makes things easier. Instead it relies on 5G networks similar to those you use on your phone.

The biggest difference is that, while you may experience signal fluctuation from your phone as you move around from day to day, using 5G for home broadband is stable. Once it’s set up it should stay working uninterrupted.

5G broadband is also incredibly fast. It offers general speeds up to ten times faster than 4G. The exciting thing is that Ireland’s 5G infrastructure is only going to grow bigger in the coming years. We believe that we can offer many people incredible speeds in areas that internet speeds have traditionally been disappointing.

Ultimately, because 5G powered networks are cheaper to expand, you can also expect to pay less for a 5G home broadband plan.

“We’ve 3 laptops on the go, an iPad, and 4 mobiles and have never had any issues.” 


Fibre vs 5G: Is 5G Home Broadband As Fast As Fibre?

The honest answer to this question is “it depends”. Fibre has some very impressive theoretical speeds but 5G powered networks do also. 5G can be as fast or faster than fibre in some areas.

Three Home Broadband is capable of delivering speeds up to 500Mbps. For many new customers, the difference between their previous internet provider and what we offer can be night and day. It will vary from location to location, but our area of 5G coverage is always growing.

The speed will also be slightly impacted by the installation method that you choose. Here are the two options you have.

Self-Install Home Broadband

With self-install broadband, we’ll send you everything you need to get your home Wi-Fi up and running yourself. The setup is minimal as you don’t need a landline. There’s no installation or drilling required either which makes this a very attractive option for many, especially if you live in an apartment or have a landlord who doesn’t want installers coming around drilling holes in the walls.

The most important thing to remember is that where you position the modem we send you matters. Ideally, you should place it inside on a window sill somewhere central in your home. This will give your modem a better chance of getting the best coverage and providing the best broadband connection throughout your home.

Our modems have been designed to look pretty good too, so you don’t need to hide them away. Having them out in the open will improve the quality of your signal too. It might be worth moving your hub around a bit to ensure you’re getting the best speeds.

“The installation of the product went very well. There’s 6 of us in the house. I’ve been able to work from home seamlessly without unstable internet. The kids are happy with the upload and download speeds in terms of gaming.” 


Tech Install Home Broadband

We call our other option “tech install” because we send an engineer or “tech” out to your home to install your modem. The hardware used for this package is different to the “self-install”.

For tech install, we fix a modem to an external wall of your home. We also place a modem inside. This combination of external modem and internal router give you the best possible speeds for your area.

The biggest benefit of our tech install home broadband is being safe in the knowledge that everything has been set up by a professional to give you the best possible home broadband speeds. They’ll also test your location to ensure speeds are satisfactory.

What Is The Difference Between Self-Install And Tech Install Broadband?

There are lots of differences between the two options. Self-install is faster to get up and running with and a little bit cheaper with no drilling needed. Tech install takes a few days, has an initial fee for getting the hardware installed and does require a physical installation.

Many are opting for tech install because it offers peace of mind over the installation and set up along with giving you the very best opportunity to get the fastest speeds for your location. This is due to the external antenna that gets fitted to your house.

Try Three Home Broadband

If you’ve been frustrated for years with your home Wi-Fi being slow or the empty promises of broadband providers saying they’d upgrade their network for you, give Three Home Broadband a try.

First, connect to your existing home internet and run a speed test to see what download and upload speeds you’re currently getting.

Then, all you need is your Eircode to check if your home is in a Three 5G area and eligible for our superfast home broadband.

Finally, you just need to pick your plan, whether it be “self-install” or “tech install”.

Once up and running, connect to your new home Wi-Fi again and check how fast your network is to see if you’re finally getting a service that you’re happy with. If you are, tell the world. If you’re not, don’t worry. You can avail of our no-quibble 14-day cancellation.

Our Latest Broadband Deals

Right now, it’s better value than ever to grab a broadband deal with Three. You can grab our superfast unlimited 5G Home Broadband for just €39 per month and get your first 3 months free. Existing customers get even more savings with 6 months free! Learn more about our offers and how we can help get you the fastest home broadband for your area.

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