Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao
Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao.Reuters

After it extended 4G services to new UK towns and cities, Vodafone is now all set to take broadband internet connectivity to Ireland through optical fibres.

Vodafone will join hands with Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in a fibre-to-premises broadband initiative that has been set a deadline of 2018.

Once fibre installation work is complete, Vodafone and ESB's joint FTTP initiative promises internet connectivity at speeds ranging up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). At this speed, two-hour 1080p high-definition movies can be downloaded in under a minute. 

Approximately 500,000 home and business users across 50 major towns and 26 counties could benefit from the venture.

According to a TechRadar report, both Vodafone and Ireland-based ESB will have equal holding in FTTP, and total investments from both the parties are said to cross €450 million.

Also, gigabit internet bandwidth, once official, should put Ireland in the same league as countries such as Japan, with its 2Gbps internet, South Korea and Romania.

Early last year, tech major Google announced its ambitious 'Google Fiber' service that promises fibre-to-premises broadband internet connection at 1Gbps speed. Google's initiative is similar to Vodafone's latest FTTP in the UK.

Google Fiber started off initially in the American city of Kansas, and is currently undergoing expansion within the US.

Earlier this year, Vodafone announced its intention to expand its 'exclusive stores' fleet to 150 across the UK. This move is aimed at creating more job opportunities over the next 12 months.