Nokia flags FWA 5G opportunity for operators

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Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) was ranked as the top 5G use case by consumers in new research from Nokia.

The study, which was conducted by Parks Associates, surveyed 3,000 people in the UK, US and South Korea and examined consumer understanding and demand for 5G services across six different use cases including autonomous vehicles, video surveillance and immersive technologies.

“The research confirms that there is an opportunity for mobile operators to compete with broadband providers by offering FWA to homes and businesses,” Nokia said in a statement.

Just over three-quarters of all respondents said FWA is the most appealing 5G use case overall, with 66% claiming they would subscribe to 5G FWA if it cost the same as their current broadband service and delivered the same or better performance.

Video appeal

Nine out of ten respondents rated high-quality, uninterrupted video streams a “very valuable” aspect of 5G, with 66% rating video capture and streaming applications as appealing, and 69% attracted by video detection and alerting.

Josh Aroner, Vice President of Communication Service Provider Marketing, commented, “Nokia commissioned this research prior to the current global coronavirus pandemic but its insights are still valid and applicable, perhaps more so in this new environment. While current networks are performing well, consumers are newly appreciating the value of quality networking.”

“Video has been a bedrock of social interaction and 5G can greatly improve this capability, while social isolation and remote work likely increase appeal for immersive experience applications. FWA is an attractive early use case for 5G, especially with remote install, but operators must make an informed decision about how to invest in it and in which geographic location,” he added.

5G familiarity

The research also found, however, that knowledge of 5G remains quite low, with just half of consumers claiming any level of familiarity. Eight out of ten of those very familiar with 5G find it appealing compared to 23% of those who are unfamiliar. 

Over 50% of smartphone-owners said they were likely to switch operator if their current provider doesn’t offer them 5G in the next 12 months.