Thursday, 25 June 2020 03:55

5G fixed wireless access opportunity for mobile operators, says Nokia Featured

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There is an opportunity for mobile operators to compete with broadband providers by offering 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to homes and businesses, according to new research commission by Nokia.

The research released by Nokia found that 5G Fixed Wireless Access was the “most desirable” 5G use case amongst consumers globally, with 66% claiming they would subscribe to 5G FWA if it cost the same as their current broadband service and delivers the same or better performance.

The study, conducted by Parks Associates for Nokia, 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.

Nokia says that currently, 41% of respondents only had the option of a single broadband provider with many “resenting this lack of choice”, highlighting the opportunity mobile operators have to offer FWA as an alternative to traditional broadband services.

  

The research was conducted prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which Nokia notes has driven the world to work and learn from home - however this has coincided with consumer demand for better quality video calls, notes Nokia.

“Indeed, 90% rated high-quality, uninterrupted video streams a ‘very valuable’ aspect of 5G, and additionally, a majority of consumers find 5G video use cases attractive, with 66% rating video capture and streaming applications appealing, and 69% rating video detection and alerting appealing,” says Nokia.

“More than one-third of consumers found AR experiences for remote commerce appealing even before the COVID-19 crisis. The need and appeal has likely increased with social distancing.

“More broadly, the outlook for 5G is positive based on the findings. Although current familiarity with 5G remains quite low, with just half of consumers claiming any level of familiarity, the appeal of 5G increases with education.

“Eighty percent of those very familiar with 5G find it appealing compared to 23% of those who are unfamiliar. Further, 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.”

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,” Aroner concluded.

Additional report findings include:

  • Nearly half of those who work remotely indicate a strong willingness to switch providers for 5G service and more likely to intend to purchase a 5G phone. Greatly expanded remote work experience may drive plan and phone upgrades.
  • Nearly two-thirds of early 5G users are highly satisfied with the speeds they experience on 5G networks, compared with less than half of 4G users.
  • 45% of all consumers find connected car concepts appealing with navigation and safety capabilities seen as most valuable, but this jumps to 73% amongst vehicle owners. 53% of vehicle owners said they would be interested in bundling car connectivity with a 5G data plan.
  • Two-thirds of consumers find 5G-enabled Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality services appealing and 56% were drawn to cloud gaming. Mandatory physical distancing may be the inflection point for these use cases.

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