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Deploying 5G-FWA is easier than you think

In the growing demand for 5G, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is gaining a lot of attention and is one of the most attractive 5G use cases available for CSPs who are looking to monetize 5G.

So, why does 5G-FWA merit such attention? First and foremost, it can compete effectively with wired broadband access technologies as it overcomes its predecessors’ weakness of inconsistent throughput. In fact, it is a real winner for 5G monetization as it can serve ‘ultra-broadband’ areas where fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is impractical or uneconomical, thus providing new monetization opportunities and faster go to market by using existing mobile infrastructure.

But while the monetization opportunities for CSPs are immense, there are still real challenges to deployments. But let’s start with the good news. There is near uniformity when it comes to spectrum, with CSPs looking to mid-bands for both mobile broadband and FWA. However, age old deployment challenges remain: acquiring sites to plug coverage holes; site modernization to cover new equipment and technologies; transport modernization to cover higher cell throughput with higher capacity transport. In addition, massive multiple input multiple output (MiMo) antenna impose a unique deployment constraint due to their weight. And then optimal network planning to cover RF performance and propagation at higher bands is needed. All while trying to lower TCO. 

Can the pain points related to 5G-FWA deployments be taken care of without losing too much sleep? The site coverage issue does need careful thought. Can the sites be planned with return on investment as the guiding criteria rather than just plugging coverage holes? This immediately removes the issue of rationalizing the number of sites and future scalability without worrying about performance of the network. It also lays a solid foundation of post launch subscriber nurturing and focusing on increasing the user experience. Effective ‘project management’ is the holy grail for woes related to site deployments; the project needs a tight leash to avoid cost and time overruns.

Nokia has both end-to-end services and bespoke solutions to cover 5G-FWA deployments.  We understand the complexities in design required to deliver a high-performing network and have helped many of our customers do just that. One European CSP has turned to Nokia for a full turnkey solution for a rural coverage network where 80% of sites were greenfield. A CSP in Asia-Pacific asked Nokia to provide a high-level network design for FWA services scalable to a future enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) use case in an urban/suburban area. For a major African CSP, we provided full end-to-end services to address new customers in both the consumer and enterprise segment. 

Our digital deployment platform also helps our customers deploy faster, using workflow orchestrations and remote services capabilities. Our global presence and expertise - having built 6+ million sites covering diverse technologies - will ensure that your deployments are timely and futureproof.

If you are looking for 5G-FWA deployments, we have the end-to-end solutions to cover your needs and we can help make your deployment easier than you think.  Visit our new website for more information about Fixed Wireless Access and explore how to get closer to your customers.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokia or @nokianetworks using #FWA  #5G

Manish Chandra

About Manish Chandra

Manish Chandra currently heads Network Implementation services marketing and thrives on the pace of change he’s helped to drive during the last 10 years in the telecommunications business. A technology junkie at heart, he loves to read and tweet on telecom-related topics and when he’s not doing that, you’ll likely find him packing for his next travel adventure.

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