The operator has relaunched its fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband service, with the upgraded technology allowing customers to make use of 5G connectivity where available
Telenor Sweden first launched FWA services back in 2011, running over the company’s 4G network.
Now, it has relaunched the service, with homeowners and small businesses being targeted for the new ‘5G-ready’ version of the technology.
FWA, which uses wireless connectivity to provide homes or businesses with broadband services, is becoming an increasingly popular connectivity delivery tool for operators, both for its versatility and its rapid time to deployment, which in many cases do not even require an engineer.
With recent advances in technology, particularly 5G, FWA is now able to deliver high quality connectivity, making it a viable alternative to fibre in areas where laying cables would not be cost-effective.
“This is a product that is perfect for the homeowner, summer cottage owner and small business owner who wants a stable network and high capacity but who does not want or cannot get fibre. It works great for both homework and streaming entertainment and news. Even now, with 4G, the new hardware gives good results. With 5G, it will be further improved,” explained Andres Suazo, head of consumer products at Telenor Sweden.
“These are solutions we have seen in other markets and it is great that we can now offer it in Sweden, just in time before the big rollout of the 5G network. Soon, customers can get a stable and fast 5G network in their home, completely without excavation and with a short delivery time,” said Suazo.
While this technology is ‘5G-ready’, it should be noted that rural 5G coverage in Sweden is currently pretty limited. 5G is only available in 37 Swedish cities, with coverage expected to be extended to 90% of the population by the end of 2022 and nationwide by the end of 2024. For now, most Swedish customers in rural areas will be forced to use rely on 4G.
The long term prospects of FWA remain uncertain, but it seems clear that if the technology continues to improve alongside 5G it could potentially be highly complementary to operators’ fibre offerings, no longer relegated to areas where fibre simply cannot reach.
While most telcos accept that fibre broadband will almost always be preferable to FWA, this technology is nonetheless likely to see a boom in usage over the next few years. In fact, recent study suggested that 9% of US broadband subscriptions will use FWA by 2026.