Telia Finland said it has begun offering 5G home fixed wireless access (FWA). Called Yhteys kotiin kinntea 5G, the service is aimed at the three quarters of detached houses in the country that lack fiber connectivity. The operator said there are about 1 million detached homes in Finland, and less than 55 percent of Finns have the opportunity to use fixed broadband at 300 Mbps or more, with such fast service usually restricted to apartment buildings in large cities.
The price of the home 5G FWA broadband is €39.90 (US $48.49) for service up to 400 Mbps or €44.90 (US $54.56) for up to 1 Gbps. There is a 24-month fixed term contract for subscriptions. The monthly charge includes the subscription and equipment. The installation fee is €495.00 (US $601.53), which can be paid over 24 monthly installments of €20.63 (US $25.07) each.
According to the Finnish regulator, Traficom, 90 percent of Finns consider the cost of optical fiber installation to be expensive. Telia said residential 5G FWA can be installed in as little as five days. It uses a module mounted by an engineer on an outdoor wall of the house or on the roof. This unit communicates with a 5G base station, and the connection is brought indoors via a cable to a modem that shares the wireless network with users.
In addition to a fast and stable connection, the customer receives streaming content free of charge as part of the product.
Fixed wireless access is generally viewed as a compromise that is acceptable under the less-than-ideal circumstances that prevail when wired cable connections are not possible. In the emerging 5G era, however, it may well turn out to be less of a compromise.
The high speed and large bandwidth of next-generation mobile signals make it possible to deliver better-quality and more reliable FWA than previously. As a result, the performance of home internet services can more closely approach, or even equal, that of traditional fiber-optic-based broadband services.
While 5G also, of course, is boosting the speed and performance of mobile signals, consumers remain attached to the idea of fixed internet service at home. For example, a study released this week in Australia indicates that while users have dramatically moved from fixed telephony to mobile at home (going from 30 percent of households using mobile only five years ago to 60 percent today), those who use a mobile network to access the internet at home are still a small minority (16 percent). It seems, therefore, likely that users in developed markets, such as Finland, will want fixed internet at home, and if 5G can make it possible when true fixed connections are not possible, that solution will find favor and be profitable to operators such as Telia.
Finland is an interesting case in that it is an advanced mobile society, and yet a very large percentage of its households—75 percent of detached houses and 55 percent of users overall—are unable to access fiber connectivity. Therefore, the country is a particularly apt candidate for 5G-based FWA, and by providing it, Telia will gain significant market share for itself, as well as increased customer confidence and loyalty.