Advent of fixed wireless access (FWA) making the 5G market grow big!

Everyone is waiting for the 5G services to be launched in their respective regions. Some countries have launched 5G services, and many are on the probable list of 5G launches.

Leading economies like the US, Canada, UK, and China already have 5G services, and recently India also launched 5G services in the nation on the 1st of October 2022. People are way more excited to use the 5G services to have the fastest ever internet connection and enjoy the liberty of all the online services.

There is a lot to talk about the 5G services and their launch in every nation, but in this article, we will shed some light on one of the important aspects of 5G technology, which is fixed wireless access or FWA.

5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

With the introduction of 5G, it will now be possible, for the very first time, for mobile technology to connect with the requirements of fixed-line services and pricing points.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is a technology that allows network operators to provide ultra-high-speed broadband to suburban and rural areas. It is designed to support applications used in homes and businesses in locations where the cost of laying fibre optic cable and maintaining it is prohibitively expensive.

The rollout of high-speed data services has consistently been hampered by the high cost and level of complexity associated with the delivery of fixed broadband. Although some technologies, such as WiMAX, have attempted to circumvent the local loop or stop the construction of the fibre trench, these endeavours have generally been unsuccessful.

The primary reason for this is the technologies required for constructing an entirely new infrastructure overlay and expensive proprietary hardware.

To supply ultra-high-speed broadband services to residential subscribers and enterprise customers, 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) makes use of standardized 3GPP designs and standard mobile components. The 5G fixed wireless access, which utilizes New Radio (NR) in the millimetre wavelength (mmWave), is able to offer a competitive alternative to fixed-line digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, and fibre in all markets.

Customers living in urban, suburban and rural areas will now have the ability to obtain the bandwidth necessary to support high-definition streaming services and high-speed internet access with the development of this fixed wireless access technology.

FWA Infrastructure

The initial experiments of the 5G new radio’s fixed wireless access use a tried-and-true Evolved Packet Core (EPC) architecture to transfer data and manage control information. The new gNodeBs (gNBs) that support FWA and other early 5G deployments operate in a Non-Standalone (NSA) manner alongside the old 4G eNodeB. This configuration is commonly referred to as Option 3x. When initially adopting 5G FWA, Option 3 decreases the risks and variables associated with implementation.

On the other hand, due to the granular nature of 5G antenna distribution and the high bandwidth streaming applications that will be delivered over FWA services, there will quickly be a need for more capacity in the access network as well as a significantly higher density of distributed user plane aggregation points.

LTE Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) approaches can give a partial solution to these challenges, but they imply maintaining a largely hardware-centric approach to delivering the data plane. This is an expensive and complicated option, which will also have the consequence of extending the time needed to migrate to a real cloud-native 5G Core in accordance with the norms and requirements given by the industry.

In contrast, a 5G User Plane Function (UPF) that is implemented inside of a fully automated Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) cloud environment (with dynamic scaling and autonomous network slicing) is capable of really meeting the conditions of a Fixed Wireless Access infrastructure or FWA.

What are the advantages of FWA?

Fixed Wireless Capability at 5G speeds in order to provide a faster and cheaper alternative to wired broadband, it is possible to utilize access in the lower bands of the wireless spectrum. 5G FWA can offer service bandwidth capacity on par with fibre optics in the millimetre range.

In addition to allowing for a greater user density, the narrow beams also prevent interference. Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) with antennas outside the home or office can significantly reduce signal degradation, despite the fact that mmWave penetration through popular building materials, such as newer varieties of glass, is poor. Subscribers in both commercial and residential settings could still easily set them
up themselves, unlike with wired local loops, which is the major advantage of this fixed wireless access.

There are certainly more advantages of this technology in advent with the 5G technology services. Considering the wide impact and the necessity of high-speed internet services, it is quite evident that the 5G technology market is growing rapidly, and with fixed wireless access or FWA technology, it will make it even bigger.

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