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In the latest example of the recent momentum gained by fixed wireless access (FWA) providers among telcos, Omani operator Ooredoo has revealed that after beginning work on a project in February with Nokia, it is now able to offer 4G and 5G FWA services across the country.
FWA has huge potential, especially for connecting homes and businesses in remote areas to 5G networks and addressing long-standing broadband connectivity issues. In a December 2020 trial that aimed to reveal how FWA could help urban, suburban and rural areas boost connectivity capacity and prove the feasibility of 5G millimetre-wave (mmWave) frequencies in powering high-speed, long-distance FWA devices, Italian operator TIM, Ericsson and Qualcomm claimed to have set a world record for long-distance speed with 5G mmWave technology.
Leading analyst ABI Research believes there is significant traction for both 4G and 5G FWA technologies as operators increasingly use these solutions as a way to bring ultra-broadband access and services to customers. It forecasts that the worldwide FWA subscriber base is expected to double by 2025, reaching 165 million.
The deployment of FWA at Ooredoo is based on a Nokia FastMile 4G compact receiver and Nokia WiFi beacon, as well as a Nokia FastMile 5G gateway. The Nokia FastMile solution allows operators to build on their existing radio access network (RAN) installed base and idle rural spectrum so they can offer fixed wireless broadband to urban, suburban and rural users. Nokia FastMile includes customer site equipment with a built-in modem and antenna, a cloud-based controller for point of sales, monitoring and control, and smartphone applications for installation and support. Nokia assures that it is a powerful end-to-end solution delivering guaranteed sustained rates to fixed subscribers.
The scope of the FWA infrastructure at Ooredoo will initially see 15,000 homes and businesses connected. In addition, 3,000 homes in city centres will soon get Nokia FastMile 5G FWA.
“Fixed wireless access is a critical part of our strategy to provide high-speed internet across Oman Noor,” said Al Sulaiti, chief executive officer of Ooredoo Oman. “Nokia’s solution offers a great 4G and 5G experience, so that more of our customers can enjoy the internet with us. The service will take connectivity to the next level, supporting the demands of our residential and business customers for superfast and reliable connectivity.”
Rima Manna, head of the Middle East market unit at Nokia MEA, added: “We are excited to have partnered with Ooredoo Oman to enable world-class FWA connectivity for its customers, and are looking forward to further strengthen our collaboration. Our receivers and gateways are field-proven to provide connectivity and best-in-class speed in the toughest of radio conditions, which will help Ooredoo serve a larger area. The high gain antennas guarantee the most efficient use of radio airtime of any customer premise equipment, saving radio costs.”
The FWA development at Ooredoo is the second of its kind in the region for Nokia, following a project with Saudi Arabian telecommunications services provider Mobily to pilot 4G and 5G FWA network slicing on its live commercial network. With Nokia’s slicing, Mobily is dividing its network into multiple virtual networks and offer FWA service tiers and premium services to its customers using network resource allocation mechanisms.
Read more about fixed wireless access technology
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