Huawei backs rural 5G FWA opportunity


Director - Wireless PLM Huawei Europe

INTERVIEW: Huawei Europe’s director of wireless PLM, Ray Williamson, highlighted fixed wireless access (FWA) in rural areas as a potentially lucrative market for operator 5G deployments, while also pointing to the need to streamline physical mobile kit in cities.

Although urban areas had been the initial focus of 5G in Europe, Williamson noted the company saw a strong case for FWA based on the network technology in rural areas.

“We started fixed wireless access in 4G, but now with 5G the throughputs really make it a very strong alternative to fibre so it’s not just an interim solution, it can be a mass-market solution,” he noted.

The executive added revenue on FWA traffic was also higher than enhanced mobile broadband.

Discussing challenges associated with early 5G deployments in Europe, Williamson said in many urban areas rooftops were already congested with infrastructure, emphasising the need for “clean site” options consolidating several technologies into a single unit.

“We focused on cities to start with and that itself in regions such as Europe is difficult because the rooftops are very congested with infrastructure there already, so adding a 5G Massive MIMO antenna on a new mast is almost out of the question,” he added.