Telia Finland has been one of the more nimble carriers in Europe when it comes to 5G. It’s now planning to test the Finnish appetite for a new 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) service, courtesy of Nokia.
The Nordic carrier is deploying the Nokia FastMile 5G gateway, providing a fixed broadband replacement service for both residential and business customers. The product is a single, indoor device that connects wirelessly to the mobile network and is also compliant with the 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard.
Telia Finland said it has already started to test the device, which Nokia launched at the recent MWC Barcelona event, and expects the first consumer pilots to start during the spring.
The vendor has also been bullish on the prospects for FWA, citing statistics from Ovum that predict the number of households served by FWA technologies will rise 50 percent by 2022, increasing from 18.5 million to 27.5 million households. 5G is expected to account for 16 percent of all FWA technology deployed by 2022. A recent report from Dell’Oro Group cited FWA as one of the primary drivers for radio access network (RAN) investments over the next five years, also propelled by demand for 5G NR.
Nordic 5G Action
Telia launched a pre-commercial 5G network in Helsinki in September 2018, and has also been testing the technology in Oulu and Vantaa. Those networks went live at the beginning of the year. The Finnish government awarded spectrum licenses to DNA, Elisa, and Telia Finland last October.
Telia Finland has tended to focus on 5G projects with industrial customers but said the market for consumer devices is accelerating at a faster rate than expected. Janne Koistinen, 5G program director at Telia Finland, said the carrier is continuing its cooperation with Nokia “on the front line as we test how the 5G FWA gateway works and how it creates value for our customers.”
Telia has also turned on 5G networks in Stockholm, Sweden, and Tallinn, Estonia, although it worked with Ericsson in those deployments. The initial purpose of the networks will be to provide 5G test beds for partners, with services for residential customers expected to be available at some point this year.