NetComm Wireless (ASX:NTC) has launched a new 5G Fixed Wireless self-installation product platform that could change the 5G Fixed Wireless market by enabling network operators to reduce the time and cost of connecting customers to ultra-fast broadband.
Service providers can offer their customers a plug-and-play 5G Fixed Wireless modem that can be installed in minutes and negates the need for a technician to visit the home or business.
End-users can get the best possible connection via an application on their phone that connects to their new modem and the 5G network and then guides the end-user to the best signal-strength position for their modem in the house.
Because of the varying characteristics of the 5G Fixed Wireless market with different spectrum bands and cell sizes being used, NetComm has developed a portfolio of four devices – all of which support both sub 6GHz bands as well as mmWave.
‘Indoor desk mounts’ can be installed anywhere in the home and are most suitable in locations close to the base station for homes that already have a decent signal strength.
An ‘indoor window mount’ can be installed on the window to improve the signal quality and therefore the connection.
Alternatively, an ‘outdoor wall mount’ also uses directional antennae to allow for a longer reach and location further away from the base station. NetComm offers both a self-install outdoor wall mount as well one which requires engineer installation.
Finally, an ‘outdoor roof mount’ can be installed on the roof and uses high quality directional antennas to allow for an extra reach from the base station with good connectivity.
This self-install development addresses a historical challenge: although Fixed Wireless was seen as a main driver of early 5G deployments, its potential was limited by some early pre-standard 5G launches needing operators to install an external antenna to connect customers.
This meant the time and cost of connecting equipment at a customer’s premises threatened to stifle the 5G Fixed Wireless market by making services unprofitable when deploying at large scale.
Els Baert, Director of Marketing and Communications at NetComm, said,
NetComm is delivering the missing piece of the jigsaw that will help enable mass market 5G Fixed Wireless take-up. No new technology can succeed unless there is an easy way to deploy it and our self-install platform is a game-changer for the economics of 5G Fixed Wireless.”
“It is great for end-users as they don’t have to stay home waiting for a technician to turn up – they can get online in minutes once they have plugged in their hardware. We have worked to make sure that our 5G Fixed Wireless platform delivers an exceptional connection quality on a level with what end-users have come to expect from fixed-broadband services delivered over fibre or cable.”
David Kennedy, Practice Leader at global telecoms consultancy Ovum said, “Our Ovum research clearly shows that installation costs have a significant impact on the business case for Fixed Wireless access. In some cases, these installation costs can be prohibitive to Fixed Wireless services actually being launched.”
“Therefore, new technologies that lower installation costs will help to expand the potential customer footprint for Fixed Wireless and improve scale economics – helping to build a business case for Fixed Wireless investment.”