Licensed 5G FWA set to become the SME connection of choice

23rd May 2024

Licensed 5G FWA set to become the SME connection of choice

Comsol COO Darren Morgan

Licensed 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is poised to become the preferred last-mile connectivity solution for South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs), replacing traditional fibre connections.

Wireless solutions provider Comsol COO Darren Morgan emphasises the importance of a stable connection for many SMEs and home offices, noting that in the past, many businesses believed their choices were limited to fibre or mobile connections. However, 5G FWA is emerging as a robust alternative.

Traditionally, SMEs relied on FWA in areas where fibre was unavailable. However, with the introduction of 5G FWA, and the decreasing reliability of fibre, a growing number of SMEs are transitioning to 5G for reliability and stability.

Morgan says while fibre is essential for delivering capacity to base stations, it is not necessary to run fibre connections from base stations to individual offices. This role can be effectively filled by 5G FWA.

“5G FWA offers hundreds of Mbps, with latencies comparable to fibre. In fact, it has been found to be faster and more reliable in the last mile. Fibre's vulnerability to being dug up during construction, roadworks and utilities maintenance like water and electricity repairs makes FWA a safer choice. Additionally, licensed 5G FWA is cheaper and faster to deploy than fibre, requiring no digging,” says Morgan. “There’s really no reason for someone to choose a fibre hand-off over an FWA hand-off.

Businesses using LTE as a primary or failover connection often experience issues owing to network contention on consumer focussed networks. Morgan asserts that 5G FWA offers a significantly better experience, providing more capacity and lower latency. Even with the same capacity—say, a 50 Mbps LTE line versus a 50 Mbps 5G line—the 5G connection delivers superior stability and performance.

Comsol has launched a new licensed 5G FWA service to meet the demand for a cost-effective, business-class last-mile solution for SMEs. This service offers less contention than consumer offerings and reliable, enterprise-grade power infrastructure, ensuring redundancy even during loadshedding. Comsol's licensed 5G FWA delivers enhanced speed, low latency and superior reliability, providing a robust alternative to traditional last-mile fibre. The service is uncapped and available in 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps options, with an attractive fair use policy.

Switching from fibre to 5G FWA is seamless, utilising compact, outdoor customer premises equipment routers, with no significant changes required for the customer. This allows businesses to easily scale their capacity and upgrade their services as needed.

 “Our customers are increasingly moving to 5G FWA due to its rapid deployment, ease of installation, operational savings and adaptability to business growth. It provides the flexibility and resilience needed for businesses to thrive in today’s digital landscape,” says Morgan.