Nokia pins down FWA and video apps as biggest 5G drivers

Which will be the most successful use cases to drive takeup of expensive 5G services remains the million-dollar question, but Nokia has made a stab at finding out what might attract both enterprise customers and consumers to subscribe to the next-generation service offerings from mobile network operators.

In a consumer study conducted with Parks Associates, the Finnish vendor identified fixed wireless access (FWA) services as the top-ranked use case by consumers (76% of all respondents), although with the caveat that mobile operators must prove that 5G can perform as well as fixed broadband. Operators will no doubt be pleased to learn that there is demand among consumers for 5G, although they should note that customers would be prepared to switch operator if their current provider is slow to launch 5G services.

In its research of enterprise customers, the study found that businesses identify video as the most attractive 5G WAN and LAN applications, with 83% finding it appealing and 48% citing 5G-enhanced video monitoring as a near-term opportunity.

Two-thirds of the enterprises surveyed in the study (65%) also said they are familiar with 5G, and one-third (34%) report they are already using 5G and are highly satisfied with the service. The report also noted that while nearly half (47%) of IT decision-makers say their organizations have already started planning for 5G, others are waiting for more widespread 5G availability (54%), and nearly one-third (30%) reported they would also like to better understand the value of 5G before developing a strategy to use it in their organization.

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Nokia noted that the research was carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic, but claimed the results were still valid, "perhaps more so in this new environment," said Josh Aroner, vice president of communication service provider marketing at Nokia. "While current networks are performing well, consumers are newly appreciating the value of quality networking."

The consumer study surveyed 3,000 people in the UK, US and South Korea, while the enterprise study surveyed over 1,000 IT decision-makers in segments including energy, manufacturing, government/public safety and automotive/transportation.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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