5G predicted to double Internet speeds for UK homes

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5G wireless home broadband will provide UK households with a cheaper, more flexible alternative to fibre connections, offering customers double the current average download speed. According to an independent report from Ovum, commissioned by Three UK, the technology is expected to deliver speeds of 80-100 Mbps, which is on average double what customers in the UK currently obtain using traditional, fixed-broadband services (46 Mbps).

The research also estimates that 5G wireless services could replace traditional connections for 85 per cent of the UK’s 26 million fixed line customers, with equal or better speeds.

Also known as 5G ‘Fixed Wireless Access’ (FWA), the technology, according to today’s report, is almost 50 per cent cheaper to deploy than fibre, and much quicker to implement, providing a viable alternative for home broadband services. With the UK lagging behind international peers in full fibre rollout, at only 3 per cent of all broadband subscriptions enjoying fibre to the premises (FTTP), 5G wireless home broadband can help provide superfast internet to more people more quickly.

The findings of the report also state that 5G wireless home broadband is expected to save customers an estimated £240 per year by eliminating the need for fixed-line rental. Other ways in which it will improve the end-to-end customer experience with broadband providers are:

  • ‘Plug-and-play’ set up with no installation time, engineer visits or drilling cables through walls
  • More flexible contracts, that don’t lock customers in for extended periods of time
  • A more mobile service, with the ability for customers to take the 5G wireless home broadband box with them when they move home

Chief Executive Officer at Three UK, Dave Dyson, said: “5G gives consumers the opportunity to bin their fixed line, enjoy faster speeds and save money. Wireless home broadband means that we can speed up access to super-fast internet services at a lower cost, without installation delays or inflexible contracts. The efficient and widespread rollout of superfast broadband across households and businesses is crucial to the growth of our economy. Wireless home broadband de-risks Government’s ambitions for a Digital Britain by providing alternatives to a fibre-to-the-home solution. At Three, we’re making significant investments to make this technology viable as we ready our network for 5G. Government and Ofcom have the right ambition to improve UK connectivity and we will work with them to show that there are other alternatives to fibre.”

Three UK is aiming to launch a 5G wireless home broadband service in the second half of 2019.

Dario Talmesio, Principal Analyst and Practice Leader at Ovum, said: “Advantages of 5G wireless broadband technology are not just in speed: wireless is more flexible, does not require long-term contracts, is faster and cheaper to deploy and less of a burden for customers – no waiting time, no engineer visits. With low availability of fibre and high cost of deployment, 5G Wireless becomes a viable alternative to fixed-line broadband. While the UK continues its fibre roll-out, this is a quicker and more economical way to satisfy customers’ fast-growing demand for data.”


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