According to GlobalData, the innovative 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) services offered by telcos such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio will revolutionise broadband connectivity in India.
Jio AirFiber, recently launched by Jio, is now available in eight Indian cities, offering high-speed connectivity of up to 1 Gbps. With approximately 80 per cent of data consumption occurring indoors, Jio is strategically targeting this segment through its Jio AirFiber service proposition, which combines digital entertainment, high-speed broadband, and smart home solutions. Jio AirFiber simplifies connectivity for homes and offices, enabling seamless linking of multiple devices like smartphones, personal computers (PCs), tablets, smart televisions (TVs), and set-top boxes. Additionally, this 5G FWA service is also capable of addressing the connectivity demands for cloud PCs, security and surveillance, and smart home internet of things (IoT), among others.
With its high speeds, low latency, and plans starting as low as $7.2 (Rs 599), Jio AirFiber serves as a substitute for wired broadband connections for homes as well as small and medium businesses. The lower costs and reduction in constraints in the last mile mean more homes and businesses will be able to get online, thereby helping to bridge the digital divide and transform the country into a premium digital society.
The primary objective of the FWA solution is to provide internet access to consumers residing in areas with limited fibre coverage. This solution effectively resolves the last-mile connectivity challenge in both rural and urban regions of India, where access to fibre infrastructure is challenging. Furthermore, FWA stands out as a cost-effective approach, harnessing the potential of 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) technology to deliver fibre-like internet speeds wirelessly to homes and businesses across various settings, from rural to urban areas. This technology is also well-suited for serving institutions like schools, hospitals, and town halls, effectively addressing last-mile obstacles in rural areas.
Earlier, in August 2023, Airtel also launched its 5G FWA service, named Airtel Xstream AirFiber, in select cities, with a monthly rental price of $9.6 (Rs 799). This move by Jio highlights the growing interest among the telecom providers in FWA services as a means to extend broadband connectivity to underserved areas in the country and present an alternative to wired connectivity. The bundling of smart home services, digital channels, and over-the-top (OTT) subscriptions is further expected to drive the adoption of this novel service in India.
As per GlobalData, Jio AirFiber and Airtel Xstream AirFiber are revolutionising India’s broadband connectivity for both homes and businesses through 5G FWA. This advancement has the potential to generate new revenue streams for the Indian telecom industry, offering faster and more reliable internet access to residential and enterprise sectors.