LIVE FROM 5G WORLD, LONDON: UK converged player BT expects 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) to be no more than a marginal play, tipping its fibre network to continue to take the majority of the strain for home connectivity in the country.

Speaking as operators and analysts across several markets have been talking up the technology, BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera (pictured) said although it offered FWA, he expected it to be used in areas where fibre remains unavailable as the latter was more cost effective and generally provided greater reliability.

“We’ve got quite a few [customers] already using 4G or 5G FWA where there isn’t an adequate fibre connection, but the UK is going through a rapid transition to full fibre. You have the infrastructure division of BT rolling out 25 million homes in the next few years.”

“When we look at the economics of fixed wireless we see fibre being preferential,” Allera emphasised. “It’s lower cost, delivering customers probably, on balance, greater levels of reliability. So for us FWA will be a more marginal use case.”

The executive estimated it would eventually make-up a maximum of between five per cent to ten per cent of its fixed base, focused on areas where fibre remained limited.