Europe’s 5G networks are offering download speeds that make them a credible contender for fixed wireless access (FWA) connectivity, a new study published this week shows.

Norway is the fastest in Europe with maximum 5G download speeds indoors of 1.12 Gbps, while Spain leads outdoors – which is handy, given the weather – with maximum speeds of 1.11 Gbps, according to Cellsmart, which carried out thousands of speed tests in 29 countries last month.

Given that Cellsmart’s mission is, in its own words, “liberating enterprise from the constraints of fixed line connectivity,” it clearly has a vested interest in the results of its own study. It helps enterprises hook up to FWA solutions, essentially. However, the data still makes interesting reading against a backdrop of mobile network operators spending billions on the rollout of 5G networks.

The indoor download speeds league table, which is likely to be the most useful metric for business customers, has Spain in second place with a maximum download speed of 1.08 Gbps, followed by Germany, France and Great Britain at 929 Mbps, 898 Mbps and 602 Mbps respectively.

At city level, Oslo leads the way, while Spain’s Cerdanyola del Vallès and Bilbao come in second and third, while fourth placed Munich also recorded a 5G download speed in excess of 1 Gbps.

“Europe is ready for fixed wireless access,” declared Toby Forman, CEO at SmartCIC, owner of Cellsmart.

“Our test results show that 5G is beginning to mature into a justifiable investment that is ready to serve as an alternative to wired broadband and LEOs in multiple countries throughout Europe,” Forman said. “With performance rates that rival those of broadband and LEO, cellular should be considered when connecting enterprise locations. It’s a viable option.”

FWA has often been named as an early use case for 5G in markets all over the world, and this data suggests that will be the case.

It’s perhaps more interesting to hear a company describe 5G-based broadband and a viable alternative to LEO satellite services, which are only just coming into their own. This could well be an early sign of an enterprise broadband battleground that is set to host some intense competition between the technologies in the coming years.

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