Given the anticipated role of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in the development of 5G networks within and around the SA-ME-NA and Central Asia regions, SAMENA Council has announced dedicated FWA working group to focus on experience management, business development, and service innovation. This follows the creation of the ELITE FWA Club, which was launched in December 2023 in Dubai, and will receive member support and thought-leadership contributions from SAMENA Council as well as the Industry. ELITE FWA Club aims to provide opportunity for leaders in the ICT sector to delve into critical areas relating to the FWA business, to help foster innovation, customer experience management, and ecosystem maturity while advocating for commercial advancements in the FWA sector.

During the second meeting of the Club, held in Barcelona on February 28, Bocar BA, CEO of SAMENA Council, in his keynote speech, drew attention to the need to leverage both Fiber and FWA. “As the Club meets for the second time, it is important to remind ourselves that, while fiber has set the benchmark for fixed broadband service quality, speed, and reliability, the logistical and financial side of fiber deployment typically remains a feat to overcome. We should leverage unique advantages of fiber and fixed wireless access, for what can be achieved with both may not be achievable with fiber alone”, stated BA.

SAMENA Council observes that, within the SA-ME-NA region and the emerging markets, FWA, as an affordable highspeed home broadband access solution, is enabling Operators quickly recover investment costs. In gradually maturing digital economies within the SA-ME-NA region, particularly in the greater GCC region, FWA is contributing to Operator’s market share and revenue growth. Moreover, there appears to be a direct correlation in making use of 5G investments and empowering other sectors to achieve greater efficiencies through new use cases of wireless technologies.

SAMENA Council is collaborating closely with Huawei and other valued members of the Council as well as regional entities who have joined or will be joining the FWA Club and its supporting platforms, provided by SAMENA Council. It is important that the ELITE FWA Club members work together and proactively exchange insights and deployment experiences for common benefit.

SAMENA Council has announced that, to help increase FWA penetration in the regions, it will strategically support the creation and thought-leadership activities of the ELITE FWA Club, sponsored by Huawei, a valued member of the Council.

The creation of the FWA-centric club, which will receive thought-leadership contributions from SAMENA Council's FWA focused working group, sets a precedent in developing the wireless-access business and digital-inclusion possibilities for both end-users and enterprises in the region through collaboration among various regional stakeholders.

Operators in the SA-ME-NA region and, to some extent, in the neighboring regions, including Central Asia, have invested heavily in 5G networks. However, satisfactorily monetizing these investments remains a critical challenge. FWA will play an increasingly important role in the development of 5G networks within and around the Council's regions of focus, offering highly useful and scalable applications.

SAMENA Council views that major industry use-cases of FWA include Education (virtual classrooms, distant education, vocational trainings), Healthcare (remote health consultations, remote patient monitoring, remote health administration), Agriculture (environmental knowledge, precision farming, crop yields, real-time crop and livestock monitoring, resource management), Transportation/Mobility (connected vehicles, traffic management, roadside infrastructure management, dynamic route optimization, improved traffic safety, smart-city service delivery), Public Safety (emergency response, disaster management, coordination, critical service delivery), Manufacturing (connected AI-based, digital, and natural system, robotics, predictive maintenance, quality control, efficiency and productivity), Retail (inventory management, personalized customer experience delivery, streamlined operations), Environment (intelligent lighting controls, irrigation and water resource management, real-time environmental monitoring), Work/Job-Creation (remote work, seamless collaboration, video conferencing, cloud-based tools and resources), and Emerging Technologies (supporting growth of IoT, AR/VR ecosystems).

Launched in December 2023 in Dubai, the ELITE FWA Club is dedicated to fostering a dynamic, industry-wide dialogue to address technology, business, policy and regulatory as well as user-experience issues. Our mission is to enable Telecom Operators and digital infrastructure investors in collaboratively and sustainably enhancing returns on 5G investments while provisioning quality-of-service and end-user experience on 5G networks. For this reason, the ELITE FWA Club presents an invaluable opportunity for leaders in the ICT sector to delve into unique areas relating to the FWA business, innovation, customer experience management, and ecosystem maturity while advocating for commercial advancements in the FWA sector.

The ELITE FWA Club will hold its second meeting on February 28 during MWC Barcelona 2024.

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