The demand for reliable high-speed broadband is accelerating the Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) market while ongoing 5G network deployments are forging significant growth in 5G FWA market. Global technology intelligence firm ABI Research forecasts that 5G FWA adoptions will more than double over the next year, resulting in 6 million 5G FWA CPE unit shipments in 2022.
Although fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) access is the ultimate solution for high bandwidth broadband service, the high cost and time taken for FTTH rollouts create challenges for broadband operators. “Deployments of 5G FWA services take shorter time-to-market at a lower cost when compared to laying fiber-optic cables to end users’ homes and businesses. Network operators are, therefore, using 5G as a powerful tool to provide high-speed, low latency broadband service in a shorter time-frame, driving 5G FWA market growth,” comments Khin Sandi Lynn, 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure Industry Analyst at ABI Research.
North America and Western Europe are currently leading 5G FWA deployments as operators in these regions target 5G FWA services to compete with DSL broadband services. There is also an increasing interest in other markets including Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Recently, Indian broadband operators Bharti Airtel and Ericsson trialed 5G FWA service in rural India. Operators such as Zain, STC, and Ooredoo have also launched 5G FWA service in the Middle East and Africa to address the need for high-speed broadband services.
“Although majority of the population in emerging markets lack fixed broadband connectivity, 5G FWA market is likely to be concentrated in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe in the forecast period. Lack of fiber-optic infrastructure for 5G deployments will be a major barrier for the development of 5G FWA market in most emerging markets. However, in emerging markets, LTE will continue to play as a major technology to provide FWA services. 5G FWA is only deployed in select areas based on economic viability,” notes Lynn. ABI Research forecasts that worldwide FWA market will increase to ship more than 47 million CPE units in 2026. 5G FWA deployments will continue to accelerate boosting 5G FWA CPE shipments to represent 54% of total FWA CPE shipment in 2026.
While 5G FWA operators need to select the right spectrum choice between mmWave and mid-bands to address bandwidth demand, selecting the right CPE is crucial to meet user demands across different regions. Outdoor CPE is the best choice for better reception, however indoor CPE is preferred the form factor by both operator and end users due to easy installation. Indoor CPE with self-installation and diagnosis is likely to remain in high demand in the FWA market. Service providers need to select the right CPE vendor to develop FWA devices which supports reliable connectivity and in-home Wi-Fi capability while maintaining cost-effectiveness. “The ability to provide an excellent user experience will be the key differentiator for long-term success of FWA services,” Lynn concludes.
These findings are from ABI Research’s FWA Wireless Access market data. This report is part of the company’s 5G and Mobile Network Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Market Data spreadsheets are composed of deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight where opportunities lie.
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