5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) subscriptions are forecast to reach 72 million by 2027, representing 35% of the total FWA market, according to a recent report by ABI Research.
Although LTE FWA services have already been widely deployed worldwide, they often cannot provide the speed needed to compete with wired broadband connections, ABI noted. 5G FWA is set to offer data rates rivaling the range of fiber, making it a “competitive alternative to wired broadband solutions,” the company said.
“FWA is one of the few use cases that utilize 5G massive MIMO networks to their full extent, with a typical monthly utilization that could be as high as 1TB per subscriber. Many mobile network operators that have launched 5G are expected to offer FWA services, driving 5G FWA market growth,” said Fei Liu, 5G and mobile network infrastructure industry analyst at ABI Research.
ABI also highlighted that North America, Western Europe and the Asia Pacific region are driving 5G FWA deployments. In North America and Western Europe, MNOs are using 5G FWA to compete with DSL broadband services. According to the research firm, major U.S. operators, like T-Mobile US, see a huge opportunity with 5G FWA because two-thirds of its residential customers living in urban and suburban areas are dissatisfied cable customers, making up a significant amount of potential 5G FWA customers.
“Mobile operators should launch 5G FWA to utilize their network capacity to make additional revenue. However, they need to be vigilant on how many FWA subscribers they can support and which type of service they wish to offer. In the long term, mobile operators need to apply artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as machine learning (ML) to evaluate their network resource, network capacity, and spectrum to ensure a steady 5G FWA growth,” Liu said. “When the 5G FWA service starts to challenge their network capacity, these operators may have to deploy millimeter wave (mmWave) to guarantee the quality of their FWA services and overall network capacity,” Liu added.
A previous study by JCMR concluded that global 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) rеvеnuе will rеасh а vаluе оf $21.7 billion іn 2029. The 5G FWA market was valued at $296 million in 2021, according JCMR, and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 65.6% over the forecast period through 2030.
In a previous report, T-Mobile US predicted that by 2025, T-Mobile and Verizon will have 11 to 13 million total FWA customers, many of which will be making the switch from a cable provider.