Latest ABI data sees 5G FWA technology gaining on wired broadband

March 27, 2023
Latest report from ABI Research states definitively that 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology provides competitive alternative to wired broadband technology and will account for 35% of overall fixed wireless subscriptions in 2027.
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In its latest report, global technology intelligence firm ABI Research forecasts that 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) subscriptions will reach 72 million by 2027, representing 35% of the total FWA market in 2027.

The analyst contends that 5G FWA technology allows mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide Quality of Service (QoS) offerings with higher speeds and unlimited data, creating a demand for 5G FWA, which will continue to grow over the next few years.

As reckoned by ABI's executive summary:

"Although LTE FWA services have already been widely deployed worldwide, they often cannot provide the speed needed to compete with wired broadband connections. 5G FWA is set to offer data rates rivaling the range of fiber, making it a competitive alternative to wired broadband solutions."

Fei Liu, 5G and Mobile Network Infrastructure Industry Analyst at ABI Research, explains further:

"FWA is one of the few use cases that utilize 5G Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (mMIMO) networks to their full extent, with a typical monthly utilization that could be as high as 1TB per subscriber. Many MNOs that have launched 5G are expected to offer FWA services, driving 5G FWA market growth."

The report's data finds that both developed and emerging markets are benefitting from uptake of 5G FWA, and that geographically, North America, Western Europe, and Asia Pacific are driving 5G FWA technology deployments.

The new report states that in North America and Western Europe, MNOs are using 5G FWA to compete with DSL broadband services.

Meanwhile, ABI Research contends that major U.S. operators, such as T-Mobile, 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 its 5G FWA customers.

The report notes that in Western Europe, EE UK launched 5G FWA in 2019 and plans to cover 90% of the UK with 5G by 2028. Meanwhile, Fastweb in Italy launched 5G FWA in 2020 and plans to cover 12.5 million homes and businesses by 2025. There is growing interest in the Asia Pacific as Reliance Jio eyes 100 million homes through 5G FWA.

ABI's Liu concluded:

"MNOs 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 (best effort or QoS). In the long term, MNOs 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 recommends. "When the 5G FWA service starts to challenge their network capacity, these MNOs may have to deploy millimeter wave (mmWave) to guarantee the quality of their FWA services and overall network capacity," .

ABI Research's Fixed Wireless Access market data report is part of the company's 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Market data spreadsheets comprise deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight into where opportunities lie.

About the Author

BTR Staff

EDITORIAL
STEPHEN HARDY
Editorial Director and Associate Publisher
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MATT VINCENT
Senior Editor
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KRISTINE COLLINS
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(312) 350-0452
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JEAN LAUTER
Business Solutions Manager
(516) 695-3899
[email protected]

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