5G to compete with wired broadband

April 24, 2018
According to ABI Research, the worldwide fixed wireless broadband market has been growing steadily over the past several years. The ...

According to ABI Research, the worldwide fixed wireless broadband market has been growing steadily over the past several years. The research house forecasts that the global fixed wireless broadband market will grow 30% in 2018 and generate $18 billion in service revenue. 5G fixed wireless broadband access is expected to be launched in North America in 2018.

LTE is the most widely used technology to provide fixed wireless broadband service across the world. Fixed LTE is mainly deployed for residential broadband service in areas where wired broadband infrastructure is poor, enabling operators to provide residential broadband service more cost effectively compared to wired broadband deployment. Lately, U.S. operator Verizon (NYSE:VZ) announced its plans to launch 5G fixed wireless broadband service to its residential customers in the second half of 2018.

Verizon plans to first launch 5G fixed wireless broadband service in California, followed by additional markets later, and expects initial 5G fixed wireless broadband deployment to cover around 30 million U.S. households. In addition to Verizon, other operators, including AT&T (NYSE:T) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), are also carrying out 5G fixed wireless broadband tests in some U.S. markets. 5G fixed wireless trials are not limited to North America. In Europe, Orange, Elisa, and telecom infrastructure company Arqiva are performing 5G fixed wireless trials. In APAC, Australia's Optus is planning to launch 5G fixed wireless service in 2019.

"5G fixed broadband access is expected to enable robust services with a reliable capacity to meet the need of residential broadband users. 5G technology can support a theoretical speed up to 20 Gbps with latency of 1 ms, enabling operators to provide superior broadband access without installing fiber-optic cables to every single household," said Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI.

Early 5G fixed wireless broadband access is likely to focus on dense urban areas and roll out in rural areas when 5G is widely launched commercially. ABI forecasts the worldwide fixed wireless broadband market to grow at CAGR 26% to generate $45.2 billion in 2022.

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