Verizon broadband – a combination of FWA and Fios (but not so much pay TV)

Verizon today announced its earnings for the third quarter of 2021, with the company posting net income of $6.6 billion, operating revenue of $32.9 billion, and $1.55 in earnings per share.  Verizon now expects total wireless service revenue growth of around 4%, an increase to prior guidance of 3.5% to 4%. It’s earnings guidance was also revised upwards.  Verizon adjusted earnings per share of $5.35 to $5.40 is now forecast for the current quarter – an increase from its prior guidance of $5.25 to $5.35.

“We had a strong third quarter, delivering on our strategy and growing in multiple areas,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said in the earnings release.  “Our disciplined strategy execution demonstrated growth in 5G adoption, broadband subscribers and business applications. We are increasing our 2021 guidance, and we continue to expand our 4G LTE and 5G network leadership. We fully expect to have a strong finish to the year as we accelerate deployment of 5G to our customers across the country,” he added.

“Verizon reported another quarter of strong financial and operating performance,” Verizon Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis said in the press release. “We are seeing strong demand for connectivity across our Consumer and Business segments as our Mix and Match and Business Unlimited value propositions, network quality and unique partnerships are resonating with both new and existing customers. We grew revenue in the quarter, achieved solid cash flow, completed the sale of Verizon Media and increased the dividend for a 15th consecutive year.”

The #1 wireless telco in the U.S. lost 68,000 net video subscribers from its Fios (FTTH/FTTP) service in the third quarter.  “The telecom giant has been shifting its video focus away from Fios TV to partnerships with third-party streaming services as it positions itself as a key distribution platform for them. For example, Verizon has a deal with The Walt Disney Co. for the Disney bundle, which gives customers with select Verizon wireless unlimited plans access to Disney streaming services Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+,” said the Hollywood Reporter.

During the quarter, Verizon sold off its Verizon Media unit, which consisted of formerly dominant tech brands like AOL and Yahoo. The unit was acquired by Apollo Global Management, although Verizon continues to hold a 10 percent stake.

Verizon reported 129,000 broadband net additions in the third quarter, comprised of Fios, DSL and FWA subscribers, during the quarter. Of those, there were 55,000 Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) subscriber adds , which was about 42% of the 129,000 total broadband net adds generated in the quarter.  Verizon FWA has a total of ~150,000 subscribers.

Source: Verizon Infographic from 3Q 2021 Earnings Report

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said during the earnings call, “We’re on track to meet our fixed wireless access household coverage targets with an expected 15 million homes passed by the end of the year between 4G and 5G. To date, 5G Home is in 57 markets and 4G LTE Home is in over 200 markets across all 50 states.”

Verizon first began offering 4G LTE Home in July 2020 and has really accelerated its rollout. The company has also rolled out 5G Home. Verizon executives on today’s earnings call noted that the FWA subscriber base is a mix of customers getting service from its 4G/LTE network and via Verizon’s 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) network. The company’s FWA base currently is a mix of residential and business customers, but did not break out that ratio. But they did note that there’s about a rough 50/50 split between FWA customers that are coming from Verizon’s existing base and from other service providers.  CFO Matt Ellis said Verizon’s FWA customers aren’t solely focused on rural areas, as Verizon is also seeing “good traction” with the product in urban and suburban areas.

Verizon now seems to favor FWA over Fios, probably because of significantly lower installation costs for the former. Yet the company is not giving up on Fios. “In addition to fixed wireless access, we’re pleased with the great performance of Fios and continue to grow the open-for-sale volumes within our footprint.”

Indeed, Fios Internet net adds were 104,000 in the quarter. The telco is increasing its Fios footprint, adding over 400,000 open-for-sale locations this year. One analyst noted that Verizon hasn’t talked about increasing its Fios brand within its ILEC for quite some time.

Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis said, “On the Fios expansion, we see great opportunity. We have been investing in that for a number of years; maybe haven’t spoken about it quite as much. But it continues to be a very good growth driver for the business.”

The company reported that Fios revenue of $3.2 billion in the quarter was up 4.7% year over year, driven by continued growth in customers as well as Verizon’s effort to increase the value of each customer by encouraging them to step up in speed tiers.

“We remain focused on bringing in high-quality net adds,” said Elllis. “The mix and match pricing structure for both wireless and Fios provides opportunity to migrate customers to higher value tiers and bring in customers on higher value plans. Our strategy is focused on increasing the value we receive from every connection.”

Vestberg said, “Our strategy is becoming a national broadband provider with the best access to the tech for our customers, including Fios, fixed wireless access on 5G, on 4G, mmWave and C-band.”

In a research note to clients, analyst Craig Moffett discussed Verizon’s broadband business:

Verizon’s FiOS service continues to show strength, a product of both more aggressive pricing and a lessening drag from video as the video base shrinks. Notably, Verizon is also beginning to see some contribution from fixed wireless access.

  • FiOS internet subscriber gains of 104K were almost spot on with consensus. DSL losses
    remained relatively steady (-30K) despite the fact that the base of legacy DSL has been
    gradually depleted. Overall broadband net additions came in at 129K, which includes
    55K fixed wireless connections. The company reported that it had 150K fixed wireless
    broadband customers at the end of Q3. Wireline broadband net additions were strong,
    at 74K, but were still weaker than expected. Notably, the company has guided to an
    addition of 400K FiOS homes open for sale, the first meaningful expansion of homes
    available for sale in some time (note that “open for sale” does not necessarily equate to
    new build – particularly in New York, there has long been a large gap between homes
    already passed and homes open for sale – but it is likely that there is at least some new
    build here.
  • Like peers, Verizon is losing video subscribers (down 68K, a little worse than the 54K
    loss we had expected, and worse than the 62K loss a year ago despite a smaller
    denominator). Their decline rate of 7.2% is broadly in line with the rate of decline for the
    industry overall.

With respect to Verizon’s 5G strategy and competition (e.g. T-Mobile), Craig wrote:

As we creep up to the 5G epoch, we’re on the brink of a very different industry. Despite a relatively healthy third quarter report – albeit against relatively easy year ago comps – there are reasons for disquiet. A post-COVID service revenue growth recovery has already begun to slow, and incremental revenue streams from 5G are still uncertain. Industry structure, which once appeared to be getting better – we went from four to three with the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile – is now arguably getting worse, as we now arguably go from three to five with the emergence of hybrid MVNO/MNO networks from Cable and Dish.  Verizon is on the brink of a very different competitive position.

T-Mobile’s 5G network is increasingly viewed as better than Verizon’s for coverage, speed, and reliability. Verizon’s one-time bid for sustained superiority – millimeter wave “ultra-wideband” service – currently accounts for just one half of one percent of the time 5G users are connected.

Craig notes that Verizon’s initial gambit to retain network superiority in 5G was built on millimeter wave spectrum. The very limited propagation of millimeter wave spectrum, however, demands an incredibly dense wired backhaul network, at enormous cost, lest customers are simply out of range much of the time. Verizon is, anecdotally at least, well ahead of peers in network densification. Still, recent data (once again, from OpenSignal) suggests that, while 5G customers of Verizon’s 5G service are connected to mmWave spectrum much more often than are 5G customers of AT&T or T-Mobile, that is still too trivial a percentage of the time (one half of one percent). That’s hardly the basis of an advantaged network.

T-Mobile has an advantage in both spectrum propagation (coverage) and spectrum depth (speed). And Verizon still charges a premium. Retention and growth will be harder in a world where their network superiority has been ceded to a lower priced service.

In conclusion, Craig states that Verizon enjoyed years as the best network, but it will be harder to maintain that claim in the 5G era, where T-Mobile has a coverage and spectrum depth (speed) advantage. And where TMobile and the company’s Cable MVNO partners charge meaningfully lower prices than Verizon does for the same or better service.

Verizon’s Year End 2021 Priorities:
• Expand 5G leadership (?) and drive adoption; mmWave deployment and C-Band launch
• Customer differentiation and scaling premium experiences
• Transform the business; Tracfone acquisition and Verizon Media Group sale
• Accelerate and amplify 5 vectors of growth; Network-as-a-Service strategy

References:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/business-news/verizon-pay-tv-subscribers-loss-broadband-users-grow-1235032891/

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/operators/verizon-adds-129-000-wireline-and-fixed-wireless-subs-q3-2021

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/verizon-has-150000-fixed-wireless-access-subs-/d/d-id/772925?

https://www.slashgear.com/verizon-5g-home-internet-expands-to-cover-more-cable-cutters-07694326/

Cambium Networks Technology Enables Pentanet to Build a Multi-Gigabit Fixed Wireless Network in Perth, Australia

Cambium Networks, a global provider of wireless networking solutions, today announced that Pentanet is building neXus, a multi-gigabit fixed wireless network across the metro area in Perth, Australia, to provide internet access for business and residential subscribers. The exceptional speeds will be achieved by extending their existing infrastructure consisting of 300 km of “dark” fiber with Cambium Networks’ 60 GHz cnWave fixed wireless platform, using Terragraph, a mesh technology developed by Facebook Connectivity. The result will be network performance that even the most demanding video gamers will appreciate.

60 GHz cnWave V5000 V5000 is featured with two sectors covering up to 280 degrees with beamforming. A single V5000 can connect up to 30 devices, which includes up to four distribution nodes. V5000 can be used for PTP, PMP and mesh configurations.

Supports 57 to 66 GHz:
• Dual-sector with 280º coverage
• Up to 7.2 Gbps (1.8 Gbps DL and 1.8 Gbps UL per sector). Channel bonding typically doubles capacity
• TDMA/TDD channel access and Network Synchronization
• 802.11ay technology with Facebook Terragraph certification

“In 2019, Perth Australia was reported as having the second slowest internet speeds of all Australian capital cities, but we know that needs to change – and fast,” said Stephen Cornish, CEO of Pentanet. “Bandwidth-heavy and latency sensitive applications like cloud-gaming are already transforming connectivity demands, and reliable gigabit speeds are the future for Perth. With Cambium Networks’ 60 GHz cnWave technology, Pentanet’s neXus is driving a leap in internet connectivity throughout the city to gigabit speeds. Using our existing fixed wireless network infrastructure, Pentanet can rapidly deploy the next-generation of wireless technology to create the neXus.”

“Our development and support teams are collaborating closely with the Pentanet team to ensure our solution can scale rapidly to be able to provide connectivity across Perth,” said Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO of Cambium Networks. “They are pioneering a new age of communications with their business model and network architecture. We are pleased to recognize Pentanet’s disruptive leadership in the industry with our Wireless Connectivity Hero award.”

Cambium Networks’ multi-gigabit fixed wireless broadband technology and centralized management are well suited for urban applications. The solution provides multi-gigabit wireless broadband performance and reliability at a fraction of the cost of fiber. With 60 GHz cnWave, Pentanet can rapidly deploy hybrid networks to extend the fiber plant to customer premises, accelerating time to revenue at lower operating and capital costs. This video details the value that Pentanet delivers.

Cambium Networks’ 60 GHz cnWave solution elements include:

  • V5000 Distribution Node – Equipped with two sectors covering up to 280 degrees with beamforming. A single V5000 can connect up to 30 devices, which includes up to four distribution nodes. The V5000 can be used for point-to-point (PTP), point-to-multipoint (PtMP) and mesh configurations.
  • V3000 Client Node – Featuring a 44.5 dBi high-gain antenna with beamforming, the client nodes can support up to 3.8 Gbps with the capability for even higher rates in the future with channel bonding for both PtMP and PTP configurations.
  • V1000 Client Node – Includes wide-range, 80⁰ beamforming for easy installation. Powered by 802.3af PoE, V1000 supports gigabit throughputs in a compact easy to install form factor

The latest addition to Cambium Networks’ multi-gigabit wireless fabric portfolio of solutions, 60 GHz cnWave is fully integrated into LINKPlanner and cnMaestro™ end-to-end cloud management that provides a unified view of the entire network. The solution delivers reliable and secure connectivity for residential users, schools, enterprises, and industrial operations at a low total cost of ownership.

Find out more about mmWave products including 5G Fixed wireless, Wi-Fi 6 solutions and centralized management solutions at Cambium Connections’ of Cambium Networks’ online events in SeptemberStephen Cornish of Pentanet will be presenting live Tuesday, 21 September – Register Here.

Cambium Networks’ full wireless fabric portfolio of solutions are available through its global network of partners.

Cambium Networks is celebrating a Decade of Excellence in 2021 with more than 10 million radios shipped worldwide since commencing operations in 2011.

About Pentanet
Pentanet is a Perth-based, growth-focused telco delivering high-speed internet to a growing number of subscribers by providing them with next-generation internet speeds. This is achieved through Pentanet’s market-leading private fixed-wireless network, the largest in Perth, as well as reselling fixed-line services such as NBN, where its wireless is not yet available.

Pentanet’s flagship fixed wireless network has benefits for both customers and investors, offering an outstanding customer experience and a fixed-wireless product that is technically superior to most of the National Broadband Network (NBN) – with attractive margins for investors. This sets Pentanet apart from most broadband providers, which only resell the NBN.

Pentanet will also be part of the rollout of the next wave of subscription-based entertainment services – cloud gaming. The Company’s Alliance Partner Agreement with NASDAQ listed NVIDIA – one of the world’s largest producers of specialised graphic chips used in gaming – allows Pentanet to be the first to bring their GeForce NOW technology to Australia in 2021.

Media Contact (Pentanet)
Alison Balch – Pentanet
+61 (04) 14 545 118
alison@staff.pentanet.com.au

About Cambium Networks
Cambium Networks delivers wireless communications that work for businesses, communities, and cities worldwide. Millions of our radios are deployed to connect people, places and things with a unified wireless fabric that spans multiple standards and frequencies of fixed wireless and Wi-Fi, all managed centrally via the cloud. Our multi-gigabit wireless fabric offers a compelling value proposition over traditional fiber and alternative wireless solutions. We work with our Cambium certified ConnectedPartners to deliver purpose-built networks for service provider, enterprise, industrial, and government connectivity solutions in urban, suburban, and rural environments, with wireless that just works.

Media Contact (Cambium)
Dave Reddy – Big Valley Marketing for Cambium
+1 (650) 868-4659
dreddy@bigvalley.co

References:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cambium-networks-60-ghz-cnwave-technology-enables-pentanet-to-rapidly-build-a-multi-gigabit-fixed-wireless-network-serving-perth-australia-301379938.html

https://www.cambiumnetworks.com/products/pmp-distribution/60-ghz-cnwave-v5000/

https://www.cambiumnetworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Cambium_Networks_data_sheet_60GHz_cnWave_V5000.pdf

Belgian trial of FWA using Pharrowtech’s mmWave technology

Vlaio has agreed to support a trial of fixed-wireless internet access (FWA) in the 60 GHz band using semiconductor start-up Pharrowtech’s mmWave technology. Belgian cable operator Telenet and wireless equipment supplier Unitron are also participating, with the trial services expected to start for homes and businesses in 2022.

The trial will focus on validating the performance of Pharrowtech’s mmWave technology, to help the company move towards commercialization of its products. Pharrowtech said its CMOS process technology makes mmWave services in the 60 GHz band a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to fibre roll-outs. The technology is reliable and robust enough to cope with the outdoors environment, while delivering superior performance compared to alternatives in the market, in urbran or rural areas, the company said.

The Vlaio grant will be used to support preparation and execution of the Telenet field trial of Pharrowtech’s mmWave RFIC technology using Unitron’s network elements. Beamforming and mesh control software developed by labs at the Flemish research institute Imec will also be used in the trial.

Telenet, which is controlled by the Liberty Global group, said it has multiple use cases in mind where FWA could bring benefits such as reducing installation and roll-out costs. The operator last year started exploring a cooperation on FTTH roll-out in Flanders, but has yet to commit to a technology for its next network upgrade after Docsis 3.1. In the US, operators such as Mediacom and Alaska Communications are already exploring FWA services.

Pharrowtech was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from Imec, where the founding team led CMOS IP generation and prototype development in mmWave wireless systems for more than fifteen years. In 2019, the company secured more than EUR 6 million in seed funding from imec-Xpand, Bloc Ventures and the KBC Focus Fund, and in June this year the company released its first evaluation board.

Pharrowtech CEO and Co-Founder, Wim van Thillo, said: “We are extremely pleased that VLAIO is supporting us to roll out our technology with these leading partners. This field trial perfectly represents the massive business opportunity that mmWave FWA offers. Even in areas as densely populated as Belgium, operators struggle to deploy gigabit internet services fast enough. This project will establish our technology as a key complement to fiber for fast and economical high-speed internet deployments everywhere.”

Unitron CTO, Stephen Deleu, said: “With this VLAIO project, UnitronGroup will expand its knowledge in the higher frequency ranges and discover new wireless applications for ultrafast broadband communication. UnitronGroup is the market leader in multiple high frequency technologies, and collaborating with knowledge partners helps us strengthen our position. As a key technology partner for multiple telecom operators, our role in this ambitious project is to provide the FWA customer and distribution node elements. We are excited to be part of this consortium and looking forward to the insights and outcomes of this VLAIO project.”

Telenet, Director Network & Infrastructure, Luk Bruynseels, said: “For Telenet it is paramount to keep on investing in innovative ways to deliver digital services to our customers. We have multiple use cases in scope where FWA technology brings opportunities and important benefits by reducing installation and roll-out costs. This VLAIO project is a great opportunity for Telenet to gather and share all required knowledge and expertise within the consortium to ensure we meet the expected outcome of the project.”

References:

Pharrowtech, Telenet, and Unitron secure public funding for Fixed Wireless Access field trial

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/telenet-to-trial-fixed-wireless-broadband-with-pharrowtech-platform-for-60-ghz-band–1397038

Dell’Oro: 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) deployments to be driven by lower cost CPE

by Jeff Heynen, Dell’Oro Group

Introduction:

The global demand for broadband service has resulted in an acceleration of interest among fixed and mobile operators alike to either expand their existing LTE or point-to-multipoint fixed wireless access (FWA) offerings or roll out early 5G FWA services to a growing base of current and potential subscribers. In both mature and emerging markets, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of RFPs for equipment and software to support large-scale 5G fixed wireless service deployments. Clearly, service providers are looking to strike while the iron is hot, securing subscribers who need broadband now, while also taking advantage of growing government subsidization of broadband service rollouts.

The vendor ecosystem supporting 5G fixed wireless has naturally increased, particularly in the area of dedicated CPE. According to the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association), there are currently over 130 FWA CPE devices (both indoor and outdoor) that have been announced by a growing list of vendors, which now numbers above 50. Over 50 of these dedicated CPE are now commercially available, which is up from 15 commercially-available units just one year ago. By the end of 2021, we expect that the number of commercially-available devices will exceed 100 and will double in 2022. The number of vendors producing or planning to produce 5G FWA CPE already exceeds the number of suppliers of 4G FWA CPE.

Dell'Oro: 5G FWA Vendors and CPE Units

The increase in available units, which corresponds with the perceived addressable market of 5G network deployments and subscriber uptake, combined with the rapid uptake of 5G-capable smartphones will help to push the cost of both indoor and outdoor 5G FWA units down to levels that satisfy the business case requirements of operators globally. In particular, operators in emerging markets where ARPU levels are typically low, cost-reduced CPE are an absolutely critical requirement to ensuring a faster ROI.

The larger the addressable market, the more willing component suppliers will be to forward-price to capture a larger share of that growing market. The resulting price reductions in components begets wider availability of finished CPE. It becomes an iterative cycle that benefits the entire supply chain and the network operators as end purchasers.

Quick Ramp of 5G FWA Devices Expected:

At the end of 2020, we estimate that there are nearly 60M fixed wireless subscribers globally. A large percentage of these subscribers use 4G LTE networks, though there are also subscribers using 3G networks, proprietary point-to-multipoint services, as well as some using early 5G technologies, including sub-6Ghz and millimeter wave. We estimate that the 5G subscribers are around 1 million currently. However, we expect that those subscriber numbers are set to double in 2021, as operators such as T-Mobile (USA), AT&T, Verizon, Bell Canada, Saudi Telecom, Rain (South Africa), Swisscom, Deutsche Telekom, Optus, and others introduce or expand 5G FWA services this year.

With those operator commitments already in place, we estimate that the total number of 5G FWA devices shipping to operators this year will easily exceed 3 million units and could push 4 million units. The vast majority of these units will be to support sub-6Ghz service offerings, though we also expect to see millimeter wave units, as some operators use a combination of those technologies to provide both extensive coverage and fiber-like speeds in areas where the competition from fixed broadband providers is more intense. Overall, however, we expect volumes first from sub-6GHz units this year and into next year, followed by increasing volumes of millimeter wave units beginning in the latter part of 2022 and into 2023.

We also anticipate that the vast majority of 5G FWA deployments will rely on indoor gateways that combine a 5G modem with a WiFi 6 access point for signal distribution within the home. Many of these gateways will also be mesh-capable and will be paired with satellite units to blanket homes with WiFi coverage and to eliminate dead spots within the home.

There will be situations where outdoor units will be required, particularly in the case of millimeter wave deployments which require line of sight because of the high-frequency ranges being used. But even in the case of sub-6Ghz 5G FWA deployments, outdoor units will be required when homes or apartments have very thick-paned windows or are located in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings.

With this growing clarity around deployment models and device types, we expect that the costs of 5G FWA CPE will decline throughout this year and next, providing a catalyst for much larger, global deployments of the service through 2022 and beyond. We believe that the average cost for an indoor 5G FWA CPE will decline from around $475 in 2020 to around $180 by the end of 2023 (Figure 2).

Dell'Oro: Worldwide 5G FWA CPE ASP Estimates

5G chipsets will see the biggest price declines, helped in large part by increasing volumes of 5G smartphones, but also by a growing ecosystem of 5G modems, gateways, tablets, cars, and other products reliant on 5G networks for WAN connectivity. Currently, 5G SoCs are roughly 4x the cost of 4G SoCs. But we have seen this played out before in the early stages of 4G network and device rollouts when the cost of chips dropped quickly as device volumes increased.

Similarly, the cost of WiFi 6 chips remains about 15-20% higher than WiFi 5 units. While WiFi 6 will be the primary technology for mature, highly competitive markets, WiFi 5 will remain an important option for very price-sensitive markets, particularly those in developing countries and in rural markets where competition comes from lower-cost services. But as enterprise and higher-end residential gateways are built with WiFi 6 technology, the cost of those chips will decline significantly over the next couple of years.

Dell'Oro: 4G/5G FWA CPE Bill of Materials Cost Comparison

Beyond these two major components, manufacturing costs will also decline as equipment and contract manufacturers increase volumes based on initial board and hardware designs. FWA gateway designs, like higher-end residential WiFi access point designs, are well-understood at this point. However, with any new product spin, there is a learning curve for the manufacturers. Though the cost of producing the first few thousand units is high, the costs quickly decrease as the manufacturing process becomes clearly defined and as new iterations of the devices incorporate lower-cost components.

There are two critical components for the steady reduction in cost for 5G FWA CPE: Increased orders and volumes from service providers, along with the cooperation among providers of 4G CPE devices and 5G units to understand how to bring down the costs as quickly as possible. This cooperation will be necessary to stimulate interest among service providers, who can then drive the volumes necessary to improve the overall economics of delivering 5G fixed wireless services. 

5G FWA Will Build on 4G Deployments:

Though the deployment of FWA services using 4G LTE networks has been moderately successful around the world, 5G will dramatically boost the addressable market of subscribers, as well as the service’s ability to reasonably compete with most fixed broadband technologies. 5G can comfortably deliver downstream speeds that compare favorably with VDSL and DOCSIS 3.0 services while easily beating previous generations of both fixed technologies. More importantly, C-band and millimeter wave technologies promise to be comparable with DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber services, thereby expanding the addressable market of subscribers even further.

Mobile operators around the world who have previously been unable to compete with fixed broadband providers, as well as fixed broadband providers looking to expand the reach of their services more quickly, are all enthusiastic about the opportunity in front of them with FWA. Their growing commitment to the service, as well as a rapidly expanding vendor ecosystem for customer devices, will help to quickly reduce the cost of those devices, thereby ensuring a faster ROI for service providers and a willingness to expand their reach even further.

ABI Research and Mobile Experts: Fixed Wireless Access CAGR >=70%

ABI Research and Mobile Experts forecast that 5G FWA connections will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 71% and “over 70%,” respectively.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) will be among the most valuable use cases for LTE and 5G network operators, according to two new reports that predict compound annual growth rates in excess of 70%.

  • ABI Research expects global 5G fixed wireless access to exceed 58 million residential subscribers by 2026.
  • Mobile Experts predicts 5G fixed wireless access to serve 66.5 million customers by 2026.

FWA is a decades-old technology (that’s how WiMAX was deployed), but its prominence and rate of growth grew substantially during the last year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced billions of people worldwide to stay home (“shelter in place”).

Image Credit: Upward Broadband

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ABI Research:

Remote working, online learning, e-commerce, and virtual healthcare drove high-speed broadband demand throughout 2020. The significant increase in the use of internet-based home entertainment such as video streaming and online gaming also pushed existing broadband users to upgrade their broadband service to a higher-tier package, while households without broadband access signed up for new subscriptions.

“Increasing adoption of internet-connected devices, smart TVs, and smart home devices, as well as consumers’ media consumption through internet applications, will continue to drive high-speed broadband adoption in the years to come. In addition, many businesses are allowing remote working for some of their employees after the pandemic, which will boost the need for home broadband services even further,” explains Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research.

FWA will be the fastest-growing residential broadband segment, forecast to increase at a CAGR of 71%, exceeding 58 million subscribers in 2026.

As residential broadband penetration saturates mature markets, competition among broadband operators is likely to create challenges to maintain market shares. “In addition to network upgrades, broadband operators need to invest in cutting-edge software and hardware to optimize network performance and support better user experiences. Providing advanced home networking devices, internet security, and home network self-diagnosis tools can help service providers reduce churn and improve average revenue per user,” Lynn concluded.

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Mobile Experts:

Mobile Experts forecasts the number of global fixed wireless access connections will more than double to 190 million by 2026.  FWA services grew almost 20% yearly to over 80 million in 2020—Mobile Experts sees that number rocketing to almost 200 million by 2026. Around 8-11% of FWA connections over the next five years will be served via proprietary technology primarily deployed by small operators.

FWA equipment sales, including IEEE 802.11 based proprietary, LTE, and 5G CPE revenue, are projected to grow from $4.0 billion this year to over $5.5 billion in 2026. Meanwhile, the proprietary equipment market, including both access point and CPE sales, is expected to stay elevated around $880$940 million per annum over the next five years.

“Large mobile operators will leverage LTE and 5G for FWA services, and we expect the 5G mm-wave will become a key aspect of their long-term FWA plans—especially in ‘fiber-rich’ markets in the APAC region. That said, large and small operators will benefit from government funding to help build out hybrid fiber plus FWA networks for the next 5-10 years,” said Principal Analyst Kyung Mun.

This report includes 41 charts and diagrams, including a five-year forecast illustrating the growth of the market for infrastructure and customer premise equipment and fixed wireless access connections by technology. Key details such as technical breakdowns, equipment revenue, and market shares are included.

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References:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/5g-fwa-the-fastest-growing-residential-broadband-service-to-exceed-58-million-subscriptions-in-2026-301352484.html

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fixed-wireless-access-has-become-a-bright-spot-during-covid-19-301355366.html

https://www.mobileexperts.org/reports/p/virtual-mobile-networks-pt3na-zrw9g

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/5g-fixed-wireless-rides-pandemic-related-shift/2021/08/

 

Verizon makes 5G Business Internet (FWA) available in 24 U.S. cities

Verizon Business plans to expand its 5G Business Internet fixed-wireless connectivity offering to 21 new U.S. cities this month. The service uses Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband technology as its connectivity backbone. Offerings include 100, 200, and 400 Mbps plans serving large companies and SMEs, with no data limits. Verizon said it will also give a 10 year price lock for new customers, no long-term contract required.

  • Verizon 5G Business Internet is now available for businesses of all sizes in 24 U.S. cities.
  • The fixed-wireless offering is an alternative to cable, with multiple pricing and service options and no data limits.
  • Verizon offers a price lock for 10 years, no long-term contract required, and professional installation included.
  • According to the Verizon 5G Business Report, business decision-makers largely agree that 5G will create new opportunities for their company (80%), their industry (79%), and their role (79%).

“As 5G Business Internet scales into new cities, businesses of all sizes can gain access to the superfast speeds, low latency and next-gen applications enabled by 5G Ultra Wideband, with no throttling or data limits,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “We’ll continue to expand the 5G Business Internet footprint and bring the competitive pricing, capability, and flexibility of our full suite of products and services to more and more businesses all over the country.”

The service launched on April 15th in parts of Anaheim, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City (Missouri), Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, St Louis, and St. Paul. Parts of Riverside-Corona (California) will become available on 22 April. The service previously launched in parts of Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. Additional cities will be announced on a rolling basis.

Additional information about this offer and 5G Business Internet pricing, availability, service and more is available here. In addition, where 5G Business Internet is not yet available, Verizon offers LTE Business Internet to keep Verizon customers covered.

The launch comes at a time when business decision-makers are coming face to face with the transformational potential of 5G. According to a recent Verizon Business survey conducted in partnership with Morning Consult, seven in 10 decision-makers (69%) believe 5G will help their company overcome the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half (48%) said their companies have already provided or are planning to provide a 5G-capable smartphone or device to employees within the next six months, and approximately eight in 10 agree that 5G will create new opportunities for their company (80%), their industry (79%), and their role (79%).

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References:

https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-business-5g-business-internet-21-us-cities

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/verizon-to-bring-5g-business-internet-service-to-21-more-cities–1379661

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20200522/carriers/verizon-5g-virtual-lab-mmwave-amplification

Fastweb to launch 5G in 4 Italian cities and boost FTTH speeds to 2.5 Gbps

Italian network operator Fastweb plans to activate 5G in an initial four cities before the end of the year (it is the fifth mobile operator in Italy).

Separately, Fastweb will increase the top speed of its existing FTTH service to 2.5 Gbps in the coming months. The company already leads Italy’s fixed gigabit market with a 36.5 percent share of FTTH subscribers having download speeds of 1 Gbps speeds. It now intends to upgrade its proprietary network in 30 large cities so that it can hike top speeds from 1 Gbps to 2.5 Gbps at no additional cost in around 4 million homes, covering 15 percent of Italy’s population, starting in February 2021.

These two announcements follow the launch of Fastweb’s ‘UltraFWA’ service in partnership with Linkem to offer speeds of 1Mbps in 3 localities in the south of the country.  Linkem said the 5G FWA service is now available in Modugno, Grottaglie and Avellino. Those are the first 3 of the 50 localities the network operator aims to connect by the end of this year, rising to 500 by the end of next year. part of a commitment to bridge the digital divide in “historically disadvantaged” areas of southern Italy.

Fastweb Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Fastweb said it will continue to bridge the digital divide in small and medium-sized Italian towns with its new 5G FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) service. ‘UltraFWA’ will offer speeds of up to 1Gbps in a total of 50 localities by the end of this year, rising to 500 by the end of next year and around 2,000 by 2024 for a total coverage of 8 million homes in ‘grey’ areas and 4 million in ‘white’ areas.

The increased performance and coverage are part of Fastweb’s new multi-year commitment to citizens, institutions and companies called ‘NeXXt Generation 2025’. The plan to connect millions of families throughout the country is based on the three pillars of technological leadership, transparency and social responsibility, with the operator also confirming plans to activate its 5G service in an initial four cities on 27 December. Fastweb 5G will switch on in Milan, Bologna, Rome and Naples and then gradually extend to other cities to reach 90 percent of the population by 2025.

The company added that it will be the only operator to make 5G technology available to both new and existing customers at no additional cost and with no constraints whatsoever. Fastweb last year signed an ambitious decade-long network sharing deal with WindTre to jointly roll out 5G infrastructure on a national scale, having previously acquired a 200MHz frequency block in the 26 GHz band in Italy’s 5G spectrum auction in October 2018, swiftly followed by 40 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band from Tiscali.

 

References:

https://www.fastweb.it/

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/fastweb-to-launch-5g-in-4-cities-and-hike-ftth-speeds-to-25gbps–1365827

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/linkem-and-fastweb-connect-first-3-localities-to-5g-fwa-service–1365560

GSA forms new 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum; FWA Market Review & Analysis

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) today announced the establishment of the GSA 4G-5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum to bring together leading chipset, module, and terminal vendors – as well as other telecommunications industry representatives, who wish to promote 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, products and services – to report on progress of FWA deployments, identify use cases and encourage global adoption.

The GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum will build on the work done by the recently formed GSA Fixed Wireless Access Working Group to coordinate industry initiatives to deliver fixed wireless broadband services based on LTE and 5G access networks. The founding members of the FWA Working Group are Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE. Membership to GSA Working Groups is open to all GSA Executive and Ordinary Members.

Underpinning the work of the new GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum is GSA’s research and role as the voice of the mobile ecosystem. GSA publishes regular industry reports and market data determine the extent and nature of fixed wireless access broadband service availability based on LTE or 5G around the world. As part of its industry advocacy,

GSA’s research team will share its latest global fixed wireless access update in its next GSA Snapshot Webinar on 24 November (16:00 GMT). Details on how to register for and attend the free webinar are available here https://gsacom.com/webinar-fixed-wireless-access/

New GSA FWA Forum

Joe Barrett, President, Global mobile Suppliers Association, commented: “In a relatively short space of time, fixed wireless broadband access has become a mainstream service. Today we see hundreds of operators selling LTE-based fixed wireless access services around the world, and dozens more already live with 5G FWA services for home or business broadband. In addition, fixed wireless access device vendors have grown to over 100 globally and against this backdrop of real and significant market demand, the onus is on the FWA community to work together to drive business success.

Beginners: Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

 

 

 

“GSA has an unrivalled track record and experience in bringing together vendors, regulators and operators from across the 4G and 5G ecosystems and the formation of the new GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum will bring this experience to Fixed Wireless Access to help accelerate its development globally,” Barrett continued.

 

 

The scope of the new GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum includes:

·       Sharing trends in the industry, identifying directions in technical development, accumulating and promoting successful experiences
·       Improving the 4G and 5G FWA technologies required to provide wireless broadband connection solutions with increased performance and cost-effectiveness
·       Fostering collaboration among FWA suppliers to improve the industry’s ecosystem and ensure business success
·       Promoting the success of the FWA industry to accelerate the provisioning of broadband access to anyone, anywhere

The new GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum and Fixed Wireless Access Working Group is a key pillar of GSA’s growing industry advocacy; this work also includes the GSA Spectrum Group, the largest single spectrum advocacy team in the mobile industry representing the vendor ecosystem in 4G and 5G spectrum discussions with governments, regulators and other policy makers.

Membership and participation in the GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum is open to chipset, module, and terminal vendors, together with industry representatives from across the telecommunications ecosystem who wish to promote Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, products and services.

For more information or a GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum Application Forum, please email secretariat@gsacom.com.

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About GSA:
GSA is the voice of the global mobile ecosystem representing companies engaged in the supply of infrastructure, semiconductors, test equipment, devices, applications and mobile support services. The organization plays a central role in promoting 3GPP technology, advocating spectrum policies and stimulating IMT industry development. The association is a single source of information for industry reports and market intelligence

The GSA GAMBoD database is a unique search and analysis tool that has been developed to enable searches of LTE and 5G devices and new global data on Mobile Broadband Networks, Technologies and Spectrum (NTS). Results are presented as a list or in charts. Charts may be inserted into documents or presentations, subject to accreditation of GSA as the source.

GAMBoD is a resource dedicated to promoting the success and growth of the Mobile Broadband (MBB) industry and ecosystem and is fully available to all employees of GSA Executive and Ordinary Member companies and GSA Associates who subscribe to the service.

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STL Partners — FWA Market Review and Analysis:

Today, fixed-wireless access (FWA) is used for perhaps 8-9% of broadband connections globally, although this varies significantly by definition, country and region. There are various use cases (see below), but generally FWA is deployed in areas without good fixed broadband options, or by mobile-only operators trying to add an additional fixed revenue stream, where they have spare capacity.

FWA via 4G -LTE using licensed spectrum has already experienced rapid growth of  in numerous markets, such as South Africa, Japan, Sri Lanka, Italy, and the Philippines.  This past week, T-Mobile announced an expansion of their 4G FWA called Home Internet service.

This growth has been driven by the combined impact of mobile network operators (MNOs) commercialising FWA services to households in underserved urban areas, the slow pace of fibre roll-out in some countries, government subsidies for rural broadband, and improvements in network planning tools and customer premise equipment with easier self-install options.According to STL Partners’ latest research and market forecasts, 5G is likely to have a major impact for operators in the coming years, especially from 2022 onwards as more spectrum becomes available to more operators, and equipment prices fall.

Nonetheless, 4G – LTE will continue to be more important than 5G in the FWA market overall at a global level over the next 5 years; the technology is much further down the cost- and experience curve, as well as using existing network infrastructure and spectrum.

Historically, most FWA has required an external antenna and professional installation on each individual house, although it also gets deployed for multi-dwelling units (MDUs, i.e. apartment blocks) as well as some non-residential premises like shops and schools. More recently, self-installed indoor CPE with varying levels of price and sophistication has helped broaden the market, enabling customers to get terminals at retail stores or delivered direct to their home for immediate use.

Looking forward, the arrival of 5G mass-market equipment and larger swathes of mmWave and new mid-band spectrum – both licensed and unlicensed – is changing the landscape again, with the potential for fibre-rivalling speeds, sometimes at gigabit-grade.

STL believes that the biggest changes and opportunities catalysed by 5G FWA will be:

• Alternative source of gigabit broadband in urban areas without fibre, or with poor competition and pricing.

• Mobile-only operators will target attractive demographic or sub-regional niches that fit with their existing and planned 5G footprint.

• Fixed and fixed-mobile converged broadband providers will use 5G FWA as a backup or enhancement for fixed-line services.

• The growing democratisation of 5G, with better support of unlicensed spectrum, plus cloud-delivered core networks and edge offload, will broaden its range beyond traditional MNOs to some wireless internet service providers (WISPs), cable operators, and others.

• Local licensing and new tranches of unlicensed spectrum will create options for municipalities, education agencies, and other public-sector bodies to offer 5G FWA for home-schooling, telemedicine, and other applications.

• In the longer term (2023 onwards) improved mmWave technology, including repeaters and other forms of signal-booster, could expand the addressable market for gigabit FWA.

FWA Use Cases

FWA Use Cases….  Source STL Partners    

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References

New GSA FWA Forum announce November 2020

FWA growth: To 20% homes by 2025

T‑Mobile expands Home Internet to over 130 additional cities