From two recent research reports to clients, MoffettNathanson chief analyst Craig Moffett wrote:
There is no question that there will be a great deal of new fiber deployed in the U.S. But we expect it will be considerably less than current worst-case scenarios for two reasons.
- There simply isn’t sufficient labor availability for all operators to meet the projections they’ve set forth (this issue will be significantly exacerbated by the upcoming rural Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which will introduce a dramatic new source of labor demand).
- The expected return from fiber overbuilds will be disappointing, in our view, both because deployment costs (including the cost of capital) have risen sharply, and because expected densities of available markets are falling sharply.
We are skeptical about the returns that will be generated by fiber builds, as costs are rising and densities are falling. The spiraling costs of fiber deployment also make it likely that there will be upward, not downward, pressure on broadband ARPU in competitive markets, as overbuilders scramble to cost-justify not only their existing projects, but, perhaps more importantly, the projects on which they have not yet broken ground (and which, without a more generous ARPU assumption, can no longer be return-justified). Craig had argued earlier this year that the fiber buildout bubble may pop.
Wireless operators have an enormous cost advantage in offering fixed wireless access (FWA) service on preexisting network facilities; the marginal cost of offering FWA is zero if it is simply using excess capacity. The capacity available for such a strategy is relatively limited, making the strategic leverage of FWA relatively limited as well. Cable operators have a smaller, but still significant, cost advantage in offering wireless services that can offload at least some of their traffic onto existing infrastructure. And unlike wireless operators offering FWA, their capacity to do so is unlimited.
Almost no telecom investor with whom we have spoken views FWA as an important part of the story for the companies that actually offer it. Investors seem to have already come to the view (for the wireless operators, at least) that FWA is at best a costly sideline in rural markets. Longer term, the bigger threat to cable broadband is likely fiber rather than fixed wireless, Moffett said. But even with that, the analyst seems to be less concerned that cable operators will overspend on fiber or that overbuilders will present more competition.
The convergence arguments for fiber to the home (FTTH) are arguably even weaker. As we’ve pointed out often, AT&T’s wireline footprint covers but 45% or so of the U.S. (by population), and of that, just a third is wired for fiber. In total, then, AT&T can deliver a bundled solution to just 15% or so of the population. In our view, a strategy (bundling) that “works” in 15% of the country isn’t a strategy.
We certainly aren’t convinced that the U.S. market will be fundamentally shaped by convergence. But if it is, the cable operators, not the telcos, are positioned to benefit.
According to Ericsson, total global FWA [1.] subscriptions will grow at 19 percent year-on-year during the 2022 to 2028 period to reach more than 300 million by 2028, the vast majority of which will be based on 5G.
Note 1. FWA is a connection that provides primary broadband access through mobile network-enabled customer premises equipment (CPE). This includes various form factors of CPE, such as indoor (desktop and window) and outdoor (rooftop and wall-mounted). It does not include portable battery-based Wi-Fi routers or dongles.
The use of FWA for home and even business broadband is proving to be a major early use case for 5G, especially in regions where the fixed broadband market is lacking. FWA growth is in part driven by India and will also come in other emerging markets. Its data shows that almost 40 percent of 5G FWA launches came in emerging markets in the past year, with services now on offer in densely populated countries like Mexico, South Africa and the Philippines.
- More than three-quarters of service providers surveyed in over 100 countries are now offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services.
- Nearly one-third of service providers now offer FWA over 5G, compared to one-fifth a year ago.
- The number of 5G FWA connections are expected to grow to around 235 million by 2028, representing almost 80 percent of the total FWA connections.
“Following the 5G spectrum auction in India in July, a major service provider has expressed a goal to serve 100 million homes and millions of businesses with 5G FWA services,” Ericsson stated. 5G has only just come to market in India; its big operators launched services in early October. But operators are rolling out the technology at pace and with the price of 5G smartphones coming down, customer numbers will go up. 5G subscriptions in the India region – which includes Nepal and Bhutan – should reach 31 million by the end of this year and 690 million by end-2028, accounting for more than half of all mobile subscriptions – 1.3 billion – by that date.
“Higher volumes of 5G FWA in large high-growth countries such as India have the potential to drive economies of scale for the overall 5G FWA ecosystem, resulting in affordable CPE that will have a positive impact across low-income markets,” Ericsson added.
Globally, 5G subscriptions will hit 5 billion by the end of 2028, Ericsson predicts, despite the economic challenges much of the world is facing.
Service providers together added 110 million 5G subscriptions in the July-September period, bringing the worldwide total to around 870 million. With that sort of uptake, the 1 billion by year-end figure looks comfortably attainable, and will come two years earlier than the same milestone following the launch of 4G. Growth is being driven by device availability, falling prices and large-scale deployments in China, Ericsson said.
Ericsson added that North East Asia as a whole and North America are witnessing strong 5G growth, with penetration in those markets likely to reach around the 35 percent mark by the end of this year. Given that the world’s first 5G launches came in the US and in Korea back in 2019, it makes sense that those areas are leading the way in terms of uptake.
Juniper Research: 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to Generate $2.5 Billion in Global Network Operator Revenue by 2023
The global 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) market is expected to grow from $1642.62 million in 2021 to $3074.07 million in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87.1%, according to a new Research & Markets report. The change in growth trend is mainly due to the companies stabilizing their output after catering to the demand that grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The market is expected to reach $38173.20 million in 2026 at a CAGR of 87.1%.
The main types of 5G fixed wireless access are hardware and services. Hardware refers to physical parts that enable fixed wireless access such as mobile phones and devices that have MIMO antenna technology built into the device for the mmWave frequencies. 5G small cell networks and RAN towers are the most important hardware elements of 5G technology infrastructure. The different demographics include urban, semi-urban and rural. It is implemented in various market segments such as residential, commercial, industrial and government.
North America was the largest region in the 5G fixed wireless access market in 2021. Europe was the second largest market in 5G fixed wireless access market. The regions covered in this report are Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Africa.
Image Credit: Everything RF
The increasing adoption of 5G networks is expected to fuel the growth of the 5G fixed wireless access market in the coming years. 5G is the fifth generation of mobile data technology designed to significantly improve wireless network speed and flexibility. With the introduction of 5G, mobile technology can meet the demands of fixed-line networks and price ranges. According to Future Networks, a UK-based telecommunications company 5G will account for 1.2 billion connections by the end of 2025. Moreover, according to vXchnge, a US-based company that offers data centers and colocation services, 5G networks will cover 40% of the world and handle 25% of all mobile traffic data by 2024. Therefore, the increasing adoption of 5G networks drives the growth of the 5G fixed wireless access.
Technological innovations are shaping the 5G fixed wireless access market. Major companies operating in the 5G fixed wireless access sector is focused on developing technological solutions for 5G fixed wireless access. For instance, in February 2020, Huawei, a China-based telecommunications equipment company launched LampSite EE based on Huawei’s 5G technology. LampSite EE is the business version of 5G LampSite for industrial scenarios. The version is an update from Huawei’s pioneer LampSite 5G indoor radio connectivity solution, and it is geared toward smart manufacturing, smart hospitals, smart transportation, and smart warehouses, among other industries.
Juniper Research: 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to Generate $2.5 Billion in Global Network Operator Revenue by 2023
Dell’Oro Group announced today the launch of its new Fixed Wireless Access Infrastructure and CPE advanced research report (ARR). Preliminary findings suggest total Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) revenues, including both RAN equipment and CPE revenue remain on track to advance 35% in 2022, driven largely by subscriber growth in North America.
“Fixed Wireless Access has become a key component to bridging the digital divide and connecting rural and underserved markets globally. What we are also seeing is that FWA can effectively compete with existing fixed broadband technologies, especially with the advent of 5G and other higher-throughput, non-3GPP technologies,” said Jeff Heynen, Vice President and analyst with the Dell’Oro Group.
“Right now, CPE for fixed wireless access using 5G sub-6GHz technologies are growing the fastest. We do expect these units to tail off over time as current investments in fiber networks, along with cable’s DOCSIS 4.0 and fiber upgrades, will limit the addressable market for large-scale fixed wireless services,” Jeff added.
Additional highlights from the Fixed Wireless Access Infrastructure and CPE Advanced Research Report:
- Global FWA revenues are projected to surpass $5 B by 2026, reflecting sustained investment and subscriber growth in both 3GPP- and non-3GPP-based network deployments.
- The North American market remains the most dynamic in terms of deployed FWA technology options, with CBRS and other sub-6GHz options growing alongside 5G NR and 60GHz options.
- Long-term subscriber growth is expected to occur in emerging markets in Southeast Asia and MEA, due to upgrades to existing LTE networks and a need to connect subscribers economically.
- The Satellite Broadband market will also be a key enabler of broadband connectivity in emerging markets, thanks to LEOS-based providers including Starlink, OneWeb, and Project Kuiper.
The Dell’Oro Group Fixed Wireless Access Infrastructure and CPE Report includes 5-year market forecasts for FWA CPE and RAN infrastructure, segmented by technology, including 802.11/Other, 4G LTE, CBRS, 5G sub-6GHz, 5G mmWave, and 60GHz technologies. The report also includes regional subscriber forecasts for FWA and satellite broadband technologies, as well as Gateway forecasts for satellite broadband deployments. To purchase this report, please contact us by email at [email protected].
Note: The IEEE Techblog has featured many FWA success stories and that FWA is probably the top 5G use case to date. The main reason is that a 5G FWA network doesn’t involve roaming or a 5G SA core network for which there are no ITU/ETSI standards or 3GPP implementation specs. As long as the FWA CPE supports 5G NR (via ITU M.2150 recommendation or 3GPP Release 16) all the other functions can be customized in software which only has to work with the network provider offering the FWA service.
Juniper Research: 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to Generate $2.5 Billion in Global Network Operator Revenue by 2023
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics says it has achieved record-setting average downlink speeds of 1.75 Gbps and uplink speeds of 61.5 Mbps over a 10 km (6.2 miles) 5G mmWave network in a recent field trial conducted with Australia’s NBN Co. As the farthest 28 GHz 5G mmWave Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connection recorded by Samsung, this milestone demonstrates the expanded reach possible with this powerful spectrum, and its ability to efficiently deliver widespread broadband coverage across the country.
To achieve average downlink speeds of 1.75 Gbps at such extended range, the trial by Samsung and NBN utilized eight component carriers (8CC), which is an aggregation of 800MHz of mmWave spectrum. The potential to support large amounts of bandwidth is a key advantage of the mmWave spectrum and Samsung’s beamforming technology enables the aggregation of such large amounts of bandwidth at long distance. At its peak, the company also reached a top downlink speed of 2.7Gbps over a 10km distance from the radio.
“The results of these trials with Samsung are a significant milestone and demonstrate how we are pushing the boundaries of innovation in support of the digital capabilities in Australia,” said Ray Owen, Chief Technology Officer at NBN Co. “As we roll out the next evolution of our network to extend its reach for the benefit of homes and businesses across the country, we are excited to demonstrate the potential for 5G mmWave. nbn will be among the first in the world to deploy 5G mmWave technology at this scale, and achievements like Samsung’s 10km milestone will pave the way for further developments in the ecosystem.”
There’s a total of AUD $750 million investment in the nbn Fixed Wireless network (made up of AUD $480 million from the Australian Government and supported by an additional AUD $270 million from nbn). NBN will use software enhancements and advances in 5G technology, and in particular 5G mmWave technology, to extend the reach of the existing fixed wireless footprint by up to 50 percent and introduce two new wholesale high-speed tiers. The nbn FWA network covers nearly 650,000 premises in the country. The company wants to add at least 120,000 locations in Australia that are currently served by a satellite-based service.
“This new 5G record proves the massive potential of mmWave technology, and its ability to deliver enhanced connectivity and capacity for addressing the last mile challenges in rural areas,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to work with nbn to push the boundaries of 5G technology even further in Australia and tap the power of mmWave for customer benefit.”
As demonstrated in the trials, 5G mmWave spectrum is not only viable for the deployment of high-capacity 5G networks in dense urban areas, but also for wider FWA coverage. Extending the effective range of 5G data signals on mmWave will help address the connectivity gap, providing access to rural and remote areas where fiber cannot reach.
For the trial, Samsung used its 28GHz Compact Macro and third-party 5G mmWave customer premise equipment (CPE). Samsung’s Compact Macro is the industry’s first integrated radio for mmWave spectrum, bringing together a baseband, radio and antenna into a single form factor. This compact and lightweight solution can support all frequencies within the mmWave spectrum, simplifying deployment, and is currently deployed in commercial 5G networks across the globe, including Japan, Korea and the U.S.
Since launching the world’s first 5G mmWave FWA services in 2018 in the U.S., Samsung has been leading the industry, offering an end-to-end portfolio of 5G mmWave solutions — including in-house chipsets and radios — and advancing the 5G mmWave momentum globally.
The nbn® network is Australia’s digital backbone that helps deliver reliable and resilient broadband across a continent spanning more than seven million square kilometers. nbn is committed to responding to the digital connectivity needs of people across Australia, working with industry, governments, regulators and community partners to increase the digital capability of Australia.
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.
Nokia had previously announced it was supplying 5G FWA mmWave CPE equipment for nbn’s efforts that also operates in the 28 GHz band with similar performance characteristics stated by Samsung for its test, including a range of up to 6.2 miles from the transmission tower. However, Samsung said that Nokia’s equipment was not part of its test.
Nokia noted that its CPE includes an antenna installed on the roof of a premises that is linked using a 2.5 Gb/s power over Ethernet (PoE) connection to an indoor unit that powers the on-premises internet connectivity.
According to JC Market Research, the 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) market was valued at US $296 million in 2021. In a new report ““Worldwide 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Industry Analysis,” the market research firm forecasts that global 5G FWA rеvеnuе will rеасh а vаluе оf UЅ$ 21,710 million іn 2029. That’s a remarkable CAGR of 65.6% over the forecast period.
Yesterday, we posted an article on South Africa’s Telkom deploying 5G FWA before 5G mobile and it appears that 5G FWA is a stronger use case than 5G mobile.
Glоbаl 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Industry Dуnаmісѕ:
In many of smart cities, 5G IoT will be the technology of choice for niche applications. Smart cities, with applications such as HD cameras to monitor safety, Smart energy, such as smart grid control, smart security, including the provision of emergency services and connected health, such as mobile medical monitoring is possible with the help of 5G networks. Advanced sensing for environmental monitoring can be done using this module.
The increasing adoption of connected devices such as smartphones, laptops, and smart devices in several commercial and residential applications such as distance learning, autonomous driving, multiuser gaming, videoconferencing, and live streaming, as well as in telemedicine and augmented reality, is expected to generate the demand for 5G fixed wireless access solutions to achieve extended coverage.
Global 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Industry Analysis Маrkеt Drіvеrѕ Rеgіоnаl Ѕеgmеntаtіоn аnd Аnаlуѕіѕ:
Rеgіоn-wіѕе ѕеgmеntаtіоn in the global 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) industry іnсludеѕ North Аmеrіса, Еurоре, Аѕіа Расіfіс, Ѕоuth Аmеrіса, аnd the Міddlе Еаѕt & Аfrіса. North Аmеrіса ассоuntѕ for hіghеѕt rеvеnuе ѕhаrе in the global 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) industry analysis market, аnd іѕ рrојесtеd tо rеgіѕtеr а rоbuѕt САGR оvеr thе fоrесаѕt реrіоd. While serving rural markets and developing nations is still a costly proposition, governments around the globe stand ready to provide aid. In the USA, phase two of the Connect America Fund (CAF) is supporting broadband initiatives in underserved communities. The connecting Europe Broadband fund is performing a similar role for underserved populations in EU member countries.
The report also indicated that North Аmеrіса, Еurоре, Аѕіа Расіfіс, Ѕоuth Аmеrіса аnd the Міddlе Еаѕt & Аfrіса as FWA market leaders.
JC Market Research is not the only research firm exploring the potential growth of the FWS market; ABI Research forecasts that the total number of FWA subscriptions will grow from 81 million globally in 2021 to slightly over 180 million in 2026, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17%. Consequently, ABI Research believes that global FWA Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) shipments will reach 47 million annually by 2026, with 5G FWA CPE making up the majority of shipments by the same year.
South African telecommunications operator Telkom [1.] has launched its 5G high speed Internet network using technology from China’s Huawei Technologies. The partially state-owned operator said it will initially use the network to provide fixed wireless Internet via 5G rather than focusing on mobile 5G.
“At launch Telkom will primarily focus on providing super fast 5G fixed wireless access solutions, as the demand for mobile 5G increases, we will supplement this with suitable mobile propositions,” Telkom Consumer and Business CEO Lunga Siyo explained.
Note 1. Telkom is South Africa’s third largest network operator with 17.6 million users in the third quarter of 2022, according to statistics from market research company Omdia. Vodacom remains South Africa’s largest operator with over 52 million users while MTN has about 36 million customers.
Telkom joins its competitors Vodacom, MTN and Rain in the quest to provide high speed Internet in South Africa. Data-only network Rain rolled out its 5G services in 2019 and Vodacom and MTN followed with commercial launches in 2020.
Telkom said it will use its 125 5G base stations located in the provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape at launch.
The telco’s managing executive Lebo Masalesa said the company is rolling out 5G nationally and in smaller towns, with the intention to build network where it is needed.
“Once there is a greater proliferation of 5G capable mobile devices on Telkom’s network, it will launch 5G services for mobile users,” he added.
“5G stands head and shoulders above 4G and LTE through faster and more reliable connection it provides, however it was critical for us to make sure that our existing 4G ecosystem remains strong whilst introducing 5G into the market,” continued Siyo.
The South African network operator invested 2.1 billion South African rand (US$116 million) for 42MHz of frequencies in the spectrum auction by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), supporting its network upgrades.
“The COVID pandemic has driven significant lifestyle changes for South Africans, due to work from home or school from home, online shopping and an ‘always on’ kind of culture,” said Fortune Wang, Carrier Business Director for Huawei South Africa.
“At launch Telkom will primarily focus on providing super fast 5G fixed wireless access solutions, as the demand for mobile 5G increases, we will supplement this with suitable mobile propositions,” said Lunga Siyo, chief executive officer of Telkom Consumer and Business.
Shunned in the global north due to security concerns, which Huawei has denied, the Chinese company dominates in Africa as a supplier of equipment to many telecoms operators.
Telkom SA’s commercial 5G rollout comes on the back of Safaricom in Kenya making a similar announcement last week about a focus on retail and enterprise customers for 5G rather than mobile, as it launched its 5G Internet service following trials that started in March 2021.
Furthermore, the commercial 5G launch comes after MTN walked away from talks to acquire Telkom. The talks between the two companies stalled when the data-only network operator Rain offered its network up to Telkom SA to acquire, in a move that stood in the way of MTN’s plans to buy Telkom.
Global telco revenues from 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) will rise from $515 million in 2022 to $2.5 billion next year, according to a new report from Juniper Research. FWA includes services that provide high-speed Internet connectivity through cellular‑enabled CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) for uses including broadband and IoT networks.
The research predicts that operators’ 5G FWA revenue will reach $24 billion globally by 2027. It identified the consumer market as the sector generating the highest revenue for network operators, representing 96% of global 5G FWA revenue. However, it warns that operators must provide a compelling user proposition for FWA solutions through the bundling of services such as video streaming, gaming and smart home security to enrich user experience and gain competitive advantage against incumbent high‑speed connectivity technologies, such as FTTP (Fibre‑to‑the‑Premises).
|Key Market Statistics|
|Market size in 2022:||$515m|
|Market size in 2023:||$2.5bn|
|2022 – 2027 Market Growth:||480%|
Juniper Research author Elisha Sudlow-Poole remarked: “The benefits of FWA are now comparable with services using fibre-based networks. Operators have an immediate opportunity to generate revenue from broadband subscriptions directly to end users by providing last-mile solutions underpinned by their existing 5G infrastructure.”
Juniper Research notes that the increase in 5G subscribers will be driven mainly by “the accelerating migration of cellular subscriptions to 5G networks, owing to operator strategies that minimize or remove any premium over existing 4G subscription offerings,” and that 600 million additional 5G subscriptions are expected be created next year, “despite the anticipated economic downturn in 2023.”
The report predicts that the growth of 5G networks will continue, and over 80% of global operator‑billed revenue will be attributable to 5G connections by 2027. The telecommunications industry demonstrated its robustness against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the report forecasts that the growth of 5G will also be resilient against this economic downturn due to the vital importance of mobile Internet connectivity today.
Juniper Research co-author Olivia Williams noted: “Despite the growth of the Internet of Things, revenue from consumer connections will continue to be the cornerstone of 5G operator revenue increase. Over 95% of global 5G connections in 2027 will be connected personal devices such as smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband routers.”
Private 5G Networks Represent a Key Opportunity for Operators:
In addition, the report predicts that the ability of standalone 5G networks to offer ‘network slicing’ will act as the ideal platform for the growth of 5G private network revenue. 5G Standalone (SA) uses 5G core networks supporting network slicing technology, which can be used to take a ‘slice’ of public 5G infrastructure and provide it to private network users. In turn, this helps mitigate the cost of private 5G network hardware and increase its overall value proposition, all against a background of deteriorating macro-economic conditions.
The report recommends that operators use 5G FWA to facilitate the last mile-solution by treating the relationship between FWA and fibre networks as wholly collaborative to maximize network performance and return on investment.
Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) conference :
Small and regional carriers are taking different approaches to 5G and fixed wireless, said Eric Boudriau, Ericsson North America head-customer unit regional carriers, at the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) [1.] conference on September 28th in Portland, OR. “Everybody starts from a different position,” he said. Fixed wireless is “really, really accelerating” in the U.S. and internationally, he said. Other executives stressed the importance of addressing federal infrastructure rules to better fund wireless. The discussion was streamed live from Portland, Oregon.
Note 1. CCA was founded in 1992 by nine rural and regional wireless carriers as a carrier centric organization. Since its founding, CCA has grown to become the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers serving all areas of the United States.
Alaska’s GCI deployed 5G in its first market in the spring of 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, said John Myhre, vice president-wireless technology. “We’ve done very well,” he said. “We are continuing to roll out 5G as we roll through different markets.” GCI hasn’t decided what spectrum bands it will use for a fixed-wireless offering, Myhre said. “As a fixed and mobile provider, we have options,” he said. “It’s making sure that we fit the market and the requirement against the technology, not try to force it. In Alaska, everything is just really big. Any project that we do is a big project.” GCI is laying fiber to reach the Aleutian Islands, he noted, in a $58 million project requiring more than 800 miles of undersea cable to reach rural markets.
“We are actively looking at fixed (wireless),” with trials to start in the next 18 months, he said. Wisconsin-based Cellcom launched 5G in February, said CEO Brighid Riordan. The carrier is deploying some fixed wireless using 4G and citizens broadband radio service spectrum and has found the roll out challenging, she said. “We love our trees in Wisconsin, we love the lakes,” she said. “When there’s a valley, when there are trees, it provides a challenge,” she said. Small carriers need government funding to reach some markets, Riordan said. “If it were easy to provide broadband to every rural person in America, it would already be done,” she said: “There’s not necessarily a business case for these very rural customers.”
UScellular is still deploying 5G, market-by-market, said Rebecca Thompson, vice president-government affairs. The carrier started with high-band, she said. “As we get access to some more of our mid-band spectrum we’ll have a much more robust 5G product in the future,” she said. When the provider will get some of its licenses remains to be determined. “There’s some clearing and coordination … and we will still have to actually get the licenses for some of that spectrum,” she said. Mid-band “has proven to really help with geographic reach in a cost effective way” and “is really critical to deploy in rural areas,” The “good news” is fixed wireless is “mature — it’s ready, it’s reliable, it’s offering speeds that people want at home,” Thompson said. It shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion” that the NTIA’s broadband, equity, access and deployment program won’t fund fixed wireless, she added.
UScellular wants to see “less of the thumb on the scale” favoring fiber, she said. Federal funds so far are biased toward fiber and the wireless industry has to fight for more neutral rules for making awards, Boudriau said. Fixed wireless may see the most deployment “where the government isn’t involved,” Myhre said: “We have areas where we may not get funding, but we still have a need.”
CTIA at MWC-Las Vegas:
CTIA President Meredith Baker said Wednesday at the start of the Mobile World Congress in Las Vegas. “We’re here to talk about what 5G is,” she said: “5G is innovation. 5G is competition, and most importantly, 5G is here.”
Baker said the wireless industry needs “the right policies” from the government. “Take C band as proof,” she said. “Turning on a portion of that spectrum saw speeds increase up to 50%, and that was 100 MHz. Imagine what 150 or 200 more could do. Well, we shouldn’t have to imagine. … We need more mid-band — licensed mid-band in large contiguous blocks.” The wireless industry also needs Congress to extend the FCC’s auction authority, set to expire Friday, and designate more bands for auction, she said.
Baker also discussed the importance of fixed wireless. “For many Americans, the first 5G killer app is home broadband,” she said. “The fastest growing broadband provider is now a wireless company,” she said. U.S. wireless carriers already offer fixed service to 70 million homes, she noted.
More than 300 million AT&T customers are covered by 5G, all of the company’s major handsets support the new generation of wireless “and we’ve got business models being created,” said David Christopher, executive vice president-business development and strategic alliances. “But it is early days,” he said. Christopher spoke with Recon Analytics’ Roger Entner.
“We’re two years in,” Entner responded: “At this point in the 4G period we still thought that sending pictures was the killer app for 4G. We were wrong.” Deploying a new G “is not a 100-meter dash,” he said. “This will take years.”
“There’s a very good chance that we don’t know what the killer app for 5G is,” Christopher said. Augmented reality and the massive IoT will be important. The median speeds of 5G are already four times that of 4G two years ago, he said: “Latency is a stickier wicket. … It’s something that will certainly get better.” In some cases, better speed is “masking” the need for improved latency, he said.
According to Juniper Research, the revenue generated by telecom operators from 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) services is expected to increase by 480 percent between 2022 and 2023, from $515 million to $2.5 billion. Broadband and Internet of Things (IoT) networks are just two examples of the usage of FWA services, which offer high-speed Internet connectivity using cellular-enabled CP (Customer Premises Equipment).
According to the research company, 5G FWA revenue for telecom operators will total $24 billion globally by 2027. This increase is attributed to 5G’s advanced capabilities, such as ultra-low latency and increased data processing, which enables it to offer connectivity services that were previously impossible with 4G technology. The company predicted that, with 96% of total sales coming from the consumer market, operators would earn the most money.
A compelling user proposition for FWA solutions must be provided by telcos through the bundling of extra services like video streaming, gaming, and smart home security, according to Juniper Research. This will enhance user experience and give telcos a competitive edge over technologies like FTTP (fiber to the property).
The advantages of FWA are now on par with those of services provided by fiber-based networks. By offering last-mile solutions supported by their current 5G infrastructure, operators have an immediate chance to make income from internet subscriptions directly to end customers, according to research author Elisha Sudlow-Poole.
The Juniper Research survey also recognized private 5G networks as a significant monetization prospect, giving superior network capabilities to 4G. According to the research company, smart manufacturing, shipping ports, and airports are the most likely sectors where telcos would implement 5G FWA. In order to maximize return on investment, it also advises operators to collaborate with fiber optic networks in conjunction with 5G FWA to facilitate the last mile solution.
Juniper Research asserted operators should bundle services including video streaming, gaming and smart home security into their FWA offerings to better compete with FTTP. The company cited private networks as a key revenue opportunity for operators due to the superior network capabilities compared with 4G. Smart manufacturing, shipping and airports are also key use cases.
Juniper Research also indicated operators should use 5G FWA to provide last mile connectivity, by treating it as a collaborative effort with fibre networks to maximize performance and return on investment. Recent GSMA Intelligence research showed 83 operators across 29 countries have launched FWA.
Juniper Research author Elisha Sudlow-Poole concluded by saying:
“The benefits of FWA are now comparable with services using fiber-based networks. Operators have an immediate opportunity to generate revenue from broadband subscriptions directly to end users by providing last-mile solutions underpinned by their existing 5G infrastructure.”