5G network deployments are expected to accelerate FWA market growth in the years to come. Global tech market tech advisory firm, ABI Research, forecasts that worldwide 5G FWA CPE market will ship over 4 million units in 2021, jumping to 11.7 million units in 2025.
FWA services are widely deployed to supply broadband access in the areas with limited fixed broadband infrastructure, usually targeting suburban and rural areas in mature markets.
“Although LTE is currently the most widely used technology to provide FWA service, it cannot compete very well against high speed fixed broadband services. FWA services using 5G technology can support gigabit speeds and create huge potential to compete with existing fixed broadband services.”Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research
Verizon is the major operator to launch 5G FWA service in North America, while EE, Three UK, and Vodafone are the key operators to launch 5G FWA in Europe. A few other operators in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa have started their commercial launch of 5G FWA over the past year. “Except for Verizon, other operators are currently using a sub-6GHz band for their FWA services. Considering spectrum availability and the advantage of better propagation, sub-6GHz is likely to be a widely used band for 5G FWA services,” Lynn notes.
“Spectrum choices depend on business needs, capabilities, and spectrum assets of the operators. Besides, operators need to identify the existing broadband competition in the targeted area, consumers’ demand, and the right choice of CPE, whether it be indoor, outdoor, Wi-Fi integration, self-installation support, etc., for commercial success.”Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research
Industry players are working toward extending the range of 5G FWA using mmWave spectrum. Recent trials by Qualcomm, CasaSystem, and Ericsson have demonstrated better coverage, up to a 3.8 km range, using extended range mmWave solutions. 5G FWA mmWave rollouts are now limited to high-density deployments. Extended mmWave solutions will help operators expand the deployments to less dense areas.
“The 5G FWA CPE market will grow at CAGR 48% over the next five years to ship 11.7 units in 2025. The unit shipments will be concentrated in mature markets since transition from LTE to 5G will mainly focus on mature markets in the forecast period. Emerging markets are likely to continue to rely on LTE based FWA services. Operators will succeed in the FWA market if they carefully identify a strong network deployment strategy and choose CPE developments with technical and commercial advantages.”Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research
These findings are from 5G FWA Devices market update. This report is part of the company’s Next-Gen Content Technologies research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights.