Multiple mobile operators are initially seeking to capitalize on 5G as a fixed wireless alternative

Commonly referred to as FWA, Fixed Wireless Access has emerged as one of the most predominant use cases for early 5G network rollouts. Multiple mobile operators and service providers are initially seeking to capitalize on 5G as a fixed wireless alternative to deliver last-mile connectivity – at multi-hundred Megabit and Gigabit speeds – in areas with insufficient fiber holdings.

The very first standardized deployments of 5G-based FWA are expected to be commercialized as early as 2019. Largely driven by early commercial rollouts by Verizon Communications and AT&T in the United States, 5G-based FWA subscriptions are expected to account for $1 Billion in service revenue by the end of 2019 alone. The market is further expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 84% between 2019 and 2025, eventually accounting for more than $40 Billion.

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The “5G for FWA (Fixed Wireless Access): 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts” report presents an in-depth assessment of the emerging 5G-based FWA ecosystem including key market drivers, challenges, enabling technologies, revenue potential, application scenarios, service provider deployment commitments, case studies, spectrum availability/allocation, vendor profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for 5G-based FWA investments and operator services.

The report has the following key findings:

  • 5G-based FWA subscriptions are expected to account for $1 Billion in service revenue by the end of 2019 alone. The market is further expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 84% between 2019 and 2025, eventually accounting for more than $40 Billion.
  • SNS Research estimates that 5G-based FWA can reduce the initial cost of establishing last-mile connectivity by as much as 40% – in comparison to FTTP (Fiber-to-the-Premises). In addition, 5G can significantly accelerate rollout times by eliminating the need to lay cables as required for FTTP rollouts.
  • The 28 GHz frequency band is widely preferred for early 5G-based FWA deployments, as many vendors have already developed 28 GHz-capable equipment – driven by demands for early field trials in multiple markets including the United States and South Korea.
  • Millimeter wave wireless connectivity specialists are well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for 5G-based FWA. However, in order to compete effectively against existing mobile infrastructure giants, they will need to closely align their multi-gigabit capacity FWA solutions with 3GPP specifications.
  • While many industry analysts believe that 5G-based FWA is only suitable for densely populated urban areas, a number of rural carriers –  including C Spire and U.S. Cellular – are beginning to view 5G as a means to deliver last-mile broadband connectivity to underserved rural communities.

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