Exponential growth of 4G LTE coverage and capacity is driving wireless service growth for fixed broadband access, while fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), xDSL, and cable technologies reach nearly 50percent of global households. As 5G standardization approaches completion, the technology will significantly accelerate global fixed wireless deployments. ABI Research forecasts worldwide fixed wireless broadband subscribers will grow at a 30percent CAGR to top 151 million in 2022.
“The arrival of 5G technology will completely transform fixed wireless broadband network deployments,” says Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “Trials show that the technology’s superior performance over LTE will allow operators to deploy 5G for fixed wireless broadband service in densely populated areas.”
Currently, fixed LTE broadband access is mainly deployed in remote areas where fixed line infrastructure is poor and it is not commercially feasible to deploy fixed networks. While government initiatives, high data transfer rates, and a large capacity are all attractive features for fixed LTE deployments now, fixed wireless broadband deployments will be further accelerated by their 5G successor in the years ahead.
United States operators AT&T and Verizon already announced plans to deliver broadband access to businesses and residential customers using 5G fixed wireless networks. The companies aim to begin 5G fixed wireless rollouts later this year.
“Superior capacity offered by 5G technology will benefit operators to deploy fixed wireless access in densely populated areas,” concludes Lynn. “This will enable fiber-like broadband service to support bandwidth-hungry applications without the need to install fiber-optic cables to each premise.” – ABI Research