The worldwide fixed wireless broadband market has been growing steadily over the past several years. ABI Research forecasts that the global fixed wireless broadband market will grow 30 percent in 2018 and will generate US$18 billion in service revenue. As 5G fixed wireless broadband access is set to be launched in North America in 2018, it is set to expand and provide consumers with better quality service in the years to come.
LTE is the most widely used technology to provide fixed wireless broadband service across the world. Fixed LTE is mainly deployed for residential broadband service in the areas where fixed broadband infrastructure is poor, enabling operators to provide residential broadband service more cost effectively compared to wired broadband deployment. Lately, U.S. operator Verizon announced its plans to launch 5G fixed wireless broadband service to its residential customers in the second half of 2018.
Verizon plans to first launch 5G fixed wireless broadband service in California followed by additional markets later and expects initial 5G fixed wireless broadband deployment to cover around 30 million U.S. households. In addition to Verizon, other operators, including AT&T and Charter, are also carrying out 5G fixed wireless broadband tests in select markets in the U.S. 5G fixed wireless trials are not limited to North America. In Europe, Orange, Elisa and telecom infrastructure company Arqiva are performing 5G fixed wireless trials. In APAC, Australia’s Optus is planning for 5G fixed wireless service launch in 2019.
“5G fixed broadband access is expected to enable robust services with a reliable capacity to meet the need of residential broadband users. 5G technology can support a theoretical speed up to 20 Gbps with latency 1 ms, enabling operators to provide superior broadband access without installing fiber-optic cables to every single household,” notes Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI Research. Early 5G fixed wireless broadband access is likely to focus in dense urban areas and roll out in rural areas when 5G is widely launched commercially. ABI Research forecasts worldwide fixed wireless broadband market to grow at CAGR 26 percent to generate $45.2 billion in 2022.