The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) released the findings of its annual GSA Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) CPE market survey, revealing that 5G FWA customer premises equipment shipments more than doubled to 3.6 million in 2021—a year-on-year increase of over 162 percent. FWA CPE shipments are forecast to double again to 7.6 million in 2022, accounting for over 25 percent of all shipments by the vendors surveyed.
The strong uptake of 5G FWA devices is expected to continue, with vendors signaling their intention to bring more 5G products to market. While 5G (i.e., 4G+5G capable) FWA devices doubled in 2021, the majority (84 percent) of shipments in 2021 remained LTE-only, according to the FWA CPE vendors surveyed. Out of all 5G shipments, 160,000 were mmWave-based devices, an increase from 130,000 from the previous year; however, 88 percent of respondents indicated that they have, or plan to introduce, 5G mmWave products in the next few years.
Further key findings of the annual market survey include:
- 5G FWA CPEs shipments more than doubled to 3.6 million in 2021 (+162 percent year-over-year) and are forecasted to double again to 7.6 million (+114 percent) in 2022, representing over 25 percent of shipments
- The aggregated shipments for the surveyed companies declined in 2021 partly due to industry-wide/component issues and a strong 2020 comparable driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for battery pocket routers
- FWA CPE shipments expect to grow 33 percent in 2022, reaching higher volumes that 2020 at 22 million units
- “Connecting the unconnected” to be the most important market trend for 2022, with “5G launches” losing in importance as the initial global wave of 5G launches dissipates
- The majority of respondents are expecting no or minor component shortages in 2023, at the same time most are expecting inflationary pressures to remain.
“Currently there are no agreed market definitions, there is a lack of market information, and no consensus on the volume of FWA device shipments and FWA installed base globally,” said Julien Grivolas, chairman of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum. “The purpose of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum is to educate the industry about the FWA market and this annual market survey plays an important role in providing a global picture of the true state of the fixed wireless access market and how it is evolving and growing.”
The GSA 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum was established in late 2020 by 14 initial Partners and Members with the main objective of raising industry awareness of the importance of FWA services and to expand the FWA ecosystem. Since then, the Forum has grown to 49 companies who are promoting the benefits of FWA for mobile broadband as well as their own position in this growing ecosystem. FWA devices suppliers (CPE) form the bulk of membership but there are also module and chipset companies in the Forum, Steering Team and project teams who support ongoing activities.
The survey results present the aggregate answers of 26 CPE vendors that together form a significant representation of the 3GPP-based 4G/5G FWA device market. All companies are members of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum and were surveyed on a range of topics including shipments, market trends, form factors and device features, current and future.
The GSA FWA CPE market survey was first conducted in 2021 and this report presents the findings of the updated survey, where data was collected from April to June 2022. The vendors that participated in the 2022 survey were: Asiatelco Technologies Co, Askey, BEC Technologies, Casa Systems, Changhong, Da Ta Technologies, Esound Technology, Gongjin Mobile Communication / T&W, Gosuncnwelink Technology, Green Packet, Huawei, Intelbras, Jaton Technology, Jointelli, MeiG Smart Technology, MiWire, Mobot Mobile, Nokia, Notion InfoTech, Oppo, SMAWave, TCL, TigerCel, Tozed Kangwei, Wavetel, WNC.