The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Forum released the findings of its annual FWA customer-premises equipment (CPE) market survey, revealing that 5G FWA CPE shipments more than doubled in 2022 to 7.4 million and are forecast to increase again to 13.8 million during the current year. This figure represents more than 40 percent of all shipments by the vendors surveyed, compared to just 29 percent of shipments in 2022.

In its recent FWA market report, GSA identified announced service offers for FWA using LTE or 5G from 535 operators in 186 countries and territories and launched services from 455 operators in 173 countries and territories worldwide. The findings of the 2023 CPE vendor survey confirm that this operator momentum behind FWA services is reflected in growing device shipments. As the industry scales, prices for 5G CPE devices are forecast to reach parity with those of 4G CPE by 2025, aligning with the growth in operators marketing residential or business 5G FWA broadband services as part of their 5G offering.

Key findings of the 2023 GSA Fixed Wireless Access CPE Market Survey include:

  • 5G FWA CPE shipments more than doubled to 7.4 million (+111 percent  year-over-year (YoY)) and are forecast to increase again to 13.8 million (+86 percent) in 2023, representing 43 percent of device shipments.
  • Aggregated shipments for the surveyed companies increased in 2022 to 25.4 million units (12 percent YoY), driven by the growth of battery-powered pocket routers. FWA indoor and outdoor CPEs grew 9 percent in 2022, reaching 18.8 million units.
  • Shipments of FWA indoor & outdoor CPEs are expected to grow 31 percent in 2023 to almost 25 million units, driven by strong growth of Indoor CPEs expected to reach 21.6 million units (34 percent YoY).
  • Although a smaller share of 5G shipments, mmWave-capable device shipments more than doubled in 2022 (0.45 million) and are expected to grow more than 70 percent in 2023 to reach close to 800 thousand units.
  • Regional shipments mix remained similar in 2022 compared to 2021, except for growth in China to reach 17 percent global share (+6p.p.) primarily driven by a reduction in Europe to 19 percent of volumes (-6p.p.). Telecom operators are the main channel for CPE shipments, representing 70 percent of volumes in 2022 and expected to grow to 77 percent in 2023.
  • Among CPE form factor trends, there is a strong consensus that flexible indoor and outdoor CPE and self-installation apps are growing. Window-mounted and hybrid fiber/DSL CPE have more mixed expectations.
  • The majority of respondents do not expect component shortages in 2023 and 2024, but inflationary pressures remain.
  • As with previous years, the majority of vendors foresee 5G CPE prices will reach parity with those of 4G CPE by 2025.

The full survey report is available to download from the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum website.

“FWA emerged as a prime monetization use case for 5G. The survey results confirm that strong momentum with 5G FWA shipments moving toward mainstream and breakthrough growth for mmWave capable devices,” said John Yazlle, vice chairman of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum. “These results also show the strength of a broad 3GPP ecosystem bringing scale and innovation to support the adoption of 5G FWA in all continents.”