Operators are increasingly deploying fixed LTE networks to provide high speed broadband access especially in rural areas where fiber-optic connectivity is economically not feasible.
With operators now working towards 5G fixed wireless broadband access to provide high speed broadband access to residential broadband users, the global fixed wireless broadband market is expected to grow 30% in 2018 and bring in $18 billion in service revenue to telcos, according to the latest forecasts by ABI Research.
This market will grow at a CAGR of 26% to reach $45.2 billion in 2022, as the arrival of 5G is expected to boost the fixed wireless broadband adoption rate in the years to come, the research firm said.
Verizon expects to be one of the leaders in these launches. The US operator plans to deploy 5G fixed wireless broadband service in California and other urban areas this year, with around 30 million US households having access to the service by the end of the year.
In Europe, Orange, Elisa, and telecom infrastructure company Arqiva are also conducting trials of 5G fixed wireless. In APAC, Australia’s Optus announced in February that it will launch fixed wireless 5G services in 2019.
“5G fixed broadband access is expected to enable robust services with a reliable capacity to meet the needs of residential broadband users. 5G technology can support a theoretical speed up to 20 Gbps with latency of 1 millisecond, enabling operators to provide superior broadband access without installing fiber-optic cables to every single household,” said ABI research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn.
Lynn noted that early 5G fixed wireless broadband access will focus on dense urban areas, and will be expanded to rural areas only when 5G has been widely deployed.