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Forecast: 5G FWA subs at 58m by 2026

November 3, 2022

According to technology intelligence firm ABI Research, worldwide 5G FWA will reach 58 million subscriptions in 2026. In the near term, the US is driving the number of 5G FWA connections with major operators aggressively expanding their FWA business.

“MNOs can launch 5G FWA services to boost revenues by using their spare network capacity in the short term. However, in the long term, 5G FWA depends on sufficient network capacity and spectrum and the optimisation of network resources,” explains Fei Liu 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “An FWA user can consume 40X more network resources than a mobile user. Therefore, MNOs need to conduct a proper market assessment and detailed plan to understand the required capacity in their targeted markets and how many FWA subscribers they can truly support.”

5G FWA has been deployed worldwide, and the 5G FWA market will experience growth with ongoing 5G network expansion. The strategy to offer 5G FWA varies with MNOs targeting different markets. The main strategies include 5G FWA for last-mile connectivity, 5G FWA for business, 5G FWA to connect the unconnected, 5G FWA as a value-added service, and 5G FWA as a backup for fixed broadband.

“5G FWA in the short term will progress without facing any capacity constraints, and MNOs should launch FWA to expand revenue by exploiting excess network capacity,” Liu recommends. “MNOs considering FWA as a long-term solution should use Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques such as Machine Learning (ML) to generate in-depth analysis on the network quality and user experience, based on traffic growth, service and network Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), to help improve network resource utilisation.”

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