Sacred Wind employee installs fixed wireless home internet

There will be 58 million 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) subscriptions worldwide by 2026, according to a 5G fixed wireless subscriptions forecast from ABI Research. The United States will be the near-term driver of the increase.

5G FWA features increased spectral efficiency and sophisticated antenna technology. This enables it to offer speeds comparable to wired connections. This is not true of LTE FWA, which already has been widely deployed by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

Deploying 5G FWA requires careful planning, however because it greatly increases network use.

“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 optimization of network resources,” Fei Liu, a 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure Industry Analyst at ABI Research, said in a press release about the 5G wireless subscriptions forecast.

“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.” 

The findings are from ABI Research’s 5G FWA application analysis report, which is part of the company’s 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure research service.

Liu says that deployment approaches will vary. They will include services aimed at businesses and as a backup to fixed broadband connections, as well as services reaching unconnected areas and to provide a conduit for value-added services

Potential capacity issues will not be an issue in the short term, Liu said. Existing excess network capacity can be used. In the longer term, a good approach is to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to maximize network resource utilization as the network evolves.

5G FWA could be a game changer in certain applications, as service providers see a new and less expensive way of offering the type of services generally associated with wired connections.

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