5G fixed wireless networks, which will be the first broad use case for 5G, will generate service revenues of $1 billion in the United States by the end of 2019, according to a fixed 5G forecast from research firm SNS Telecom.
The report, “5G for FWA (Fixed Wireless Access): 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts,” predicts that the market will reach $40 billion by 2025. It will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 84 percent between the expected beginning of standardized deployments of 5G fixed wireless access in 2019 and 2025, according to a press release.
Fixed 5G Forecast
Use of wireless instead of wired infrastructure can cut deployment costs by as much as 40 percent compared to FTTP, SNS Telecom said. And the ability to skip the laying of fiber can “significantly accelerate rollout times,” researchers note.
The research suggests that the 28 GHz frequency band is preferred for 5G-based FWA and that vendors should follow 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications. Finally, the research suggests that 5G FWA is viable for rural applications as well as urban. C Spire and U.S. Cellular are exploring this option.
AT&T, Verizon Take the Lead
SNS Telecom credits Verizon and AT&T with pushing 5G FWA in the United States. Verizon has made no secret of their 5G FWA plans, announcing an initial roll out of the technology in 11 markets, including Ann Arbor; Atlanta; Bernardsville (NJ); Brockton (MA); Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. Some, if not all of these markets will utilize a Samsung 5G access platform, operating in the 28 MHz spectrum band. The carrier has promised gigabit type performance, even suggesting it as comparable to FTTH.
AT&T is already active as well, with 5G FWA trials in Austin and Middleton (NJ), that also feature DIRECTV NOW video streaming. These trials are in prep for a 2018 commercial 5G FWA launch, the company reported back in June.