This year marked a dramatic and largely unexpected rise in fixed wireless access (FWA) subscribers, so much so that T-Mobile and Verizon FWA garnered more than 78.3% of all new broadband subscribers, leaving just 21.7% choosing all other broadband alternatives, according to a report that came out today from T-Mobile.
The estimates are that T-Mobile added 1.7 million subscribers (51.8% of all broadband adds) and Verizon added 870,000 subscribers (26.5%).
“It’s no secret that fixed wireless is disrupting a historically broken broadband industry, offering choice and competition at a time when consumers need it the most. Just one year after fixed wireless entered the broadband scene, we’ve seen remarkable growth, with many customers ditching their traditional ISP,” Mike Katz, T-Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer, said in a press release. “This report further highlights the massive demand for a new option, and 5G’s ability to meet that need.”
The report listed the biggest reasons for FWA adoption: Lower price (58%), no annual contract (41%), “new home Internet option available” (32%), faster speeds (27%) and to bundle home Internet with wireless (23%).
T-Mobile says that the fast growth of FWA is a result of dissatisfaction with traditional ISPs and a lack of competition in many areas of the country.
In the report, T-Mobile illustrates and elaborates on FWA’s success. Among the key data points:
T-Mobile more than doubled its FWA subscribers, with a customer base now exceeding 2 million, in six months, according to the 2022 State of Fixed Wireless Report.
FWA grew by more than 70% across all providers since the first quarter. T-Mobile and Verizon are expected to have between 11 million and 13 million total subscribers by the end of 2025.
Average monthly data use for T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is 478GB and the industry average is 496 GB. The median monthly data use for T-Mobile FWA is 341 GB and 324 GB for the industry.
One instance of T-Mobile’s FWA growth was in September when it launched 5G Home Internet across 64 cities in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The expansion provided access to 9 million households, including 3 million without access to home broadband, the company said.
The data from the T-Mobile report is in keeping with data from Leichtman Research Group that said that in the third quarter FWA providers gained about 920,000 subscribers while the top cable companies gained about 39,000 subscribers and the wireline phone companies lost more than 136,000 subscribers.