Subscribers of fixed wireless access (FWA) from mobile network operators (MNOs) are more satisfied with the price of service than fiber or cable subscribers, according to fixed wireless satisfaction research from Parks Associates.
The firm found that 66% of subscribers that get 5G or LTE FWA from MNOs consider their prices to be fair or good. This compares to 51% of fiber subscribers and 35% of cable subscribers. In addition, 62% of FWA subscribers feel that it is easy to contact customer service or technical support personnel.
Fiber broadband continues to trump FWA when it comes to customer confidence in the service, however.
“Consumer attitudes towards fiber internet and MNO FWA are both highly positive, with more consumers confident in fiber than 5G home internet,” said Kristen Hanich, Parks Associates’ Director of Research, in a prepared statement.
“Consumers widely perceive that these internet plans are of a higher quality than existing technologies, including cable. High net promoter scores (NPS) among current subscribers suggest that word-of-mouth is creating favorable perceptions, in addition to advertising and marketing campaigns, which is critical in this era where consumer value perceptions are driving behavior.”
FWA has been very successful for Verizon and T-Mobile. Verizon has been seeing the majority of its net new broadband adds coming from FWA.
Critics have said that T-Mobile and Verizon eventually will run into problems with their fixed wireless offerings because more profitable mobile traffic will crowd it out, hurting FWA performance. Recently, however, T-Mobile reported lower churn, suggesting that those concerns are unfounded as of now.
Potentially the mobile providers might be willing to invest in their network specifically to support FWA. As of a year ago T-Mobile was leaving the door open to that possibility. Last January, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Peter Osvaldik told an investor conference that while the carrier still used an “excess capacity model” for FWA it was “investigating the question ‘Are there circumstances under which we might invest incremental capex for incremental fixed wireless?'”
The Parks report, titled “Home Internet Evolution: 5G Competition and Value-Added Services,” was based on a survey of 8,000 Internet households.