wireless tower_fixed

The average fixed wireless downstream speed used is 5.19 Mbps, according to new research from Preseem, a company that specializes in fixed wireless analytics and that gathers anonymized data from fixed wireless subscribers located primarily in the U.S. The average speed is up 8.1% over last year.

It’s important to note that the data doesn’t measure the maximum speed that subscribers can get from their fixed wireless provider but rather measures the average speed used.

The average downstream speed used at peak times was 4.2 Mbps, suggesting that service declines somewhat when more users are on the network. The difference between peak and non-peak times was more pronounced on the upstream. While the average upstream speed used was 500 kbps, it dropped to 300 kbps at peak times.

The amount of data that subscribers use per day also increased since last year, Preseem said. The average subscriber uses 8.8 gigabytes (GB) per day, or 261 GB per month – an increase of 7.3% over 2020.

Preseem has been issuing this report annually for several years, and some things have changed very little from one report to the next. For example:

  • The majority of access points (72.5%) have no more than 10 subscribers attached – a measurement that has changed very little from previous reports in 2018 and 2019.
  • Equipment from Cambium and Ubiquiti “dominates” fixed wireless deployments – an observation that Preseem also made back in 2019.
  • Fixed wireless access points continue to have low oversubscription rates. Over 59% of access points are less than three times oversubscribed, according to the 2021 report.
  • The majority of fixed wireless service providers (64%) use 20 MHz channels. The next most popular channel widths were 40 MHz (17.8%) and 10 MHz (10.6%).
Source: Preseem

The Preseem report makes an interesting observation about channel width. Going from a 10 MHz channel to a 20 MHz channel increases throughput from 22.5 Mbps to 58.6 Mbps (161%) but going from a 20 MHz channel to a 40 MHz channel only increases throughput to 100.4 Mbps (71%).

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