Growth chart

Fixed wireless is again grabbing the majority of net new broadband subscribers, according to new research from the Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) about broadband subscriber growth.

Fixed wireless services accounted for 104% of the total net broadband additions in 2023 among the nation’s largest providers, who comprise more than 95% of broadband lines. In comparison, fixed wireless represented 90% of the net adds in 2022, and 20% of the net adds in 2021.

Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 3.7 million subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 3.2 million net adds in 2022. T-Mobile added 2.1 million fixed wireless subscribers, while Verizon added 1.7 million.

In total, the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – acquired about 3.5 million net additional broadband Internet subscribers last year, similar to a pro forma gain of 3.5 million subscribers in 2022.  

The report added that the top broadband providers account for about 114.7 million subscribers: Top cable companies had 76.1 million broadband subscribers, top wireline phone companies had 30.7 million subscribers (not counting fixed wireless subscribers), and top fixed wireless services had 7.8 million subscribers.

The top cable companies lost about 65,000 subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 530,000 net adds the previous year. The top wireline phone companies lost about 80,000 total broadband subscribers last year, compared to about 180,000 net losses in 2022.

FWA’s dominance over other broadband additions is the continuation of a key trend that emerged a couple of years ago.

“Top broadband providers added about 3.5 million subscribers in 2023, similar to the number of broadband adds in 2022,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc., said in a prepared statement.

“Over the past four years, top providers added about 15.9 million broadband subscribers, compared to about 10.2 million net broadband adds in the prior four (pre-pandemic) years.”

Updated to clarify that the RVA research focuses on the nation’s largest providers, who represent more than 95% of total broadband lines

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