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Speed-based FWA now offered by 40 percent of FWA service providers

Speed-based FWA now offered by 40 percent of FWA service providers

Fixed Wireless Access outlook

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Over 330 million FWA connections are expected by 2029

Key findings

The number of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service providers offering speed-based tariff plans has risen to 40 percent compared to 27 percent a year ago.

In the North America region, 100 percent of service providers offer speed-based FWA, with 80 percent offering it over 5G.

FWA over 5G is offered by 53 percent of service providers globally.

During the last year, FWA has grown solidly in terms of the:

  • proportion of service providers offering it over 5G
  • share of service providers with speed-based tariff plans
  • amount of traffic served, both in the number of connections and the traffic volume per connection

Continued global FWA momentum

An updated Ericsson study[1] of retail packages offered by mobile service providers has shown that around 80 percent have an FWA offering. There are 128 service providers offering FWA services over 5G, representing 53 percent of all FWA service providers.

Speed-based tariff plans are becoming increasingly available

Speed-based tariff plans are commonly offered for fixed broadband services, such as those delivered over fiber or cable. This type of plan is well understood by consumers, enabling service providers to monetize FWA as a broadband alternative. Speed-based tariff plans are now offered by 40 percent of FWA service providers, up from 27 percent a year ago. The remaining 60 percent have volume-based tariff plans (buckets of GB per month).

Figure 16: Global FWA service provider adoption 2021–2024

Figure 16: Global FWA service provider adoption 2021–2024

Regional variations

There are large regional variations in the proportion of service providers adopting FWA:

  • FWA adoption is widespread worldwide, with more than 80 percent of service providers offering FWA in four out of six regions.
  • North America stands out as the region with the highest adoption, with 100 percent providing FWA services with speed-based offerings, while 80 percent offer services over 5G.
  • In the past year, Western Europe experienced the strongest growth in speed-based offerings, and has the second-highest service provider FWA adoption globally, rising from 30 to 50 percent.
  • The Middle East and Africa region has seen solid growth in the proportion of mobile service providers offering FWA over 5G, growing from 30 to 43 percent, as well as the percentage of mobile service providers offering speed-based plans, growing from 14 to 33 percent.

Figure 17: Regional FWA service provider adoption 2024

Figure 17: Regional FWA service provider adoption 2024

FWA service provider advancements

  • During the last year, 18 service providers in emerging markets have launched FWA services over 5G, representing around 65 percent of global launches. These launches have taken place in highly populated countries such as India, Brazil and Nigeria.
  • As of April 2024, 54 out of 128 service providers with 5G FWA offerings are in emerging markets, representing 42 percent of all global 5G FWA service providers.
  • Two service providers, one in Finland and the other in India, have introduced premium 5G FWA connectivity services enabled by 5G standalone (SA). These FWA services utilize network slicing to deliver reliable, assured services, for example, a high-performance experience such as 8K video.
  • In the US, four major service providers have seen solid FWA connection growth, going from 5 million connections in the first quarter of 2023 to almost 9 million connections a year later.
  • The financial impact of FWA is becoming evident in recent results. A service provider in the US recorded quarterly FWA revenues of USD 452 million, marking a 76 percent year-over-year growth. Similarly, a leading service provider in North East Asia reported a 40 percent increase in FWA revenues along with an 80 percent EBITDA margin.

Figure 18: FWA connections

Over 330 million FWA connections by 2029

From 130 million at the end of 2023, FWA connections worldwide are projected to increase to 330 million by the end of 2029. This represents 18 percent of all fixed broadband connections. Of the 330 million projected connections, close to 85 percent are expected to be over 5G.

Almost half of global FWA connections to be in Asia-Pacific by 2029

The forecast has taken the high ambitions of 5G FWA in emerging markets into account, both in terms of increasing the number of connections and the share of 5G FWA connections. Higher volumes of 5G FWA in large, high-growth countries, such as India, have the potential to drive economies of scale for the overall 5G FWA ecosystem, resulting in affordable customer premises equipment (CPE) that will have a positive impact across low-income markets.

The number of FWA connections in Asia-Pacific is expected to more than triple, increasing its share of global FWA connections from 39 to 48 percent by 2029.

FWA impact on global mobile data traffic

FWA data traffic represented 22 percent of global mobile data traffic at the end of 2023 and is projected to grow by a factor of more than 5 to reach 154 EB in 2029 – representing over 30 percent of total mobile network data traffic.

65%

During the last year, 65 percent of all new 5G FWA launches came from emerging markets.

Figure 19: Regional split in FWA connections 2023 and 2029

FWA connections 2023

130 million in 2023

FWA connections 2029

330 million in 2029

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References

1
310 service providers, representing around 90 percent of global mobile revenues.