Fixed wireless access outlook

Key findings
  • More than three-quarters of service providers surveyed in over 100 countries are now offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services.
  • Nearly one-third of service providers now offer FWA over 5G, compared to one-fifth a year ago.
  • The number of 5G FWA connections are expected to grow to around 235 million by 2028, representing almost 80 percent of the total FWA connections.

Almost one-third of service providers now offering 5G FWA

An updated Ericsson study1 of retail packages offered by service providers shows that, out of 310 service providers studied worldwide, 238 (or 77 percent) had an FWA offering. During the last 12 months, the number of service providers offering 5G FWA services has increased from 57 (19 percent) to 88 (29 percent).

5G FWA arrives in emerging markets in 2022

Almost 40 percent of the new 5G FWA launches in the past 12 months have been in emerging markets. 5G FWA has arrived in populous countries such as Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria and the Philippines. In addition, following the 5G spectrum auction in India in July, a major service provider has expressed a goal to serve 100 million homes and millions of businesses with 5G FWA services.

Figure 9: Global number of service providers offering FWA

Figure 10: Regional percentage of service providers offering FWA


Regional percentage of service providers offering FWA

Figure 11: FWA connections

Definition of FWA

FWA is a connection that provides primary broadband access through mobile network-enabled customer premises equipment (CPE). This includes various form factors of CPE, such as indoor (desktop and window) and outdoor (rooftop and wall-mounted). It does not include portable battery-based Wi-Fi routers or dongles.

Figure 12: Global mobile network data traffic

Speed-based tariff plans doubled in the past 12 months

Most FWA offerings (75 percent) are still best effort, with volume-based tariff plans (that is, buckets of GB per month). About 25 percent of service providers offer speed-based tariff plans (also referred to as quality of service, or QoS), which is twice as many compared to a year ago.

Speed-based tariff plans are commonly offered for fixed broadband services such as those delivered over fiber or cable. These types of plans are well understood by consumers, enabling the service providers to fully monetize FWA as a broadband alternative. Around 35 percent of these speed-based offerings are basic, with average/typical speeds being advertised. Almost 65 percent are more advanced offerings, involving speed tiers, such as 100 Mbps, 300 Mbps and 500 Mbps. Service providers with 5G FWA are more likely to have QoS FWA with speed-based offerings, with 42 out of 88 utilizing this approach (48 percent). Speed-based offerings are growing across all regions, but there are large variations. In North America, 90 percent of offerings are speed based, while the Asia-Pacific and Middle East and Africa regions have below 15 percent.


By 2028, 5G will account for almost 80 percent of FWA connections.

FWA set to reach 300 million connections by 2028

There will be more than 100 million FWA connections estimated by the end of 2022. This number is projected to triple by 2028, reaching over 300 million. This figure represents 17 percent of fixed broadband connections. Of these over 300 million connections, the number of 5G FWA connections is expected to grow to around 235 million by 2028, representing almost 80 percent of the total FWA connections.

The forecast has been adjusted to include the high ambitions of 5G FWA in emerging markets, increasing the number of connections as well as 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 CPE that will have a positive impact across low-income markets.


Today, 25 percent of service providers apply differential pricing with speed-based tariff plans.

FWA data traffic projected to grow by almost five times

FWA data traffic represented 21 percent of global mobile network data traffic by the end of 2022, and is projected to grow more than 5 times to reach almost 130 EB in 2028.

  1. Adjusted for revised service provider base.
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