Fixed wireless access outlook
Over 100 service providers offering FWA over 5G
- About 40 percent of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service providers, over 100 in total, are offering it over 5G.
- North America and Western Europe have the highest regional adoption with close to 70 percent of FWA service providers offering it over 5G.
- In 2028, 5G will account for almost 80 percent of FWA connections.
FWA is growing solidly in terms of:
- number of mobile service providers offering FWA
- proportion of those offering it over 5G
- proportion of providers with speed-based tariff structures
- amount of traffic served, as both number of connections and traffic volume per connection increase
Global FWA momentum
An updated Ericsson study of retail packages offered by mobile service providers1 has shown that around 80 percent had an FWA offering, up from 77 percent in November 2022. There are now 100 service providers, representing around 40 percent of FWA service providers, offering services over 5G.
Continued increase of speed-based tariff plans
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. Over one-quarter of FWA service providers now offer speed-based tariff plans (also referred to as quality of service, or QoS). The remaining three-quarters are still best-effort, with volume-based tariff plans (buckets of GB per month).
Figure 9: Global FWA service provider adoption: 2020–2023
Figure 10: Regional FWA service provider adoption 2023
There are large regional variations in the proportion of service providers adopting FWA:
- In North America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa, over 80 percent of mobile service providers offer FWA.
- Currently, North America stands out as the region in which all of the service providers studied have an FWA offering.
- North America has the highest percentage of service providers offering speed-based tariff plans, with it being provided by 90 percent.
- In both North America and Western Europe, around 70 percent of FWA service providers are offering services over 5G.
Figure 11: FWA connections
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.
FWA service provider advancements
- Together, 2 leading service providers in the US have more than 5 million 5G FWA connections.
- A service provider in Norway has become the first in Europe to close its copper DSL network, and replace 51,000 of its connections with FWA services. This has enabled energy savings comparable to usage levels of a medium-sized Norwegian city.
- Oman – where 43 percent of all broadband connections are FWA – has experienced a 95 percent annual 5G FWA revenue increase in 2022 (year-on-year).
- A major service provider in India has expressed the goal of serving 100 million homes and businesses with a combination of 5G FWA services and fiber in the coming 2 to 3 years.
- Japan has become one of the first countries where all major service providers offer 5G FWA, including 5G standalone (SA) support for FWA and/or battery-powered pocket router services.
Over 300 million FWA connections by 2028
From 100 million at the end of 2022, FWA connections worldwide are projected to increase to 300 million by the end of 2028. This represents 17 percent of all fixed broadband connections. Of the 300 million projected connections, nearly 80 percent are expected to be over 5G.
In 2028, 5G will account for almost 80 percent of FWA connections.
Almost half of global FWA connections to be in Asia-Pacific (APAC) by 2028
The forecast has taken the high ambitions of 5G FWA in emerging markets into account, 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.
The number of FWA connections in APAC is expected to nearly triple, increasing its share of global FWA connections from 36 to 46 percent by 2028.
Almost half of global FWA connections will be in APAC in 2028.
FWA’s impact on global mobile data traffic
FWA data traffic represented 21 percent of global mobile data traffic at the end of 2022 and is projected to grow by a factor of nearly 6 to reach 143 EB in 2028 – about 30 percent of total mobile data traffic.
FWA to represent 30 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2028.
Figure 12: Regional split in FWA connections: 2022–2028
100m in 2022
300m in 2028
1. 310 service providers, representing around 90 percent of global mobile revenues.
Ericsson Mobility Visualizer allows you to explore the forecast data that underpins the Ericsson Mobility Report. Our interactive web application contains historical as well as forecast data on mobile subscriptions, fixed wireless access connections , traffic, data consumption and IoT connected devices. Users are able to generate custom graphs or download the data.