Wednesday, 29 September 2021 08:10

FWA broadband share predicted to grow to 36% globally by 2030 Featured

FWA broadband share predicted to grow to 36% globally by 2030 Image by Shafin Al Asad Protic from Pixabay

Fixed wireless access subscriptions, both 4G and 5G, will reach 473 million globally by 2030, the technology analyst firm Counterpoint Research predicts, which means that it will service 36% of fixed broadband users across the globe.

The company said by the end of 2020, 68% of households — apart from China — had no access to fixed broadband.

Counterpoint's principal analyst Tina Lu said this would fall to 54% by 2030, adding that of the 36% figure, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe would make up almost half.

“VDSL and cable represent two out of three fixed broadband subscribers across regions, independent of the service penetration. However, around 2024-2025, subscribers will start demanding a speed faster than 100Mbps, which these technologies cannot support," she said.

By 2030, only 3% of the global households would utilise these technologies.

"For the next two to three years, operators will also focus on increasing fibre network rollout in most regions except the Middle East and Africa," Lu commented.

"But Counterpoint forecasts that FWA will grow significantly after 2024. This is because the last-mile connection to fibre in less populated areas will be too costly to make economic sense."

She said another major driver of FWA technology was countries with many islands, like Greece, Italy, and the Philippines.

"Deploying fibre could be a nightmare [in these cases], making FWA a better option. Furthermore, 5G technology will have mostly standalone networks and offer better speed than the legacy technologies of VDSL and cable," Lu pointed out. "All these drivers will fuel the growth of 5G FWA.”

Another research analyst, Parv Sharma, said: "While 5G FWA has become an increasingly attractive option for operators to offer fixed Internet access to those who do not have access to it or need a higher speed option, its growth through 2020 and 2021 has been lower than expected.

"Part of it is due to the lack of components in the supply chain, which has impacted the customer premise equipment market. This, in turn, has slowed the price erosion of 5G CPE devices, hampering the growth of 5G FWA subscriptions.

"These component constraints will remain an issue until 2022. Meanwhile, 5G FWA services are more attractive for North America, Europe and MEA (the Middle East part)."

In Australia, Optus has a FWA offering known as 5G Home Internet, which provides much better speeds than the NBN.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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