Covid-19 boost for fixed wireless access

September 14, 2020 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Pandemic drives surge in fixed wireless access demand
The Covid-19 pandemic will see a boom in demand for FWA (fixed wireless access) systems through 2025, reaching over 170 million.

According to a report by Mobile Experts, lifestyle changes brought about by Covid-19, including stay-at-home orders and remote work, have highlighted the critical demand for servicing unconnected homes and businesses where wireline broadband may be economically prohibitive, driving FWA growth.

"The number of fixed wireless access connections is forecasted to grow over 20% this year. FWA will include LTE and 5G networks running on licensed bands and proprietary systems, often leveraging unlicensed bands. We foresee the number of fixed wireless access connections growing almost threefold through 2025—reaching over 170 million worldwide," commented Principal Analyst Kyung Mun.

The report finds that healthy growth along with a near-term surge in 2020 due to COVID-19 will translate to a 6% CAGR growth in annual CPE unit shipments from 25 million units in 2019 to over 34 million in 2025.

"LTE and 5G CPE shipments will grow rapidly over the next five years as an increasing number of mobile operators direct their LTE and 5G network capacity towards FWA services," commented Principal Analyst Kyung Mun. "Governments are fueling this FWA growth by providing direct funding through broadband subsidy programs like the $20 billion RDOF in the U.S. As more spectrum comes available, possibly as much as 20x more across licensed and unlicensed bands, the FWA market is poised for significant growth in the years to come."

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