5G FWA device shipments expected to double in 2022: report, access trends

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According to a new report from the Global Mobile Providers Association (GSA).

According the results, 5G FWA CPE shipments soared to 3.6 million in 2021, a 162% year-over-year increase. This momentum is expected to continue and by the end of the year, CPE shipments are expected to reach 7.6 million, representing more than 25% of all shipments from the 26 suppliers surveyed by the GSA.

Of the 5G-enabled products shipped in 2021, 160,000 were millimeter wave devices, up from 130,000 in 2020.

While adoption of these devices is expected to continue, some 88% of vendors surveyed shared their intention to introduce 5G mmWave-based products in the coming years.

While the number of 5G FWA devices (which include 4G and 5G-enabled products) shipped in 2021, this subsector remains small, accounting for just 16% of the 22.7 million units shipped: 84% of all FWA CPE products shipped in 2021 were 4G/LTE only.

However, the GSA noted that in 2021, the overall market declined sequentially by almost 25% due to higher component shortages and a strong comparison to 2020. The market is expected to return to growth this year, even if it is not expected to cross the 30 million mark, as it did in 2020.

The findings are based on aggregated responses collected between April and June from 26 CPE vendors that form “a significant representation” of the 3GPP-based 4G/5G FWA device market. These include Huawei, Nokia, Oppo, TCL and BEC Technologies.

According to these vendors surveyed, the most important trend in the FWA sector is currently connecting the unconnected, while working from home and DSL line replacement are now also seen as important demand drivers, according to vendors. questioned by the GSA.

Additionally, most respondents were optimistic about the future of the market, expecting little or no impact from component issues in 2023. They were instead wary of expected pressures from inflation.

While the market is growing in size and importance – FWA is now included in the broadband service plans of many more mobile and fixed network operators than two or three years ago – there are still many work to be done on identifying and sizing the market, according to Julien Grivolas, president of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum, which is behind the annual market study on FWA devices.

“Currently, there are no agreed market definitions, there is a lack of market intelligence, and no consensus on the volume of FWA device shipments and the FWA installed base globally. of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum is to educate the industry on the FWA market,” Grivolas noted.

The GSA findings follow a forecast by research house GlobalData, which expects the FWA market to grow fivefold in the United States by 2026, accounting for nearly 9% of all lines by then. broadband access. Driving forces include increased user demand and government support, improved data performance and usability, and operators’ desire to take advantage of fixed broadband services – see FWA is expected to grow rapidly in the United States by 2026.

Indeed, the market seems to be witnessing a recovery, as US specialist Tarana Wireless recently secured new funding that took its valuation to $1 billion – see FWA Specialist Tarana Raises $170M and Gets Her “Unicorn” Badge.

And the American operator T-Mobile boasted of having “smoked out” the competition with its “remarkable growth” by signing up one million customers to its 5G-enabled home internet FWA service in one year.

– Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, TelecomTV

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