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5G FWA subscriptions to hit 58 million by 2026

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5G fixed wireless access (FWA) subscriptions will reach 58 million in 2026 according to the latest figures from ABI Research.

FWA allows operators to use the existing mobile infrastructure to offer faster and more affordable broadband services.

FWA using 4G has already been deployed widely by operators worldwide but is often unable to provide the speed that can compete with wired broadband connections.

“MNOs can launch 5G FWA services to boost revenues by using their spare network capacity in the short term. However, in the long term, 5G FWA depends on sufficient network capacity and spectrum and the optimization of network resources,” said Fei Liu, 5G and mobile network infrastructure industry analyst at ABI Research.

“An FWA user can consume 40X more network resources than a mobile user. Therefore, MNOs need to conduct a proper market assessment and detailed plan to understand the required capacity in their targeted markets and how many FWA subscribers they can truly support.”

Liu adds that in the short term, 5G FWA will progress without facing any capacity constraints and operators should launch FWA to expand revenue by exploiting excess network capacity.

The strategy for 5G FWA varies depending on the region. The main strategies for operators include 5G FWA for last-mile connectivity, 5G FWA for business and 5G FWA to connect the unconnected.

The research is part of ABI Research’s 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data and analyst insights.