The 5G FWA opportunity: disrupting the broadband market

December 13, 2021

If we had to choose one of the most interesting possibilities of 5G, we would opt for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). This technology stands out for its high performance, to the point of being comparable to existing wired alternatives. 

FWA technology enables telecommunications operators to offer broadband Internet in rural and suburban areas. Certainly, although it is a technology born several decades ago, it is living a golden age in the 21st century due to the implementation of 5G. Do you want to know more about this powerful asset called to increase the income of telcos?

An investment that does not stop growing

The FWA market has seen remarkable growth in recent times. Of course, the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus made it clear to us its usefulness to maintain the economic pulse through teleworking. The consequence of this is an increase in fixed broadband subscribers to the detriment of DSL technologies.

A technology with multiple strategic uses

  • FWA connections are ideal for developing countries to adopt broadband connections for the first time. Such is the case with Globe Telecom in the Philippines.
  • Fixed wireless access is the most suitable for reaching high-speed connections in areas that still use slow systems such as xDSL.
  • The 5G FWA is a perfect complement to FTTH fiber optic networks. This can be very advantageous to increase the competitiveness of the operators.
  • Business dynamization is one of the most interesting applications of fixed broadband. In fact, it provides fast and secure connections in temporary work environments (e.g. professional conferences).

A reality with full regulatory recognition

With the pandemic, governments understood the decisive role of broadband connections in the global economy. Consequently, we are witnessing a significant financial outlay to optimize digital infrastructures and generalize access to 5G FWA.

Regulatory recognition is convincing proof that public authorities see fixed broadband as a powerful ally in the post-pandemic economy. This is evidenced by its express inclusion in European regulations by the body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC).

5G FWA technology: a truly profitable option?                                        

Profitability plays a very important role whenever we talk about implementing new technologies… And 5G FWA is no exception. Not surprisingly, this will be the key to considering it as a real alternative to wired technologies.

In the opinion of experts, the adoption of these technologies is highly profitable. Let us remember that the costs of implementing wireline technology range between € 200 and € 1,000 per user (depending on the population density of the area). This expense does not include the price corresponding to the material and the installation works (which is precisely what is saved with the fixed wireless band).

The profitability of the FWA is beyond question when deploying a high-speed fixed broadband network is not economically feasible. Thus, its capillarity is expected to reach 4% in 2026. Of course, the FWA has a place almost anywhere, although it does presents a good opportunity in cases of poor facilities. This, together with the flexibility of the bandwidth and the existence of local providers, make it an option to consider.

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