5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is expected to be one of the most lucrative early use cases for 5G as it allows both fixed and mobile service providers to expand their market reach in a cost effective way. This is especially the case where fiber is too expensive to roll out and maintain in the last mile in many suburban and rural areas, yet consumer and enterprise demand for fast broadband services in these areas is high.
For this reason, I wanted to highlight my top 5 opportunities for 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) based on Sandvine’s one of a kind 2021 Mobile Internet Phenomena Report. The report analyzes mobile traffic from our installed base of mobile service providers worldwide.
1. Replacing or augmenting fixed network video
We are living in a video-first economy. YouTube, Facebook Video, TikTok, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are among the most popular mobile applications by traffic share. These services can be augmented by 5G FWA services as video-conferencing, online learning, short-form video entertainment, and remote healthcare become a larger part of our daily lives.
Figure 1: 5G FWA is becoming more critical as video-first home networks take off
2. Work from home, learn from home, shop from home...you get the picture
As our homes become work, learning, shopping, and entertainment hubs, 5G FWA can provide expanded coverage to homes in underserved areas be they urban, suburban, or rural.
Figure 2: The traffic shift from enterprise to consumer networks is an important 5G FWA opportunity
3. Greater reach
Many service providers provide limited geographic coverage due to regulatory limitations, last mile costs, and other factors. 5G FWA can help both fixed and mobile service providers better compete by offering unique application-based services in new geographic areas.
4. Internet of Things use cases that are not ‘mobile’
Many ‘things’ in the Internet of Things are either stationary (meters, sensors) or move within a small area (equipment, containers). 5G FWA can be used to connect these ‘things’ and transmit readings, video, location, and other important data.
5. Private enterprise networks
Many enterprises such as smart factories, oil and gas fields, shipping ports, and large resorts have multiple buildings, as well as indoor and outdoor vehicles, equipment, and facilities that require multiple wired and wireless connections. 5G FWA will play an important role in providing additional connectivity to these private enterprise networks, many of which are in remote and under-served areas.
So there you have it – these are the top 5 opportunities I see for 5G FWA.
How can The Mobile Internet Phenomena Report data become actionable in your 4G and 5G networks?
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