Author: Joe Barrett, President, Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA)
With over half of all LTE operators having launched a Fixed Wireless Access service and 83 operators identified as investing in 5G FWA services, Fixed Wireless Access is set to unlock a world of opportunity for LTE and 5G.
What is FWA?
FWA enables mobile networks to deliver home and office broadband services. Through this technology improvement, operators are using LTE and LTE-Advanced networks to deliver services in locations that are poorly served (or not served at all) by fixed-line alternatives such as ADSL, VDSL, cable or fibre. In other words, FWA can include underserved areas in the 5G revolution.
As a result, operators are also offering mobile-based services as an alternative to fixed-line broadband technologies. The home/office broadband services on offer are no longer limited to mobile data subscriptions associated with mobile phones, dongles, or even MiFi devices. They now include use of mobile technology to provide the main broadband connection for a home or business in the form of a fixed wireless access service delivered to CPE, which in turn provides local connectivity to other devices (typically over WiFi).
Is FWA widely developed?
In a relatively short space of time, fixed wireless broadband access has become a mainstream service offer. In GSA’s latest report 415 operators in 166 countries/territories have launched either LTE or 5G 3GPP-compliant FWA services and the association counts 931 available LTE fixed wireless access (FWA) devices. On top of that, operators are investing in 5G FWA which indicate more growth in the future.
To help drive the industry forward and realise the opportunities presented by fixed wireless access, earlier this year GSA formed a Fixed Wireless Access Working Group to coordinate industry initiatives to deliver fixed wireless broadband services based on LTE and 5G access networks. The founding members of the FWA Working Group are Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE. Membership to GSA Working Groups is open to all GSA Executive and Ordinary Members.
As FWA continues to gain momentum globally, it is vital to stay informed. By reading GSA’s reports below you can understand more about the global situation of FWA and how this technology will unlock new opportunities.
GSA’s reports on FWA:
Fixed Wireless Access Global Status Update-2 May 2020
Fixed Wireless Access Member Report-2 May 2020
Fixed Wireless Access Snapshot June 2020