According to Ericsson, there will be a 200% increase in fixed wireless access (FWA) connections by 2028, increasing from 100 million to 300 million. This represents 17 percent of all fixed broadband connections. Of the 300 million projected connections, nearly 80% are expected to be over 5G. In short, FWA is set to see exponential growth over the coming years.
The FWA market witnessed rapid growth in 2023, solidifying its place as an integral component of the evolving telecommunications landscape, and this growth show no sign of slowing anytime soon. With demand for reliable internet connectivity in remote regions rise, FWA provides an alternative quick solution to its wired counterparts. There are several perceived benefits for using FWA which is causing a rise in its popularity (these can be found at the bottom of this article). However, we’d like to focus the first part of this article on the market and its effect on FWA recruitment and jobs in FWA.
In 2023, the global FWA market is expected to surpass $30 billion in revenue, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 8%. Three specific drivers are fuelling this growth: Urbanization and Expansion; Rural Connectivity; 5G Integration and cost-efficiency.
North America continues to be a dominant player, contributing over 35% to the global revenue. This can be attributed to the swift 5G rollouts and a consistent demand for high-speed internet.
With countries like India, China, and parts of Southeast Asia witnessing rapid urbanization, Asia is expected to have the highest growth over the next five years. Government initiatives and rising consumer demand are driving this growth.
While Europe holds a significant share of the global market, growth rates in Europe are relatively modest, given the mature nature of its telecom infrastructure. However, Eastern European countries present ample opportunities for expansion.
Despite its promising growth, the FWA market does face some challenges. Spectrum availability, regulatory hurdles, and competition from traditional broadband solutions can pose obstacles. However, as technology continues to evolve, it's expected that these challenges will be mitigated.
The future of the FWA market seems bright, with consistent technological advancements ensuring better services. As the world shifts further into the digital realm, the demand for reliable and fast internet, both in urban and remote areas, will only rise, positioning FWA as a pivotal player in this digital transformation.
10 benefits of FWA
FWA is fast becoming a popular method for delivering broadband internet access to households and businesses, especially in areas where traditional wired connections are challenging to deploy. Here are some reasons why FWA is beneficial:
- Rapid Deployment: Unlike traditional broadband solutions that require extensive underground cabling, FWA systems can be set up quickly. This means that regions without existing infrastructure can have access to high-speed internet in a fraction of the time it would take to lay cables.
- Cost-Effective: Laying down fiber optic cables, especially in rural or geographically challenging areas, can be expensive. FWA reduces these infrastructural costs, making it a more affordable solution for both service providers and consumers.
- Flexible Scalability: FWA can be easily scaled up or down based on demand. As subscriber numbers grow, additional infrastructure can be incrementally added without a major overhaul of the existing system.
- Bridging the Digital Divide: Rural and remote regions often lag behind urban areas in terms of broadband access. FWA offers a viable solution to bridge this digital gap, allowing more people to access the internet and the opportunities it provides.
- Reliability: Modern FWA solutions, especially those that leverage 5G technology, offer reliable and consistent internet connections. They can be designed to withstand various environmental conditions, ensuring that users have uninterrupted access.
- Integration with Emerging Technologies: The development and deployment of 5G technologies have bolstered the capabilities of FWA. With 5G, FWA can deliver speeds comparable to, or even exceeding, those of wired broadband solutions.
- Reduction in Ground Disruptions: Traditional broadband deployment can be disruptive, especially in urban areas, due to the digging required. FWA eliminates this issue, leading to fewer disruptions and quicker installations.
- Spectrum Utilization: With advancements in technology, FWA solutions can operate over a wide range of frequencies. This flexibility allows service providers to utilize available spectrum efficiently, catering to various bandwidth needs.
- Support for IoT and Smart Cities: As the world moves towards a more interconnected environment with IoT and smart city initiatives, FWA can act as a backbone, offering a robust connection to support these technologies.
- Temporary Solutions and Events: FWA can be deployed for temporary events or in disaster-stricken areas where the infrastructure is damaged. This makes it an excellent solution for providing connectivity during events, conventions, or in emergency scenarios.
In summary, FWA is a versatile and efficient solution for delivering broadband access, especially in areas where traditional methods are either too costly or challenging to deploy. With the rapid advancements in wireless technologies, especially 5G, FWA's benefits are likely to further expand in the coming years.