Saturday February 12, 2022

The 5G FWA Opportunity

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

A TCO model for a 5G mmWave FWA network
5G fixed wireless access (FWA) is now a commercial reality in developed and developing countries around the world. While FWA solutions have been around for more than two decades, the massive performance improvements enabled by 5G and the use of mmWave spectrum (enabling speeds that are over 10 times that of 4G) make 5G FWA a competitive solution compared to the predominant technologies in the fixed broadband market.

This report forms part of a research series that reviews the implications and costs associated with deploying 5G FWA services in several regions around the world. In this second report, we focus on the scenario of a mobile operator that has an existing 5G network for mobile services and is looking to deploy a fixed broadband offering. The operator has limited sub‑6 GHz spectrum available (40 MHz) and a reasonable amount of mmWave spectrum in the 26–28 GHz bands (400 MHz). We use our unique TCO model to establish under what conditions deploying 5G FWA can be a cost-effective connectivity option. The scenario is relevant to mid-band constrained mobile operators that do not have a fixed offering, or mid-band constrained converged operators looking to complement or upgrade their wireline networks in underserved areas.

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