- More than 68% of the households in the world excluding China do not have access to fixed broadband. This number is expected to decrease to 54% by 2030.
- FWA (4G and 5G) subscriptions will reach 473 million by 2030, representing 36% of the global fixed broadband users. APAC and Europe will represent almost half of the global 5G FWA subscribers.
Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – September 27, 2021
By the end of 2020, 68% of the households in the world except China had no access to fixed broadband. This gap will decrease to 54% by 2030, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global FWA+CPE Forecast, 2019-2030 – H1 2021. With a CAGR of 23.68% FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) subscriptions will reach 473 million (4G and 5G) by 2030, representing 36% of the global fixed broadband users. APAC and Europe will represent almost half of the global 5G FWA subscribers.
Commenting on the fixed broadband market evolution, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “VDSL and cable represent two out of three fixed broadband subscribers across regions, independent of the service penetration. However, around 2024-2025, subscribers will start demanding a speed faster than 100Mbps, which these technologies cannot support. Exhibit 1 shows that by 2030 only 3% of the global households will utilize these technologies.
For the next 2-3 years, operators will also focus on increasing fiber network rollout in most regions except the MEA. But Counterpoint forecasts that FWA will grow significantly after 2024. This is because the last-mile connection to fiber in less populated areas will be too costly to make economic sense. Another major driver of the FWA technology are countries with many islands, like Greece, Italy, and Philippines. Deploying fiber could be a nightmare here, making FWA a better option. Furthermore, 5G technology will have mostly SA networks and offer better speed than the legacy technologies of VDSL and cable. All these drivers will fuel the growth of 5G FWA.”
Exhibit 1: Global (Except China) Fixed Broadband Penetration and Share
Source: FWA – The first Killer App
Commenting on the 5G FWA growth, Research Analyst Parv Sharma said, “While 5G FWA has become an increasingly attractive option for operators to offer fixed internet access to those who do not have access to it or need a higher speed option, its growth through 2020 and 2021 has been lower than expected. Part of it is due to the lack of components in the supply chain, which has impacted the CPE market. This, in turn, has slowed the price erosion of 5G CPE devices, hampering the growth of 5G FWA subscriptions. The component constraints will remain an issue until 2022. Meanwhile, 5G FWA services are more attractive for North America, Europe and MEA (the Middle East part).
Exhibit 2: Consumer Household 5G FWA Subscribers by Region
Source: Global FWA+CPE forecast, 2019-2030 – H1 2021
Also, operators are still trying to get the most from their current infrastructure. Due to COVID-19, some operators decreased their CAPEX and delayed the rollout of 5G network. So, 4G FWA will continue growing until 2024. It will still be a popular solution in the APAC and LATAM regions.
5G network rollout requires a hefty investment. But despite the increase in CAPEX, operators have not been able to translate the launch of the premium service into desired revenue gains. In most cases, 5G FWA services are more expensive than 4G FWA services. However, the price gap varies significantly across operators.”
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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
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