Wireless FWA is boosting RAN — Industry Voices: Pongratz
Posted on April 12, 2021 by Pivotal Commware
With so much focus on 5G Mobile Broadband (MBB), it is sometimes easy to forget that Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Radio Access Network (RAN) investments are projected to comprise a growing share of the overall RAN capex, reflecting the size of the potential upside, continuous technology advancements, new spectrum, and improving market sentiment for both basic and high performance wireless broadband connectivity.
The overall market opportunity for both DSL and fiber replacements/alternative solutions is significant — according to the ITU and Ericsson’s Mobility Report, around 40% of the world’s two billion households still lack a broadband connection.
Given the link between GDP growth and broadband penetration—World Bank estimates a 10 percentage point increase in fixed broadband penetration boosts GDP growth by 1.4% in developing economies—governments and regulatory bodies around the world have set out various targets to minimize the digital divide. The number of countries with a national broadband plan approached 174 in 2020, up from 102 in 2010 (The State of Broadband 2020).
In addition to addressing households with no broadband, FWA is increasingly viewed as a possible solution to improve broadband connectivity offerings in markets with limited competition. Per T-Mobile’s recent investor update, 50% to 60% of the U.S. household are located in markets with limited broadband options.