The Billion-Dollar, Fixed-Wireless-Access Opportunity

By: Toby Forman

5G cellular network performance is evolving rapidly across the globe. Over a six-month period, local testing has shown new levels of performance in both indoor and outdoor 5G networks. 5G is maturing and beginning to deliver on its promise of 1 Gbps download speeds.

Cellular performance remains varied across the globe, but the overall trend is toward higher speeds, lower latencies, and greater resiliency in cellular networks. 5G is ramping up in 2023 and showing the viability of fixed wireless access as a simple, efficient, and reliable alternative to broadband or other terrestrial network infrastructure. 

While the mobile industry hasn’t quite entered the gigabit era, there is potential to deliver enterprise-grade fixed wireless access solutions. Upload speeds are beginning to demonstrate greater peak performance while latency is falling.

Research firm MarketAndMarkets expects the global 5G fixed wireless access market to be worth $29.4 billion in 2023 and will reach $153.0 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.0 percent during the forecast period. It notes, “The growth of the 5G fixed wireless access market is expected to be driven by the increased wireless network capacity and high speed offered by high-frequency millimeter waves.”

The need for new intelligence

Creating a roadmap for 5G adoption requires local intelligence combined with a global perspective on the development and deployment of 5G. Enterprises that have a view of cellular options locally can make decisions about the best technology to adopt to serve their needs today while ensuring they are ready for 5G in the future. When they have an accurate understanding of cellular performance, they can make the right choices for their organization and ensure that they are 5G-ready when it is available.   

New intelligence is essential for deploying fixed wireless access solutions and maximizing the value of cellular services across enterprise organizations. The opportunity for fixed wireless is growing due to improvements in networking technology, its economic feasibility, and increased government funding, as well as its ability to serve overlooked or difficult-to-reach markets. The continual growth of 5G deployments by mobile network operators (MNO) means that enterprises can adopt fixed wireless today and migrate to 5G as and when it is deployed in their area of operation.

So far, enterprises have relied on their MNO to offer fixed wireless, but these offerings only include the MNO’s network services. Enterprises only see the capabilities of a single network when there could be a multitude of high-performance options available.   

Enterprises need better upload speeds

Hyper-asymmetric connections continue to be the predominant focus when looking at 5G performance. These connections are dialed up to ensure consumer use cases are supported. Enterprises, on the other hand, require more symmetrical connections with upload speeds being critical to the day-to-day running of business applications. With an increasing amount of data being run through the cloud by consumers and businesses every day, 5G performance must exceed its predecessors and meet the demand of an always-on world.

According to CELLSMART’s Global Cellular Performance Survey, real-world testing shows new peak download and upload speeds on 5G networks. The industry is on the cusp of the gigabit era in cellular networks with these speeds moving from the lab to field in 2023. To make informed decisions about 5G and broadband access, enterprises must understand hyper localization and signal penetration, and build an on-the-ground knowledge of cellular networking options. To simplify this process, they can integrate a service provider partner into their operations who can advise on the


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