Wireless & Mobile Landscape

U.S. Fixed Wireless Deployment Forecast, 2017-2027: Riding the Waves

Wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) have been providing Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services to rural households for a long time. These providers use a mix of licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands along with a mix of technologies – everything from WiMax to LTE to proprietary versions of Wi-Fi. Generally speaking, these technologies only provide fixed wireless access with no path to mobility. This is what iGR calls the “traditional” FWA market.

New entrants to the traditional fixed wireless market include companies such as AT&T and Verizon. These companies have entered this market with mmWave-based fixed wireless systems that use 5G New Radio (5G NR). Their ultimate goal is to transition these fixed wireless networks to being capable of providing mobile 5G NR services. iGR refers to this segment of the market as mmWave-based FWA.

This report, which builds off the methodology iGR used in its fixed wireless access costs report, sizes the fixed wireless market, both traditional and mmWave, with both a total addressable market (TAM) and an “actuals” forecast (i.e., the estimated number of actual subscribing households). It also forecasts the potential revenues to be generated by both traditional and mmWave FWA in the U.S. between 2017 and 2027.


Key Questions Answered

  • What is the traditional fixed wireless access market?
  • What is millimeter wave and how will it be used? Why is millimeter wave important?
  • What is mid-band spectrum and how will it be used?
  • What is the goal of 5G NR-based mmWave solutions as deployed by some of the new market entrants?
  • What are the pros and cons to deploying mmWave? What are the challenges?
  • How big is the traditional fixed wireless access market? How many households use that service?
  • How big is the mmWave-based fixed wireless access market? How many households will use that service?
  • How much revenue is expected to be generated by both traditional and mmWave-based fixed wireless access over 10 years?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile operators
  • Microwave spectrum holders and operators
  • Fixed wireless solution vendors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
  • Overview of Fixed Wireless
    • Mid-Band Spectrum
    • mmWave
    • FWA Deployment Options
    • MIMO
    • 3GPP versus Non-3GPP FWA
    • Summary
  • Key Drivers of FWA Costs
    • Overview of Fixed Wireless Costs
  • Who’s Doing What: FWA
    • AT&T
    • Comcast
    • C-Spire
    • ExteNet Systems
    • Redzone Wireless
    • Rise Broadband
    • Verizon
    • Windstream
    • Other WISPs
    • Acquiring Spectrum
    • Devices
  • MmWave Fixed Wireless Adoption Forecast
    • Forecast Methodology
    • Forecasting the mmWave TAM
    • Forecasting mmWave Adoption
  • Traditional Fixed Wireless Adoption Forecast
  • Fixed Wireless Revenue Forecast
  • Definitions
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) by distance from “city hall” and population size categories (in 000s)
  • Table 2: Households per MSA by distance from “city hall” (000s)
  • Table 3: Households per ring (000s)
  • Table 6: Residential TAM, mmWave-based FWA
  • Table 7: mmWave FWA TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 7a: mmWave FWA TAM, 2023-2027
  • Table 8: mmWave Actual HH Adoption, 2017-2022
  • Table 8a: mmWave Actual HH Adoption, 2023-2027
  • Table 9: Households per ring (000s)
  • Table 10: Traditional FWA TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 10a: Traditional FWA TAM, 2023-2027
  • Table 11: Traditional FWA Actual Households, 2017-2022
  • Table 11a: Traditional FWA Actual Households, 2023-2027
  • Table 12: FWA Revenue, 2017-2022
  • Table 12a: FWA Revenue, 2023-2027
  • Definitions Table

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure A: mmWave-based FWA – TAM and Actuals, 2017-2027
  • Figure B: Traditional FWA – TAM and Actuals, 2017-2027
  • Figure 1: Overview of FWA Cost Model’s Findings, Leasing Tower Space
  • Figure 2: Population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) by distance from “city hall” and population size categories (in 000s)
  • Figure 3: Households per MSA by distance from “city hall” (000s)
  • Figure 4: Households per ring (000s)
  • Figure 5: The Sweet Spot for FWA
  • Figure 6: FWA mmWave TAM, Number of Households
  • Figure 7: mmWave FWA TAM, 2017-2027
  • Figure 8: mmWave Actual HH Adoption, 2017-2027
  • Figure 9: Households per ring (000s)
  • Figure 10: Traditional FWA TAM, 2017-2027
  • Figure 11: Traditional FWA Actual Households, 2017-2027
  • Figure 12: FWA Revenue, 2017-2027

For additional information on the U.S. Fixed Wireless Deployment Forecast, 2017-2027: Riding the Waves market study, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 263-5682 or by email.