Skip to main content

Could 5G Wireless Disrupt the Broadband Status-Quo?

Across the globe, most wireline service providers operate in a monopoly or duopoly environment where competition is limited and somewhat predictable. The prior limitations of wireless broadband internet access have not impacted the wireline status-quo. That could change.

The worldwide fixed wireless broadband access market has been growing steadily over the past several years. ABI Research now forecasts that the market will grow by 30 percent in 2018 and will generate $18 billion in service revenue. That being said, let's explore the market dynamics.

Wireless Broadband Market Development

As 5G fixed wireless broadband access is about to be launched in North America during 2018, it's likely to expand and provide some telecom service provider customers with better quality service in the years to come.

Today, LTE is the most widely used technology to provide fixed wireless broadband service across the world. Fixed LTE is mainly deployed for residential broadband service in the areas where fixed broadband infrastructure is poor, enabling network operators to provide residential broadband service more cost effectively compared to wired broadband deployment.

Recently, United States’ operator Verizon Wireless announced its plans to launch 5G fixed wireless broadband service to a 'select' group of its residential customers in the second half of 2018.

Verizon plans to first launch 5G fixed wireless broadband service in California followed by additional markets later and expects initial 5G fixed wireless broadband deployment to cover around 30 million U.S. households.

In addition to Verizon, other network operators -- including AT&T and Charter -- are also carrying out 5G fixed wireless broadband tests in 'select' markets in the United States. 5G fixed wireless trials are not limited to North America.

In Europe, Orange, Elisa, and telecom infrastructure company Arqiva are performing 5G fixed wireless trials. In APAC, Australia’s Optus is planning for 5G fixed wireless service launch in 2019.

"5G fixed broadband access is expected to enable robust services with a reliable capacity to meet the need of residential broadband users. 5G technology can support a theoretical speed up to 20 Gbps with latency 1 ms, enabling operators to provide superior broadband access without installing fiber-optic cables to every single household," said Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI Research.

According to the ABI assessment, early 5G fixed wireless broadband access is likely to focus in dense urban areas and in rural areas when 5G is widely launched commercially. They forecast that the worldwide fixed wireless broadband market will grow at a CAGR of 26 percent, generating $45.2 billion in revenue during 2022.

Outlook for Increased Broadband Competition

Governments have an important role to play in setting public policies that encourage wireless broadband services to compete directly with incumbent wireline broadband service providers. The current 5G 'select' deployment plans seem to indicate that telecom service providers won't utilize the technology to increase competition.

If they're left alone to decide where they choose to deploy 5G services -- without government intervention -- then it's likely there won't be any meaningful disruption of the current status-quo. Furthermore, in North America, local telecom regulators -- such as the 'State Utility Commission' -- are unlikely to act in the interests of consumers, given their prior track record. Therefore, the Federal government is where consumer groups must seek policy change that results in more real competition.

In the Global Networked Economy, every nation competes via telecom infrastructure investment. In this environment, myopic thinking is the enemy of progress. Incumbent telecom service providers investment strategy typically focuses on their own commercial interest, not in the national interest.

Popular posts from this blog

Digital Transformation Spending Reaches $1.8 Trillion

Ongoing investment in business technology will remain on track, despite concerns about the global economic outlook which continues to evolve in 2022. Enterprise CIOs and CTOs are focused on operational profitability and digital business growth goals that are enabled by strategic IT initiatives. Global spending on the Digital Transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to reach $1.8 trillion in 2022 -- that's an increase of 17.6 percent over 2021, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Many anticipated DX investments will sustain this pace of growth throughout the 2021-2025 forecast period, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6 percent. Digital Transformation Global Market Development "IDC expects to see aggressive DX technology investment growth in 2022 following a minor slowdown during the pandemic period," said Craig Simpson, senior research manager at IDC . "As orga

Flexible Working: Why Company Culture Matters

The main reasons for the Great Resignation are obsolete leadership, fearful middle managers, and a toxic culture that hinders employee engagement. Perhaps that's why some organizations are still struggling with the consideration and development of a flexible working model.  They're incapable of evolving to a more enlightened approach to work where employees are treated with respect. They're stuck in a bygone era of the 20th-century industrial revolution where 'shareholder value' tops all other values, and where spreadsheets and financial data analysis drives all key decision making. We should not be surprised that 76 percent of human resource (HR) leaders now feel that hybrid work challenges an employee's connection to organizational culture, according to a recent survey by Gartner. A 2022 poll of HR leaders reveals the most challenging aspect of setting their hybrid strategy is adjusting the current organizational culture to support a hybrid workforce. In fact,

Energy Sector IoT Cybersecurity Gains Momentum

The electric distribution industry continues to invest in digital transformation projects. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology is becoming a driver for connected electricity meters, which will reach an installed base of 1.3 billion by 2027. AMI growth is prompting utilities and energy suppliers to revisit their IT infrastructure security and device management operations, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research. Energy Infrastructure Security Market Development Digitization of traditional electricity grids and the modernization of the aging energy infrastructure is among the top concerns for utility operators and governments worldwide. Security for last-mile energy consumption applications was frequently overlooked. "However, the introduction of AMI, smart metering, and grid digitization is steadily increasing spending for secure management services, assisting implementers to transition to IT (information technologies) and OT (operational techno