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Imagine a telecom realm entwined with high-speed internet, without the hassle of cables—this is the promise of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). With FWA, the delays of fiber-optic installations and the limitations of DSL are a notion of the past. Powered by 5G technology, homes and businesses are set to enter a new era of unparalleled flexibility and speed.

Over the past three years, the number of service providers offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) has steadily increased. By 2023, nearly 80% of global service providers had adopted FWA. According to Ericsson’s Fixed Wireless Access Insights, FWA connections are projected to grow significantly, reaching 330 million by 2029. This will constitute 18% of all fixed broadband connections and generate approximately USD 75 billion in revenue for service providers.

FWA data traffic is expected to surge as well, nearing 159 exabytes by 2029, which will represent nearly 30% of total mobile network data traffic. In the Middle East, there has been robust 5G FWA momentum, particularly in Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE wherein service providers are actively promoting home internet solutions based on either fiber or 5G FWA and are transitioning 4G FWA connections to 5G.

Regionally, over 80% of service providers in North America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa offer FWA. As of November 2023, there are 121 service providers globally with 5G FWA offerings. Notably, 51 of these (42%) are located in emerging markets, lead by the Middle East with 16 service providers offering 5G FWA services.

Network Evolution

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) deployments offer three key advantages over fiber deployments: faster time-to-market, a more favorable financial investment profile, and the ability to leverage existing mobile infrastructure. The enhanced speed, capacity, and coverage of FWA are achieved through various technologies such as 5G standalone (5G SA) networks, carrier aggregation, massive MIMO solutions, and the utilization of new spectrum in mid-band TDD and mmWave frequencies.

The superior performance of 5G serves as the cornerstone of FWA success, enabling the provision of fiber-like services on a large scale. To fully leverage the potential of 5G, service providers are increasingly adopting 5G Standalone (5G SA) networks with dedicated cores and advanced air interfaces, facilitating differentiated services and enabling premium gigabit FWA for new and advanced use cases.

In regions like EMEA and Asia, 5G-Advanced technology provides FWA with a competitive edge over fiber services, offering connection rates of 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps, comparable to fiber, but at reduced deployment costs, particularly in areas with lower population densities. Leading service providers are also implementing Network and RAN Slicing to capitalize on 5G monetization opportunities, delivering differentiated performance tailored to specific connectivity needs, including high throughput, reliability, and low latency requirements.

The integration of mmWave technology further enhances gigabit FWA network performance and user experiences, enabling three times the capacity and extended range. Thus, FWA users benefit from significantly higher upload speeds and capacity, facilitated by massive MIMO and uplink carrier aggregation.

Ongoing 5G FWA Momentum

From a telecom player's perspective, there are several reasons why there is ongoing momentum for 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA):

  1. High-Speed Internet Access: 5G FWA offers high-speed internet access compared to traditional fixed-line broadband, making it an attractive option for both urban and rural areas where laying down fiber infrastructure might be expensive or time-consuming.
  2. Quick Deployment: Deploying 5G FWA infrastructure is faster and more cost-effective compared to laying down fiber-optic cables. Telecom companies can leverage their existing 5G infrastructure or build new small cell sites to offer high-speed internet access to customers rapidly.
  3. Last-Mile Connectivity: 5G FWA provides an efficient solution for bridging the last-mile connectivity gap, especially in areas where traditional wired infrastructure is lacking or insufficient.
  4. Scalability, Flexibility and Mobility: 5G FWA networks are highly scalable, allowing telecom players to expand their coverage areas and accommodate a growing number of subscribers without significant infrastructure upgrades. 5G FWA also offers mobility, allowing users to access high-speed internet on-the-go.
  5. Diverse Use Cases: Beyond residential broadband, 5G FWA can also support various use cases such as enterprise connectivity, IoT applications, smart cities, and industrial automation, expanding revenue opportunities for telecom companies.
  6. Government Initiatives and Support: Governments in many countries are supporting the deployment of 5G infrastructure, including FWA, through regulatory reforms, subsidies, and incentives. This support encourages telecom players to invest in and expand their 5G networks.

Overall, the combination of high-speed internet access, quick deployment, scalability, flexibility, and support from governments creates a favorable environment for telecom players to capitalize on the momentum of 5G FWA and meet the increasing demand for broadband connectivity.

The appeal of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) varies by region due to differing geographical, economic, and technological factors. Here’s an overview of what makes each region appealing for FWA:

North America – United States and Canada

There is a strong investment in 5G infrastructure by major telecom players such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T which supports widespread FWA deployment and bridges the internet accessibility gap. Moreover, a high consumer demand for faster and more reliable internet services is evident as more people work and learn from home.


In many parts of Europe, deploying fiber can be expensive and slow due to historical city layouts and regulatory challenges. Hence, FWA offers a faster deployment alternative. European governments and the EU are continually supporting digital initiatives, providing funding and regulatory frameworks that favor FWA deployment.

Asia Pacific

Within developed markets like South Korea, Japan and Australia, the high adoption rates of new technologies make FWA an appealing solution to meet the demand for high-speed internet. Similarly, in emerging markets like India and the rest of Southeast Asia, FWA helps expand high-speed internet to underserved regions as a cost-effective alternative to fixed internet.

Middle East

In GCC countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, FWA plays a crucial role in smart city projects, facilitating the connection of numerous Internet of Things (IoT) devices and ensuring reliable internet access. Additionally, there is also strong governmental support and funding for 5G and digital transformation projects.


As a mobile-first market, high mobile phone penetration and a preference for wireless solutions makes FWA a natural fit in this area. FWA can provide high-speed internet where traditional infrastructure is lacking.

Latin America

As LATAM’s digital economy grows, the demand for reliable, high-speed internet increases, making FWA an attractive solution. Many regions still struggle with broadband access and FWA can quickly extend high-speed internet to underserved areas.

Overall, the specific appeal of FWA in each region is influenced by a combination of geographical challenges, economic conditions, technological readiness, and government policies aimed at improving digital connectivity.

Leveraging 5G FWA

Here are some examples to illustrate the global momentum behind FWA as telecom operators leverage 5G technology to provide high-speed, reliable internet access to underserved and unserved areas, enhancing digital connectivity worldwide.

In the Middle East, operators made significant strides in 5G FWA deployment. In 2021, Nokia and Mobily successfully piloted 4G and 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) network slicing, the first sliced FWA deployment in the world. In 2021, du introduced its FWA business and despite du's lower fiber penetration rate compared to its competitors, FWA resulted in a doubling of user numbers by 2023.

Bearing this in mind, du and Huawei will continue to work together in improving the manufacturing industry with 5G-Advanced, and converging FWA and FTTH for better value and services.

During Q1 2024, stc Kuwait announced the Middle East's inaugural commercial deployment of 5G RedCap Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service.

As of recent updates, Verizon and T-Mobile have been aggressively expanding their 5G Home Internet service, which uses FWA technology to deliver high-speed internet to residential customers.

Telstra in Australia is also expanding its 5G FWA offerings to deliver high-speed internet to homes and businesses in areas where fixed-line options are limited. Moreover, KT Corporation has been actively deploying 5G FWA services to enhance broadband connectivity in South Korea.

Notably, Rain has been pioneering 5G FWA in South Africa, expanding coverage in major cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, while Vodafone has launched 5G FWA services in several European markets, including Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Telecom Review Exclusive Report: 5G to Account For 40% of FWA Market in 2026

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