The GSA 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum has released the findings of its annual Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) CPE market survey, indicating significant growth in 5G FWA CPE shipments. According to the survey, shipments of 5G FWA CPE more than doubled in 2022, reaching 7.4 million units, and are projected to increase further to 13.8 million units in 2023.
These figures represent over 40% of all surveyed vendor shipments, marking a significant increase from the 29% reported in 2022. The report also identified a strong momentum behind FWA services, with 535 operators in 186 countries and territories offering FWA using LTE or 5G. Moreover, 455 operators in 173 countries and territories have already launched FWA services worldwide.
The survey found that as the FWA market scales, the prices of 5G CPE devices are expected to reach parity with those of 4G CPE devices by 2025. This aligns with the growing number of operators promoting residential or business 5G FWA broadband services as part of their 5G offerings.
Key findings from the GSA Fixed Wireless Access CPE Market Survey include:
1) 5G FWA CPE shipments more than doubled in 2022, reaching 7.4 million units, and are predicted to increase to 13.8 million units in 2023, accounting for 43% of all device shipments.
2) The surveyed companies reported an increase in aggregated shipments to 25.4 million units in 2022 (12% YoY), driven by the growth of battery-powered pocket routers. FWA Indoor & Outdoor CPEs also grew by 9% in 2022, totaling 18.8 million units.
3) FWA Indoor & Outdoor CPE shipments are anticipated to grow by 31% in 2023, reaching almost 25 million units. This growth is primarily driven by the strong demand for Indoor CPEs, which are expected to reach 21.6 million units (34% YoY).
4) Although representing a smaller share of 5G shipments, mmWave-capable device shipments more than doubled in 2022, reaching 0.45 million units, and are predicted to grow by over 70% in 2023, reaching almost 800 thousand units.
5) Regional shipments remained mostly unchanged in 2022 compared to 2021, with China experiencing growth and capturing a 17% global share primarily due to reduced volumes in Europe. Telecom operators are the main channel for CPE shipments, accounting for 70% of volumes in 2022 and expected to increase to 77% in 2023.
6) The survey indicated a growing trend for flexible indoor and outdoor CPEs with self-installation apps. However, expectations for window-mounted and hybrid fiber/DSL CPEs were more mixed.
7) Respondents generally do not anticipate component shortages in 2023 and 2024, but inflationary pressures are still a concern.
8) Similar to previous years, most vendors expect 5G CPE prices to align with those of 4G CPE by 2025.
The survey results highlight the significant growth and widespread adoption of 5G FWA services. John Yazlle, vice-chairman of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum, emphasizes the strength of the 3GPP ecosystem in supporting the adoption of 5G FWA globally.
The GSA 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum aims to educate the industry about the FWA market, as there is currently a lack of consensus and market definition for FWA device shipments and installed base. The survey provides valuable insights into the true state of the fixed wireless access market and is available for download from the GSA 4G/5G FWA website.