The 5G fixed wireless access market was valued at USD 503 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 86,669 million by 2026; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 135.9% from 2020 to 2026. Increasing the adoption of advanced technologies such as machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) and rising use of millimeter-wave technology for 5G fixed wireless access is expected to drive the growth of the 5G fixed wireless access market. However, the high costs of infrastructures and the adverse impact of millimeter-wave technology on the environment act as restraints for the growth of the 5G fixed wireless access market.
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Sub–6 GHz segment held the largest share of 5G fixed wireless access market
The sub–6 GHz frequency segment is projected to account the largest share in the 5G fixed wireless access market, in terms of volume, in 2026. The key difference between sub–6 GHz and mmWave bands is the difference in them in terms of coverage and indoor penetration. mmWave bands have a small coverage footprint owing to their RF properties. The frequencies in this band are unable to penetrate solid objects such as walls. mmWave requires more sites than sub–6 GHz to provide similar coverage. For instance, based on the simulations run by Kumu Networks, it is estimated that the 26 GHz spectrum requires 7 to 8 times more sites than the 3.5 GHz spectrum. The 5G deployment strategy of operators is to use sub–6 GHz to provide expansive city and country-wide coverage and utilize the dense deployment of mmWave in high-traffic dense urban and urban areas, as well as suburban pockets to provide increased broadband capacity. The mmWave clusters provide higher capacity magnitudes than sub–6 GHz clusters owing to the broadband density and a large spectrum available. Additionally, such dense deployments are easy with mmWave owing to their small coverage footprint. Therefore, most telecommunication operators and 5G fixed wireless access equipment manufacturers are commercially launching products that support the sub–6 GHz frequency range.
Semi-urban areas to continue to lead 5G fixed wireless access market during forecast period
In terms of value, the semi-urban segment is projected to account largest share in the 5G fixed wireless access market in 2026. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the fact that in semi-urban areas, the density of the population is sparse. Hence, these areas require significantly high investments to connect subscribers with a network through wireline infrastructures. With high-power transmissions/receptions and advanced antenna technologies, wireless links can effectively reach rural areas without any major construction required as only base stations and customer premises equipment require to be installed. In several situations, operators are required to provide temporary coverage in some areas wherein there is little or no demand for Internet connectivity; for instance, skiing resorts during winters. Fixed wireless access is a flexible, quick, and cost-effective solution to cater to the rural/temporary Internet requirements.
The 5G fixed wireless access market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Huawei (China), Ericsson (Sweden), Nokia Corporation (Finland), Samsung Electronics (South Korea), Inseego (US), Siklu Communication, Ltd. (Israel), Mimosa Networks, Inc. (US), Vodafone (UK), Verizon Communications Inc. (US) and CableFree (UK).