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Quectel white paper reveals how 4G/5G are making FWA an alternative to fiber

19 JANUARY 2022 – Quectel Wireless Solutions, a global IoT solutions provider, has published a new white paper detailing how the concurrent arrival of 5G networks and developments in customer premise equipment (CPE) for fixed wireless access are making FWA a realistic alternative to fiber, cable and DSL connections for the first time. The white paper, ‘Why fixed wireless access can provide a fiber alternative with rapid rolloutexplains how FWA is being adopted as a means by which mobile network operators and others can close the digital divide and bring broadband connectivity to the previously unconnected.

With the ITU-T estimating that fewer than 50% of the more than two billion homes on the planet are served by fixed broadband access technologies, FWA therefore addresses a very large market. 5G will enable FWA to target a very broad customer base in the wealthier markets that are not served by FTTH. If the economics of 5G coverage can be made to stack up against the typically less dense rural population, FWA has the potential to help address social and economic inequalities and to breach the digital divide but there are still costs to consider and 5G coverage still remains years away in many markets.

For less wealthy markets and those that do not have 5G coverage, 4G connectivity is already in-place to provide an alternative. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reports that LTE FWA offers a mean peak download speed of 98.4Mbps which while far from the performance of 5G FWA and fiber, still provides a useful internet experience for those who have not been connected by existing technologies.

The paper details the scale and scope of the market opportunity across developed and developing markets and details how advances in CPE are bringing more affordable FWA hardware to market. Quectel itself is playing an important role here by drawing on its expertise in modules and antennas to help customers optimize design and production of CPE, such as routers, gateways and fixed 4G/5G repeaters.

“It’s clear that 4G and 5G FWA provide a real alternative to fixed line connections and speeds and coverage are now able to provide users with high quality experiences,” says Alexander Bufalino, VP of Marketing, Quectel Wireless Solutions. “In wealthier markets, 5G can now provide an excellent alternative to fiber while, in the developing world optimized CPE coupled with 4G connectivity make it viable to connect communities for the first time. We’re proud to be helping customers build a smarter world by making both of these opportunities a reality.”

To learn more about the FWA market and how it is maturing read the new Quectel whitepaper ‘Why fixed wireless access can provide a fiber alternative with rapid rollout’.