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Ericsson Mobile Report: The rise of fixed wireless

The June 2021 Ericsson Mobile Report says users are taking up 5G technology at a faster rate than they adopted 4G.

By year end Ericsson forecasts 580 million 5G users worldwide. By 2026 this will rise to 3.5 billion.

It says fixed wireless broadband user numbers will hit 180 million in that year.

This compares with Ericsson’s estimate of 1.2 billion fixed-line broadband connections today. By 2026 that will rise to 1.5 billion.

Fixed wireless everywhere

It says seven out of ten mobile service providers now offer fixed wireless broadband. The number has doubled in three years.

In New Zealand, all three mobile operators sell fixed wireless.

Ericsson prefers the term fixed wireless access or FWA.

It defines FWA as:

“A connection that provides primary broadband access through wireless wide area mobile network enabled customer premises equipment (CPE).

“This includes various form factors of CPEs, such as indoor (desktop and window) and outdoor (rooftop and wall mounted). It does not include portable battery-based Wi-Fi routers or dongles.”

Fibre and fixed wireless, not fibre or

Countries where there is little landline broadband show the fastest growth in fixed wireless connections.

Yet Ericsson says:

The high adoption rate of FWA is also prevalent in countries with a high fibre penetration.

Fixed wireless accounts for a greater share of all mobile network data. Today it is 15 percent of all data on mobile networks. Ericsson says by 2026 that will rise to 20 percent. A total of 64 exabytes.

By 2026 around four fixed wireless connections in ten will be on 5G.

Ericsson Mobile Report says broadband IoT to take over

Ericsson says IoT connections are moving from 2G or 3G networks to 4G and 5G.

It calls the older technologies Massive IoT. The term includes NB-IoT and Cat-M1 IoT.

Ericsson says:

Massive IoT primarily consists of wide-area use cases, connecting large numbers of low-complexity, low-cost devices with long battery life and relatively low throughput.

This includes meters, sensors and tracking devices.

Broadband IT uses higher throughput, lower latency and larger data volumes.

“Typical use cases include cloud-based AR/VR, remote control of machines and vehicles, cloud robotics, advanced cloud gaming and real-time coordination and control of machines and processes.

“Deployment of the first commercial devices supporting time-critical communications is expected during 2022.”