Ericsson asserted fixed wireless access (FWA) has become a key 5G use case for communications service providers (CSPs), with research for its Mobility Report showing a 29 per cent rise in the number offering a compatible service in the year to end-March alongside further user forecast increases.

The vendor stated 241 of 310 CSPs quizzed offered an FWA service, 128 of which provided a 5G option. It stated the technology is enabling operators to compete on speed, data capabilities and latency by pitching services broadly on par with fixed line options.

In addition to recording an increase in the number of CSPs offering a 5G FWA service, Ericsson noted an “almost 50 per cent” rise in the number offering tariffs based on the data rates available, for a 40 per cent penetration overall.

“FWA is currently second only to enhanced mobile broadband as a 5G use case,” the company stated.

Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of Networks, said the research for Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report showed a “need for increased deployment” of standalone (SA) 5G to make the best use of the technology’s capabilities.

Ericsson put the number of operators with commercial 5G services at around 300, “of which about 50 have launched” SA.

Subscriptions, spectrum
The vendor now predicts 5G subscriptions will be close to 5.6 billion by the end of 2029, around 60 per cent of all mobile subscriptions. The figure at end-March stood at 1.7 billion after an opening quarter in which around 160 million were added.

Ericsson pointed to sluggish uptake of mid-band spectrum, with deployments in “around 25 per cent of all sites globally outside of mainland China” giving a population coverage of 35 per cent.

“North America and India have made rapid deployments, topping 85 per cent and 90 per cent mid-band coverage, respectively,” it stated.

Ericsson predicted mid-band deployments in India will fuel a surge in overall 5G subscriptions from 119 million at end-2023 to 840 million at the close of 2029. It added the nation leads data consumption per smartphone statistics, forecasting the figure to grow from 29GB to 68GB.