24 November 2016
Millimeter wave for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)


What is FWA?
We have earlier referred to this as Gigabit to Home (GBTH). FWA offers fixed locations a broadband “fiber-like” services via wireless. By using mm-wave technology it is now possible to offer wireless speeds >1 Gbps at a lower price point, hence FWA is a contender for the “last mile” broadband access services. This has also been proven via the announcement recently made by Google Fiber, when they halted [1] the roll-out of fiber and instead announced that wireless is the future.

The market opportunity?
Ovum believes [2] FWA will compete directly against DSL, cable modem, and fixed broadband technologies. See figure 2 below from Ovum. These technologies approximately stand for 500 million fixed broadband connections worldwide. While fiber (FTTx) will be keep on growing with approximately 200 million new connections from 2016 to 2021.



Figure 2



In the US, there are 87 million [3] broadband subscriptions and 83% of these households in the US does not have FFTx [2] (FFTx is generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber). Hence in the next wave of upgrading to higher data speed, many of these homes can potentially opt for FWA. The total market potential in the US is 144 million units to cover 72 million new possible “last mile” connections. If you assume use of different silicon technologies (CMOS, SiGe BiCMOS) and using 5G or WiGiG for FWA services, depending on needed distance, link speed, etc, the price will be in span between 40-120 USD for a transceiver module with an electrical beam steered patch antenna. This gives a total addressable market of 6-16 Billion USD in the US for FWA. We believe that this will be a very interesting opportunity for infrastructure mm-wave technology.

Anders Storm
Sivers IMA – Your partner for advanced mm-wave and microwave solutions.


FTTX Fiber to the x)

Ref [1] http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/15/12492890/google-fiber-wireless-plans-la-chicago-dallas

Ref [2] http://www.samsung.com/global/business-images/insights/2016/Whitepaper_5G-Fixed-Wireless-Access-0.pdf

Ref [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_broadband_Internet_subscriptions