FWA market: CPE shipments more than doubled to 7.4 million

12 September 2023

The GSA 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum today released the findings of its annual Fixed Wireless Access CPE market survey, revealing that 5G FWA CPE shipments more than doubled in 2022 to 7.4 million and are forecast to increase again to 13.8 million during the current year. This represents more than 40% of all shipments by the vendors surveyed, compared to just 29% of shipments in 2022.

GSA has identified announced service offers for FWA using LTE or 5G from 535 operators in 186 countries and territories and launched services from 455 operators in 173 countries and territories worldwide. The findings of the 2023 CPE vendor survey confirm that this operator momentum behind FWA services is reflected in growing device shipments. As the industry scales, prices for 5G CPE devices are forecast to reach parity with those of 4G CPE by 2025, aligning with the growth in operators marketing residential or business 5G FWA broadband services as part of their 5G offering.

5G FWA CPE shipments more than doubled to 7.4 million (+111% year on year/YoY) and are forecast to increase again to 13.8 million (+86%) in 2023, representing 43% of device shipments. Aggregated shipments for the surveyed companies increased in 2022 to 25.4 million units (12% YoY), driven by the growth of battery-powered pocket routers. FWA indoor and outdoor CPEs grew 9% in 2022, reaching 18.8 million units. Shipments of FWA indoor & outdoor CPEs are expected to grow 31% in 2023 to almost 25 million units, driven by strong growth of indoor CPEs expected to reach 21.6 million units (34% YoY). Although a smaller share of 5G shipments, mmWave-capable device shipments more than doubled in 2022 (0.45 million) and are expected to grow more than 70% in 2023 to reach close to 800,000 units. Regional shipments mix remained similar in 2022 compared to 2021, except for growth in China to reach 17% global share (+6p.p.) primarily driven by a reduction in Europe to 19% of volumes (-6p.p.). Telecom operators are the main channel for CPE shipments, representing 70% of volumes in 2022 and expected to grow to 77% in 2023. Among CPE form factor trends, there is a strong consensus that flexible indoor and outdoor CPE and self-installation apps are growing. Window-mounted, and hybrid fibre/DSL CPE have more mixed expectations. The majority of vendors foresee 5G CPE prices will reach parity with those of 4G CPE by 2025.

“FWA emerged as a prime monetization use case for 5G. The survey results confirm that strong momentum with 5G FWA shipments moving towards mainstream and breakthrough growth for millimeter wave capable devices,” said John Yazlle, vice-chairman of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum. “These results also show the strength of a broad 3GPP ecosystem bringing scale and innovation to support the adoption of 5G FWA in all continents.”