GSA Survey Reveals Exponential Growth in 5G Fixed Wireless Access CPE Shipments

The GSA 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum has unveiled its Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) market survey, reporting a remarkable surge in 5G FWA CPE shipments.
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According to the findings, 5G FWA CPE shipments soared by 111 percent in 2022, totaling 7.4 million units. Furthermore, the survey forecasts that these figures will continue to rise, with an estimated 86 percent increase in shipments expected in 2023, reaching an impressive 13.8 million units. This remarkable growth signifies that 5G FWA CPEs now account for over 40 percent of all shipments among the surveyed vendors, a substantial increase from the 29 percent recorded in 2022.

In its recent FWA market report, the GSA identified that 535 telecom operators across 186 countries and territories had announced service offers for FWA utilizing LTE or 5G technology. Out of these, 455 operators in 173 countries and territories worldwide had already launched FWA services.

The 2023 CPE vendor survey reinforces this operator momentum by revealing the substantial increase in device shipments. As the FWA industry continues to scale, prices for 5G CPE devices are predicted to reach parity with 4G CPE devices by 2025, aligning with the growth in operators marketing residential or business 5G FWA broadband services.

Key findings of the 2023 GSA Fixed Wireless Access CPE Market Survey include:

Explosive Growth: 5G FWA CPE shipments more than doubled to 7.4 million units in 2022 and are projected to reach 13.8 million units in 2023, representing 43 percent of total device shipments.

Overall Growth: Aggregated shipments for the surveyed companies increased to 25.4 million units in 2022, a 12 percent year-on-year increase, driven by the expansion of battery-powered pocket routers. FWA Indoor & Outdoor CPEs grew by 9 percent in 2022, reaching 18.8 million units.

Anticipated Growth: Shipments of FWA Indoor & Outdoor CPEs are expected to grow by 31 percent in 2023, nearing 25 million units, driven primarily by the strong growth of Indoor CPEs, which are anticipated to reach 21.6 million units, marking a 34 percent year-on-year increase.

mmWave Surge: Although representing a smaller share of 5G shipments, mmWave-capable device shipments more than doubled in 2022, reaching 0.45 million units. They are expected to grow by over 70 percent in 2023, reaching nearly 800 thousand units.

Regional Shift: The regional shipments mix remained similar in 2022 compared to 2021, except for notable growth in China, capturing a 17 percent global share. Telecom operators remain the primary channel for CPE shipments, representing 70 percent of volumes in 2022 and projected to grow to 77 percent in 2023.

Form Factor Trends: There is a strong consensus among respondents that flexible indoor and outdoor CPEs and self-installation apps are on the rise. However, expectations are more mixed for window-mounted and hybrid fiber/DSL CPEs.

Supply Chain Outlook: The majority of respondents do not anticipate component shortages in 2023 and 2024, although inflationary pressures persist.

Price Parity: Similar to previous years, most vendors foresee that 5G CPE prices will achieve parity with 4G CPE prices by 2025.

The complete survey report is available for download on the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum website. Furthermore, the GSA research team and FWA Forum will delve deeper into the survey’s findings during a webinar on September 28, 2023. This webinar is open to all industry stakeholders, and registration details can be found here.