The residential broadband subscriber-base increased 4 percent to over 1.1 billion in 2020, a report from ABI Research said.
5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) will be the fastest-growing residential broadband segment to increase at a CAGR of 71 percent, exceeding 58 million subscribers in 2026.
Remote working, online learning, e-commerce, and virtual healthcare drove high-speed broadband demand throughout 2020. The increase in the use of internet-based home entertainment such as video streaming and online gaming also pushed existing broadband users to upgrade their broadband service to a higher-tier package.
Adoption of internet-connected devices, smart TVs, and smart home devices, as well as consumers’ media consumption through internet applications, will drive high-speed broadband adoption in the years to come.
“In addition, many businesses are allowing remote working for some of their employees after the pandemic, which will boost the need for home broadband services even further,” explains Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research.
Broadband operators are investing in expanding higher-capacity broadband networks. While some cable operators invest in and upgrade to the DOCSIS 3.1 specification, the cable standardization body, CableLabs, and other industry players are working toward DOCSIS 4.0 technology.
Comcast has completed a lab test of DOCSIS 4.0 full-duplex system-on-chip from Broadband in April 2021.
“Cable companies are likely to stretch the life of the existing DOCSIS 3.1 standard for a few more years. However, DOCSIS 4.0 can support speeds of up to 10 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream, enabling improved customer experiences as well as the use of AR/VR or bandwidth-demanding services, which will certainly emerge in the future,” says Lynn.
Telcos upgrade their xDSL to Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks. In addition, FWA services are a cost-effective alternative when the deployment of a high-speed fixed broadband network is not economically feasible.
Ongoing 5G network deployment alongside the development of extended 5G mmWave solutions will allow service providers to offer high-speed 5G FWA services in both urban and low-density areas. 5G FWA services are expected to represent 4 percent of residential broadband services in 2026, growing from less than 1 percent in 2020.