Home Press Release Global growth in FWA device shipments shaped by Covid-19 lockdowns and shift to home working

Global growth in FWA device shipments shaped by Covid-19 lockdowns and shift to home working

by Brenda Lafeuillee

Growth in 4G/5G FWA CPE shipments expected to accelerate in 2021, driven by increasingly wide availability of LTE and 5G-based services

LONDON, UK – 07 September 2021 – The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) today released the results of its first GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum device ecosystem survey. Drawing on data from 25 device vendors across the 3GPP-based FWA CPE ecosystem, the data reveals strong market momentum with shipment growth expected to continue and accelerate in 2021 compared to 2020, with 31% growth for 4G/5G FWA CPEs and 23% growth for battery-operated hotspots. In 2020, APAC (excluding China and India) represented the largest portion of the shipments, closely followed by Middle East and Africa, and then Europe. The association also announced today that there are now 43 companies in the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum.

The survey confirms the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on changing work habits, with ‘work/study from home’ identified by CPE device vendors as the most important market trend for 2020 and 2021. However, as people around the world have gradually returned to their offices and schools in 2021, the launch of 5G services by operators has grown in importance as a driver of future growth in the FWA market.

Key takeaways from the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum device ecosystem survey include:

  • Results from the first GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum device ecosystem survey covering 25 device vendors show strong momentum for the 3GPP-based FWA market
  • 4G/5G FWA CPE shipments of the participating Forum members in 2020 amounted to 22.9 million units, growing 18% compared to 2019. For 2021 the annual growth rate is expected to accelerate to 31.4%
  • Cumulative 4G/5G FWA CPE shipments for the responding Forum members in 2019–2021 add to 72.4 million units. This figure reaches 108.2 million including battery-operated hotspots
  • Device shipments in 2020 were predominantly on 4G/LTE, with about 5% of devices having 4G/LTE and 5G capabilities
  • CPE vendors highlight ‘work/study from home’ as the most relevant market trend for 2020 and 2021, showing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

The full report is available for download here: https://gsacom.com/paper/fwa-cpe-market-survey-september-2021/

“Educating the industry about the FWA market has always been at the top of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum’s agenda,” said Julien Grivolas, Chairman of GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum. “So far, there has been a lack of market information about 4G/5G FWA device shipments and the associated customer base installed globally. That is why, as the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum Chair, I am particularly pleased that, thanks to the support of 25 device vendors amongst our members, we have been able to produce this first annual survey report together. This is a significant milestone which will help industry players to better grasp the significance and growth of the 4G/5G FWA market.”

Joe Barrett, President of GSA, commented: “This report illustrates well what benefits the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum and its members can bring to the industry. With the input from a growing Forum membership which now numbers 43, our organization works on a range of activities including an update of this report expected in H1 2022. As always, we are eager to see more companies joining us and contributing.”

25 CPE vendors of the GSA 4G/5G FWA Forum answered the first edition of the survey. We estimate that this is a significant representation of the 3GPP-based market. The vendors that participated in the survey were: Asiatelco Technologies Co., Askey, BEC Technologies, BLiNQ Networks, Casa Systems, Esound Technologies, Gosuncnwelink Technologies, Greenpacket, HaiIot Co., Huawei, Jaton Technology, MeiG Smart Technology, Mobot Mobile, Nokia, Notion InfoTech, Sichuan Changhong Network Technologies, Shenzhen Jointelli Technologies Co., SMAWave, TCL, Tigercel, Tozed Kangwei, Wavetel, WNC, YaoJin Technology, ZMTEL.

Formed under the auspices of the Global mobile Suppliers Association, the GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum brings together leading chipset, module, and terminal vendors – as well as other telecommunications industry representatives, who wish to promote 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, products and services – to report on progress of FWA deployments, identify use cases and encourage global adoption.

Membership and participation in the GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum is open to chipset, module, and device vendors, together with industry representatives from across the telecommunications ecosystem who wish to promote Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, products and services. For more information or a GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum Application Forum, please email secretariat@gsacom.com.

On Wednesday 27th October, the GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum will hold its second Plenary meeting, an open attendance event for all companies involved in the FWA Ecosystem. More information, including how to register, will be published on https://gsacom.com/webinars/

About GSA

GSA is the voice of the global mobile ecosystem representing companies engaged in the supply of infrastructure, semiconductors, test equipment, devices, applications and mobile support services. The organisation plays a central role in promoting 3GPP technology, advocating spectrum policies and stimulating IMT industry development. The association is a single source of information for industry reports and market intelligence.

The GSA GAMBoD database is a unique search and analysis tool that has been developed to enable searches of LTE and 5G devices and new global data on Mobile Broadband Networks, Technologies and Spectrum (NTS). Results are presented as a list or in charts. Charts may be inserted into documents or presentations, subject to accreditation of GSA as the source.

GAMBoD is a resource dedicated to promoting the success and growth of the Mobile Broadband (MBB) industry and ecosystem and is fully available to all employees of GSA Executive and Ordinary Member companies and GSA Associates who subscribe to the service. More information on GAMBoD is available here: https://gsacom.com/gambod/

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