Verizon’s first-quarter results showed significant losses in its consumer group, with postpaid phone subscribers down by 127,000 and prepaid net losses of 351,000.
However, in spite of these overall headwinds, the company’s Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service saw substantial growth, particularly in its business division. CEO Hans Vestberg said that the increase was due, in part, to businesses turning to FWA as their main source of broadband connectivity. With the success of FWA in the business sector, Verizon is also planning to expand FWA into more suburban and rural areas as well.
When discussing the growth potential of 5G FWA plans, the typical areas of focus are developing markets with limited previously built fiber or fixed broadband infrastructure. Verizon’s success with the service in the US serves as a powerful counternarrative and could indicate the viability of FWA as a major product line in advanced markets as well. Further, Verizon’s success with FWA in the business sector particularly indicate that this technology can be competitive with even the most demanding user types.
As the demand for high-speed internet access continues to grow, FWA offers consumers a cost-effective alternative to home broadband. If the underlying 5G networks are able to perform under the increased traffic and this growth continues, then many customers may begin to view them as preferable to traditional fiber offerings – even in locations where the underlying fixed broadband infrastructure is built out and there are established customer bases.