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Fixed Wireless Access Is Soaring, Dependent on Adding Spectrum: CTIA

5G fixed wireless access is “changing the broadband marketplace” but it needs the FCC to make more full-power, licensed, mid-band spectrum available for carriers, CTIA said in a Wednesday blog post. FWA is having “such an impact on cable’s bottom…

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line that you’ve probably also seen their commercials attacking it -- a striking indicator that 5G home broadband is bringing real competition to cable incumbents,” CTIA said. The blog notes that the fastest growing broadband companies are all wireless carriers, led by T-Mobile. In the first three quarters of last year, FWA had 34 times more adds than cable broadband, based on reports by Leichtman Research, CTIA said. Wall Street analysts have found that nearly 20% of 5G home gross adds “are new to the broadband marketplace altogether,” the group blogged: “That’s twice what they found for the full broadband market, meaning FWA is connecting more people for the first time than cable or any other broadband service.” Spectrum is the sticking point, CTIA warned. “More spectrum will increase speeds -- we’re seeing that with the C-band allocations that have been coming online -- and allow providers to serve more Americans with more capacity.” CTIA called for a “pipeline of spectrum” starting with the lower 3 GHz and 7/8 GHz bands to give consumers “an even more robust 5G for home experience, all while keeping more money in their pockets.” T-Mobile said last week it added 541,000 home internet customers in Q4 and 2.1 million for the year (see 2401250076). Verizon reported 375,000 fixed wireless adds for the quarter, bringing its total to more than 3 million (see 2401230071).