Verizon Communication says it will launch fixed wireless residential broadband services in three to five U.S. markets in 2018, starting with Sacramento, Calif. That move is the among the first of an expected wave of fixed wireless deployments to use 5G platforms (or, perhaps properly, pre-5G platforms).
Importantly, the commercial rollout will, Verizon hopes, demonstrate the cost advantage of using 5G fixed wireless instead of fiber to the home to provide internet access at speeds up to a gigabit per second.
By some estimates, fixed wireless access networks feature capital investment about half that of fiber to the home, and perhaps less than half the cost of a connected location.
That is crucial, if U.S. telcos are to reverse a decade-long erosion of internet access market share to cable TV companies. Not since about 2007 have telcos had more internet access market share than cable companies
A reasonable goal might be to boost market share from about 40 percent to 50 percent. Fixed wireless might be a key part of that effort.