Investing in FWA or buying FTTP wholesale: a comparison for mobile network operators

18 March 2024 | Research

Rupert Wood

Strategy report | PPTX and PDF (19 slides) | Wireless Infrastructure Strategies| Fibre Infrastructure Strategies

"In countries where the FTTP ecosystem has been delayered, the relative TCO cost of FWA and FTTP are quite balanced."


This report asks whether challenger fixed-wireless access (FWA) is economically sustainable in the long term. It contrasts the internal cost to a mobile network operator (MNO) of expanding capacity to the costs of wholebuying.1

In addition to providing recommendations for MNOs, the report provides recommendations for how fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network owners can bridge the gap between MNOs’ wholebuy requirements and their own wholesale offerings.

Questions answered in this report

  • What are the limits of the fallow capacity approach to 5G FWA?
  • What are the relative costs per premises passed of capacity enhancements to FWA, and how can these best be calculated?
  • How does the monthly TCO of self-supplying various forms of FWA stack up against wholesale FTTP rates?
  • How might wholesale FTTP plays best address the opportunities that arise from migrating FWA customers off mobile networks?

Who should read this report

  • Telecoms operator network strategy teams
  • Mobile RAN equipment vendors 
  • FWA customer premises equipment (CPE) vendors 
  • Fixed access vendors

1 Throughout this report we use the terms ‘wholebuy’ and ‘wholebuyer’ instead of ‘buy wholesale’ and ‘purchaser of wholesale services’.


Log in

Log in to check if this content is included in your content subscription.