Saturday, June 04, 2016

Report: Wireless Still Not a Serious Fixed-line Competitor

Granted 5G wireless could ultimately let AT&T and Verizon compete more directly with cable broadband, but with the standard still not finalized, serious deployment won't be likely until 2020 or later. And given AT&T and Verizon's tendency toward premium pricing and usage restrictions on wireless, it's not all that likely that these services will be seen as a real alternative to cable either (especially as gigabit speeds are deployed via DOCSIS 3.1).The reality is that even should 5G technology be a great alternative to fixed service, the cable and wireless industries will likely work to avoid competing seriously on price, much as we've seen throughout the DSL/cable duopoly era.

The limited carrying capacity of radio spectrum would require telcos to push fiber far more deeply into their networks to backhaul small cell sites in order to use 5G wireless as a premises service delivery technology. In that regard, it faces the same ROI constraints that limit legacy telco build out of fiber to the premise architecture and is thus highly unlikely.

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