As Fixed Wireless Wreaks Havoc on Cable, are Smaller ISPs Next?

By Jeff Johnston

November 15, 2022

Key Points

  • T-Mobile and Verizon have been disrupting the cable internet business with their fixed wireless access (FWA) service bundled with smartphone plans.
  • The incremental cost to offer this service is minimal, which has led to unprecedented market share growth for T-Mobile and Verizon at the expense of cable companies Comcast, Charter, and Altice USA.
  • The sustainability of FWA and the associated share gains from cable is an outstanding question, but look for current trends to continue for the foreseeable future.
  • T-Mobile and Verizon are offering FWA in markets where they have excess network capacity, which means smaller internet service providers (ISP) are exposed to competitive threats from the wireless operators.
  • However, for now we think the wireless operators will continue to prioritize urban and suburban markets where the growth prospects are attractive, in addition to unserved rural markets.

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