|Dec 2021||Total: 240,106,000||Change: -459,000|
As wireless gets better, more people will decide to go wireless-only. T-Mobile tests at 50 Mbps up, 90 Mbps down at my house, much faster than cable on the upstream. I’d like to switch. That;s more than enough speed for 95% of people who are not heavy downloaders.
US landline broadband will almost certainly decline over the next 5 years.
T-Mobile and Verizon expect 10% of Americans will move from landline to wireless for broadband. One result: $50 billion government investment, almost all fiber, will not increase the number of landline Internet users.
Even if all unserved connected, that’s less than the ~10 million likely to go wireless in the same timeframe. AT&T has just announced it will shut the wired network to ~15 million locations.
US fixed wireless increased in Q4 2021. T-Mobile can offer 100+ Mbps to most of 220 million Americans using mid-band spectrum. Verizon is close to 100 million. Both are building rapidly.
The two companies had more than enough capacity before the mid-band 5G build, which is virtually doubling what they can deliver. The step function increase in bandwidth means that in most locations, both companies will have unused capacity for the next five years and probably longer. Traffic growth has been plummeting.
Using unused capacity for fixed wireless is virtually cost-free. It is profitable at almost any price. They will aggressively go after their targets.
There is almost no room for broadband growth in Western Europe and most developed countries. It’s almost inevitable that enough people will switch to wireless that the landline total will go down in many countries.
China Mobile improved its marketing and returned to growth in early 2022.