THE CARMEL GROUP‘S 2016 COMPETITIVE BROADBAND PROVIDER REPORT

Introduction

This Report was inspired by the industry leaders and investors listed below. This “Short Version” of the Report is available through WISPA to participants of the 2016 WISPAPALOOZA conference in Las Vegas, NV.

• WISPer ISP                                                     • Huawei 

• Rise Broadband                                                • ZTE 

• WISPA                                                           • Amplex 

• WCA                                                               • SpeedConnect   

• Cambium Networks                                           • AtLink Services 

• Mimosa                                                          • All Points Broadband 

• RFElements                                                     • Safelink 

• Viasat

Executive Summary

A Competitive Broadband Provider (“CBP”) (also known as a Wireless Internet Services Provider (“WISP”), a Broadband Wireless Access Provider (“BWA”) or Fixed Wireless Access Provider (“FWA”)) is a fixed wireless provider of competitive broadband service, offered primarily to consumers, businesses and anchor institutions in rural and suburban areas. CBPs deliver competitive Internet broadband over a combination of licensed, shared access and unlicensed spectrum, comprised mostly of data but increasingly voice, video, security services, and related ancillary products and services are being offered.

This Report presents both an overall and a detailed view of today’s U.S. CBP industry. It further discusses the industry’s strengths, opportunities, challenges, and threats. An international CBP perspective is also offered.

Over 2,000 U.S.-based CBPs target their services toward existing, unserved and underserved consumers. It is estimated that CBPs serve more than four million users in the U.S. today and will achieve 2016 revenues of $2.3-$3 billion. More and more today CBPs are expanding beyond just rural residential to include suburban and urban residential, business, governmental and institutional users.

The Report makes the following findings: 

  • The fixed wireless broadband industry is experiencing a robust growth in subscribership. This improvement is expected to continue during the next five years. Growth drivers include low barriers to entry, development of better performing equipment (e.g., standards-based LTE equipment) at competitive prices led by fierce competition among manufacturers, new spectrum resources, and increasing awareness from the financial community.
  • Fixed wireless technology has been a first mover in rural areas. It can also compete effectively with wired technology solutions in suburban and urban areas where wireline networks historically have not been upgraded, are not locally owned, and/or are not cost-effective to maintain.
  • Large companies including AT&T and Google have recently announced plans to invest in and deploy fixed wireless technology as an extension of their wired services. These investments better serve rural areas, as they further help to validate the opportunity, the technology, and the business model. Long term, these companies could pose a competitive threat or present exit opportunities for smaller providers.
  • Regional consolidation will continue, but a national roll-up remains difficult given the highly fragmented nature of the U.S. CBP industry. Consolidation is challenged by the inherent small size of the operators that are profitable and growing, differences in network topology among operators, a lack of widespread strategic investment, and a shortage of consolidators.

 

For more information, contact The Carmel Group, P.O. Box 4225, Carmel, CA, 93921, tel: (831) 622 1111 and/or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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