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FWA is coming! What you need to know

FWA is coming! What you need to know

Last month, Allot commissioned an independent study from Coleman Parkes Research, a global market research agency.

They spoke to the SMB community in North America and Germany (and Australia and New Zealand, too) to check developing attitudes about cybersecurity and to learn more about how these SMBs are securing their businesses.

One of the interesting things the survey revealed is that Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is more widespread than we assumed. As one of the first clear monetization use cases for 5G, FWA wasn’t expected to grow very much until 5G was more widely available.

When SMBs were asked about connectivity, it was surprising to see that FWA is up to 36% (20%+16%).

SMBs choose to protect their connectivity with FWA
SMBs choose to protect their connectivity with FWA

Still, FWA is expected to grow even more as 5G catches on. FWA provides a good alternative to fixed access, especially in areas with poor fixed coverage.

What is FWA?

FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) is a technology that allows operators to deliver high speed internet access using radio signals for consumers and businesses. But this is not a new invention. FWA has been with us for a few decades now. However, FWA is getting increased traction due to the improved speeds and low latency delivered by the latest wireless technologies that include 4G, but more specifically, 5G.

Especially for suburban and rural areas, where laying and maintaining fiber is not economically viable, FWA is very interesting because it allows wired-like speed without having to deal with last-mile cable connectivity that can create up to 90% of costs. That said, urban areas are benefiting from it too, allowing the creation of new offerings for a more competitive market, while saving on cabling and onsite-visits.  Furthermore, from the subscriber perspective, FWA is also a great thing due to the simplified and faster setup of the service.


Why is FWA expected to grow in 5G?

It’s estimated that, currently, 4G-based FWA connections are about four times greater than those of 5G. However, 5G is catching up. 5G-based FWA is expected to surpass 4G FWA by 2025. From there, 5G takes over and keeps growing exponentially while 4G is expected to decrease.

There are multiple reasons for this.

First, we are undergoing a technology evolution. 5G will keep replacing 4G connections due to its improved speeds and low latency. This is also the second reason, improved speed and low latency are core for a good FWA experience. Third, also related, there are some subscribers out there today that can choose between wired and FWA, but choose wired due to better speed since 4G cannot compete in all cases vs. wired connectivity. 5G will address that head-on, with enhanced speed.


Ways SMBs using FWA can protect their businesses from cyberthreats

The whole point of FWA is to streamline last mile connectivity for both the operator and the user. When you are doing this as an operator, it is not reasonable to ask businesses to set up complex on-premise firewall hardware, which increases costs and flies in the face of the logic of having a fast, straightforward solution.

Our cyber security solution honors the principles of FWA, enabling ultrafast activation on the network as the “muscle” behind the solution. Powered by our renowned NetworkSecure product, there are three services available for businesses.

First, threat protection. All the user needs to do is to accept the service from the operator. Once that’s done, the operator will provision the service to that FWA connection and that’s it, the office is immediately protected against all kinds of advanced threats like ransomware, trojans, adware, and others, as well as phishing. What happens in the background is that the network knows that the FWA connection of the business is now protected, so it will filter out the bad stuff.

Secondly, the business can also get a deeper understanding of what types of content are being accessed by employees. From there, they can decide to block some of it, if desired, because some types of content (e.g., child pornography, terrorism, drug dealing, etc.) can put the business in legal jeopardy. This capability is what we call content filtering.

Last, but definitely not least, is our latest addition to NetworkSecure, the network firewall. Unlike a traditional firewall, the network firewall is delivered from the network and has been built for SMB mass market customers that do not have in-house cybersecurity skills. This is the most straightforward firewall you’ll ever see, allowing small businesses to cover essential use cases, like seeing what services are flowing through their network, blocking those that are not expected, blocking incoming connections or blocking protocols associated to data exfiltration like FTP… All of this is done from the network and with a super low footprint for the operator, allowing them to offer it at a price that any SMB can afford.

Hear more about FWA on our podcast!


FWA is more widespread than previously assumed, with up to 36% of SMBs utilizing it for connectivity.
Factors contributing to its adoption include its role as a clear monetization use case for 5G and its suitability as an alternative to fixed access, especially in areas with poor coverage.

FWA offers wired-like speed without the need for last-mile cable connectivity, making it particularly attractive in suburban, rural, and urban areas.
It simplifies and accelerates service setup for subscribers.
With the emergence of 5G, FWA is expected to grow due to improved speeds, low latency, and cost-effectiveness.

Currently, 4G-based FWA connections outnumber 5G-based connections, but 5G is expected to surpass 4G by 2025 and continue growing exponentially.
Factors driving this shift include the technological evolution of 5G, improved speed, low latency, and enhanced competition with wired connectivity.

Allot offers cybersecurity solutions tailored to the needs of FWA users.
These solutions streamline last-mile connectivity without requiring complex on-premise firewall hardware, ensuring fast and straightforward protection.
Allot's NetworkSecure product provides threat protection, content filtering, and network firewall services, enabling SMBs to protect their businesses against advanced threats, gain insight into accessed content, and implement essential firewall functionalities directly from the network.

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Security for SMBs: Threats and Opportunities on the Rise.

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