Fixed Wireless Accounted for Over 90% of Home Broadband Growth in 2022; Will Cox Join the Party?

Cox Mobile
(Image credit: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

T-Mobile and Verizon collectively added nearly 3.2 million fixed wireless access customers in 2022, accounting for more than 90% of the customer expansion for the entire U.S. home broadband industry, according to Leichtman Research Group's latest quarterly study of the top 15 U.S. ISPs covering 95% of the market. 

The top cable operators, which added around 2.8 million high-speed internet users in 2021, only tacked on just over half a million customers last year. That's a significant slowdown, especially when you consider that they added more than 4.8 million home internet customers in the pandemic year of 2020. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, as the U.S. broadband market approaches saturation, and cable operators increasingly plunge into wireless tech, MSOs are kicking the tires on FWA themselves to see if it could work with rural greenfield expansion. 

For example, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this week, Cox Communications revealed that it's conducting proof-of-concept trials (opens in new tab) for 5G FWA in Macon, Georgia; Tucson, Arizona; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

“We're committed to creating digital equity in the communities we serve. We're hopeful this is another tool we can provide to help connect people to what matters most,” Cox said in a statement provided to FierceTelecom

Cox, which has long dabbled in the U.S. wireless business and just took another stab at launching a consumer mobile division, paid $212 million in 2020 to acquire frequency in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum. Cox, however, didn't specify that it's using CBRS frequency in its trials. 

(Image credit: Leichtman Research Group)
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!