5G extends operating frequencies into the millimeter wave (mmWave) bands to enable high-bandwidth services. Mobile network operators (MNOs) with existing infrastructure would have a quick low-cost path to leverage 5G for fixed wireless access (FWA). In contrast, fiber-based access services require higher capex and longer planning that could make FWA more suitable for certain deployments.
In this paper, we set out to compare the performance and cost of deploying fixed wireless access in millimeter waves at 28 GHz to Fiber To The Home (FTTH) deployments. Our objective is to uncover the subtleties of both technologies and identify how they compare. We do this for a specific suburban environment as most of the interest in millimeter wave FWA today focuses on this market. Since in today’s market structure, a service provider could operate both wireless and fiber networks, we believe that they would benefit from the key findings of this paper.