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Cable operators vs wireless carrier 5G services in residential, small & medium business, broadband and IoT, 2021-2026

The “Cable Operators vs. Wireless Carrier 5G Services in Residential, Small and Medium Business, Broadband and IoT 2021 – 2026” report has been added to’s offering.

Select Research Findings

  • Cable MSOs have a key role in consumer IoT and connected homes
  • OTT service providers are at a competitive disadvantage to cable MSOs
  • 5GNR market for private wireless in industrial automation will reach $3.9B by 2026
  • Edge computing will be important for public consumer applications, but lower priority than business
  • 5G-based access will grow rapidly, but a combination of WiFi and cable/fiber will dominate through 2026

The Internet & Television Association (formerly the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and commonly known as the NCTA) estimates that 80% of residences in the United States have access to gigabit speeds from cable companies via HFC and FTTH.

Cable operators seek to solidify their position within consumer markets for broadband services as wireless carriers seek to leverage the enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) component of 5G to gain a foothold for indoor residential and small business services. With little competition in the consumer in-home segment, certain wireless carriers see fixed wireless as a pathway to early revenue as their vendors work diligently to ensure eMBB services may be provided on a mobility basis rather than simply portable or fixed wireless solutions, which shall predominate initially.

A battleground is emerging for consumer broadband between cable companies espousing 10G (meaning symmetrical 10 Gbps speeds delivered over hybrid fiber-coaxial networks and not tenth generation) versus wireless carriers such as Verizon Wireless who will pursue the residential and small business market with fixed wireless 5G.

For example, Comcast has recently tested 10G data transfer on its cable modem network. That’s a step on the road to providing 10-gigabit-per-second internet bandwidth in both directions on its cable network. Comcast said its team conducted what it believes to be the world’s first test of a 10G connection from the company’s network to a modem. To do this, the team activated a virtualized cable modem termination system (vCMTS) powered by Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 technology.

Meanwhile, wireless carriers have stated that 5G will be a substitution for fixed-line broadband within the next three to five years. At the same time, the big carriers face a growing threat from cable companies, which have been cutting wireless prices and bundling offerings. However, we see the consumer segment as a major challenge area for mobile communications service providers due to a few key factors including market inertia and deployment of WiFi6 devices. We see wireless carriers generating most of their profits from large business segments including enterprise, industrial and government customers.

Conversely, wireless carriers are in a much better position to benefit from massive machine-type communications (mMTC) as they will be able to compete much more effectively against both cable companies seeking to expand offerings into the Internet of Things (IoT) market as well as non-cellular IoT service providers such as LoRa solutions.

This does not mean that non-cellular low-power WAN (LPWAN) solutions will be eliminated. In fact, some carriers have embraced them and will continue to rely upon these technologies. What this does mean is that 5G enabled LPWAN solutions will gain greater traction due to economies of scale as well as the ability of cellular operators to combine high-bandwidth and ultra-reliability low latency communications (URLLC) capabilities along with telemetry. By way of example, wireless carriers may combine low-bandwidth mMTC services with URLLC reliant apps such as telerobotics for more robust solutions, particularly for the industrial segment. Yahoo Finance

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