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2024 Telecom Predictions by Zyxel Experts


In today's digital landscape, the constant evolution of communication technology is crucial, driven by IoT devices, rising data volumes, and widespread internet usage. Subscribers are increasingly sharing top-grade digital content.

Zyxel experts identify fixed wireless access, artificial intelligence, WiFi 7, and fiber broadband as the major telecom trends shaping the industry. Join us as we delve into the insights of these Zyxel experts, exploring their 2024 telco predictions.

Parker Reed, Business Development Director, Zyxel CommunicationsParker Reed
Business Development Director

Recession, ISP transitions, and fixed wireless growth
With many financial indices predicting a possible 2024 recession, network operators will cautiously use their capital and operational expenses.  While US federal programs do provide funding for specific broadband infrastructure opportunities, operators are weighing this against consumer spending which has been negatively impacted by inflation which has affected discretionary vs. non-discretionary expenditures including internet services.  As noted even in May 2023: “…47% of leaders surveyed said that economic conditions facing their company today were worse than six months ago.” (Source: “Time to reconsider: Tech companies may shift priorities in an uncertain economy” David Jarvis - Deloitte Insights, May 23, 2023.)  

The traditional ‘service provider’ will continue to evolve, transitioning from the legacy “triple play” model to bandwidth as their prime offering.  Customers are continuing to move to streaming video options, mobile phones for voice services, and the option of “Bring Your Own Device” for Wi-Fi resulting in ISPs focusing more on the best-priced, most reliable bandwidth.

Finally, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) has continued to see faster growth over cable and, in some markets, fiber because of lower prices for the consumer.  Since 2022, the number of FWA customers has risen over 400% and as Mike Dano noted in his June 2023 Light Reading article, FWA is expected to dominate 80-90% of subscriber additions in 2024 going into 2025.  The long-term impact of this on fiber and cable buildout is uncertain but federal funding paying for potentially unused wireline infrastructure will result in cautious spending.


Jason Han, Director of Product Management, Zyxel CommunicationsJason Han
Director of Product Management

WiFi 7 adoption, AI, and Muti-Gig advancements

  1. Wireless Networking Improvements:
    Wi-Fi 7 adoption and the implementation of Wi-Fi mesh networks continued to enhance in-home and office wireless connectivity. These technologies focused on increasing speed, capacity, and overall network efficiency.
  2. AI in Network Optimization:
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning played a growing role in optimizing network management. These technologies were leveraged to enhance security measures, predict network issues, and improve overall broadband service efficiency.
  3. Multi-Gig Fiber Optic Advancements:
    Fiber-optic broadband, known for its high speed and reliable performance, saw increased investment in infrastructure expansion. Multi-Gigabit-speed internet delivery to homes and businesses remained a priority for service providers.

Ed Chai - Product Manager, Zyxel CommunicationsEd Chai
Product Manager

Cloud shifts, funding innovations, and unstoppable broadband growth in 2024

  1. More telecom companies will continue to shift to cloud-based networks.  As more and more IoT devices are connected to wireless networks, a bigger volume of data will be generated, and cloud computing will be a more effective solution for storing, processing, and analyzing such generated data.
  2. Although the majority of BEAD project funding applications will continue to prioritize or be fiber-focused, many service providers will seek to apply for such funding using an alternative platform such as FWA (fixed-wireless access) since it makes more economic sense than fiber in unserved or underserved areas.  FWA projects are also less time-consuming than Fiber projects.
  3. Although the US will likely enter a recession in 2024, broadband builds will not slow down due to the BEAD program, broadband builds will continue to ramp up.

Jacky Hsieh, Senior Product Manager, ZyxelJacky Hsieh
Senior Product Manager 

The inventory situation of the fiber-related equipment
The fiber broadband deployment set a new record which passes 9 million homes in 2023. However, at the same time, the inventory of fiber-related equipment also reached its peak with up to averaged 9-month stocks due to the pandemic supply chain concerns. Because the launch of the NTIA BEAD funding has started, this overstock situation is expected to return to normal by the end of the first half of 2024.

Experts highlight a shift towards prioritizing bandwidth, particularly with the notable growth of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), while also predicting key trends such as cloud-based networks, FWA's role in BEAD projects, and the relaxation of BEAD restrictions, offering opportunities for smaller ISPs. Despite inventory challenges in fiber broadband deployment, surpassing nine million homes, the industry expects a return to normalcy by the end of the first half of 2024.

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