Wireless Access Point Market Insights

Image of a fixed wireless tower set against blue sky and white clouds

by | June 27, 2019 | Networking

Wireless Access Point Market

One of the most controversial questions in the fixed wireless community may be “What’s the best wireless access point gear in the market?” For example, there are ardent supporters of manufacturers like Ubiquiti and Cambium, while proponents of LTE vouch for manufacturers like Baicells and Telrad. Then there are major manufacturers like Nokia and Ericsson creating new APs for the WISP market as well. Given all this, we can see that the market for wireless access points is expanding. This is highlighted by news of IPO offerings by Cambium Networks and reports of the overall addressable market size of over $22 billion.

Access Point Capabilities

Unlike spec sheets from manufacturers, Preseem collects real-world data from access points in all kinds of deployments. We then analyze those statistics at a high level to offer valuable insights. So, as part of our Fixed Wireless Network Report, we calculated wireless access point market insights on market share, connected subscriber count, performance on QoE metrics like latency, and much more.

These insights can be used by:

  • WISPs planning to purchase new wireless gear
  • WISPs interested in comparing the performance of their wireless APs with those of the industry
  • Analysts or industry members curious to see real-world comparison of APs and manufacturers

Note: These insights are strictly based on Preseem’s data set that includes hundreds of WISP networks, and tens of thousands of APs and subscribers. While we believe the dataset to be fairly exhaustive and representative, it’s not a survey of the entire market.

Wireless Access Point Market Share

Cambium and Ubiquiti are market leaders. We can see that in both market share by count of access points, and by count of subscribers. When looking at AP market share by count of access points, for example, we can see that Ubiquiti has 48.6% of the market, while Cambium has 37.9%.

Pie chart showing access point market share by count of APs

When we switch over to access point market share by count of subscribers, we see a slight change. Cambium APs move over to 50.6% of market share, while Ubiquiti drops to 38.5%.

Pie chart showing access point market share by subscriber count

The market share is even more interesting when access point model factor is added to the picture. Comparing AP market share by device count and subscribers clearly highlights the particular models that support a large number of subscribers.

Graph showing access point model market share by AP count
Graph showing access point model market share by subscriber count

The Cambium PMP 450m is worth highlighting here. Notice it has 1.7% of access point market share by element count, but 9.4% by subscriber count.

Wireless Access Point Connected Subscriber Count

As one might expect from the difference in AP market share by element and subscriber count, there’s significant variation in how many subscribers WISPs put on individual APs. The chart below shows the percentage of access points by the number of SMs connected to them.

Graph showing connected SMs by access point count percentage

Interestingly, the data shows that almost 70% of access points have 0-10 subscribers attached. This indicates that the vast majority of APs are not at all oversubscribed. Breaking this down by a few of the top models paints a different picture, however.

Graph showing connected subscribers by access point model

Here we see that some access point models are typically deployed with many more subscribers than the overall average. For example, PMP 450m deployments average over 46 connected subscribers.


When we look at access point throughput, we can see that 40% of deployed APs deliver less than 10Mbps of real-world throughput. This is consistent with the previous information about how many subscribers the average access point services.

Chart showing access point download throughput in mbps

The nearly empty 20 and 30 Mbps buckets are very interesting and currently not explained. One possibility is that only a few of the most modern AP models deliver higher upload throughput. It’s also possible that there’s something unique about the deployment model associated with the access points that achieve higher throughput.


Lastly, one of the key QoE metrics that’s used to compare popular AP models is latency. The basic trend we can see is that most access points deliver service with less than 100ms of latency during peak. However, it’s important to note that a significant number of APs are above that benchmark.

Chart showing latency by access point model during peak hours

Note: The data set for this insight covers networks that use Preseem’s QoE optimization feature, so the real latency numbers could be higher for traditional networks without this optimization.

Are you curious about how we collected this data or hungry for more insights? Preseem’s Fixed Wireless Network Report contains more insights on fixed wireless networks, including

  • Subscriber insights
  • WISPs and RF channel width
  • and much more

Download your free copy here!

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