Over the last two years, the access point market share in the fixed wireless industry has changed in some pretty surprising ways.

Beginning in 2019, Preseem has published new editions of it’s Fixed Wireless Network Report bi-annually. Since its inception, hundreds of fixed wireless owners and operators have downloaded the latest edition of the report year after year—and for good reason!

The Fixed Wireless Network Report provides WISPs with a way to benchmark their businesses against the wider broadband ecosystem. Moreover, the report provides an overview of fixed wireless networks alongside industry trends.

With this in mind, we wanted to see how much the industry has changed since the 2019 edition of the Fixed Wireless Network Report was published. Specifically, we wanted to explore how the market share of access points (APs) has changed over the years.

For the purpose of this analysis, we will be examining how the AP market share has changed across two dimensions: Access Point Market Share by Count of APs and Access Point Market Share by Count of Subscribers.

How This Data Was Collected

The Fixed Wireless Network Report shows the real-world experience of fixed wireless subscribers, networks, and equipment. Accordingly, all the data contained in each report comes from fixed wireless networks.

Being a Quality of Experience monitoring and optimization platform, Preseem collects detailed metrics on subscribers, network equipment, and overall network performance from its customer base of fixed wireless internet service providers.

As a result, Preseem ingests billions of metrics each day from WISPs (mainly from the US and some international markets).

It is this rich data pool that enables Preseem to provide a comprehensive analysis on the fixed wireless industry across service providers and vendors, via its Fixed Wireless Network Report.

Before we go on, a word of caution: Like all big data sets, there are possible biases in this data. While we have done our best to be neutral, this is not a scientific paper that uses scientifically rigorous methods. Despite this limitation, we believe that this article presents a valuable view of the evolving fixed wireless AP market share.

Access Point Comparison: 2019 Q1 Market Share

Access Point Comparison - 2019 Q1 AP Market Share by Count of APs
Access Point Comparison - 2019 Q1 AP Market Share by Count of Subs
Our first look at the access point market share in the fixed wireless industry occurs in 2019 Q1.

The figures above showcase how concentrated the AP vendor market space is. Two companies, Cambium Networks and Ubiquiti, dominate the industry, occupying a combined market share of almost 90%! But which company is leading the pack in terms of market share? The answer is not so straightforward.

If we look at the AP market share by counting the number of APs in use, then Ubiquiti is the clear frontrunner. Ubiquity holds a 48.6% share against Cambium Networks’ 37.9% share.

Yet, if we consider the market share by counting the number of subscribers using a particular vendor’s APs, then Cambium Networks is the victor. In the latter case, Cambium holds 50.6% of the market, whereas only about 38.5% of subscribers use a Ubiquiti AP.

And this is precisely why we consider both datasets, as neglecting either would result in a narrow view of the true AP market share. 

Access Point Comparison: 2019 Q3 Market Share

Access Point Comparison - 2019 Q3 AP Market Share by Count of APs
Access Point Comparison - 2019 Q3 AP Market Share by Count of Subs
Looking at the later half of 2019, some notable shifts in market share are visible.

When assessing the market share by count of APs, Cambium Networks is shown to have a 36.8% share. Comparatively, 51.9% of all APs on the market are made by Ubiquiti.

The gap that Ubiquiti and Cambium Networks maintain between themselves and other competitors is strikingly large. For instance, the third largest vendor by count of APs is MikroTik, which has a market share of just 6.6%.

Observing market share by counting the subscribers using a particular vendor’s APs paints a similar picture; Ubiqiuti and Cambium Networks continue to dominate. However, Cambium Networks holds a slightly larger share of the market, 46.6%, compared to Ubiquiti’s share of 43.7%.

Access Point Comparison: 2020 Q1 Market Share

Access Point Comparison - 2020 Q1 AP Market Share by Count of APs
Access Point Comparison - 2020 Q1 AP Market Share by Count of Subs
A new year brought with it some pronounced changes to the AP market share landscape.

Indeed, when considering market share by count of APs, both Cambium Networks and Ubiquiti lost their market share to smaller vendors. Cambium Networks’ market share dropped to 32.7%, while Ubiquiti’s share dropped to 49.1%. MikroTik captured 13.3% of the market, while Bailcells maintained a modest 2.0% hold.

Nevertheless, if we look at the AP market share by counting the number of APs in use, then Ubiquiti is shown to have grown it’s market share to 45.5%. Cambium Networks’ share, however, is still shown to have declined. Cambium Networks finished the quarter with a market share of 42.8%, while vendors MikroTik and Telrad grew their shares to 4.8% and 3.2%, respectively.

Access Point Comparison: 2020 Q3 Market Share

Access Point Comparison - 2020 Q3 AP Market Share by Count of APs
Access Point Comparison - 2020 Q3 AP Market Share by Count of Subs
The last quarter of our analysis, 2020 Q3, once again highlights the importance of considering the data in both figures.

Our final look at the AP market share, by count of APs, shows another decline in Cambium Networks’ share. Indeed, Cambium Networks market share dropped to 30.6%. Similarly, MikroTik’s market share dropped to 10.6%. In contrast, Ubiquiti actually gained market share this quarter, increasing its hold to 52.6%.

Looking at the AP market share by counting the number of subscribers using a particular vendor’s APs shows a different view. Ubiquiti and Cambium maintain almost the same market share: 43.9% and 43.6%, respectively. In contrast, the third largest vendor, MikroTik, has a market share of just 4.6%.

Access Point Comparison: Cambium Networks AP Market Share

Cambium Networks AP Market Share
Cambium Networks is one of the leading manufactures of access points. The above figure shows how Cambium’s market share has changed, looking at both count of APs and count of subscribers.

In 2019 Q1, Cambium Networks held a 50.6% market share by count of APs, and a 37.9% market share by count of subscribers. As of 2020 Q3, those numbers are now 43.6% and 30.6%, respectively.

In three of the four quarters we analyzed, Cambium Networks’ market share decreased across both count of AP and count of subscribers—the only outlier being 2020 Q1.

Access Point Comparison: Ubiquiti AP Market Share

Ubiquiti AP Market Share
Ubiquiti is another leading access point manufacturer, which dominates the AP market alongside Cambium Networks. The above graph shows the change in Ubiquiti’s market share over the past two years.

When considering Ubiquiti’s market share by counting the number of its APs in use, Ubiquiti has managed to increase its market share significantly. Ubiquiti saw growth from 2019 Q1 to 2020 Q1. Moreover, even with a slight decline in 2020 Q3, Ubiquiti’s market share has increased overall by 5.4%.

Looking at Ubiquiti’s market share by count of subscribers shows a very similar pattern. Ubiquiti increased its market share in 2019 Q1, 2020 Q1, and 2020 Q3. Even with the dip in 2020 Q1, Ubiquiti still finished out ahead with a market share of 52.6%, up by 4.0% compared to 2019 Q1.

Access Point Comparison: MikroTik AP Market Share

MikroTik AP Market Share
In comparison to Cambium Networks and Ubiquiti, MikroTik produces a significantly smaller amount of APs on the market. Accordingly, we also counted a much smaller amount of MikroTik APs being used by fixed wireless subscribers.

While MikroTik showed promising growth in 2020 Q1, achieving a notable 13.3% market share by count of APs, the company finished off the year with a decline in 2020 Q3.

Between 2019 Q1 and 2020 Q3, MikroTik grew its market share by 1.5%—when considering the count of MikroTik APs in use. Nevertheless, if we consider market share by counting the number of subscribers using MikroTik APs, then the vendor is actually shown to have lost 0.5% of its market share by 2020 Q3.

Once again, these contrasting numbers reflect the importance of considering both the count of APs as well as the count of subscribers when looking at a vendor’s access point market share.

We hope that you enjoyed this access point comparison, looking at how the AP market has changed since 2019!

We’ll continue releasing new, bi-annual editions of the Preseem Fixed Wireless Network report, and we look forward to sharing more insights about the AP market in the future!

Disclaimer

This data analysis is strictly based on the bi-annual compilation of insights forming the Preseem Fixed Wireless Network Report. It is meant to be a representation of the data gathered from Preseem’s ISP customers, not the whole fixed wireless market. Brands/manufacturers/trademarks mentioned here are the properties of their respective owners. Preseem does not recommend one manufacturer over the other, nor does Preseem receive any commission or fees in response to the collection, analysis, and presentation of this data. This is meant to be informational in nature and for the consumption of the general public interested in the fixed wireless industry.

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