From there, the data is transmitted to a fixed point, which is almost always some type of radio tower. A signal is then broadcast, and this can be picked up by subscribers’ equipment as long as they stay in required proximity of this tower.
Fixed wireless varies from satellite internet technology, in that the former takes a point-to-point approach to delivering internet access to customers. By contrast, satellite uses a different approach that gives broader coverage area, although it causes a lot of latency, as well as reliability issues. Fixed wireless is available to rural customers in the United States at relatively affordable prices. Its coverage is flexible too, which in many cases makes it a robust alternative to satellite internet service. Fixed wireless also performs better in bad weather conditions, although erratic weather can still affect overall performance.
Fixed wireless plays a key role in bridging the digital divide or connectivity gap. Many major yet cheap internet providers offer it in order to reach out to underserved or unserved houses, following a directive from the Federal Communications Commission. A simple online search for a “best internet provider in my area” should show you which providers are offering fixed wireless service in your neighborhood.
The Difference between Fixed and Cellular Wireless
It is easy enough to confuse fixed wireless service, LTE, and cellular internet connections. Cellular data comes from a range of distinct Wi-Fi access points that act collectively act as a wireless mesh network, letting users pick up data from several access points as they move around the place. Fixed wireless signals, on the other hand, originate from a fixed point, and are sent to a subscriber’s house through a line of sight.
Generally, connection speeds tend to be highest with fixed wireless; they reach 10 to 30 megabits per second, while with a mobile hotspot, you typically max out at a relatively low 4 Mbps.