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Get Started with Fixed Wireless Internet

What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

Fixed wireless internet is broadband that uses stationary wireless access points to deliver internet connectivity to subscribers.

Providers may use somewhat different technologies, but the basic principle is using a series of broadcast towers to transmit signals via radio waves.

An over-the-air microwave platform is used to carry signals from the backhaul tower, until data get to the subscriber’s location.

How Fixed Wireless Internet Gets to You

  1. At the backend, the Fiber-backhaul tower establishes a connection to the internet backbone via a terrestrial hard-wired network.
  2. Transmitters placed on stationary objects like utility poles or buildings transmit signals through wireless networks of access points.
  3. A residential antenna communicates with the nearest access point. And, your connection to the internet is established.

The Equipment You Need for Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed wireless internet installation doesn’t need wires to run from your location to the provider’s Node.

An antenna communicates with the provider’s access point in your vicinity. It is typically installed on the roof of your house in direct line of sight of the tower.

A CAT 5 cable is used to connect the antenna to your wireless router for in-home Wi-Fi.

Why Choose Fixed Wireless Internet

High speed internet across the US globe photo


Fixed wireless internet technologies depict great potential to connect rural areas with a high-speed internet service.

Fixed wireless does not require an elaborate wired infrastructure. This incentivizes service providers to cover larger areas at relatively lower cost. And attracts local and regional initiatives too.

Coverage is thus expanding fast across the U.S., and approximately two-thirds of the country now has access to fixed wireless from a variety of providers.

High speed internet across the US globe photo

Speed & Data

Download speeds range from 3 to 1,000 Mbps, but superfast speeds are mostly delivered for commercial consumption. For homes, download speed up to 50 Mbps is common.

As a fixed wireless access point transmits signals to customers within a 10-mile radius, the latency is reduced for a better experience.

Many fixed wireless providers offer generous data allowance compared to DSL and satellite internet plans. And fixed wireless access may also get you the unlimited data option.

High speed internet across the US globe photo

Who Is It Best for?

Fixed wireless internet works best for communities with limited options.

When there is no wireline service around, or what is available is too slow, Fixed Wireless gives you access to high-speed internet.

It is a great option for anyone who can get a direct line of sight from the antenna to an access point. Nearby buildings, trees, hills or other obstacles can interrupt your connection.

Relative to satellite internet, it is more reliable and performs better.

The Pros & Cons of Fixed Wireless Internet

Things to Like

  • Simpler infrastructure
  • Widely available in rural areas
  • Fast speeds & lower latency
  • Higher quality of signal relative to other wireless internet types

Things to Consider

  • Requires direct line of sight for optimal performance
  • Prone to severe weather conditions

More about the Pros

  • Simple infrastructure: Low infrastructure costs allow fixed wireless providers to expand coverage easily. This upside encourages local initiatives to contribute to fixed wireless access, and also makes it more affordable for the consumer relative to satellite.
  • Widely available in rural areas: One of the most incredible benefits of fixed internet is its broad consumer availability, especially in rural areas without access to wired high-speed internet.
  • Fast speeds and lower latency: One of the prime benefits of fixed wireless broadband over other wireless technologies is its relatively low latency. Fast speeds with reduced lag makes video conferencing and online gaming feasible.
  • Higher quality of signal: Directional fixed wireless access provides a higher-quality signal even when using the lower end of the radio spectrum. Signal transmission is focused toward the subscriber’s location, and not scattered in different directions. Higher frequency bands are usually used for business services, and deliver a boost to the signal strength and bandwidth.

More about the Cons

  • Direct line of sight for optimal performance: Fixed Wireless requires a direct line of sight between the provider’s access point and consumer’s antenna for optimal performance. Ensuring the line of sight remains clear can be difficult because a provider cannot always control what happens in the space between transmitters. A tall building could come to stand in the path of the signal, a pole could get knocked over by severe storms, or a tree could grow taller—everything which could potentially interrupt a fixed wireless transmission.
  • Prone to severe weather conditions: Fixed wireless service can get affected by extreme weather conditions as do other forms of wireless internet. Humidity and precipitation could cause a slight reduction in signal strength, referred to as the rain fade.

Discover Top Fixed Wireless Internet Providers in Your ZIP Code

Zip Searech USA Map

Top Fixed Wireless Internet Providers in the U.S.

Access to a reliable fixed wireless broadband connection has become essential for communities in underserved regions. Many providers are responding by introducing cost-effective residential internet plans.

These fixed wireless internet providers keep families in small towns and rural areas connected. Prices start around $50/mo. albeit special offers may get you a better deal. If you have explored rural internet services you’d know satellite internet costs more, making fixed wireless internet a far more practical option.

Rise Broadband

25-50 Mbps downloads with unlimited data

starting at


AT&T Fixed Wireless

At least 10 Mbps with 350 GB data

$69.99/mo. plus taxes

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet

35-115 Mbps downloads with unlimited data

$50/mo. w/autopay

Verizon LTE Home

25- 50 Mbps downloads with unlimited data

$50/mo. w/autopay

Ultra Home Internet

Up to 115 Mbps downloads with capped data

starting at

$54.99/mo. w/autopay

Starry Internet

Up to 200 Mbps downloads with unlimited data


Featured Fixed Wireless Internet Providers

Rise Broadband fixed wireless internet is an excellent choice throughout rural and suburban parts of the Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and the Southwest regions. You’re likely to find the low latency, no mandatory contracts, unlimited data options, and WiFi service to be impressive.

Rise Broadband Fixed Wireless Internet

  • Downloads from 25-50 Mbps & unlimited data options
  • Enjoy speeds faster than DSL
  • Stream your favorite shows & movies
  • Connect multiple devices via in-home WiFi

To find a Rise Broadband Plan for Your Home
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Things to Like

  • Available in rural areas
  • Compared to satellite internet there is more data even with capped service plans
  • Reduced latency makes online gaming possible
  • Cheaper than satellite internet
  • Advanced WiFi equipment

Things to Consider

  • Requires a direct line-of-sight to the nearby fixed wireless access point for optimal performance
  • The one-time installation fee leans to the higher end, and equipment comes at a monthly rental fee

If traditional wireline service from AT&T is not available, you become eligible for AT&T Fixed Wireless. The service won’t blow you away with the lowest prices or the fastest speeds in the industry, but it is pretty decent compared to other rural internet options.

AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet

  • Downloads from 10-25 Mbps
  • 350 GB data
  • Connect multiple devices via wired Ethernet or WiFi
  • Stream music & video and connect on social media
  • Wireless Gateway

Explore AT&T Fixed Wireless

Things to Like

  • Available where the wireline service from AT&T does not reach
  • Includes the WiFi gateway device

Things to Consider

  • Data cap
  • Lower speeds
T-Mobile Logo

T-Mobile Home Internet is an industry leading fixed wireless service. This version of fixed wireless internet connects you to the same 4G LTE or 5G network that T-Mobile smartphones run on.

T-Mobile Home Internet service plans are simple. There is a flat price, no annual contracts, and no data caps. The service is easy to self-install and comes with 24/7 customer support.

T-Mobile Home Internet

  • Downloads from 35-115 Mbps
  • Unlimited data
  • High-speed Internet Gateway device for in-home WiFi
  • No annual service contracts, or hidden fees
  • 24/7 customer support

Explore T-Mobile Internet

Things to Like

  • Faster fixed wireless internet speeds
  • Includes the WiFi gateway device
  • No data cap or contract

Things to Consider

  • Not too widely available yet

Common Misconceptions about Fixed Wireless Internet

With the various wireless internet types on the consumer market, it is easy to mistake one for another. Depending on your location, one or more kinds of wireless internet services may be available. So, it is good to know what distinguishes fixed wireless from other wireless broadband types such as satellite and mobile.

Fixed Wireless vs. Satellite

Both fixed wireless and satellite internet have their advantages based on the unique technologies each makes use of.

Satellite internet uses a satellite orbiting the earth to transmit signals back and forth over thousands of miles to and from space, and through the atmosphere.

  • While this allows for wider coverage relative to Fixed Wireless, the setup also leads to higher latency.
  • Satellite internet providers usually impose stiff data caps, and unlimited plan options sky rocket in price.

Fixed Wireless internet signal travels over a terrestrial microwave platform.

  • You can expect more data and faster speeds.
  • Largely speaking fixed Wireless plans are not nearly as expensive as satellite internet can be.

Fixed Wireless vs. Mobile Broadband

While both are types of wireless internet, Fixed wireless is quite different from what is referred to as Mobile Broadband.

Mobile wireless coverage is like a big WiFi zone created by a network of broadcast towers. You can connect when in the range.

With fixed wireless internet, the signal is broadcast via the access point on a tower in the direction of the consumer’s location. And if you are not at that “fixed” premises to which this wireless coverage is being delivered, you won’t be able to use it.

How Does 5G Come into Play with Fixed Wireless Internet?

The arrival of 5G has made experts reassess fixed wireless access technologies. Fixed wireless solutions blended with 5G give the consumer an edge with super low latency and more bandwidth.

Both 4G LTE and 5G are broadband cellular network technologies, but are now also utilized in the fixed wireless internet mix to enhance the consumer experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fixed wireless internet is a fast-growing internet service option in the U.S. It uses stationary wireless access points to deliver internet connectivity to subscribers. Fixed Wireless providers may use somewhat different technologies. But basically this internet type utilizes a series of broadcast towers to send and receive signals via radio waves. The speeds range from 3 to 1,000 Mbps.

Fixed wireless internet uses transmitters to send and receive signals in the form of radio waves. These transmitters are connected to stationary objects—like towers, buildings, or poles—at strategic locations, and combine to create a wireless network. Service providers will install an antenna or receiver at your home which communicates with the nearest wireless base station to give you fixed wireless access.

Aside from providers like Verizon and T-Mobile which are using 4G LTE and 5G technologies blended with fixed wireless access solutions for homes, a fixed wireless internet service will only require you to have a WiFi router in addition to the antenna you install on the roof. This antenna works both as a modem and a radio receiver. And the WiFi router transmits the signals from the antenna to your devices over the in-home network.

Here is how fixed wireless and fiber internet stack up against each other:

  • Fixed wireless signals degrade with distance, while fiber-optic wires can carry a signal without degradation for up to 60 miles
  • Fixed wireless can be subject to interference such as local topography and weather, while fiber keeps your connection smooth and uninterrupted since its wired
  • Fiber is the newest and the most advanced type of internet service available in the consumer market. Fixed Wireless has been around for a while, but its availability and popularity has grown in recent years. It has emerged as a viable high-speed option for rural communities which cannot access a wireline service or only a very slow one. On the other hand you are likely to find Fiber availability concentrated in urban centers and select suburban neighborhoods.

Unlike satellite internet, fixed wireless technology—when configured correctly—can survive most extreme weather conditions. This is because fixed wireless operates on much lower frequencies than Satellite. And is also not subject to atmospheric conditions for thousands of miles as is with satellite internet.

Fixed Wireless is good for lightweight online gaming but not competitive gaming like Apex Legends or Fortnite. It all depends on your connection speed and latency.

Rise Broadband fixed wireless plans are among the best options in rural areas. Widely available and affordable plans from Rise Broadband come with fast speeds and unlimited data options. You can also choose an AT&T fixed wireless internet plan, but it comes with a 350 GB data limit.