Fixed wireless internet service providers
Compare plans from the best fixed wireless internet providers in your area.
What is fixed wireless internet?
Fixed wireless internet is a type of internet service that uses radio waves to transmit and receive internet signals. Similar to satellite internet, fixed wireless broadband eliminates the need for a phone or cable line for service, making it a popular choice for residents of rural areas.
Fixed wireless internet providers use towers similar to cell phone towers to send out internet signals. A small dish or antenna receives the signals and sends them to a modem, which converts them into the internet service you use to browse the web, send emails and stream TV.
According to the most recent FCC data, fixed wireless internet service is available to about 41% of the U.S. population with main service areas in rural counties. Broadband internet speeds (up to 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload) are available from fixed internet providers in about 19% of U.S. residents.
Fixed wireless internet providers
|Provider||Starting price*||Speed range||Monthly data allowance|
|AT&T Fixed Wireless||$50/mo.||Up to 10 Mbps||215 GB|
|Etheric Networks||$85/mo.||5 - 100 Mbps||150 GB - 2.4 TB|
|GHz Wireless||$39.95/mo.||5 - 50 Mbps||No data caps|
|Rise Broadband||$29.95/mo.||5 - 50 Mbps||150 - 500 GB|
|Verizon LTE (Installed)||$60/mo.||5 - 12 Mbps||10 - 40 GB|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 06/06/19.
Available fixed wireless internet providers and plans vary by location. Additionally, your home needs to be close to a fixed wireless tower, ideally within 10 miles or less, for quality service. For this reason, some addresses may not be eligible for fixed wireless internet service, even if there is a provider in their ZIP code.
If no fixed wireless providers are available in your area, you may have internet options from satellite, DSL, cable or fiber-optic internet providers. Call to speak with our internet experts about internet options in your area.
Pros and cons of fixed wireless internet
- Availability in rural areas – Fixed wireless broadband can reach areas where DSL, cable or fiber-optic internet may not be available.
- Low latency – The short distance between fixed wireless towers and receivers makes for latency numbers comparable to DSL or cable.
- High data allowances – Most providers include 100 GB of data or more per month, with some having no data caps at all.
- No phone line required – Fixed wireless internet is one of the internet types that does not require a phone line to get service.
- Line of sight – Your home must have a direct line of sight to a fixed wireless tower to receive service.
- Weather disruptions – Rain, snow, fog and other instances of inclement weather can disrupt your connection.
- Signal interference – Radio frequencies are subject to crosstalk and interference, which may result in temporary service issues.
- Service and equipment cost – Monthly and initial startup costs for fixed wireless internet may be higher than other internet types.
How does fixed wireless internet compare to satellite internet?
Fixed wireless and satellite internet services are popular options for rural areas. While similar in terms of service areas, the two differ in ways that may make one service type better for a household than the other. Here’s how fixed wireless and satellite internet compare:
- Availability – Satellite internet is much more widely available, covering 99% of the U.S. Fixed wireless is not as available because it requires numerous towers to cover a large area.
Advantage: Satellite internet
- Pricing – Monthly costs for fixed wireless internet and satellite are similar. Depending on which fixed wireless internet providers are available in your area, fixed wireless or satellite plans may be cheaper. Start-up costs for fixed wireless internet vs. satellite are also similar because both require the installation of a dish or antenna to receive service.
- Speeds – Fixed wireless broadband can deliver speeds comparable to DSL, cable and even fiber-optic services in select areas. Satellite internet speeds currently top out at 100 Mbps, with 25 Mbps being the most common available speed. However, promising technology advancements in satellite internet could bring much faster speeds in the near future.
Advantage: Fixed wireless internet
- Data caps – Since fewer users will connect to a specific wireless tower than a satellite, fixed wireless internet providers can commonly offer much higher data allowances than satellite. You may be able to get a home wireless broadband plan with data caps of 100 GB or higher, or no data cap at all.
Advantage: Fixed wireless internet
- Latency – One of the disadvantages of satellite internet is its high latency which can make playing real-time online games or video-conferencing impossible. Fixed wireless internet users are less likely to have these issues as latency performance is more comparable to DSL or cable internet.
Advantage: Fixed wireless internet
- Signal interference – Both satellite and fixed wireless internet are susceptible to service interruptions during periods of inclement weather. However, since fixed wireless is much more localized, it is less susceptible to bad weather in surrounding areas. That being said, you may experience service disruptions from frequency crosstalk with fixed wireless broadband, whereas this is not an issue with satellite internet.
Fixed wireless internet is likely to keep expanding
Fixed wireless internet already covers nearly half the U.S. population, but many providers hope to continue expanding their networks to bring the service to more areas.
AT&T has recently announced their fixed wireless service now covers parts of 18 states and the company hopes to “make internet access available in over 1.1 million locations by the end of 2020.”
Verizon’s fixed wireless internet — LTE Internet (installed) — is already available in most locations where Verizon 4G LTE service is offered. As Verizon rolls out their 5G network, new fixed wireless plans with faster speeds may become available in select areas.
Other fixed wireless providers, such as Rise Broadband, also hope to continue expansion and bring fixed wireless broadband to more areas. Rise Broadband recently announced plans to preserve their networks, currently in 16 states, with plans to expand to more markets in coming years.
Will fixed wireless internet come to urban areas?
Most likely not, for a few reasons. First, cable, DSL and fiber-optic internet services are already common in these areas, so a new internet type is not necessarily needed.
Secondly, fixed wireless internet relies on open radio frequency channels for service. In densely-populated areas, radio frequency congestion and crosstalk is more likely to interfere with fixed wireless signals.
And lastly, fixed wireless internet requires a direct line of sight to the tower, something that may not be available due to tall buildings and other obstructions that come with urban areas.
Find internet services in your area
To learn more about fixed wireless broadband services and other internet options that may be available in your area, call to speak with our internet experts.1.844.451.2720 1.844.451.2720