Fixed wireless Internet, often referred to as a line of sight service, is a high speed Internet source that relies on radio signals rather than hardline cables to provide service for users. Typically a ground station, or transmission tower, stands as an access point for a group of consumers in areas that lack infrastructure needed for cable companies like Comcast or AT&T to provide service. Traditionally, a user who’s subscribed to a fixed wireless provider would have an antenna installed on their property. To ensure a user can get proper service, a clear view between the antenna on the property and the ground station is necessary. Fixed wireless Internet can transmit download speeds from 1 mbps all the way to 100 mbps depending on the particular provider.
For a company that’s looking to provide service for a small town, fixed wireless Internet is a lot less expensive to build and maintain compared to hardline cable Internet. These low costs make it an extremely attractive solution for more rural locations where the infrastructure required to provide service via hardline cables can cost a lot of money.
From a consumer’s perspective, the biggest benefit of a fixed wireless provider comes from their ability to offer unlimited data. For people in rural areas looking to stream videos as their primary means for television, play online games through Xbox One or Playstation 4, or download large files, a fixed wireless provider will usually meet those needs.
Also, you can expect a lot less latency compared to a satellite internet connection. Latency, or lag, is simply the amount of time it takes a packet to reach its destination. Certain interactive online activities require low latency to function properly. Fast-twitch gaming, video conferencing, and VOIP are all examples of Internet activities that require a low latency for a good user experience.
The most common hurdle that people encounter when shopping for a fixed wireless provider is getting a clear line of sight. Obstacles like trees, hills, or mountains can prevent someone from acquiring the service. Furthermore, heavy rain or fog can sometimes cause temporary disruptions with your connection.
If you’re constantly on the go, and you need to take your Internet with you, then fixed wireless Internet would not be the best option. To keep a strong connection, the antenna mounted on your house must remain in a secured location.
Even though the cost to establish a fixed wireless Internet provider is a lot less than running cable lines for the provider itself, the savings are rarely passed to the customer. Oftentimes, fixed wireless Internet is a lot more expensive than satellite Internet in rural areas.
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