The Truth Behind the Myths: Fixed Wireless Performs Way Better Than You Thought

by John Nishimoto
January 22, 2019

As the new high-speed kid on the block, fixed wireless is not always fully understood by the people it could help most.

The short version: If you need carrier-grade, high-speed connectivity, and you need it ASAP, fixed wireless is in a league of its own – with speeds that rival fiber, very high reliability, and the shortest implementation time available.

If you need carrier-grade high-speed connectivity, fixed wireless is in a league of its own.
Yet fixed wireless is often overlooked because of four persistent myths. Let’s examine the truth behind them:

  • Myth #1: Satellite Internet is better. We’re talking apples and oranges here. Satellite Internet requires communication with a geostationary satellite 23,000 miles from Earth; fixed wireless communicates with a radio antenna a few miles away. That means satellite has latency issues that fixed wireless doesn’t have. Fixed wireless also offers far greater speed – it can deliver gigabits per second, comparable to fiber optic Internet. Give satellite Internet its due: It is currently more widely available than fixed wireless, making it preferable in certain situations. But when both are valid solutions, fixed wireless is generally the better performer.
  • Myth #2: Mobile wireless is better. Again, fundamental differences in transmission affect performance. Mobile wireless coverage offers shared capacity over an expansive footprint; fixed wireless connects two specific locations with dedicated, symmetrical capacity. That enables fixed wireless to offer much higher transmission speeds with much lower latency. As with satellite Internet, mobile wireless broadband is more widely available – but when both are candidates, fixed wireless offers greater value.
  • Myth #3: Fixed wireless is unreliable in bad weather. It’s true that early fixed wireless implementations were vulnerable to “rain fade” during heavy storms, but technology improvements eliminated that threat years ago. We explored that issue in an earlier blog post that provides examples of well‑known disasters in which fixed wireless offered great performance in extreme conditions, with the ability to be rapidly restored if it does go down.
  • Myth #4: Fixed wireless is not secure. It seems intuitive that wireless data transmission is inherently less secure than wired, but that absolutely is not the case. Advanced fixed wireless systems typically feature encryption of all data in flight plus zero-trust security, making it as challenging to hack as any competing technology.

Unquestionably, there are situations and locations where fixed wireless isn’t viable. But when it’s available, fixed wireless can offer an unbeatable combination of rapid deployment, resilience, scalability, and affordability. For a thorough exploration of the possibilities, partner with a fixed wireless provider who can walk you through its suitability to your specific needs.