If you have heard the buzz about fixed wireless internet from your friends, family, and colleagues but are unaware of the specifics and would like to know more, then stick around as we tell you everything you need to know about this broadband technology. 

As we uncover the 5 best fixed wireless internet providers of 2024, we will dive a little deeper to explore the ins and outs of this internet type, highlight its availability, and understand how it differs from satellite internet, Wi-Fi, and mobile broadband. 

Best Fixed Wireless Internet Providers

Fixed wireless internet is ensuring affordable and reliable broadband access to the nation’s underserved and rural communities. From 4G LTE coverage to ultrafast 5G wireless connectivity, the 5 best fixed wireless internet providers in 2024 are revolutionizing the broadband space.  

Here are the top 5 fixed wireless internet providers, offering download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gig) for monthly rates as low as $40. 

Top 5 Fixed Wireless Internet Providers in the USA
Provider  Starting Price  Maximum Speed 
AT&T  $55.00/mo. (plus taxes) 225 Mbps 
Verizon  $60.00/mo. (without discounts) 1,000 Mbps 
T-Mobile  $60.00/mo. (with AutoPay) 245 Mbps 
Rise Broadband  $45.00/mo. (with AutoPay) 250 Mbps 
Starry Internet  $40.00/mo.(for 12 months) 1,000 Mbps 
*Maximum speeds available may vary based on your location within the provider’s coverage area. 
**Prices are subject to change. 
***Terms and conditions apply. 

What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

Fixed wireless internet, also known as fixed wireless access (FWA), is a type of broadband technology that uses high-frequency radio waves to transmit wireless internet signals from cellular towers to subscribers’ homes. 

Reports show that around 90 percent of all new broadband customers opted for fixed wireless internet service as the technology evolved from 4G long-term evolution (LTE) service to 5G. 

It is considered the best solution for reliable broadband access in the underserved communities of the country. Unlike DSL, fiber, and cable internet, fixed wireless internet does not need miles of wiring for transmission. It can beat the cost of satellite internet to offer wireless broadband access within a 10-mile range from the cellular tower. 

How Does Fixed Wireless Internet Work?

Fixed wireless internet providers construct cellular towers or cell sites that emit high-frequency electromagnetic radio waves. These waves carry high-speed internet signals that will travel up to a distance of 10 miles and deliver broadband internet to subscribers’ homes. 

Inside a customer’s home, an antenna intercepts the signals, and a 4G LTE or 5G modem converts the radio signals into internet signals for wireless transmission around the house. Users can connect to the fixed wireless internet network through a Wi-Fi router or use an Ethernet cable to link their personal computers or televisions to the modem. 

Advantages of Fixed Wireless Internet

As the proverb goes, “Necessity is the mother of inventions”. Fixed wireless internet was invented when consumers in rural and unconnected areas of the United States needed an affordable alternative to satellite internet. 

Simply speaking, a fixed wireless internet service offers combined benefits of wired (fiber, cable, and DSL) and satellite internet to make the dream of “Connected America” a reality. 

The following are some of the advantages of fixed wireless internet. 


Fixed wireless internet plans are more affordable compared to satellite internet packages. Therefore, fixed wireless internet is the most affordable option in the wireless internet category.  

On average, a fixed wireless internet plan for homes costs $52 per month. Whereas, a base plan for satellite internet would cost $100 per month (once the regular rates kick in) and deliver speeds slower than those received over a fixed wireless internet service.  

High Bandwidths

Unlike the satellite internet service, the radio wave spectrum of fixed wireless internet can handle large amounts of data and deliver download speeds of up to 1,000Mbps or 1Gbps. 

Depending on whether you receive 4G LTE connectivity or 5G broadband access, you can get internet data within the radio wave spectrum of 6GHz to 100GHz.

Most fixed wireless internet providers offer the typical download speed range of 20Mbps to 250Mbps. Whereas, the median upload speeds range between 5Mbps and 25Mbps. 

Images highlights the following information: "Most fixed wireless internet providers offer the typical download speed range of 20Mbps to 250Mbps. Whereas, the median upload speeds range between 5Mbps and 25Mbps". On left side it show download and upload icon.

An exception would be AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet service for eligible rural areas. The download speed is limited to 10Mbps and the upload speed tops out at 1Mbps on that plan.

These high bandwidths make the fixed wireless internet service suitable for most online activities like streaming and downloading in high-definition (HD). 

Low Latency 

The latency rate of fixed wireless internet may not match the ultra-low latency of a fiber internet connection. However, it is comparable to the latency of coaxial cable and DSL internet. 

The average latency of a fixed wireless internet service is between 20 milliseconds (ms) to 100 ms. It means that in ideal situations (zero network congestion), it takes only 20 ms for the data to travel from the device to the data center and back. 

The infographic visually explains the information; "The average latency of a fixed wireless internet service is between 20 milliseconds (ms) to 100 ms."  It also displays fixed wireless internet device and internet server icons.

On the other hand, the latency rate of high Earth orbit (HEO) satellite internet providers (Hughesnet and Viasat) is 650 ms, and low Earth orbit satellite internet provider, Starlink, can guarantee a median latency of 99 ms. 

Unlimited Data 

Most new-age fixed wireless internet providers, like the ones listed above, offer unlimited internet data on their monthly plans. It allows users to use the internet for data-intensive activities like multiplayer online gaming, video streaming, virtual meetings, and heavy file sharing. 

In contrast, satellite internet providers usually cap high-speed data usage. For example, Viasat claims that its new and improved Unleashed plan is “Unlimited”, but after 850 GB of priority data usage, customers face speed reductions during network congestion. 

Non-Contractual Service 

The 5 best fixed wireless internet providers listed above offer non-contractual service to their customers. Some, like T-Mobile, allow customers to test drive the service for free for the first 15 days. Since a contract is not mandatory, they can switch plans or terminate the service when and as they please. 

The freedom from annual contracts and early termination fees make fixed wireless internet more attractive compared to satellite internet. It is because Visast and Hughesnet customers may be required to sign a 24-month commitment for the attainment of promotional rates and Prepaid reward cards. 

Wide Availability 

According to the most recent data released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 84.9 percent of the US population can access fixed wireless internet services. These figures put fixed wireless internet in direct competition with DSL internet, whose nationwide coverage is 84.8 percent of the population. 

The image provides the following stats: "84.9 percent of the US population can access fixed wireless internet services". Also displaying US map and human icon to depicts the US population.

Its wide-scale availability ensures internet access even in the most forgotten parts of the country. 

Disadvantages of Fixed Wireless Internet 

Like all the other broadband technologies, fixed wireless internet poses challenges, which are discussed below. 

Asymmetric Speeds

The upstream capabilities of fixed wireless internet are lower than its downstream capabilities. It means subscribers will receive faster download speeds but slower upload speeds as the wireless signals emitted from the home modems are weaker compared to the signals emitted from the cellular towers. 

Therefore, a fixed wireless internet connection may not be suitable if you frequently attend video calls, live stream your gameplay, or create and share content on the Cloud. 

Limited Signal Range 

Fixed wireless internet uses radio frequencies that can travel up to 10 miles, carrying and distributing high-speed internet data. It means that all homes out of that 10-mile radius of the cell tower will not be eligible for the service.  

Moreover, physical obstructions like trees, buildings, and billboards block the radio waves, leading to service outages. To counter this hindrance, 4G LTE and 5G cells are installed on the tallest buildings, or a 200-foot-tall tower is built on flat land. 

Specialized Equipment

Another downside of subscribing to a fixed wireless internet service is the installation of a 4G LTE or 5G modem to convert radio waves into internet data. A DOCSIS cable modem or a fiber-optic gateway will be useless.

However, the good news is that most of these top 5 fixed wireless internet providers include the equipment in their monthly plans, and others allow you to lease the equipment for nominal charges of up to $15 per month.  

Weather Interference 

Customers of fixed wireless internet plans may experience service interruptions and outages during inclement weather. Heavy rainfall, snowfall, or thunderstorms can cause disruptions and delays in transmission, and high wind speeds and lightning often damage cellular towers. 

So, fixed wireless internet may not be your best bet if you want 99.99 percent network uptime. 

Fixed Wireless Availability by Provider

In the last few years, the coverage area of fixed wireless internet has increased by twofold. In the survey by the FCC in 2019, only 47 percent of the US population was covered by fixed wireless internet services. 

However, the data collected in January 2023 showed that within this span, the availability of fixed wireless internet had increased to 84.9 percent of the country’s population. That is a 9.5 percent year-on-year increase. 

Now, let’s analyze the availability of the 5 best fixed wireless internet providers. 

Availability of the Top 5 Fixed Wireless Internet Providers 
Provider  Percentage of Units with Coverage Target Markets 
AT&T 0.613%  Alabama, California, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, etc.
Rise Broadband  0.131% Abilene, TX, Springfield, IL, McKinney, TX, Wichita Falls, TX, and Joplin, MO.  
Starry Internet  1.819% Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. 
T-Mobile  57.925% Most of the contiguous USA. (Spotty in Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah)
Verizon  19.058% Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California, and Washington. 
Source: Federal Communications Commission
*The exact results may vary.

Fixed Wireless vs. Satellite Internet

Fixed Wireless and Satellite internet are both cordless forms of broadband internet. But while the former is a terrestrial broadband service, satellite internet is extraterrestrial, and that leads to several differences between the two. 

Take a look at the side-by-side comparison table for fixed wireless vs. satellite internet to understand the distinction between these two cordless internet services. 

Fixed Wireless Internet vs. Satellite Internet 
Features  Fixed Wireless Internet  Satellite Internet 
Connection Type  4G LTE and 5G  Satellite (radio waves)
Availability  84.9% of the country  100% of the country
Price Range  $40.00/mo. – $85.00/mo. (with AutoPay) $49.99/mo. – $1,500.00/mo.(Hughesnet to Starlink) 
Speed Range  10 to 1,000 Mbps  50 to 220 Mbps
Data Caps Often unlimited  Up to 6 TB
Contracts  Not required May be required 
Average Latency  20 to 100 ms 25 to 650 ms
Best For  Power internet users  Light-moderate internet users

Fixed Wireless vs. Wi-Fi

People often confuse fixed wireless internet and Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi). In layman’s terms, the former is the source, while the latter is the medium. 

Fixed wireless internet is a type of broadband internet that delivers up to gigabit download speeds. In contrast, Wi-Fi is a set of wireless network protocols and has several standards of IEEE 802.11 to distinguish the oldest from the latest. 

For example, if you use a Wi-Fi 5 router, the maximum download speed you will receive will be 3.5 Gbps (in ideal situations). However, on the latest Wi-Fi 6E router, you can expect download speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps. 

Fixed Wireless vs. Mobile Broadband

Fixed wireless internet and mobile broadband use 4G and 5G wireless signals to deliver high-speed internet data. That is why the nation’s three biggest mobile network operators – AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, offer 5G home internet services to their customers. 

They already have the infrastructure, won the 5G spectrum auction, and have a sizable market of 5G mobile customers. All they have to do is to promote their 5G home internet service. 

However, while 5G mobile broadband (mobile data plan) can be used on the go, the same 5G home internet cannot be said for the fixed wireless 5G home internet service. The equipment for a 5G home internet service does not support mobility.  

The following table highlights the key differences between fixed wireless internet and mobile broadband. 

Fixed Wireless Internet vs. Mobile Broadband 
Features  Fixed Wireless Internet Mobile Broadband 
Type of Connection  4G LTE or 5G  4G LTE or 5G 
Availability  84.9% of the USA 99% of the USA
Price Range  $40.00/mo. – $85.00/mo. (with AutoPay) $20.00/mo. – $100.00/mo. (per line)
Speed Range  10 to 1,000 Mbps  10 to 2,500 Mbps 
Data Caps  Often unlimited  Priority data is capped 
Contracts  Not required Not required
Gaming Performance  Good  Good 
Best For  Internet usage at home  Internet usage on the go. 

Final Word 

Whether you are a dweller of one of the underserved communities or somebody seeking the bliss of a cordless digital life, fixed wireless internet service is for you. 

The 5 best fixed wireless internet providers in the USA include bigwigs like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Together, they offer affordable, reliable, superfast wireless broadband access to more than 80 percent of Americans. 

We hope that now that you are aware of the fixed wireless internet technology, understand how it works, can check its availability, and explain how it is different from Wi-Fi, satellite internet, and mobile broadband, you will be able to make an informed purchase decision while shopping for an internet plan.