The NBN fixed wireless service is giving regional Australians access to faster, more reliable broadband sooner
What is fixed wireless broadband?
Fixed wireless broadband is similar to a fixed-line broadband service. The key difference is that it is delivered through the air instead of through an optic fibre cable.
Fixed wireless broadband provides a broadband connection over the air from a radio network base station to a transmitter which is typically attached to the outside of the premises.
Unlike mobile wireless broadband services, the NBN fixed wireless network will be designed to cater for a certain number of customers and services in a given area. This means that the network will be able to deliver a more consistent and reliable service than current mobile wireless services.
- Check out NBN Co’s blog post on the hidden benefits of NBN fixed wireless
How fast is the NBN fixed wireless network?
The NBN fixed wireless network currently offers peak speeds of 12 megabits per second (Mbps) download/1 Mbps upload.
From mid-2013, the network will provide speeds up to 25/5 Mbps.
This will give all Australian homes and businesses access to faster speeds on the NBN than they can get today over the ageing copper network.
- See the fixed wireless and satellite speed upgrade announcement: faster broadband for regional and remote Australia
What is the difference between mobile, fixed wireless and wi-fi broadband technologies?
Mobile wireless networks offer the ability to access content and applications on the move, while requiring backhaul through fixed networks like the NBN.
Unlike mobile networks, fixed wireless networks are engineered to meet the speed and service requirements for a specific number of users in each area. This means the service available for each fixed wireless customer—even during peak times—is more consistent and stable than for customers using mobile networks to provide broadband.
Fixed wireless broadband services are well suited to less densely populated areas, but not to larger towns and cities.
Wi-fi in your home or business is generally powered by a fixed line—currently this is usually a copper phone line, but with the NBN rollout, your wi-fi will be powered by the NBN. Wi-fi provides wireless connectivity over a short range, usually less than 300 metres, and is usually faster and has greater capacity than a mobile network because it is powered by your fixed line.
According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Internet Activity report , in the three months to 30 June 2012, 94 per cent of the data Australians downloaded was over fixed-line broadband services, including via wi-fi.