Fixed Wireless Access: Obstacles and Regional Availability

Fixed Wireless Access: Obstacles and Regional Availability

Fixed Wireless Access: Obstacles and Regional Availability
Fixed Wireless Access: Obstacles and Regional Availability
2023-03-23 17:14:12 - last edited 2023-03-23 18:39:26

Fixed Wireless Access: Obstacles and Regional Availability

What's Influencing your Home FWA Connection?


As first mentioned in our overview of Fixed Wireless Access from last week, FWA has the ability to bring high-speed broadband connections to areas that were previously cut off from the digital world or were previously living with less than 25Mbps speeds.

However, despite how versatile Fixed Wireless Access may appear, it does not come without its own limitations that will vary by region and affect your overall network performance. To help everyone understand if a Fixed Wireless Connection is the best option for your home, please consider how the following factors could influence the connection to your home.


Line of Sight Requirements

Many FWA systems rely on a clear line of sight between the transmission tower and a customer’s receiving antenna. While this is less of a problem with the development of 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Solutions, the line of sight may still affect the overall quality of your signal.

Obstacles, such as Trees, Terrain, or other buildings, will interfere with the signal and significantly reduce its strength. As a result, Fixed Wireless Access may face significant challenges in densely populated urban areas such as cities.

In rural areas, where signal interference is less likely, FWA deployment may still encounter difficulties due to the increased distance between transmission towers and residential antennas.


Spectrum Availability and Congestion

Fixed Wireless depends on the use of different radio frequencies to transmit data wirelessly between two fixed points. The availability of the spectrum used, and therefore the frequencies, varies by region and is often limited by various regulatory agencies, or in densely populated areas, the frequencies used by Fixed Wireless Connections may be congested, making it difficult to provide a high-speed FWA and Mobile connections to users.

As more providers adopt Fixed Wireless, congestion and availability will improve with increased investment in Fixed Wireless infrastructure.


Weather Conditions

While FWA was designed with environmental factors in mind, connections remain susceptible to severe weather events. These conditions typically result in slowed or dropped connections, but extreme weather can impact the user's antenna and transmission tower's ability to deliver high-speed connections, potentially causing service disruptions.

For satellite-based FWA connections, signal interference due to passing storms can lead to rapid drop-outs or dramatic speed reductions.


Network Capacity and Scalability

As FWA becomes more popular among users, the demand for network capacity also increases, causing issues for areas that have not updated their infrastructure to accommodate the increased demand.


Across the United States, providers have already begun to develop their FWA services for better reliability and scalability to increase their coverage; however, there are still many areas across the United States that may not have updated their infrastructure to support the growing demand.

Service Providers must continually invest in their networking infrastructure to ensure that the networks will meet the needs of users, especially as Fixed Wireless has seen such a tremendous increase in growth over the last few year, which is not expected to slow down.


Regulatory Challenges

In the United States, Fixed Wireless connections and their associated frequencies are regulated and managed by government bodies and legislation, such as specific spectrum portions being reserved for infrastructure or government use. It is even possible that local regulations may prevent you from using an FWA connection entirely.

Before considering FWA for your home, it's essential to review any local ordinances related to FWA connections or 4G/5G availability, as these may vary significantly between regions and may potentially limit the maximum performance of your connection.


While FWA may appear to be the future of home networking, there are still many obstacles affecting the rollout and effectiveness of Fixed Wireless to users everywhere.  We recommend learning about these obstacles to see if Fixed Wireless Access is the best option for your home.


Read More about FWA in our Overview Article: What is Fixed Wireless? Why is it Important?


Join our Community Tech Talk on Reddit: Exploring Fixed Wireless Access 



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