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Fixed wireless access

Fixed wireless access

(also FWA)

Fixed wireless access definition

Fixed wireless access (FWA) is a method to provide internet access to homes or businesses using wireless technologies rather than traditional wired solutions like fiber or DSL. It’s especially useful when laying physical cables is impractical or too costly.

See also: 5G network, low latency

How fixed wireless access works

  • The key component of FWA is a main central hub or base station connected to the internet. It’s the main source of the internet signal.
  • This central hub sends out the internet signal wirelessly using antennas.
  • The user has an antenna installed at home or business, specifically designed to pick up the signal from the central hub.
  • The antenna is connected to a router, which turns the signal into Wi-Fi, enabling users to connect their devices (e.g., computers, phones, and TVs).
  • The user goes online like they would with a wired connection. They can browse websites, stream videos, and more.
  • While the user receives data (like watching a video), they also send data back (like clicking on a link or uploading a photo). The antenna at their home communicates back with the central hub to make this happen.
  • In essence, FWA is like having a wireless bridge between the main internet source and your home, bypassing the need for traditional wires or cables.

Pros and cons of FWA

  • Pros: Quick setup, economical where cables are expensive, flexible, has lower latency than traditional connections, and provides high-speed internet access.
  • Cons: FWA signals can be affected by bad weather, tall buildings may interfere with the signal, and possible network congestion when too many people use the internet simultaneously.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security