Find the best NBN fixed wireless plans

The NBN Fixed Wireless is a type of broadband technology that uses radio signals to connect your premises to the NBN network. Find out how it compares to other NBN connection types

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Written by:

Alex Kidman

NBN Fixed Wireless relies on radio signals to connect your location to the NBN network, offering speeds of up to 75Mbps. If you're considering this type of connection, here's the essential information you need.


Last updated 20/02/2024
Dodo broadband provider logo
Broadband Only
Unlimited Data
32 Mbps Typical Evening Speed
Month to month
$65/Month
for first 6 months , then $80 ongoing
Min total cost $65
View breakdown
More Telecom broadband provider logo
Broadband Only
Unlimited
23 Mbps Typical Evening Speed
Month to month
$88/Month
Min total cost $88
View breakdown
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Written by:

Alex Kidman

Choosing the best fixed wireless NBN plan

If you're in an area covered by the Fixed Wireless NBN network, it's essential to understand what to consider when selecting the best plan for your needs. 

Unlike fixed line NBN, NBN Fixed Wireless connects you to the Internet wirelessly in a fixed location, using similar technologies as your smartphone (including 5G). 

Since it doesn't need to cover mobile service, it can offer a more reliable data connection in its designated areas.

What is fixed wireless?

Fixed Wireless NBN is a component of the National Broadband Network that brings Internet access to people in regional and remote areas of Australia. 

This system uses transmission towers connected to the broader physical cabled NBN network. The signal is broadcast using radio frequencies similar to those in existing 4G and 5G networks.

 

fixed wireless nbn

What sets NBN Fixed Wireless apart is its focus on delivering Internet to fixed locations, not mobile devices. To set it up, a fixed wireless antenna is installed, usually on the roof, along with an internal NBN Connection Box. 

These components connect to the wireless signal from the nearest transmitter, providing Internet access to your home. It functions similarly to your smartphone on a 4G or 5G network but is optimised for distance and reliable performance within homes and businesses where mobile signals can sometimes be unreliable.

How fast is fixed wireless?

NBN provides fixed wireless across three different speed tiers.

Speed Tier Maximum download speed Maximum Upload Speed
NBN 12 (Basic I) 12Mbps 1Mbps
NBN 25 (Basic II) 25Mbps 5Mbps
NBN 75 (Fixed Wireless Plus) 75Mbps 10Mbps

 

Is fixed wireless reliable?

Like any wireless connection, reliability can vary, but generally, fixed wireless is quite dependable. Compared to most 4G networks (which is a fair comparison as it uses similar technology), it's notably more reliable. 

This is because NBN Co can precisely measure the number of connected premises and tailor the signal to specific locations.

In contrast, mobile devices move around, changing their antenna positions, and encountering obstacles like hills and buildings that can affect performance. Speeds may differ among providers and at specific times, so plans often mention their typical evening speeds, helping you set realistic expectations for a Fixed Wireless NBN plan.

Nevertheless, it's essential to note that a fixed physical line NBN connection typically outperforms wireless connections.

Pros and cons of a fixed wireless connection

As with any plan, there are upsides and downsides to fixed wireless NBN:

Fixed Wireless NBN Pros Fixed Wireless NBN Cons
Doesn’t require cabling to your home Higher speeds of cabled connections unavailable (at least for now)
Fixed towers give better reliability than standard mobile broadband Congestion happens, because it’s shared spectrum
Typically faster than NBN Sky Muster There are faster services such as Starlink
Upgrades to 5G should bring faster speeds and higher reliability in time 5G Fixed Wireless NBN won’t arrive until 2024 (or later) and may not be available from every tower or at every location
Wide variety of plans and prices available Pricing typically a little higher than fixed line NBN plans at the same speeds

Is fixed wireless Internet better than NBN?

For most people, the answer is likely no. While you can get a fixed wireless home broadband connection from private providers, they usually offer plans only in areas where they're sure customers will get a good connection. 

This doesn't always align with the NBN Fixed Wireless footprint, which is mainly on the outskirts of larger cities. So, finding a fixed wireless home broadband plan from a non-NBN provider might be challenging.

There's an exception, though, with Starlink, Elon Musk's low earth orbit satellite system. While it's positioned as a competitor to the NBN Sky Muster Satellite system, it's also an option for fixed wireless customers, if Starlink agrees to take you on as a customer.

Best NBN fixed wireless plans

Dodo broadband provider logo
Unlimited Fixed Wireless Plus Dodo broadband plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • 32/4 Mbps
  • Deal: $65 for first 6 months , then $80 ongoing
$65 .00/ mth
Min total cost $65
More Telecom broadband provider logo
More Telecom Unlimited nbn™ Fixed Wireless Plus Broadband Plan
To find out more about how we recommend plans, click here.

How to switch fixed wireless plans

If you've already set up a fixed wireless NBN, it's a good idea to review your options at least twice a year. Many broadband plans, including fixed wireless NBN, are on a month-to-month basis, making it easy to switch providers.

To switch, check your contract for any termination or equipment fees. If you just want to change your plan tier with your current provider, they usually have online portals or apps to make the process smooth.

When switching to a new NBN fixed wireless provider, you might be able to use the same modem/router; see if your new provider offers a "Bring Your Own Modem" deal to save money. To learn more about which NBN fixed wireless plans are for you, get connected with the Compare Broadband team today.

About the author

 

Alex Kidman profile image

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology journalist who has been covering the Internet and communications space for more than 25 years across a wide variety of print and online publications, as well as on radio and TV.

FAQs

Do I need to call for a technician to install a Fixed Wireless connection?

Yes. Both the NBN outdoor antenna and connection box have to be installed by an approved installer, so you need to schedule an appointment with a technician. You may also coordinate with your service provider to make sure that the schedule works for you.

What’s an ideal location for the NBN Fixed Wireless equipment?

A few things you need to remember when choosing a location for your NBN equipment is that it should be cool, dry, and well ventilated. It also needs to be away from busy areas of the premises to prevent getting knocked off its spot but accessible enough so you can easily check the indicator lights. You can pre-identify an area that suits these requirements. However, keep in mind that the technician may recommend a different location depending on various environmental factors or the complexity of installing the required hardware in your chosen area.

Can I access NBN’s network from a local telecommunications tower?

The said tower needs to have an NBN presence for you to access the network. This can be determined by your technician on your scheduled date of installation.

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