Fixed Wireless Broadband Vs. DSL

By Gissimee Doe

DSL uses wires; fixed wireless broadband does not.
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Fixed wireless broadband refers to any technology that allows broadband signals to be broadcast over a set, limited range without the use of wires. Typically, fixed wireless broadband services are delivered using radio waves and require a receiver. Digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband service is delivered over the telephone network, which mostly uses copper wires. DSL, or any of its variants, requires a telephone line and a special modem. Fixed wireless broadband service is good for those in remote areas whereas DSL is more suited to those living close to an exchange.

Fixed Wireless

Fixed wireless broadband signals are broadcast from a wireless base station to a receiver. The receiver is usually a fixed aerial, antenna or dish device which you mount on your home in a similar manner to a satellite dish. There needs to be a clear line of sight between the base station and the receiver for the service to work. This type of broadband does not use wires and is therefore potentially much faster than wired Internet services, such as dial-up and basic DSL.


Fixed wireless broadband is a relatively new technology (2011) and not yet widespread. It is mostly used for remote areas that are not served by more conventional broadband services, such as asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL). Due to the lack of subscribers, it is more expensive than comparable broadband services, but the cost is expected to go down as more subscribers take up the service. The lack of wires eliminates problems such as slowing down with distance, but also introduces new vulnerabilities to the service, as it uses radio waves, which can be blocked or can experience interference.


DSL broadband is a fixed-line technology that uses telephone wires to transmit Internet signals. There are many variants of DSL, with the newer varieties offering better speed and benefits. ADSL is the most common type of DSL in use. It offers higher speeds on download than upload. DSL requires a telephone line. The Internet service is always on, with no need to log on or off. You can make telephone calls and use the Internet at the same time.


DSL is one of the most readily available types of broadband service for home users. It is often affordable, due to heavy subscription rates. It requires an account with a telephone service provider, but the line rental and ADSL package often come bundled together which cuts down on costs. Providers will often stand the cost of the modem and installation. The speed of DSL service decreases with distance from the exchange, making it unsuitable for use in remote areas.