Fixed Wireless Access

What Does Fixed Wireless Access Mean?

Fixed wireless access (FWA) is an alternative way for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to provide small businesses and homes with last mile connectivity.


Fixed Wireless Access uses radio waves to create a connection between a Point-of-Presence cell tower and an external antenna located on the customer's home or business. When the antenna picks up a radio signal, it forwards the signal wirelessly to a special type of modem that converts the radio waves into WiFi signals.

As 5G coverage expands, FWA is expected to provide ISPs with a cost-effective alternative to DSL, fiber optics and cable, especially in geographical locations where it has been cost-prohibitive for ISPs to lay cable or fiber. Because FWA can provide high speeds with low latency, it's expected to compete with satellite connections in many parts of the world and help reduce the digital divide now that 97% of the world's population lives within reach of a mobile cellular signal.

Techopedia Explains Fixed Wireless Access

Fixed wireless access can be used to help two fixed wired locations to connect. Traditionally, enterprises used leased lines or cables to connect two different locations. FWA can be a simpler alternative because it uses radio waves to connect the two locations.

Usually, fixed wireless antennas are located on building roofs to ensure line-of-site obstruction-free data transmission. Besides connecting one-to-one locations, FWA can be implemented in point-to-multipoint and multipoint-to-multipoint transmission modes.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…