Fixed Wireless and Fixed Line are the two main NBN formats. The former uses transmission towers for wireless transmission and access; The latter is a much more known format which is delivered via fibre optic cables, or a combination of fibre and copper elements – also known as Multi technology Mix NBN; This is from the outside line source, to the premises.
The projected size of the Fixed Wireless NBN footprint is considerable, with at least 600,000 homes and businesses to be ready by the year 2020. As it stands, the progress of the wireless NBN format currently counts at roughly 300,000, or half of the projected final number being worked on as the goal. While the deployment of Fixed Wireless may seem like an exclusive NBN option for these areas outside major cities, it is overall an equal and a peer to those other NBN formats.
In cases where a fixed line connection cannot be installed, the Fixed Wireless format takes over. The Fixed Line format does have limitations in terms of reaching other areas. Fixed Wireless is more or less an extension of the NBN lines, delivered wirelessly at a stretch of the coverage area that is otherwise unreachable. This is the reason why it has been quite effective as a default format for mostly rural, regional, and all distant areas. It avoids the extra costs, longer time frames, extra labor, and eliminates the need for physical lines to reach the premises.
The format today is almost exclusive to rural, regional, and distant areas, as well as a few areas where there are major issues in getting line connections done. This is the most effective solution to the distance and access issues: by using wireless technology while maintaining the same quality connection. Fixed Line connections face difficulties in construction and installation in these areas, and also pose bigger costs, longer (or uncertain) time frames and also extra work.
Using the same Fixed Line NBN facilities, these are then extended over to these wider “outsider” territories using NBN Tower stations that deliver wireless NBN access over a the coverage area of at least a 14km radius from the receiving rooftop antenna. It uses LTE (Long Term Evolution) or 4G wireless technology to transmit the signals from the NBN tower stations to designated receiver rooftop antennas at the premises.
Quality-wise, there are not much differences or challenges that differentiate it from Fixed Line NBN. The same speed, reliability, and level of broadband performance are almost at equal with Fixed Line format. It offers other subscribers an equal performing NBN connection despite line sourcing, distance, and location issues. Fixed Wireless NBN operates at two major wholesale speeds: 25 / 5Mbps and 50 / 20 Mbps.
We currently have the distinction of being the best option for wireless fibre broadband available in the global broadband market. This makes the format an equal to common fixed line NBN connections. Where there are some limitations due to many factors involved with Fixed Line NBN, Fixed Wireless is a much simpler format since it has standard elements that do not vary in operation and methodology. The equipment and method of delivery is standard and singular, with no issues regarding fibre and copper hybrids, line sourcing, issues with premises connections, and other concerns that are a little more common with many iterations of the Fixed Line NBN format.
Fixed Wireless NBN is more consistent with signal strength and transmissions compared to the usual wireless 4G and LTE networks of Mobile Wireless networks. It works in a different way though, as Mobile access does not work directly with NBN Fixed Wireless facilities; for this, it can access the NBN through a modem router connected to the outdoor antenna. A Mobile network directly accesses the Wi-Fi service from their own Wireless network transmission towers.
The big difference is the use of a fixed cell boundary that uses singular technology that provides to a fixed number of devices and / or connections. This makes Wireless NBN more consistent with standardised transmission operations, compared to Mobile Wireless networks that works with different types of wireless devices using variable cell boundaries.
Satellite NBN operates on a similar type of technology. However, the transmission is beamed up to the two Sky Muster satellites orbiting the skies of the coverage areas, which then beams down to receiving satellite dish receivers at the premises.