AT&T Fixed Wireless: 2 Month Review

  • Fast and Reliable (compared to DSL)
  • The Data Cap is filled quicker than you think

Living in a rural area means that fast and reliable internet service is something we’ve hoped for and never had until now. I’ve written about how our DSL line goes out for the weather, and sometimes cow related events; so when we got a flier in the mail that fixed wireless was available I called immediately.

AT&T fixed wireless internet for rural areas is not the same as a hotspot add-on for your cell service. It is an outdoor cellular antenna that connects to an indoor wireless router/modem with an ethernet cable. While you are getting internet service from a nearby cellular tower, it works on a different frequency than your cell phone.

Installation was fast. I called on a Friday and an AT&T DirectTV installer arrived on Monday. Finding the right spot for the antenna to connect to the tower was the hardest part, and took a couple hours.

Only the ethernet cable needed to be brought into the house to connect to the router. The total installation was very similiar to having a satelite tv service added to your house.img_0216

With DSL our internet download speed topped out at around 2.60mps and uploads at .3mps. Now we average 12mps down and 10mps up. Sometimes it may go upwards to 20-25mps. I am close to the furthest distance from the tower that is allowed, but those that are closer should have an even faster connection.

The main caveat is the data cap of 170 GB per month. With five people in the house, and everyone wanting to stream video on various apps, we reached the cap quickly the first month. AT&T will email you notices on your usage, and you can also log into your account for daily summary.

We already had a Disney Circle that manages time limits for every device on the network, and I had to tweak some of those settings to keep the kids from downloading too much data. img_0217For example, the Circle can put time limits on data hogs like YouTube, or on overall video streaming. While Netflix allows you to manage streaming quality for bandwidth caps, I could not find a similar feature for Amazon video that would save us some data.

Fixed wireless is an improvement over the sattelite internet we used several years ago. The biggest difference other than speed, is that it does not fail during rain. I have used it several times in light to heavy rain storms and never experienced any problems. However, it would be nice if this service had off peak hours like satellite internet has to download those extra big files or do updates.

The future of fixed wireless is also very bright. 5G cellular is on the horizon, and it promises gigabit speeds and 4K streaming. I can also imagine AT&T offering their internet streaming television service, DirectTV Now, as part of a bundle one day. In the meantime, we’ll just have to be patient.

In conclusion, we are pretty happy with the new service. Reliable fast internet in a rural area is something we’ve been waiting on for a long time. While it still isn’t as fast as what is availabe in town, it is still an improvement on what we had.

54 thoughts on “AT&T Fixed Wireless: 2 Month Review

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  1. Thank you! We’re in Mississippi using our Verizon phones as hotspots. $$. Looking for reviews of AT&T Fixed before we commit. So thanks for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you ever go with AT&T?

      Really sick & tired of Verizon Jet-Pack for my home internet.

      I pay for unlimited internet…YET at 10 GBs, they trotted me down and at 15 GBs, basically knock me down to slower than dial up speed. One Netflix movie and I am done with my “allowed” data.

      Verizon is dishonest about their “unlimited plans”!

      What a joke!

      I like and need their phone service…seems to work just about every where I go while horseback riding and camping. 😦

      Like

  2. Hey we are in rural Tennessee and trying to get this At&t fixed wireless service. We had an appointment for them to come and install it but they never showed up and did not even call to say they could not come that day. My husband took off half of day of work for them. He was told they would be here between 12:00 and 4:00. They never showed up. He called att and told them what happened. They just read a stand reply from a book They really didn’t care at all that he had waited for 5 hours and longer for them to come. So he set it up for them to come the next day at 4:00. Well later that same night he received an email from att saying they would come like a week later them what they had discussed. They had not even discussed coming on the later date. We are now very afraid to do internet business with att.

    Really bad when all we are trying to do is be a customer.
    We are just FLOORED with the terrible customer non appreciation!

    Has anybody else had these problems with At&t fixed wireless.

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    1. I hate to hear this, and I know it was beyond frustrating. Punctuality is a big deal with me. I can’t apologize for AT&T, but my experience was nothing like that. The DirectTV contractor came exactly at the scheduled time, and all of the correspondence by email and phone were great.

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  3. We’re in one of the rural counties in Texas NOT included among the 18 where AT&T has announced this service. Looking forward to the day when this becomes available (from AT&T, Verizon or whomever), so we can dump the Hughes dish and retire the LTE modem (we’re using both, for a combined cost of about $140 per month for 34GB total data (plus the Hughes 50GB bonus data between 2:00 and 8:00 am). The only wrinkle I can foresee is that AT&T connects the external antenna to the internal router via Ethernet. I have coax conduits running underground from my equipment panel to poles for both satellite TV and Internet dishes. I wouldn’t want to try to pull Ethernet into the panel from the poles … hopefully, there’s a workaround.

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    1. Hopefully it will roll out to more areas sooner than later. I believe US Cellular and Frontier Wireless are both rolling out similar services. I’d keep an eye on cell companies in your area.

      Maybe it would be possible to tie an Ethernet cable on to one of the coax cables from the Hughes dish you wouldn’t be using anymore and pull the coax out and bring the Ethernet cable in at the same time. I used an old Primestar coax to get Ethernet through a difficult space at my house.

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  4. My new ATT fixed wireless is scheduled to be installed tomorrow. I currently have Tmobile phone service with the optional $25 a month unlimited hotspot/tether option. I purchased an Asus router with built-in USB tether ability and get an average of 20-25 megs of download speed and a top of 50 mbps throughout the house. Why do I even need the ATT service? When I leave the house so does my phone and I loose access to my security cameras, my alarm, my wifi thermostat control and anyone remaining at the house has no internet service. I have it bundled with my DirecTv so I get a $10 savings plus unlimited data.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Today has been an AT&T nightmare. Appointment to install my new fixed wireless was between 9 and 11 am. They arrived at 2:15 pm. He asked me where the old Uverse phone line was located on the house. I asked why because the new fixed wireless does not use phone lines. He started hooking back up my old Uverse sloooow connection. Fixed Wireless, he didn’t have a clue about what I was talking about. I call AT&T customer service and the lady I talked to was also clueless. The original sales person also did not wave the install fee, give me my DirecTv discount or unlimited data. I cancelled the order and the installer (a nice guy) picked up everything and left. This is what happens when a company gets too big. Not giving up however. I’ll track down the info on the fixed wireless service. I’m retired and ex-military – I now have a mission!!
    If anyone can share prices on the fixed wireless and/or a link to order, I would appreciate it.

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  6. Hello I was scheduled to get the service today but the direct tv guy just look worn out and tired my appointment was From 12-4 he came at 4,and left at 5 talking about we was 5 miles away from the tower and we live on a dirt road how close you got to be near the tower

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That stinks if you’re just out of range. I know they are sending fliers in the mail for everyone they think it will be a good fit. I might try again in a month or so. This is relatively new for the tech’s and more experience between now and then for them might work in your favor. You’ve got nothing to lose, right?

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      1. Gonna reschedule for next week this guy didn’t even do nothing I talk to a rep she said I was 3-5 miles away from the tower and good signal is showing for my address I just think he was lazy and it was late

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Mr. Roberts I was in your situation with a technician also.
    I got the flier, made an inquiry about the fixed wireless, setup an appointment 2 weeks was the earliest available. Technician came out right as it was pouring down, cloudy so he sat in truck until it blew over, he walked around house for thirty minutes I know, finally he came to door and said he couldnot get a signal, I was right over the 5 mile range.
    Ok, I thought he knows what he is talking about, I guess. After a week or so of sunny weather I called and talked with phone rep and told her I wanted another tech to come out and see if I could get the fixed wireless. 2 weeks went by, tech came out and told me if there is a signal he was going to get it, roughly 30 or 40 minutes passed, he came to door I got you signal where do you want the antenna. I asked you sure? he said yes I am sure…I said how did you get it and the other tech couldn’t, his reply I plotted your location on my phone and used those results, and the tower we gonna use is south of here not the one at flying J (north of my house).
    As you said the other tech was lazy or possibly didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t want to put the effort in..Hopefully you will get a good tech that will put ina few more minutes for the customer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I called them back today and they said call back next month or so I was like I guess I got to wait until the leaves fall off the trees but I was I told I was 3-5 miles from the tower when I do a speed test it goes from 1-7 mbps so I don’t know what is your mbps

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      1. Wyman when the tech. came out he got a reading of 15.7 Mbps, after him installing all the hardware and connecting it all up. He did another ATT speed test and it was at 14,,,,Now for the past 3 weeks I’ve been getting 12-13 Mbps steady. Now I can stream movies from Netflix easily. maybe a buffer every now and then. I am satisfied. (for now)….lol

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      2. My internet speed by the power pole was 9.67 download mbps and upload was 0.22 mbps so was that a good reading for Fixwireless internet

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      3. Wyman, did you get your Fixed wireless installed already?
        My download speed is now 10.78 and upload is 1.87, these number seem to be steady.
        I am satisfied with the speeds, it’s like day and night compared to my old DSL. it stunk.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I haven’t got yet they said next week she told me that the range 3-6 miles good range and he said I was 5 miles so I could not get it so I think it didn’t want to do the installation because he got off at 4 and he didn’t get here til 4

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a question.. We got At&T fixed wireless service and then started noticing we were having problems signing on to our bank accounts. After several hours on the phone with the banks (yes, 2 different banks!) and chatting with At&T, I was told their routers are not secure! You could not log on to secure sites such as banks, educational sites, etc. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have with mine. I cannot use it for my work at home. The reason isn’t an insecure router, it’s that the IP refreshes every single time you move a page. So in my secure work sites, the web sites think that it’s an intruder so to speak and logs you out. When you log on to a site like that you should be issued a temp static IP for your site visit. ATT Fixed Wireless isn’t doing that. There are a lot of complaints on the ATT forums about this, so I hope they fix it soon. My friend is on ATT cable modem and doesn’t have this problem and she has the exact same router.

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  9. Is everyone still happy with their service? Mine is coming Wednesday. I was/am on a WISP for years that suddenly is telling me there is some kind of radio interference on their tower they can’t fix (everything I read said they should be able to fix it sooo…..). So I was paying $60 a month for a 1mb download and .25 upload but now I’m barely getting dial up speeds. I went to Verizon which is working well but the data caps……the DATA CAPS. Anyway, they said I was a good candidate so I’m hoping what they say is correct. 5-9 mbps download and a half mbps upload would be fine with me where I live. Just wanted to know if everyone was still pleased. It’ll cost me to sever the verizon service but if it’s worth it, I’m okay with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I attempted to have the Fixed Wireless install a few months ago. When the installer came out his first question was where is your outside phone line connection, not a good sign. I explained what fixed wireless was and he had no idea of what I was talking about. I asked him to standby while I called customer service. AT&T customer service also had no idea of what Fixed Wireless was. I canceled what turned out to be a DSL installation. I have accepted that hotspot service off of my T-Mobile unlimited hotspot LTE cell plan was my best option. I have experimented with various routers and WiFi extenders. I have had my equipment in the current configuration since October and have a very usable and reliable internet connection. My average download speed it 40 to 50 mbps with occasional tests hitting the upper 60 to low 70 range and average 10 mbps up. I live on the edge of a small town of less than 2,000 in Central Arkansas but luckily my home is about a mile from a T-Mobile tower. Anxiously awaiting the new 5G service.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like your current service would make many of us jealous. I think that 5G will be a big help to many with connection/bandwidth issues when it becomes widespread. CES is happening this week and might show off some new tech for people in our situations.

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      1. It took a lot of experimenting with netwotk equipment and several different phones to get the right combination. I also positioned the Samsung S8 I chose all over the house to find the best download speeds. Believe it or not, moving the phone just 6 inches to the right from where it is currently at will drop the speed by 10 mbps. I’m retired and obtaining the best speed possible became my mission.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I have had that ATT Fixed Wireless now for almost two months. So far, so good. I get really good speeds up and down (though I figure we will have a loss of speed come summer when some of the trees get in the way), the tower is about 2 miles from the house. My technician was awesome. He tried several different sites around my house before he found the best speed. And he came back two days later to check on it and make sure all was well.

    Now for the cons. I cannot use this for my work websites. At all. I literally HAVE to keep Verizon internet to work from home. The reason is a lack of a static IP when landing on a site. Most IP’s, including my small guy I used to have, give you a static IP when you land on a site temporarily. You keep that IP for the whole site visit. ATT Fixed Wireless does not do that even though their cable service does. Instead it gives you a new IP as soon as you click a link and the webpage kicks you off due to security. I can’t even use my company’s VPN with this. This is a real issue for anyone having to use secure site. There are multiple complaints in the forums. Some people cannot even visit their bank. Luckily I can. So while I love the speeds, if you don’t work from home, bear in mind you may have to use your phone’s hotspot for some secure sites.

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  12. When you say “The Data Cap is filled quicker than you think”, how fast are talking about? We’re being offered 215GB so I’m trying to see about how long that will last. We mainly use the internet for Netflix, some gaming (nothing that would hog data), surfing news, emails, and car forums. With AT&T DSL, we’re using an average of 35-37GB a month, but it’s slow and we’re using our phones for some stuff. My daughter would use the internet for her college research, if we get the Fixed Internet….can’t do it with DSL.

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    1. What I saw the issue with was when we began streaming several hours a day. After I changed the settings on Netflix to medium or low, it took care of the problem. The only other issue was with a Firestick. To my understanding it preloads in the background and after we switched that one for a Roku we saw a big change. They also increased ours to 215. I check the data usage page about once a week. As long as we stay around 5gb a day we’re ok. If I see that jump then we don’t stream Netflix for a day or two. I have zero regrets about switching from DSL.

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      1. Thank you for the response. We stream Netflix on an average of about 5-6 hours a day. We don’t use firestick so that’s a plus. I guess I’m just wondering how 35GB of DSL compares to 215GB of FW. I know that sounds crazy, but if we get better internet then I know we’ll do more with it….especially with my daughter’s college research, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It should be measured the same so I think you would be ok, with the caveat of you might need to set Netflix streaming to middle or low. At least for the first week to see how much data you go through. Low, for me, is 480p with stereo audio only, medium quality brings it up to 720p with Dolby digital. We’ve stayed under 170 with 2-3hrs streaming/day, so now that’s it’s up to 215 that’s a little more room. It’s a frustrating compromise between actually having speed vs how much you can use.

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      3. Had the FWI installed Friday and so far, I’m getting about 35Mbs down and 12Mbs up. That’s an extreme improvement over DSL. They gave us a 14 day trial, but unless something drastic happens, we’re keeping it.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I just signed up for AT&T Fixed Wireless based on a flyer I received advertising $40/month for 100 mbps download speeds. Turns out the $40 is only when bundled with Direct-TV. Without TV the price is $50/mo. for 1 year and $60 mo. after that But then after signing up I received an email showing $70/mo after one year plus I have to pay one month in advance. Add to that the pro-rated installation fee, taxes, surcharges, etc the total comes to $151.18 for the first month’s payment after my $20 discount. WOW – talk about bait and switch! Do I dare ask if the 100 mbps is anywhere near realistic? I’m currently getting about 10 mbps with Verizon JetPack which is okay but their “Unlimited Plan” is really capped at about 15 GB. After that it reverts to dial-up speed. I don’t see on this forum that anybody is getting higher the 50 mbps.

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    1. I didn’t pay anything for installation, but my top speed would only be the same as 4G LTE at around 25mps. My question would be are you actually signed up for a 5G trial that would have those kinds of speeds? I know AT&T is rolling it out in certain cities.

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  14. I’ve received a flyer for AT&T’s fixed wireless internet. It advertises 10 mbps down and 1 mbps up. I’ve noticed in the comments that several users are getting much higher upstream numbers.

    I’ve had someone break in and need to add security cameras that can stream to the internet. One company has options that range from 720P (needing 1 mbps up) to 4K (needing 4 mbps up).

    1 mbps would limit my choices for cameras but 10 mbps would allow me to choose cameras that should be able to read the tag of a vehicle if it drives close enough to the camera.

    Would you please verify that you have a 10 mbps upstream speed?

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    1. I get upwards of 12-20 down and 2-6 up. I would hesitate to advise you to get it with the speeds they show you. Could be that your distance to the tower or number of people already using it makes your speed slower there.

      Like

    2. In addition to ATT for rural customers, if you are a current T-Mobile customers the new T-Mobile Home LTE Internet is nothing short of awesome. While my normal download speeds are in the 50 to 60 mbps range and uploads are around 10 mbps, I have hit downloads in the 100’s with a max of 127 mbps and max uploads in the mid 20’s. Cost is $50 a month with unlimited data. I did over a terabyte last month with no slowdown.

      Again, right now it is only for T-Mobile customers and is invitation only. If you are a T-Mobile customer and want to sign up to get on the invitation list, this link will help you register.

      https://www.t-mobile.com/isp/eligibility

      For general information, this link may help.

      https://www.t-mobile.com/isp/FAQs

      Liked by 1 person

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