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.

Update!

I’ve read that new subscribers will now get double the data. With 340GB a month of data, I think this offer becomes much better. My question is will AT&T upgrade the rest of us to that amount!

30 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

  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

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