Getting home internet outside of urban areas is a challenge for many Oregonians. Recently, many cell phone providers have started to offer home internet services. Some of their services look like pretty good deals, but how good are they really? We compare home internet services from major cell phone carriers to our own locally owned and operated fixed wireless internet service.
AT&T Fixed Wireless Home Internet
AT&T offers download speeds up to 25 Mbps and 350 GB of data for around $60 a month. In order to get AT&T’s fixed wireless service, you must already be a customer with Residential DirectTV or a postpaid AT&T wireless plan with a minimum monthly data allowance of 1GB. You have to maintain those qualifying bundles in order to keep AT&T’s fixed wireless internet service so you’ll lose internet service if you cancel them.
To get AT&T fixed wireless home internet installed, they use a traditional radio antenna. Their “indoor residential gateway” is a router that they require. The installation cost is $99. While they are advertising an internet speed of 25 Mbps, their fine print mentions that they will provide at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed. You also have a data cap of 350 GB data per month which is about equivalent to watching 2-3 hours of Netflix per night. If you go over your data cap on an AT&T fixed wireless internet plan, it will cost you $10 per every additional 50 GB with a maximum of $200 in overage charges.
The equipment must be returned within 21 days or a $150 fee will be charged if cancel your AT&T fixed wireless internet plan. If returned within 90 days, they say that fee can be refunded. You might also incur fees for taxes, federal & state universal service charges, Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge (up to $1.50), gross receipts surcharge, and an Administrative Fee ($1.99).
AT&T vs Webformix Fixed Wireless Home Internet
AT&T does not guarantee speeds of over 10 Mbps but you may get speeds up to 25 Mbps. Webformix internet plans start at 6 Mbps but go up to broadband speeds of 30 Mbps.
AT&T fixed wireless internet service could cost you anywhere from $60 to $260 depending on how much data overage you incur. Webformix plans start at $50 per month and go up to $135 per month for our fastest plan.
Webformix does not have any data caps, contracts, or hidden fees. AT&T has a 350 GB data cap with hefty fees for overages and hidden miscellaneous fees.
Both Webformix and AT&T use radio antennas that get mounted to your roof. AT&T also requires you to use their “indoor gateway” router. Webformix does offer optional purchase of routers that include technical support but there are no mandatory equipment purchases. The Webformix equipment deposit of $50 is refundable at the end of service if the radio antenna and power supply are recovered. If you purchase a router from us, it is yours to keep and will work with most other home internet services.
AT&T fixed wireless internet is currently serving Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana. They plan to expand offerings to Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. They are not offering service to Oregon at this time.
Verizon LTE Installed Home Internet Service
Verizon LTE Installed is a 4G internet service that works similar to fixed wireless internet. Verizon’s home internet offerings are starting to get a bit confusing because they also offer Fios which is fiber internet and Verizon 5G Home which is like LTE Installed but with 5G speeds. Most people do not have 5G speeds available in their area yet, and fiber availability is likewise scarce in rural communities seeking fast home internet. Verizon LTE Installed uses a home gateway device that you set up yourself. It does not appear that they have any outdoor equipment so it is likely that the service is like a mobile hotspot with expanded service for day-to-day home use. Unlike AT&T you do not need to be an existing customer for their cellular service in order to get internet from Verizon.
Verizon LTE Installed vs Webformix Fixed Wireless Internet
When Verizon says 4G speed, that is equivalent to download speeds between 5 and 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps. However, they do say that most people can get 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps download speed with 4 Mbps upload (basically the same as AT&T fixed wireless). These are similar to Webformix’s two cheapest home internet plans that offer speeds of 6 Mbps download on the Value Streaming Plan and 9 Mbps download on the Premium Streaming Plan. Webformix also offers two higher plans with 18 Mbps download on the Power User Plan and broadband speeds of 30 Mbps download of the Super Power User Plan.
Early termination fees can apply with Verizon LTE Installed, and so can taxes and other miscellaneous fees. If you are a Verizon customer with a mobile plan of $30 or more, their LTE Installed internet service costs $40 per month. If you are not an existing customer, it costs $60 per month. Both monthly costs are contingent on signing up for auto-pay and paperless billing. Without that, they cost $70 per month for non-existing customers and $50 per month for existing mobile customers. Verizon LTE Installed does appear more affordable than AT&T.
There are no data caps for Verizon LTE Installed or Webformix.
The Verizon Internet Gateway is like a two-in-one modem/router. No equipment is installed outside but you do need to set it up yourself. The cost of the device is $240 which you can pay at once or $10 per month for 24 months. There are no returns or refunds for the Verizon Internet Gateway if you cancel.
Verizon LTE Installed is available in parts of Massachusettes, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Deleware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennesee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon (but not in most of Central or Southern OR). This means that it is not an option (at this time) in the areas that Webformix serves.
T-Mobile Home Internet Service
T-Mobile’s internet service work just like Verizon’s. They offer 4G and 5G network internet access via a two-in-one modem/router device that you self-install. Since most places do not have 5G at this time, you can expect that you will get 4G LTE service. There are not any contracts or data caps, but there is a 50 GB threshold for heavy data users. If you reach that limit your speeds may be throttled. Speeds may also slow if there is congestion on the transmitters. To avoid congestion issues, T-Mobile is being conservative in its rollout of home internet service. Availability is on a house-to-house basis.
The price for T-Mobile internet service is $50 per month when you sign up for auto-pay and there are also taxes and other miscellaneous fees such as the Monthly Regulatory Programs (RPF) & Telco Recovery Fee (TRF) which are $1.16 per data only line. By “data only line” they mean your internet service which is treated as a phone plan with only data. Reviewers online emphasize that you must be sure to activate auto-pay in order to get the lower rate.
T-Mobile Internet Service is not fixed wireless internet, it is the same technology that is being used by Verizon. Similarly, their home internet services are not widely available in Oregon. When it comes to using their home gateway, reviewed mention that it is best to move it around your home to see where signal strength is best and reboot it frequently if speeds drop. You will need to self-install the home gateway, and users have reported that some smart home technology and devices struggle to detect the network. They do offer a call center for 24/7 support and forums to assist with troubleshooting.
T-Mobile Internet Service vs Webformix Fixed Wireless Internet Service
The home gateway is capable of transmitting 5G speeds where they are available, but most people will experience 4G speeds similar to that of Verizon’s home LTE internet service. Reviewers report speeds as low as 6.8 Mbps down and 9.4 Mbps up and as high as 132.1 Mbps and 77.1 Mbps. For the price, T-Mobile does offer a faster internet service than Webformix. However, with Webformix your service may be more stable and reliable with fixed wireless equipment vs a home gateway device.
$50 per month is T-Mobile’s internet rate, which is comparable to the $50 Webformix internet plan. T-Mobile does offer higher speeds where it is available. When it comes to service vs price, something to keep in mind is that if you are tech-savvy enough to self-install and troubleshoot issues you can get some great deals. If you need more support, a local company like Webformix is a better option because we are able to provide on-site support in addition to phone support.
There are no data caps for T-Mobile Internet Service. Speeds may be slowed for heavy data users (over 50 GB/month) and at peak usage times. They also practice “data prioritization” to manage internet traffic. Webformix offers simply no data caps.
There are no up-front equipment costs. The T-Mobile Gateway needs to be returned at the end of service or they will charge you $470 for the lost device. Webformix needs to mount a radio antenna to the roof and charges a $50 refundable equipment deposit.
T-Mobile offers its home internet in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New York, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Oregon is not listed as a place served but when checking some addresses it did say our Bend office location qualified. Addresses I tested for Grant Pass and Central Oregon outside of Bend did not have service available.
AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile Internet vs Webformix
Overall, the internet services that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are offering feature good speeds and good prices. However, they are not widely available in Oregon and lack on-site customer support. AT&T is the only company offering the same fixed wireless internet service as Webformix, but the value of up to 25 Mbps speed for $60 per month is less attractive when you consider their data caps and substantial overage charges. They also subcontract the installation so you don’t have a local technician that can perform maintenance on your connection.
When it comes to LTE home internet from Verizon or T-Mobile, it could be a great deal to tech-savvy consumers within their service areas. However, self-installation and troubleshooting issues yourself might be too much for some. With their technology being so new, issues are certain to occur at some point, and you are not likely to actually get 5G speeds. Fixed wireless internet creates a stable wireless internet connection by utilizing a radio antenna (dish) that is mounted to your roof. Webformix internet service has found that it is a very reliable way to bring fast internet service to both rural and urban areas. However, signal reception can differ on a house-to-house basis, just like with LTE.
Comparing AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile Internet vs Webformix
|Provider||Service||Available in OR?||Data Caps||Contract||Download Speed||Cost|
|Webformix||Fixed Wireless||Yes||No||No||6-30 Mbps||$50-$135|
|AT&T||Fixed Wireless||No||Yes||None Found||25 Mbps||$60**|
|Verizon||Installed LTE||Not in Southern or Central OR||No*||None Found||25 Mbps||$40-$60|
|T-Mobile||Installed LTE||Bend Only||No*||No||25 Mbps||$50|