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Is wireless or fibre broadband best for my business needs?


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Is wireless or fibre broadband best for my business needs?

There’s a world of choice when it comes to buying a business broadband service. And with over a hundred service providers offering plans with a range of speed and data options it can all get a little overwhelming. This is especially true for businesses both big and small who need to meet their unique connectivity needs based upon their size, scope of services and number of employees.

One of the simplest decisions to make up front is whether to go with a wireless or fibre service as the type of broadband network you use to connect to the internet can be a major driver of performance as outlined below.


Wireless broadband uses a cell phone network to provide a property with internet access.

How it works is radio waves transmit data from a cell phone tower to a modem in an office or workplace. This means no lines or cables are required which can make the initial broadband service set up a little easier. However, the strength of the radio signal, also called coverage, can be affected by proximity of the property to the tower.

This means distance and terrain, like hills and valleys, or obstacles like buildings can all play a big part in the strength of the signal and quality of internet access.

As the capacity of the cell phone tower is shared by everyone within coverage, the speed and reliability of an internet connection on wireless broadband, can also be impacted by the number of other users of that cell phone tower at any given time.

These above points are just part and parcel of how cell phone networks provide connectivity and they apply to all generations of mobile networks 3G, 4G and even 5G.


Fibre is short for fibre optic cable that contains a thin strand of glass so data can travel at the speed of light.

It’s the broadband network technology more and more countries have been shifting towards over the last decade as it offers incredibly fast speeds and plenty of capacity.

It’s a fixed line broadband connection hard wired to your office or workplace, which helps with reliability as physical obstacles or terrain don’t negatively impact your broadband performance.  Chorus also works hard to ensure its newly built fibre network isn’t congested so properties can get a consistent broadband speed any time of day.

How do they compare for performance?

According to Measuring Broadband New Zealand reporting, 4G Wireless delivers significantly lower download and / or upload speeds than fibre and a bigger variation in speed between peak and off-peak times. 4G Wireless also has the highest latency of all the different technologies measured that means a greater risk of delays and dropouts.

What’s best for your business?

It’s up to you really. Wireless broadband services do offer convenience in setting up and are generally slightly cheaper per month than fibre broadband. However, if you are dependent on the internet to run your business, it’s worth knowing that the Measuring Broadband NZ report specifically states that “Wireless broadband services should not be preferred to fibre on performance grounds.” That’s largely due to the speed and latency measures outlined above.

The other benefit with fibre, is that there are multiple types of connections and broadband services depending on your needs.

Business fibre connections for instance offer more upload speed and other wrap around services which deliver a more secure and efficient internet connection. This means with its ability to scale bandwidth; fibre internet can grow with your business.


Fibre vs Wireless from Chorus on Vimeo.

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