Fibre vs. Wireless Internet Connectivity – A Complete Comparison

In South Africa, Fibre is all the rage at the moment. But how does it really compare to wireless internet? We’ll give you the answers:

How does Fibre work?

Fibre internet is any internet connection through Fibre-optic lines.

The difference is that unlike any of the other methods of fast internet connection which transmits electrical information through copper lines, Fiber-optic lines make use of minute, just thicker-than hair strands of plastic or glass.

These optical Fibres carry light signals; one goes straight down the middle of the cable while another bounces down at various angles, all carrying instructions as they go.

Fibre-optic cables have become the primary method of relaying information over long distances because they have three distinct advantages over traditional copper cables:

  1. Less signal loss than other internet connection methods, like wireless.
  2. No interference because there’s no electromagnetic interference (cross-talk).
  3. Much faster speeds because these cables are able to carry a lot more data than copper cables.

How does wireless work?

Wireless broadband is an internet connection accessed without Fibre, based on radio frequencies.

In wireless networks, data transmission happens by electromagnetic waves which communicate through space.

Reliability of Fibre vs. wireless

Fibre is hands down the most reliable method of connecting to the internet, not only vs. wireless, but across all methods of internet connection. This is because fibre-optic cables are not susceptible to interference, and they are not worth being stolen, so there’s no need to worry about downtime due to theft.

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Cost of Fibre vs. wireless

Fibre – especially for business – still comes at a premium cost in South Africa due to the infrastructure needing to be set up, and when it comes to these optic cables, there are great expenses, from the cost of the cabling, work crew salaries, permits, digging and so on.

The speed of Fibre vs. wireless

Fibre tops wireless as far as speed is concerned; you’ll pay for it, but can reach speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

Setting up Fibre vs. wireless

Wireless deployment times vary. If all goes well, you’re looking at approximately 3 – 5 weeks to set it up, but it can take up to 11 weeks.

Fibre takes a lot longer because deployment times are based on where the premises are located and which provider you go for. It takes from 6 weeks to 8 months because of infrastructure planning, municipality engagement, digging and trenching.

Final verdict: Fibre or wireless for business?

Quite frankly, so long as you choose the BitCo business packages, and select the right speed for the number of employees that need to connect, either FTTB or wireless will do. You will only experience issues with providers whose packages do not include SLA agreements and operational uptime guarantees.

Take our online connectivity guide to find the perfect solution for your business!

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