Internet without a landline


In an age where everyone is perpetually connected to an Internet network, the need to sign a contract with a landline provider seems almost inevitable. Although more and more companies have been offering landline services in recent years, discerning users are turning to a certainly more versatile landline-free Internet.

The motivations for choosing a cable-free line are diverse, with attendant advantages and disadvantages. In the next few lines we will analyze what are the types of internet connections without a landline, trying to focus on the solutions that can be activated today with no strings attached and with excellent speeds.

Internet without a landline: what does it mean?

When you decide to use a computer system capable of connecting to the Internet without a landline, it is never easy to choose the one best suited to your needs. There are several landline-free technologies available, which have strengths and weaknesses compared to landline. But what is concretely meant by internet without a landline? This term is used to identify that network infrastructure, capable of providing access to the Internet, which does not base the transfer of computer packets via a wired network, but exploits different technologies, such as radio frequencies or satellite frequencies.

Internet without a landline: the features

Choosing an Internet connection without a landline brings with it well-defined characteristics with which one must necessarily contend. Although it is easy to see the potential of this type of technology, it is appropriate to identify its specifications before analyzing the different solutions on the market.

Without direct line

The main characteristic of a landline-free Internet network is to be found in the almost complete absence of a wired system. All facilities, whether dedicated to fiber optics or ADLS, require an underground wired network that later ties into the home or office facility.

Those who install a cable-free system, on the other hand, although they will have to implement cables to connect the main devices, will have no contact with the underground wired network. As we will see later, this is done by exploiting wireless technologies.

Higher ping

Latency is a very particular issue to deal with, seeking a very low ping will certainly ensure a more stable web browsing experience and connection. As much as landline-free Internet is an excellent solution, it still offers fairly high latency, compared to a wired line. This condition does not affect daily network use too much, but it is an obvious feature that needs to be emphasized.

Manual installation

Those who choose an internet network without a landline can safely install all devices manually. There is no need to wait for a trained technician to arrive for installation, and choosing the right provider can also zero out the waiting time for line activation.

In the next paragraphs we will also try to understand how to start such a line, without anyone’s help and with a low initial investment.


A relevant feature of a system based on a connection without a fixed line is ease of transport. Often you are traveling or need to carry a fast connection with you at all times. This issue can be mitigated by serving a portable wireless network.

A landline is unfortunately limited to installation in the target building, a condition that may not be functional for one’s business needs.


The price of a landline-free Internet connection depends on the provider chosen and the devices used. Generally speaking, however, costs depend on the type of wireless technology installed, with some being cheaper than the landline and others more expensive.

Internet without a landline: the solutions

Let’s go more into the details of the available solutions and look at the three technologies that can already be used currently in Italy without having too many management problems, with good technical assistance.

Radio bridge

One of the options to be adopted to have internet without a landline is the radio link. Although it is not widespread in Italy, due to unclear communication, this technology allows people to take advantage of a wireless connection by fruiting radio frequencies. Next we will see all facets of it, from how it works to its potential for other digital communication systems.


It is currently the most widely used technology by those who want to create an Internet network in a few hours, without a fixed line at a low cost and achieving excellent performance in both download and upload. Actually, FWA technology is a variation of the radio link, as it treads in its footsteps in that it uses radio frequencies, but exploits those usually used for mobile connections from smartphones.

Plenty of telephone providers offer dedicated FWA rate plans, but it is most important to decide which provider to rely on in order to achieve relevant results. Next we will also take a look at how to determine the best provider for your geographic location.

Starlink – Satellite

This technology is definitely the most interesting one for those who are looking for a fully satellite system. Starlink, a project created by Elon Musk, differs from radio frequency links in several ways, the main one being that it takes advantage of its own satellites. This solution is not yet widely used in Italy, due to slightly high costs and a still limited number of satellites. Some rural areas, however, may find it an excellent technology and not just an alternative to radio frequencies.

Internet without a landline: radio bridge

Let’s begin to understand individually how they work and the potential of landline-free Internet connections, starting with the radio link.

What it means

Radio link-based technology is nothing more than a telecommunications system that uses a wireless connection based on radio frequency or microwaves between fixed points, effectively creating bridges capable of communicating with each other by transmitting the signal from one radio link to another.

As it is easy to deduce, this type of technology is not only useful for handling all types of connections, such as TV or Internet network frequencies, but is an indispensable means of conveying any type of information through a wireless system.

How it works

Technically, radio links take advantage of the propagation of what are electromagnetic waves in the area, in fact, in case there are obstacles between radio links, signal losses would be noticed.

Such technology requires, therefore, a transmitter and a receiver, to which additional antennas can also be added to enhance the signal.

Radio links are mainly divided into three types: terrestrial, airborne and satellite. In the former case there is the use of infrastructure placed on the earth’s surface, while in the latter case one is constrained to airborne vehicles. For satellite radio links, on the other hand, there is a need to carry data packets to artificial satellites, commonly in orbit according to satellite telecommunications.

The frequencies used determine what connections are possible. Some radio links are made for TV signal propagation, others for radios, and still others for those of mobile devices. The range can vary from 1 MHz to a maximum of 80 GHz, but currently the most common ones are those between 4 GHz and 3.8 GHz.

Internet without a landline: FWA

A landline-free Internet line that has excellent performance at a low cost is usually associated with FWA/LTE technology. While it is certainly not a solution of equal quality to fiber optics, it allows for absolute top-notch upload and download values, especially by choosing the right provider.

The FWA network exploits what are radio links and takes advantage of specific frequencies to provide users with a wireless connection. What does it mean and how does Fixed Wireless Access technology work?

What it means

The acronym FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) identifies a data transmission system in which there is provision for the use of a mixed network, consisting of one part where radio frequencies are exploited and the other part where we rely on the wired network.

How it works

As it is easy to deduce, the process of operation is very similar to that used by mobile internet connections with SIM, in fact, each device will connect to a wired BTS (Radio Link) that will act as a repeater to emit the radio signal.

For excellent performance to be achieved, it is essential that the Base Transceiver Station ( BTS ) be close to the location of interest and that a router/modem capable of aggregating multiple bands simultaneously be used.

Each provider has assigned certain bands; this term is used to identify what are the available frequency spectra. The most widely used bands for FWA-based landline-free connections are: Band 1, Band 3, Band 7 and Band 20 for 4G and 4G+ connections, and Bands N3 and N78 for 5G connections.

The greater the number of aggregated Bands, the higher the download and upload speeds that can be achieved. In order for multiple bands to be aggregated, it is essential to have a suitable Router.

Routers are broken down by category, ranging from basic LTE CAT 6 routers to the more preformant LTE CAT 21 routers. A better category increases the number of aggregable frequencies and especially the speed of browsing in case you have a very good signal.

A category 6 router has the capacity to reach 300 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload; while a category 15 router can reach speeds of 4000 Mbps download and 1500 Mbps upload.

To check the coverage of the bands, the latter installed within the local BTS, it is necessary to go to the LTE Italy website. By registering, it will be possible to access the map of all antennas on the Italian territory, divided by type and especially by telephone operator. You can check the nearest BTSs of Iliad, WindTre, Vodafone and Tim, with available frequencies and distance from your home.

An antenna close to one’s home, with at least three bands available, can provide excellent speeds, perfect for replacing an Internet network without a landline.

By analyzing the available antennas, distances, and number of bands, one can plan the implementation of a home FWA network that is no less than a good 100 Mbps fiber optic.

Prerequisite condition lies in understanding which telephone operator is best suited for your geographical area. In case there are two antennas at the same distance with two different providers, it is advisable to choose the operator with more bands.

Consumer and business solutions

As anticipated in the previous lines, almost all major operators in Italy offer a service with FWA technology. Rate plans change depending on the type of usage, but usually they are divided mainly into: consumer plan and business plan.

In the case of choosing an FWA plan for residential customers, it would result in very good prices, but not excellent latencies, as more priority would be given to mobile networks on smartphones.

In the condition where instead, an enterprise FWA plan is chosen, the limitations of this technology are definitely reduced, in fact, both latencies and speeds are greatly improved. The limitations of this technology are there, but it is still one of the most popular solutions for those who want a landline-free Internet network that can be activated in less than 24 hours and without any constraints on the end user.

Internet without a landline: Starlink

The Starlink project is among the most ambitious in wireless Internet connections in recent years. Elon Musk‘s idea, commercialized in 2019, is now a certainty and can be very useful to those living in Italy as well as those in foreign countries.

What it means

Starlink-based landline-free Internet connection is nothing more than a system that takes advantage of satellite technology. This type of system is to take advantage of the many satellites inlow earth orbit (LEO) and ensure that users and businesses can connect from anywhere in the world with excellent latencies.

One of the critical points of satellite-based connections is the very high ping, a condition due to the path of so many kilometers that data packets must travel before reaching Earth. With Starlink this issue is almost entirely removed by the installation of satellites less than 550 km from Earth.

How it works

From a technical point of view, the operation of Starlink is very simple, yet extremely functional. As with all satellite technologies there is a need for a receiver and a transmitter, between which the dedicated router for local connections will stand.

Starlink’s receiver is not the traditional antenna found inside routers, but a dish capable of self-leveling based on the positioning of satellites.

Those who use Starlink simply install the dish in the best possible spot, tune it to the nearest satellites, and connect it to the router that will manage the home network with Wi-Fi or wired connection.

The management of all the equipment might seem complex, but in fact the whole thing is followed by adedicated smartphoneapplication. All the consumer has to do is follow the on-screen directions suggested by the application, and then connect to the network to the Internet without a landline whenever he or she wants.

Consumer and business solutions

As much as this solution is among the most interesting and innovative, especially considering that it was created with the aim of providing a wireless Internet network virtually anywhere in the world, the overall costs are still prohibitive.

The tariff plans are aimed at both individuals and businesses, but the monthly charges and the installation, consisting of dish, router and cables, is not for everyone. Currently you can try the service for 30 days for free, but Starlink is such a young project that it is not yet the solution to recommend with your eyes closed, compared to a more reliable and established FWA.

Internet without a landline: the advantages

The three solutions, or rather two, just listed also define what are the strengths and weaknesses of a landline-free Internet network. Let us first analyze the benefits that can be derived.


Just like an Internet network on your smartphone, technologies designed for wireless connections are excellent for taking anywhere you want.

Although it may seem peculiar to carry a router, power supply and antenna, it is certainly more functional than a fixed line that is practically tied to the installation site.

So many individuals and companies are constantly changing their workplaces, but the need for an Internet connection certainly does not come amiss. Making use of dedicated wireless line services could help precisely this type of user.

As is easy to imagine, changing the location of the grid system must be taken into account that there may also be fluctuations in performance. Thinking of making an optimal system for X location and then moving the infrastructure to Y location results in different frequencies and definitely dissimilar signals.

Reception in rural areas

Those who rely on a system without a landline most likely cannot access a fast infrastructure. As much as the plan to improve internet connections in Italy continues to grow, so many rural and provincial areas lack both FTTH and FTTC fiber optics.

This condition induces users to choose FWA or even satellite technology, guaranteeing good performance, though certainly less advantageous latencies.

The BTS- and satellite-based infrastructure makes it possible to reach even the least optimal geographic areas, an advantage that should not be underestimated if you need to study in smart working or work remotely.

Until a fiber optic cable network is installed, smaller towns will still be constrained to slow ADSL. Currently a connection without a landline in FWA can offer higher speeds than ADSL, although higher pings.

Good speeds compared to ADSL

As anticipated in the previous paragraph, ADSL is definitely not a technology that allows for excellent results. The plans currently available in Italy are still tied to the home copper network, which is capable of achieving download and upload values around 20 Mbps and 6 Mbps, respectively.

Some users might also be satisfied with such speeds, but they would be tied to an outdated technology, whereas an FWA or satellite system guarantees higher speeds, assuming appropriate providers are chosen.

Relying on wireless technology is certainly an advantage over ADSL, but this could be negated by opting for an inappropriate or completely absent telephone provider in the target area.

It is no coincidence that large providers, such as TIM and Vodafone, offer cheaper fiber rate plans than ADSL-based ones; this is due not only to improved network, but also to a significantly higher cost that does not guarantee competitiveness.

Internet without a landline: the disadvantages

The benefits just analyzed certainly serve different needs, but in order to obtain an objective assessment of landline-free Internet networks, it is appropriate to dwell on the critical issues as well. See main el.


Within the article we have repeated several times that the real weakness of a wireless connection is to be identified in latency. As with a home network, where Wi-Fi suffers signal degradation with greater distance from the router, in the same way wider latencies occur with RF-based connectivity.

A higher ping is nothing more than the response time between the input sent and the input received, a condition that necessarily constrains the speed of frequencies. Using very fast frequencies allows you to reduce ping, but you are unlikely to subscribe to rate plans that offer the same performance as a landline.

From a purely technical point of view, an FWA technology, with an excellent provider, can guarantee latencies around 25-45 milliseconds, while a standard satellite technology can exceed even 100 milliseconds.

Starlink, being a work-in-progress project is somewhere in between these values, reporting a latency ranging between 45-75 milliseconds. In the future, increasing the number of satellites can be reduced even more.


Excluding rare cases where one’s geographic area is covered by an excellent FWA network with favorable rate plans, a landline is in most cases cheaper.

The cost of a wired line is reduced because of an existing infrastructure, i.e., the provider will only have to submit the request for access to the facility, the latter of which has already been built for the relevant location.

Otherwise, a satellite infrastructure or in FWA, is constantly evolving and needs additional and constant expenditures to function at its best. This dissimilarity induces telecommunications companies to increase the price of FWA tariffs, effectively discouraging users and driving them to fixed solutions.

Those who need to use a satellite system to supplant their landline will need to invest a significant budget, either on home devices or for the monthly or annual subscription plan.


As is easy to deduce, relying on a fixed-line subscription allows you to contract with a provider who guarantees timely service. By relying on a landline-free installation, in most cases you do not have the assistance of a trained technician.

As much as some companies include within their service the installation of an additional antenna by a technician, in most cases there is no dedicated service. This condition may also be an advantage for those who want to avoid additional costs, but those who are not experts in this area may periodically need a professional to restore the local network system to ideal operation.

It is no coincidence that so many specialized forums and sites are drafting useful guides for those who rely on FWA and satellite networks, so as to ensure a starting point with which to solve most of the problems encountered.

Internet without a landline: who should use it

The growing interest in landline-free Internet connections is targeting certain types of users. A connection based on radio frequency, satellite, or mixed technology will suit specific environments and consequently a well-defined customer base. Let’s see which companies and individuals should invest in landline-free connections rather than wired.

Areas without fiber optics

The consumers who are almost forced to rely on a non-wired system are those who do not have access to fiber. Several countries in Italy are located in the gray or white lines of the technology development plan, a condition that does not allow for efficient services except via copper network with ADSL.

A wireless connection, if planned properly, can provide excellent performance in rural areas, leveling out to good fiber optics, obviously with the disadvantages listed above.

You can benefit from a landline-free Internet connection even if you reside in a country with active fiber optics, in fact, so many people prefer not to tie themselves to lengthy contracts that are often full of unpleasant clauses.

Who travels to Italy

Individuals and businesses that need to travel on the move can rely on connectivity without a landline. As is easy to deduce, mobile systems such as Starlink or traditional satellite systems are definitely not the ideal solution, but an FWA/LTE technology can be a great help if you do not prefer to use smartphone tethering.

Consumers often rely on their smartphone hotspot when they are on the move, but it is evident how such a solution is of repair to a momentary condition. A small LTE router/modem can be a great choice for traveling with peace of mind wherever you want, without necessarily affecting your smartphone battery.

The cost of a portable router is extremely low, and by activating a phone SIM, with a quality provider, you can travel for hours wherever you want without limitations and without having to connect dedicated cables. In fact, one of the strengths of this type of system lies in its ability to make the most of Wi-Fi.

Often people are led to think that a connection without a landline is stand-alone, in reality the router itself can be used as a repeater of the perceived radio frequency.

In the title of this paragraph we pointed out that this methodology is available in Italy, but in reality, with a tariff plan that also provides for data consumption outside the Italian context, the same function can be used. In this case, however, not all routers operating in Italy will be compatible with foreign networks; this is due to the fact that telecommunications set up in radio links, spread different frequencies, resulting in invisibility to routers with less than excellent category.

Those who work in mobility

Similar discussion can be extended to those who need to work continuously in smart working, but without necessarily being placed in a fixed location.

A fixed line limits the possibilities for interaction when you are mobile, in fact, you are bound to have to travel to your workplace for a meeting or any other business task. A connection without a landline allows you to work anywhere there is a point used for radio frequency signal, extending the range considerably.

Many companies also use a landline-free Internet connection to compensate for potential technical failures of the landline. It is not uncommon to deploy an FWA system in a wired infrastructure; in fact, dedicated devices can be used that are capable not only of aggregating the two connection technologies, but also of replacing the fixed one with the non-fixed one the moment there are disruptions.

Those who do not have a landline

In addition to fiber optics, in some Italian countries, there is also no ADSL. In an age when the Internet has become an essential resource for communicating, working, entertaining, and informing oneself, a landline-free Internet connection may be the only way to avoid being isolated from the world.

In many cases one is, therefore, forced to choose such a line, which as much as it may be technically inferior to a fixed network, it still offers a browsing experience and everything most people need to enjoy content and to go along with business activities.

Businesses currently prefer to rely on a network system without a standard satellite landline, while individuals are increasingly inclined to choose FWA technology. Starlink is on the launch pad, but Italy still seems reluctant to take advantage of such services, which are certainly not suitable for everyone.

Internet without a landline: who shouldn’t use it

The sketch of the best user of a connection without a fixed line is very clear, but which consumers would find different difficulties in using such technologies? Excluding the cases of an extremely high-performance and expensive satellite system, which minimizes the disadvantages listed above, the users who might find it most difficult to adapt are: video gamers and those living in large cities. Let’s see why.

Video gamers

Online gamers need very low latency, usually the ideal latency is 1-10 milliseconds. As we have analyzed in the previous paragraphs, an Internet connection without a landline increases packet response time considerably.

Although relying on a quality provider can ensure a good gaming experience, those who need to start competitive multiplayer video games should veer toward a fixed solution.

Video games such as Fifa 23, Call of Duty or all those titles aimed at real-time matches make the gaming experience particularly complex on non-fixed networks.

Obviously in relaxed video games, where the story does not require too much frenetic action, you will not find a difference with a fixed connection.

Those who live in a big city

Consumers living in large cities should also avoid relying on technology without a landline. In addition to having the option of relying on nearby fiber optics, which is certainly better performing, users living in the city encounter obvious problems in radio frequency overlap.

A particularly populated city has fixed bands, a condition that greatly limits the browsing speed and user experience. This issue is less relevant in sparsely populated countries, since the same number of bands makes it possible to satisfy all users of the available frequencies.

Such reasoning does not completely rule out the possibility of relying on such a network, but it is not recommended to do so if one wanted to achieve the desired results, or at least the minimum results for normal daily Internet use.


Choosing between an Internet connection without a landline and one with a landline is by no means simple. As much as fiber optics is an extremely high-performance solution, it does not guarantee the mobility and versatility of an FWA or satellite system.

Currently in Italy, FWA connections based on LTE and 5G are particularly popular among individuals, while traditional satellite is the most popular solution used by businesses. Starlink is the right middle ground for those who love technology and want to project themselves into the future, at the cost, however, of investing a not insignificant budget.