AT&T debuts Internet Air for Business nationwide

  • AT&T introduced its Internet Air service for consumers last year

  • The company is now launching AT&T Internet Air for Business

  • The business product differs from the consumer service in several ways, including hardware

AT&T’s foray into fixed wireless access (FWA) may be smaller than its rivals T-Mobile and Verizon, but now it’s going after the business segment in a big way.

AT&T today introduced AT&T Internet Air for Business, a new fixed wireless service for small, mid-size and even large businesses.

AT&T Internet Air will support customers via LTE, 5G and 5G+, so it’s covering all its bases, according to Jonathan Biggs, director of Product Management & Development - Fixed Wireless at AT&T Business.

AT&T Internet Air for Business
AT&T says the set-up can be done within minutes.  (AT&T)

Earlier this year, AT&T extended its Internet Air for consumers to nearly 60 markets. But unlike the consumer service, the Internet Air for Business is offered nationwide for customers at qualified service addresses.

To ensure adequate capacity is available, “qualification of each address is really important for us,” he said. “We’re not limiting it to certain markets like our consumer offer.”

Business customers tend to do more email and things like point-of-sale transactions whereas in a consumer household, different members of the family will use the internet in various ways – downloading popular TV shows, watching Netflix or playing video games, for example.

AT&T has talked about using FWA as a “copper catch” product to offer consumers in places where it’s getting rid of copper and doesn’t have fiber. But the business product is not being limited in any way, he said.

“It’s a little bit of a different strategy on the business side,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we support the best experience for all the customers.”

It’s possible that the FWA for businesses will be used as a back-up internet service for some customers. AT&T is also positioning it as a primary internet connection where fiber isn’t available, for remote locations or when temporary access is needed.

According to AT&T, the Internet Air for Business is an easy set-up and businesses don’t need a technician to install it. The device that sits on the business premises also has a different look to it compared to the Wi-Fi hub for consumers – more like a mini tower than an oval shape.  

Standard and Premium plans

Business customers can choose from two plans:

  • AT&T Internet Air for Business Standard is $60/month plus fees.
  • AT&T Internet Air for Business Premium is $100/month plus fees. It includes a higher level of priority for the first 250 GB of data used in each billing cycle, meaning AT&T could slow the speed after that threshold if the network is experiencing unusually heavy demand.

Customers who have an eligible AT&T Business wireless plan can get it for as low as $30/month, plus fees.

Take-up looks promising

While AT&T likes to put a lot of emphasis on fiber, management said during AT&T’s earnings call in January that they were encouraged by the initial introduction of Internet Air. AT&T had 93,000 Internet Air subscribers at the end of 2023.

AT&T CEO John Stankey signaled during that conference call that fixed wireless for businesses is something they would “lean into” this year. “I don't think you're ever going to see a scale to the kind of monthly numbers and quarterly numbers you see coming from some of our competitors, but it's a great tool,” he said. “It's a great opportunity for us to continue to grow.”