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How Rural Wireless Broadband Works

How Rural Wireless Broadband Works

What is UBB’s wireless broadband

In New Zealand, there are many types of broadband connections to provide NZ residents with internet connectivity for their homes and business. Connections include 4G broadband, copper broadband like VDSL, fibre broadband, and finally wireless broadband.

Wireless internet is often mistaken for Wi-Fi around the home; it works similarly, but it’s not the same! Wi-Fi is referring to a bubble of internet coverage that is generated by a modem. Wireless internet is a connection where there are no cables to get the internet signal into your household or business, commonly found in rural areas!

UBB is a wireless broadband provider that has a network built around Canterbury New Zealand, designed to provide the rural sector with internet options that would only be found elsewhere with their urban counterparts.


How does UBB’s wireless broadband work?


UBB has built and installed wireless broadband sites in the hills, mountain tops, and strategic places around Canterbury that beam out internet coverage. To tap into that rural broadband coverage, UBB installs a radio where the signal is obtained and runs a cable, usually from the roof to inside your home, shed, or business, and installs a router that can provide great Wi-Fi all around the building. From there, a fast, reliable internet connection is provided that allows users to browse, download, stream, and upload content.

With evolving technology and a funded upgrade to the UBB broadband network, the rural sector is now achieving faster fibre like internet speeds in certain spots around Canterbury! With a plan by 2024 to be fully around Canterbury.

Ultimate broadband’s network is evolving to keep up with the constant need of a fast and reliable internet connection to homes, farms, and businesses alike.

how wireless broadband works for UBB image of house, wifi transmitter and router


Why choose wireless broadband?

As the saying goes you can either have great internet with bad views or bad internet with great views! Well with a wireless internet connection not anymore! This internet connection type is best suited for the rural sector, allowing options that are affordable each month, and an internet quality that you would go to expect in the city!

As this is specifically beneficial to rural NZ, most often we don’t recommend opting for this connection type if you are able to get fibre broadband or VDSL broadband. But is wireless broadband NZ any good though? Read below to see how it stacks up to other connection types.

Rural Wireless Internet vs VDSL broadband

The copper phone lines, the most common form of broadband within New Zealand. VDSL broadband (Very high-speed digital subscriber line) uses the upgraded copper phone line technology that ADSL uses to provide an internet connection. VDSL can transmit data faster than ADSL can but is limited by range from the exchange on the street. That’s where the issues arise, the more rural you get the further the exchanges are from the neighbouring houses, and not all farmhouses have a copper lead running to the house to utilise it. UBB wireless fills this gap, and allows for a more stable robust connection that obtains similar internet speeds as VDSL to all houses within the rural Canterbury coverage. The Chorus broadband checker can help to see what speeds you may expect at your address.

Rural Wireless Internet vs 4G Broadband

4G internet is a form of broadband, it utilizes a nearby cell tower to provide a connection. This connection can work both urban and rural, pretty much anywhere a cell tower can be utilized. Usually, it only requires a router to be plugged into the power supply and a sim card to get up and running. Spark wireless broadband and Vodafone wireless broadband are the two major providers that built the cell tower infrastructure to make all this possible. But the only problem is when you’re out in rural areas, plans are expensive, and there is less cell coverage the more rural you get. That is where UBB rural wireless broadband fills the gap and provides affordable internet plans and better coverage than its 4G counter parts rurally.

Rural Wireless Internet vs Satellite Broadband

Satellite broadband utilizes satellites in space or low orbit space to transmit internet data around the world, companies like Starlink or Get Gravity. Like wireless broadband, it’s a great service for rural areas where fibre and VDSL are not in reach. Unlike wireless, satellite broadband has its limitations, latency can take a lot longer due to the travel time for the data. This isn’t ideal for gamers, or farms that require exact real time information technology while using the internet, like IoT.

Want to find out what’s available at your address? Look at the NZ broadband checker map here or look at our rural wireless coverage here.


Pros and cons of rural wireless broadband


  • Unlimited data options that are affordable. Including other affordable options for the monthly internet plan.
  • Designed to cover rural areas where fibre and copper VDSL are not available.
  • The ability to have internet installed to suite your needs and requirements around the house, business for farm.
  • Usually wireless internet service providers (WISP’s) in NZ are small and local. They focus more on customer service and customer outcomes, other than the bigger companies who have less time to properly look after the customer.


  • Internet speeds are slower compared to fibre plans.
  • There is a cost to install the broadband equipment.
  • Monthly plans are slightly more expensive than urban internet options.


Rural broadband coverage


a Map of UBBs Wireless Broadband Canterbury Coverage

The UBB network has grown significantly over the past 36 months, extending from the Waimakariri River in the north to the Waitaki River in the south and many places in between. As our network expands, we can now connect more communities than ever before, with both our high-speed Wireless broadband services and soon IoT and dedicated business services, even mobile signal boosting solutions on the three major carriers 2degrees, Vodafone, and Spark.

Our network of wireless rural broadband NZ repeaters throughout the region are over 60% green energy powered, harnessing the power of the sun to keep the internet flowing.

Our coverages are ever-expanding and upgrades and capacity enhancements are being undertaken to deliver better, faster, and more reliable services to rural Canterbury.


How does UBB install wireless broadband?


Day 1


The Sign Up

Signing up via the website, email, of phone call is really quick, our team will ask a few questions to gauge if wireless broadband is suitable and recommend what plan would suite your requirements.

Day 1


Remote Scope

Once we have confirmed your address and building location, our sales team will use our in-house tool to remotely scope and test if our rural wireless service is attainable. Things they will check are distance from the tower and objects that can block the line of sight like trees and other buildings.

Day 1-2


Coverage Confirmation

Once our team does a remote scope and determines if wireless broadband should work, we can proceed with creating the account and booking the tech. Our sales team will contact you at this stage to confirm if you want to proceed in booking a technician to scope and install.

Day 2-7


Technician Assigned

We then book a technician who specializes in your local area. The sales agent will provide you with an expected install date and time, the tech confirms when to expect him/her usually 24 hours beforehand. Pending the weather this usually take up to 14 days time from booking to being installed.

Day 5-14


The Scope

The day the installer comes to scope and install rural wireless broadband! Firstly, the installer will scout the area for health and safety. Then they will scope the property to check signal strength back to Ultimate Broadbands towers. If it falls as a standard solution, they will walk you through where the best position for the dish is, and where to best place the router inside your property for optimal Wi-Fi coverage. If the installer cannot obtain a signal or needs extra equipment for the connection to work, then he will refer the plans to the sales team to get in contact with the alternate options and costs before returning to install.

Day 5-14


The Install

After you and the installer have discussed & agreed on how the installation will plan out, our technician will go ahead and install the high-speed wireless broadband connection. This process can take around 3 hours to complete. We take pride in our installs and ensure they are done to a high specification. After the technician has completed the installation, he will test the connection and internet speeds with you alongside, to ensure you are happy with the new broadband connection. If you are happy then you are good to go! Our team will follow up with you later in the week to confirm that the connection is good, and set up a data usage portal for you to track if you didn’t choose to go with our unlimited rural wireless broadband plans.


What speeds can I expect with wireless broadband?

Compared to the old copper phone lines using ADSL to get internet into rural homes, then wireless internet is a lot faster! UBB plans operate from 30mbps download, and with wireless max internet plans, expect to see much faster speeds! UBBs max speed broadband plan is currently limited to line of sight to the repeaters and locations in Canterbury. If you’re wanting to know more about how you can get fast internet speeds not usually seen in rural NZ then call us on 0800 000 945 to find out more!

What are my options for a rural connection then?


Depending on where you are situated in New Zealand there is a choice! Most common connection types you can find when you’re in rural areas are fibre, copper (VDSL/ADSL), RBI 4G, Wireless Broadband.With the copper phone lines becoming obsolete and retired. There is a need to improve connectivity options for rural NZ. RBI (Rural Broadband Initiative) has been set up to ensure the rural communities are not left behind. Improving cell sites all around the country but also funding wireless internet providers to help improve rural broadband NZ infrastructure & coverage.

UBB is a rural broadband provider that specializes in rural fibre, we have a close-knit relationship with EA Networks, being able to provide fibre connections through the rural communities in Mid-Canterbury and Ashburton town.

There is another option for those who are in truly remote areas of New Zealand. Satellite internet. Satellites in space provide internet connections to households who have no other option. Although the setup is not cheap, and monthly plans are very costly, it’s an option to ensure that all NZers don’t go without internet connectivity!

Farmer using UBB Canterbury Broadband


Does Spark Sport or Netflix work on UBBs wireless rural broadband?


Image of remote and TV streaming netflix on rural broadband UBB
Wireless internet is fast enough to easily stream Spark Sports or Netflix at home! There are even plans that cater for higher data usage when using streaming apps like the likes of Spark Sport, Netflix, and even Sky TV online. Many online video players will auto-optimize your video quality for you based on your connection speed. If you are on a slower connection (like what our competitors offer on 4G or Satellite) and want to watch HD video quality, you are best to download the file (e.g., at night while everyone is asleep) and watch it offline. Have a look at our Wireless Max Speed internet plans.


Can smart farm technology work with wireless broadband?


As technology advances, it enables farmers to improve profitability and efficiency around the farm. Systems like IoT gate sensors and water tanks sensors allow farmers to know exactly what gate has been left open, or the levels in their tank. But it doesn’t stop there, technology like Halter or Allflex collar enables farms all over New Zealand to better manage their herd, boost cow performance and maximize production.

Wireless broadband enables farmers in New Zealand to step into the future. Not only does the internet connection offer supreme performance with speed, latency, and unlimited data options, but wireless broadband providers in NZ like UBB offer custom install solutions that work with every house and shed build there is!

Man with smart phone and a cow with a Halter collar being controlled

Getting started with UBB Rural Broadband.

Getting up and running with wireless internet will depend on your whereabouts in New Zealand. As a collective, WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) all specialize in their local regions. Going to WISPAs website will allow you to discover a full list of your local providers.

UBB is a rural broadband provider in Christchurch that has one of the largest and most vast networks covering Canterbury.To find out more about how to signup for our rural broadband plans or how much wireless broadband costs to install then click here.

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