Inseego Launched 5G/LTE Indoor CPE FX2000e

Inseego launches its “Wavemaker PRO” – 5G indoor router FX2000e in several countries around the world. The 5G WiFi router combines 5G / LTE broadband with Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 and is primarily aimed at small businesses.

Small business router

Inseego, a leading provider of 5G and IoT device-to-cloud solutions, announced that the “Wavemaker PRO” 5G indoor router FX2000e has been approved for use in several markets. This means that the device can be sold worldwide. The 5G router is aimed primarily at smaller companies and decentralized employees who need fast, secure and reliable internet access.

 

The plug-and-play solution is designed for the fixed wireless area. It combines 5G / LTE broadband with Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 – Connectivity and powers up to 32 connected devices. “5G solutions are a great choice for broadband access for businesses and consumers in their remote offices and homes,” said Ashish Sharma, Inseego’s president of IoT & Mobile Solutions. “Our FX2000e is a compact solution and supports many different use cases for broadband connectivity: Small businesses can get high-speed internet access anywhere. Companies can easily set up a secure WAN solution for their branch offices and remote employees. And SD-WAN providers can now use a 5G WAN connection as the primary broadband connection for decentralized locations. ”

Speeds in the gigabit range

The Inseego FX2000e enables speeds in the gigabit range via 5G, if the respective network allows this. The FX2000e is designed to operate in a wide range of global 5G and 4G frequency bands in order to be versatile. In addition, the compact device is equipped with a WAN interface for SD-WAN deployments so that it can also be used as an Internet solution for small residential units or as a cable modem replacement for larger houses with mesh Wi-Fi systems and other connectivity requirements.

 

The “Wavemaker PRO” -5G indoor router FX2000e is primarily intended for companies such as restaurants, retail locations, branches or home offices. The functionality of the Inseego 5G router is rounded off by the “Inseego Mobile” app. It simplifies installation for end users and offers an intuitive user interface. In addition, IT managers can remotely configure and manage the router and all connected devices using the Inseego Connecti cloud software.

 

Netgear Nighthawk M5 Mobile 5G Router Test

Last year, Netgear offers one of the first mobile 5G routers: The Nighthawk M5. As the successor to the Nighthawk M2, the device with the model name MR5200 not only offers a fast cellular modem, but of course also a large battery, fast WiFi 6 and plenty of connections.

 

The Netgear Nighthawk M5 MR5200 is packed in a small cardboard box. In addition to the mobile 5G router, the package also includes a power supply unit with adapter for EU and UK plugs, a USB to USB-C cable and a battery with a capacity of 5,000 mAh. A quick start guide and a warranty card are also included.

 

At first glance, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 differs only slightly from the previous models Nightahwk M1 (MR1100) and Nighthawk M2 (MR2100). All devices have a cuboid design with a large display on the front, the connections are on the lower side.

The Nighthawk M5 looks high-quality thanks to the rubberized and structured frame, and the matt back also leaves a positive impression. The front with the touchscreen and buttons is less successful, it has a high-gloss finish and magically attracts fingerprints and scratches. That was solved even better with the Nighthawk M1.

The back of the Nighthawk M5 can also be easily removed. Underneath is the battery and the slot for the SIM card. A welcome innovation compared to the previous models is the slot for the nano SIM card. The M1 and M2 still required micro-SIM cards, so that nano-SIM cards could only be used with an adapter.

5G modem in the test

The main reason to buy the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is certainly the 5G modem. A Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 chip is installed. Theoretically, the 5G WiFi router can thus achieve speeds of more than one gigabit per second in the downlink and several hundred megabits per second in the uplink. In the practical test, the Nighthawk M5 was tested with a SIM card from Vodafone at several locations in the 5G network, both via LAN and WLAN.

Both the LAN connection and the WLAN represent a bottleneck for maximum Internet speed. The Nighthawk M5 allows a maximum of 1 GBit/s via RJ45 Ethernet, and up to 1.2 GBit/s (5 GHz band) is theoretically possible via WLAN. You should definitely be aware of this limitation.

In the 5G network of Vodafone using the frequency range around 3.6 GHz (band n78), around 900 Mbit/s was measured for downloading and around 140 Mbit/s for uploading via LAN. If the connection was made via WLAN, around 800 Mbit/s were possible in the download. In a direct comparison with a measurement on the 5G smartphone, the Nighthawk M5 was slightly slower – around 950 Mbit/s were possible on the iPhone 12 mini under the same test conditions.

 

The 5G connections are naturally much slower when using dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS, band n1). Vodafone relies widely on 5G n1 with DSS, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 can use the technology without any problems and achieved speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s in the downlink and up to 130 Mbit/s in the uplink in the test. Incidentally, LTE was always a little bit faster at the same location in the downlink, but the uplink speed over 5G was almost twice as high as over LTE. Depending on the server, the latency times were well below 20 milliseconds and thus at a normal level.

 

The Netgear Nighthawk M5 supports all 5G frequency ranges that are important for Europe. In detail, these are the bands n1, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n28, n38, n40, n77 and n78.

 

 

In addition to 5G, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 naturally also supports 4G / LTE and 3G / UMTS. The frequency ranges around 700/800/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz for FDD-LTE and 2300/2600 MHz for TDD LTE are supported here. In the 3G area, the bands around 850/900/1900/2100 MHz are supported. These are good prerequisites for use in Europe, but the Nighthawk M5 is not ideally suited for use in North and South America. It’s a shame – many current smartphones offer significantly better frequency band support!

 

 

If necessary, you can also connect two external antennas to the Netgear Nighthawk M5 to improve reception quality and increase speeds. For this purpose, Netgear has installed two TS-9 connections on the underside, which are protected from contamination by a rubber cover as standard. If you need the 5G external antenna for Nighthawk M5, we recommend this one: https://www.4gltemall.com/5g-external-antenna.html .

 

WLAN with repeater function

The Netgear Nighthawk M5 supplies up to 32 devices simultaneously with a WLAN connection. Thanks to the current WLAN 6 standard, speeds of up to 1200 Mbit/s gross in the 5 GHz frequency band and up to 600 Mbit/s in the 2.4 GHz frequency band can be used. However, the speed depends heavily on the device used and on other factors such as the distance. In the test, the speeds were usually significantly lower and fluctuated between 300 and 867 Mbit/s.

 

 

The WiFi range of the Netgear Nighthawk M5 turned out to be very decent in the test for a mobile router. An apartment with 80 to 100 m2 can easily be supplied with the small router, provided the walls are not super thick. If necessary, the range can also be reduced to save energy. Incidentally, there is no WLAN timer, but a guest network can be set up. The latest WPA3 encryption is also available on request.

Internet via Ethernet and USB

As an alternative to the wireless connection via WLAN, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 can also share the Internet connection via LAN (RJ45 Ethernet) or via USB interface (“USB tethering”). Both types of cable connection are activated automatically, all you have to do is connect the cable and you are connected to the Internet.

 

The Nighthawk M5 can be configured so that the WLAN is automatically switched off as soon as a device is connected to the Internet via USB. The USB tethering function can also be deactivated if necessary, then the USB connection can only be used for power supply.

The “data offloading” function allows the LAN port of the Netgear Nighthawk M5 to be configured as a WAN port, ie an existing Internet connection via LAN is also used as soon as the LAN cable is plugged in and an Internet connection is available. If the LAN connection is interrupted, the Nighthawk M5 automatically switches back to the cellular connection.

Display and operation

Most of the settings can be made directly via the touchscreen on the front of the Netgear Nighthawk M5. Here there is, for example, the possibility of changing the name and password of the WLAN, providing a WLAN guest network or changing the WLAN range. Further setting options concern, for example, the cellular connection (APN, preferred network technology, roaming, etc.). It is also possible to carry out a software update directly via the touchscreen.

 

The display itself is of poor quality compared to a current 5G smartphone, the resolution is low, the color representation is poor and the plastic cover is reflective. There is also not always a reaction to inputs.

 

A lock screen is shown on the display, showing the time and date. The network operator, the current network technology, the reception strength and the battery status (in percent) are also displayed. The actual start screen can be protected with a PIN if required; the WLAN data and the data volume used can be displayed here if required.

 

At the bottom of the start screen there are shortcuts for WiFi, SMS and settings. By the way, SMS can not only be received on the Netgear Nighthawk M5, but also sent.

 

Some information on the cellular connection can be viewed via the “Status” menu item. This includes, for example, the current network status, the technology used and the main frequency band, the reception strength (RSRP) and the IP addresses. Unfortunately, when the 5G (NSA) connection is active, there is no detailed information on the frequency bands; here, too, only the main radio cell (LTE anchor cell) is displayed, the network status signals “5GSUB6”.

 

Web interface and app

In addition to the touchscreen, the browser web interface can of course also be used for configuration. The visual appearance of the web interface has hardly changed compared to the previous models and offers more functionality than the app and the touchscreen. For example, the WLAN repeater function (WLAN as Internet access) or the WAN function (Internet access via LAN or failover) can also be activated via the web interface.

 

The web interface reacts quickly and is clearly structured. The range of functions is basically good, but there is still a lot of potential for improvement in the details. For example, 5G and/or LTE can be deactivated if necessary. However, manual selection of the frequency bands is not possible. Detailed information on the frequency bands used by the Nighthawk M5 is also nowhere available, although this information would certainly be very interesting for some users.

 

The “NETGEAR Mobile” app is available for both Android and iOS and enables the Nighthawk M5 to be configured easily and clearly using a smartphone. All functions from the web interface can also be used via the app, for example the “data offloading” feature. The app responded quickly and reliably in the test on an Apple iPhone.

 

Battery and power supply

The 5,000 mAh battery of the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is easily exchangeable by the user, so if necessary, a second or third battery can be bought to swap instead of recharging on the go. The battery life in the test was around 8 hours with continuous 5G use (Internet radio stream via WLAN).

 

For longer stationary use, it can be advisable to remove the battery from the router and only operate the device directly on the power supply unit via a USB cable. This has the advantage that the heat development is significantly lower. In the test it happened that the Nighthawk M5 got very warm after intensive use (2 WLAN devices, streaming) and simultaneous charging of the battery.

 

Conclusion: Netgear Nighthawk M5

The Netgear Nighthawk M5 made a good impression in the test. 5G modem and WLAN are very fast, there are many connections and operation are impressive. The Nighthawk M5 has to accept criticism, for example, for its weak LTE frequency band support. Even simple 5G smartphones allow better connections abroad than the Nighthawk M5, as they can use many more frequency ranges. There is also room for improvement in the software: some users will miss a timer function for the WLAN, others will miss more detailed information and setting options for the cellular connection.

 

If you really want to have 5G in your mobile router, you can hardly ignore the Nighthawk M5. If LTE is enough for you, you will find almost equivalent alternatives in the cheaper sister models Nighthawk M1 and Nighthawk M2.

 

TP-Link TL-MR6500v 4G LTE Router Test

A few days ago, TP-Link offers a new LTE router TL-MR6500v which has a special feature of the integrated telephone function including the RJ11 interface for an analog telephone. Telephony can be handled either via the SIM card via VoLTE or via classic VoIP. In the test, the TP-Link TL-MR6500v will show how well the router works in practice.

 

The TP-Link TL-MR6500v is packed in an unspectacular box. The labeling is almost entirely in English, and the quick start guide provided explains the commissioning very clearly as well. In addition to the 4G LTE WiFi router itself, the packaging also includes a power supply unit and a short LAN cable. Since the router requires a MicroSIM card, TP-Link has even included an adapter from Nano-SIM to Micro-SIM.

 

First impression of the MR6500v: for a stationary LTE router, the TP-link 4G WiFi Router is quite small and flat. This may also be due to the fact that the cellular antennas have to be screwed externally to the router and are not integrated into the device, as is the case with most other LTE routers. The advantage of the external antennas, however, is that you can also connect your own 4G LTE antennas if necessary, as these are standardized SMA connections.

 

The design of the TP-Link TL-MR6500v is rather unspectacular: There is a glossy black front with some LEDs that indicate the operating status and the reception strength. The underside has plenty of ventilation holes so that no heat can build up. All connections are on the back. There are three RJ45 LAN interfaces, an RJ11 socket, a connection for the power supply unit, a MicroSIM slot and three buttons: Power, WPS / Reset and WLAN On / Off.

 

 

 

LTE modem for up to 150 Mbit/s

TP-Link has installed a comparatively slow LTE Cat4 modem in the TL-MR6500v, which can achieve speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s in the download and up to 50 Mbit/s in the upload. In addition to 4G / LTE, 3G / UMTS is also supported, but the router cannot support 2G/GSM. The following frequency bands can be used:

  • 4G / LTE: B1, B3, B7, B8, B20, B38, B40, B41
    • 3G / UMTS: B1, B8

With this frequency band support, the router can be used well and without problems in Asia, Africa and Europe.

In practice, the LTE modem left a mixed picture. The reception quality is decent, the external stub antennas deliver a good performance even with weak reception. The speeds are well below the values ​​that can be measured at the same location with other end devices. An example: where the Huawei B818 router can download around 300 Mbit/s, the TP-Link TL-MR6500v only delivers around 60 Mbit/s. On the one hand, this is due to the weak WLAN and the LAN, which is limited to 100 Mbit/s, on the other hand, the modem cannot bundle frequency bands (carrier aggregation). This means that the router can only use a small part of the capacity made available by the cellular network.

 

The maximum speed in the test was around 90 Mbit/s in the downlink and just under 50 Mbit/s in the uplink in test LTE network. The latency times were pleasantly low at well under 20 milliseconds. In addition to IPv4, the router also supports IPv6; in the test with a SIM card, addresses from both areas were assigned.

In practice, the low maximum speed of the LTE modem is not a problem for most applications. The TL-MR6500v is perfect for surfing and video streams are no problem either. The device may not be ideally suited for very large downloads or for use with many devices at the same time.

Slowly: LAN and WLAN

The TP-Link TL-MR6500v has three RJ45 100 Mbit/s LAN connections on the back, of which LAN3 can also be used as a WAN connection if required. Of course, Gigabit LAN would have been nice, but given the low price, the maximum of 100 Mbit/s is still okay.

 

TP-Link has also made savings in the WLAN with the MR6500v and relies on a radio module that works exclusively in the frequency range around 2.4 GHz. The theoretically maximum possible speed is 300 Mbit/s, but data rates of around 150 Mbit/s were mostly observed in the test.

The WiFi range was completely sufficient for an apartment with about 70 square meters in the test. However, the MR6500v cannot fully supply larger apartments or a single-family house; the use of a WiFi repeater may be advisable here.

 

TP-Link enables the configuration of a WLAN schedule in the settings of the TL-MR6500v in order to automatically switch the WLAN on and off. The schedule can be individually controlled on a daily basis if desired.

If necessary, a WLAN guest network can also be activated in the web interface. This can be provided with a password and, optionally, access to the local network is also possible.

 

Telephony via VoLTE or VoIP

The TP-Link TL-MR6500v is one of the very few LTE router models that offer a telephone function in addition to the Internet. If you have an analog phone connected to the RJ11 connection on the back of the router, you can either make calls via the SIM card and be available (Voice over LTE, VoLTE) or you can store special VoIP access data and make calls via a third-party provider.

In the test, both the telephony via the SIM card in the LTE network with VoLTE and via VoIP with Sipgate worked perfectly. The voice quality was good. Sometimes the call setup and the call signaling took significantly longer than on a cell phone, but the fault here is likely to be with the connected DECT phone. By the way: the MR6500v does not offer a DECT function, so cell phones need a suitable external DECT base.


The TP-Link TL-MR6500v offers a good and full-fledged telephone system with many important basic functions. This includes, for example, a simple address book, an answering machine, a “do not disturb” function and the ability to block phone numbers.

 

Operation and software

The TP-Link TL-MR6500v router can be easily configured via a web interface in the browser. In the test, the display was clearly structured both on a Windows PC and on the iPad and operation was very easy and clear.

The setting options on the MR6500v are quite extensive. In the network or Internet area, for example, not only the network mode (e.g. 4G preferred) can be set, but the frequency band can also be selected. This can be very helpful, especially when used with an external LTE directional antenna.

 

Further setting options in the Internet area concern, for example, a freely adjustable “data limit” for volume tariffs as well as dynamic DNS or static routing.

In the web interface, the user has the option of sending and receiving SMS. For example, messages can be received from the network operator or, if a corresponding tariff is used, SMS can be sent to top up the prepaid credit.

The LEDs on the front of the TL-MR6500v can be switched off in the web interface at certain times or completely. A firmware update is also possible in the web interface. Other functions in the web interface are, for example, child protection, a content filter, NAT and VPN settings. In addition, bandwidth prioritization of certain services and applications is possible via QoS.

 

 

Conclusion: TP-Link TL-MR6500v LTE router

The TP-Link TL-MR6500v offers an excellent price-performance ratio. If you are looking for an inexpensive LTE router with a telephone function and many setting options, the TL-MR6500v is a very good device. The ability to make calls via VoLTE in the cellular network was particularly popular in the test. The software is also implemented convincingly. There is criticism for the comparatively slow LTE modem as well as the slow LAN and WLAN.

 

Redmi Presents K40, K40 PRO and K40 Pro+

The Redmi brand, which belongs to Xiaomi, presented three new 5G smartphone models at the MWC2021 in Shanghai. They go by the names Redmi K40, K40 Pro and K40 Pro+ and, as you can easily see, belong to a series.

 

Redmi K40 with Snapdragon 870

All three Redmi 5G Smartphones have in common that they are equipped with a 6.67-inch display with 2,400 x 1,080 pixels and an update rate of 120 Hz. The 20-megapixel front camera and the dimensions are also common to all three models. They all have a fingerprint sensor on the side and stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support. The battery is also identical with 4,520 mAh and fully charged in all three smartphones with 33 watts within 52 minutes. You use your own MIUI 12 as the operating system.

Now let’s look at the differences. The cheapest of the three models, the Redmi K40, relies on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, the slightly improved successor to the Snapdragon 865. On the back there is a triple camera with a 48 MP main camera, 8 MP ultra-wide angle and 5 MP tele macro. The phone is available with the memory combinations (RAM / fixed storage) 6 GB + 128 GB, 8 GB + 128 GB, 8 GB + 256 GB and 12 GB + 256 GB. It transmits with Wi-Fi 6 as well as 5G SA and NSA.

 

Redmi K40 Pro (+) with 5G dual SIM

One difference between the two models Redmi K40 Pro and Redmi K40 Pro+ to the “normal” Redmi K40 is that they also support Wi-Fi 6E and the new cellular standard in dual SIM mode, which is not a matter of course. Inside is the new flagship SoC Snapdragon 888, which is combined in the Pro model with 6/8 GB + 128 GB or 8 GB + 256 GB. The Pro+ is only available with 12 GB + 256 GB. There are also differences in the camera, which in the Redmi K40 Pro has a main camera with 64 MP and in the Redmi K40 Pro+ with 128 MP. The rest of the sensors are identical.

Initially, all models are only announced for China. It starts there from the equivalent of around 400USD for the Redmi K40. The Redmi K40 Pro starts at around 550USD, the Redmi K40 Pro+ costs around 800USD. A start in other markets has not yet been confirmed, but it is quite possible. Alternatively, the devices can be obtained directly from China through well-known shops.

 

LongSung Releases Two New 5G NR Modules

At the MWC 2021 in Shanghai China, LongSung announced the first 5G NR module EX630, which is compliant with 3GPP Release 16 standard and supports both Sub-6Ghz and mmWave networks.

 

The LongSung EX630 is based on Qualcomm fourth generation Snapdragon X65 5G modem (4nm technology) and  RF system, so it will support the fastest 5G speeds up to 10Gbit/s and work on various networks frequency bands.

 

 

With the EX630 module, LongSung also presents another 5G NR Module EX620, which is based on Qualcomm fourth generation Snapdragon X62 5G modem (4nm technology). To meet the mobile broadband application, the LongSung EX620 supports 5G mmWave to 400MHz and 5G Sub6GHz to 120MHz, and can achieve download speed up to 4.4Gbps.

 

The two new generation 5G wireless modules supports multi-mode networks such as 5G NR, LTE, WCDMA(DB-DC-HSDPA), TD-SCDMA, CDMA1X, GSM/EDGE etc…They can also support DSS and multiple CA(carrier aggregation) combinations(FDD-TDD, FDD-FDD, TDD-TDD), covering all the 5G bands.

 

The two LongSung 5G modules could be widely used in many wireless terminals. They can be used in 5G Industrial Gateway, which can help users access high-speed internet quickly and realize safe and reliable data transmission. It is suitable for EMS (energy management system), MES (manufacturing execution system) and production process of manufacturing and processing enterprises signal acquisition and data transmission, thereby achieving industrial automation.

 

Through the 5G wireless modules, loads of image, video and sensor data captured by the robot can be transmitted to the intelligent brain in the cloud, so as to improve the intelligence level and service capability of the robot. Cloud intelligent robots are gradually becoming an important service force in community, medical care, retail and other scenarios.

Quectel Launched New 5G NR Sub-6 GHz Modules

At CES 2021, the Chinese wireless telecommunication equipment manufacturer Quectel Wireless Solutions launched three 5G New Radio (NR) Sub-6 GHz modules, including models RM500Q-AE, RM502Q-AE and RM505Q-AE, with the aim of foster the massive deployment of 5G smart connections around the world.

 

Leveraging Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 commercial 5G modem, all three Quectel 5G NR modules feature ultra-fast technology, low latency, and an enhanced Carrier Aggregation (CA) system, and are now ready to be sampled for supporting a wide range of enhanced mobile broadband networks and IoT applications such as Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), 4K/8K live streaming, online meeting applications, telemedicine, transportation intelligent and industrial IoT.

With their stand-alone and non-stand-alone modes, the three 5G wireless modules enable global coverage of the 5G NR Sub-6 GHz, LTE-A and WCDMA frequency bands and provide reliable 5G solutions to international IoT customers.

 

Other key features of the modules:

 

  • Global coverage of 5G frequency bands
  • Multigigabit data rate up to 5.0 Gbps
  • DL 4X4 MIMO for 5G NR and LTE-A bands
  • Multi-resource GNSS capabilities
  • Abundant interfaces: USB 3.0 / 3.1, PCIe 3.0 and eSIM
  • Dimension M.2, compatible with Quectel LTE-A Cat 6 / Cat 12 / Cat 16 modules
  • All three modules also integrate GNSS capabilities, with the RM505Q-AE supporting active GPS L1/L5 signals for more accurate positioning services. This allows industrial terminals like rugged tablets and on-board computers to operate in weak signal environments, such as valleys, forests and urban canyons.

 

At present, the Quectel RM502Q-AE module has obtained IC / FCC / PTCRB / GCF / RED / RCM certifications, while the Quectel RM500Q-AE and Quectel RM505Q-AE modules have obtained CE / RCM certifications. These mandatory approvals with Global Launch Base (FW) firmware help customers quickly enter each local market and reduce their device development and certification costs.

Quectel Announces 2nd Generation 5G NR Modules

Quectel is a leading manufacturer of components for IoT (Internet of Things) devices. A few days ago, the Chinese telecommunication company announced new second generation 5G NR modules that conform to the 3GPP Release 16 standard and support sub-6 GHz or mmWave depending on the module.

 

Meet 3GPP Release 16 standard

The Chinese company Quectel Wireless Solutions has presented a range of new 5G NR modules for IoT products. These are second generation devices that meet the 3GPP Release 16 standard. The new releases are divided into the sub-6GHz modules Rx520F and the Rx520N series as well as the mmWave modules of the RM530x series.

 

The new 5G NR modules are based on the latest 5G modem RF systems Snapdragon X65 and X62 from Qualcomm, which were officially presented only yesterday. The new 5G modems meet the requirements of industries that rely on faster, mobile broadband and reliable communication options. The products are intended to help establish the new mobile communications standard quickly in many areas. You can exploit the advantages of mobile broadband in areas such as fixed wireless access, industrial IoT, mobile computing, telemedicine, private networks and more.

 

Sub-6 GHz and mmWave

The new 5G NR modules RG520F (LGA) and RM520F (M.2) for Sub-6 GHz from Quectel are based on the new Snapdragon X65, which supports up to 10 Gbit/s data transfer in the downstream. RG520N (LGA) and RM520N (M.2), on the other hand, rely on the slower Snapdragon X62. The two Quectel 5G modules of the second generation RM530F and RM530N modules (M.2) transmit with both 5G standards (Sub-6-GHz and mmWave ) and thus have dual connectivity. As Quectel has announced, the new 5G modules support all three combinations of sub-6 GHz TDD and FDD Carrier Aggregation (CA). This ensures high performance data, as a combination of the available 5G spectra is possible.

 

Quectel also lets you know that the new generation of 5G chips has received fundamental improvements. They deliver even higher reliability with minimal latency. This is particularly important in commercial use in industry and other areas.

Netgear Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi Router Test

Netgear Nighthawk M5 is a new 5G mobile WiFi hotspot which is already available in many countries. Regarding the performance for internet connection, we will take a test and you will read the detail in the following.

 

We have already shown what the Netgear 5G router looks like and which accessories are included in our picture unboxing linked above. In the first weeks of testing, the hardware of the Netgear Nighthawk M5 proved to be quite robust. Unfortunately, the touchscreen magically attracts fingerprints, so we had to clean it several times with a cleaning cloth.

However, you shouldn’t expect the Netgear Nighthawk M5 MR5200 to respond as quickly as a smartphone touchscreen. Sometimes the software took a small millisecond in our test before it responded to our input. We encountered a phenomenon with the Nighthawk M5 that owners of previous Netgear 4G routers reported. If the nano-SIM card is blocked with a PIN, a PIN query appears after the 5G WiFi router starts up. However, this screen is visually incorrectly designed. You can enter the PIN easily using the numeric keys, but the confirmation button is partly outside the visible area and must be aimed very precisely with your finger.

 

Otherwise, we did not notice any serious software errors when using the router.

 

 

Firmware: Latest version is required

At this point we still have to go into more detail about the software: If you buy the Netgear Nighthawk M5, you should make sure that you have the latest firmware in the “Settings – Software” menu immediately after booting up and connecting to the Internet the number 10.29.10.00 from November 17th and install it. With the old firmware, the router may only contact LTE networks, which is not the point of a 5G router.

 

We also observed with the Netgear Nighthawk M5 that WiFi modules from Android smartphones, which otherwise find any 5 GHz WiFi without any problems, have problems finding the 5 GHz WiFi set up by the Nighthawk M5 and connecting to it. Even manually entering the SSID and password failed in our test on at least three Android devices.

One device that the 5 GHz WiFi of the Nighthawk M5 could always find and connect to was an iPhone 11 Pro used in the test. The Android smartphones could connect to the 2.4 GHz network of the Nighthawk M5. Due to the regional overload of the 2.4 GHz band and the lower data rates, it is of course quite pointless to use a 5G router in this case if it cannot pass on the high 5G data rates via WLAN.

 

Features of the software

In terms of operation and functions, the software of the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is of course quite sophisticated, as always. On the start page, network information, time and battery charge status are displayed in the status area. This is followed by the SSID and password of the 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi hotspots. With a mobile tariff with a data throttle, you can also see how much data volume is left on the home page. At the bottom you can see how many devices are connected via WLAN and whether new SMS messages have arrived.

In the settings menu the user can configure things like the APN. The brightness of the screen can be regulated or an unlock password can be assigned. The Netgear Nighthawk M5 also supports USB tethering; the function can either be activated at the same time as the WLAN or as an alternative to the WLAN hotspot. The Netgear Nighthawk M5 can also be integrated into an existing WLAN or Ethernet network via the data-saving mode and then only serves as a network bridge for the connected devices.

 

 

Data rates in the test

For our test of the Nighthawk M5, we received 5G-capable SIM cards from CSL and PCCW. After the firmware update, the hotspot immediately logged into the available 5G networks.

 

The measured data rates come close to the values ​​that we measured with the 5G router from HTC: HTC 5G Hub. In CSL’s 5G network, we determined maximum data rates of up to 781 Mbit/s in the downstream and 134 Mbit/s in the upstream. In the PCCW network, the data rates we measured in the downstream were a maximum of 187 Mbit/s in the downstream and 82 Mbit/s in the upstream. The CSL data rates at the locations we measured actually corresponded to a typical LTE value rather than a 5G value.

Of course, we also took measurements with a laptop that was connected to the Nighthawk M5 via the Ethernet interface rather than WLAN. Here we could observe that the measured values ​​were always around 12 to 15 percent above the values ​​measured via WLAN.

 

Netgear has not received any further error messages about the problem with the 5 GHz WLAN under Android.

 

Battery life in the test

The Netgear Nighthawk M5’s 5040 mAh battery is strong, but it doesn’t work miracles either. Even if the router’s display switches off in the meantime, the maximum battery life is around 6 hours. That is a decent value, but not a top performance either. If you really have to work with the Nighthawk M5 all day long, you should have access to a socket again in between – or take a mobile power bank with you.

 

Conclusion

With the current firmware, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 did its job properly and without any real errors. In the 5G network, the router achieved peak values ​​of just below 800 Mbit/s at the locations we tested. We are in contact with Netgear about the 5 GHz WiFi problem. The battery lasted around 6 hours in the test. There was little to criticize about the intuitive operation of the router.

 

 

 

NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G Mobile Hotspot Review

The manufacturer NETGEAR has launched the first MiFi 5G with Wi-Fi 6 technology to achieve the best possible wireless performance in all circumstances. The new model is the NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 Mobile Hotspot, and it is designed to offer the best possible experience in the mobile broadband network, and also so that we obtain the maximum speed when we connect devices via Wi-Fi. Do you want to know all the details of this new model?

 

Thanks to this 5G portable router we have the latest mobile and WiFi technologies, with which we can stay connected at home or away from home, while enjoying a connection with fast speed, low latency and improved bandwidth.

 

This year we have seen an increase in teleworking, due to the fact that more and more work is done remotely, and the coronavirus pandemic has also contributed to accelerating the process. Since many work or study from home right now, they need to have a fast and secure Internet connection with WiFi connectivity that meets their needs.

 

 

The Nighthawk M5 Mobile Hotspot Pro will allow us to bring a quality Internet connection to our home with 5G. In small and medium-sized towns especially, we find that cable, DSL or other service is not good enough.

However, thanks to the 5G connectivity offered by this Netgear 5G mobile Hotspot, we will be able to obtain fast speed connections. That’s not all, thanks to WiFi 6 technology it will allow us to deliver those speeds to your connected devices without affecting bandwidth or connectivity when we have many wireless clients. That means we will not have delays or interruptions when working or studying at home. That extra bandwidth that WiFi 6 provides us compared to the previous WiFi 5 technology will allow us to do videoconferences or other activities in a more fluid way.

 

 

 

The Nighthawk M5 Mobile Hotspot Pro comes equipped with the chipset of the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 mobile platform to offer us next- generation 5G connectivity . Thanks to this 5G modem, we can achieve high download speeds of up to 7 Gbps and upload speeds of up to 3 Gbps.

 

 

 

In addition, it has WiFi 6 technology that allows us to have more devices connected and transmitting simultaneously without penalizing performance. With a greater capacity compared to WiFi 5, we can rest assured that our smartphones, tablets and computers will have the necessary bandwidth to carry out any task.

 

 

It also allows us the 5G connection in our home or office through the use of its Gigabit Ethernet port. To do this, we can connect the 5G mobile router to our home or work router and thus we can enjoy 5G speeds in our local network from which all devices can also be used.

 

With a secure and reliable network we can avoid the risks of public WiFi networks thanks to the compatibility with VPN Pass-through and password protection. Regarding the capacity of this model, it allows us to connect up to 32 WiFi devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops regardless of where you are.

 

 

This model has a 5,040 mAh rechargeable battery that will provide us with a long duration to use it all day. We can also use it without a battery since it can be connected to a power outlet at home so that it works throughout the day. In that sense, we could keep it connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by removing the battery.

 

As for the Nighthawk M5 Mobile Hotspot Pro, it has a 2.4-inch color LCD touch screen that is intuitively operated. Thanks to it, we can easily control the use of data, see the name and password of WiFi, as well as the strength of the mobile signal. We can also manage device and network settings. On your lock screen it shows important information such as the time, date and the use of data that we have consumed. On the other hand, we have the NETGEAR Mobile app to manage and configure our device.

 

 

TP-Link M7000 4G Mobile WiFi Hotspot Test

The TP-Link M7000 LTE router has been available in Europe since mid-2020 and is the successor to the almost identical TP-Link M7200. The 4G LTE router costs less than 100USD in online shops without a contract and is suitable for all tariffs and SIM cards (no SIM lock).

 

In addition to the router itself, the package content also includes a short USB to micro USB cable. This cable allows the battery to be charged at any USB port, such as an existing USB power supply unit or a computer. There is no power adapter included, which is understandable given the low price.

 

Furthermore, there is a printed user guide included. TP-Link has also included an adapter that enables the use of Nano SIM or Micro SIM cards in the router. In the test, however, a SIM adapter supplied by the network operator also worked without any problems.

If you pick up the TP-Link M7000, you immediately notice the compact dimensions and the low weight of only around 86 grams including the battery. As a result, the TP-Link 4G WiFi router is hardly a problem in a small handbag or in a vest pocket. 3 status LEDs on the front indicate the operating status, there is no display.

TP-Link M7000 LTE Modem

The cellular modem in the TP-Link M7000 Hotspot supports the cellular standards 3G / UMTS and 4G / LTE. 2G/GSM is not supported, which is not tragic in view of the low speeds in the 2G network.

The router can use almost all LTE frequency ranges that are important for Europe: Band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 20 but without band 28 (700 MHz). Since band 28 is used in particular in rural regions and there mostly in combination with band 20, this is probably only a critical point for a few users.

 

The theoretically maximum possible speed is 150 Mbit/s in the downlink and up to 50 Mbit/s in the uplink. This is a slow LTE modem by today’s standards, but considering the low price, that’s fine. In practice, several devices can be supplied with fast internet without any problems and several parallel video streams were also not a problem in the test.

Unfortunately, the maximum speed is limited by the weak WLAN module. In the test, a maximum of 55 Mbit/s could be measured in the download and up to 45 Mbit/s in the upload via LTE. For comparison: with a current smartphone (Apple iPhone 12 mini), around 300 Mbit/s for download and almost 200 Mbit/s for upload were possible at the same location. If TP-Link had installed a faster WLAN module, at least the maximum speed of the modem would have been possible. Unfortunately, the M7000 cannot be used as a USB modem either, so you only have to rely on WiFi.

 

 

TP-Link M7000: WLAN in the test

The TP-Link M7000 can supply up to 10 devices with a WLAN connection at the same time. The router works exclusively in the WLAN frequency band around 2.4 GHz; a connection with up to 145 Mbit/s could be established in the test. However, this is the gross data rate; in practice – as already described in the modem test – significantly lower bandwidths are achieved. The router does not offer a guest WLAN function.

 

The range is absolutely sufficient for a small apartment, a summer house or a caravan. However, a range of more than 10 meters is hardly possible if there are still obstacles such as a wall between the router and the end device. The WLAN transmission power and thus the range can be reduced in the menu, there are a total of three power levels. There is also the option to automatically switch off the WLAN after 10 minutes if no device is active in the WLAN.

 

The WLAN module cannot be used as a repeater or extender. Other mobile LTE routers partially offer this function, so that an existing WLAN network can be used for Internet access. This function, sometimes called “WLAN Offloading”, is useful to save data volume.

Operation via app and web interface

In some places the user has to forego convenience functions with the M7000, which are quite common with more expensive mobile router models such as Huawei E5788, Netgear Nighthawk M1. This definitely does not apply to the software and operation, TP-Link has done a good job here.

 

 

Most users will certainly use the “tpMiFi” app to operate and configure the TP-Link M7000. The app is available for both Android and iOS and provides quick instructions on starting up the router right from the start. The app is very clearly designed and offers all functions that are also available in the browser web interface. This is very commendable, because many other manufacturers only provide a reduced range of functions via their apps.

 

If you don’t want to install an app, you can easily operate the TP-Link M7000 via a browser web interface. The user interface is accessed via the IP address 192.168.0.1. After the first request, a new password must be set, after which you can start. Unfortunately, the web interface of the test device was only available in English.

Various status information is visible on the start page, both in the app and in the web interface. This includes statistics on data consumption, information on the WiFi connection and information on the cellular connection. Separate menus are available for more detailed information and settings.

A wide variety of things can be configured for the Internet connection, for example a data volume limit can be set, after 90% of the data used, a notification is sent and at 100% the data connection is disconnected. Data usage abroad (data roaming) can also be activated and deactivated. The router is set to “4G preferred” at the factory, but can also be set to “4G only” or “3G only” if necessary.

Battery life in the test

The battery on the TP-Link M7000 can be changed without any problems and has a capacity of 2,000 mAh. The manufacturer advertises a battery life of up to 8 hours. In the test, the battery life with activated energy-saving mode and WLAN range “medium” was checked. For the duration of the test, at least 2 devices were connected at the same time and there was a permanent internet radio stream. The battery lasted around 6 hours under these conditions. If the WLAN transmission power is set to “low” and no permanent streaming is used, the specification of TP-Link (8 hours) can even be realistically achieved.


During continuous operation, the TP-Link M7000 became slightly warm, but not hot. This is completely normal for a 4g mobile hotspot and compared to many other devices the hotspot stayed relatively cool.

Other things about the TP-Link M7000

If you are looking for a mobile router with an RJ45 Ethernet LAN connection, you will not be happy with the TP-Link M7000, because the router only has the aforementioned micro-USB connection. The Huawei E5885 may be a good hotspot for you. There are also no connections for an external cellular antenna.

In addition to SMS, USSD codes can also be sent via the web interface or the app. This is useful, for example, to check the credit of a prepaid card or to set the main card for a multi-SIM.

Test conclusion: TP-Link M7000

The TP-Link M7000 is a very inexpensive mobile LTE router, but the device made a good impression in the test. The device is small and compact, the battery life is good and operation is easy thanks to good software. You have to do without comfort features such as a LAN connection or connections for external antennas.

The biggest weak point is certainly the relatively slow WLAN module, which reduces the maximum data rate of the LTE modem from theoretically 150 Mbit/s to around 55 Mbit/s in practice. If you can live with the limitations, the TP-Link M7000 is a good mobile LTE router.