To provide significantly faster speeds for users, Vodafone updates its GigaCube and it also comes from Huawei. The current version comes to CAT19 in the LTE network and thus achieves a maximum download of up to 1.6 Gbit/s. The predecessor Vodafone Gigacube B528 ran out of air at 300 Mbit/s. Those looking for maximum performance now have another alternative; the new Vodafone Gigacube Cat19 can provide much better surfing experience. The specific model of Vodafone Gigacube Cat19 is Huawei B818-260. Let’s have a review of what has changed with the GigaCube CAT19.
Features and Specifications of the Huawei B818-260
|Manufacturer and type designation:||Huawei B818-260 (Gigacube CAT19)|
|Chipset:||HiSilicon Balong V7R65|
|LTE category:||up to LTE CAT19|
|Download rate to:||1,600 Mbit/s|
|Upload rate to:||150 Mbit/s|
|Supported LTE bands:||700, 800, 900, 1500, 1800, 2100, 2600, 3500 MHz|
|Downward compatible to:||GSM, EDGE, HSDPA, DC-HSDPA|
|Support from LTE-Advanced:||Yes|
|MIMO support:||yes, MIMO 3×3|
|Connection for external antenna:||yes, 2x TS-9 connectors(Buy Vodafone Gigacbue Cat19 external antenna)|
Network | LAN & WLAN
|LAN ports:||2 x Gbit port|
|WLAN standards:||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz)|
|5 GHz WiFi support:||Yes|
|Encryption:||WPS / WPA / WPA2|
|WLAN hotspot function:||yes, up to 32 users|
|Telephone||no connection (VOIP only via SIP)|
|IPv6 dual stack||Yes|
|Dimension:||105 x 103 x 225 mm at 700 g|
|Memory card expansion:||No|
|Test and experience report||» Vodafone Gigacube Cat19 Test|
|Installation Guide:||» Vodafone Gigacube Cat19 User manual|
New SoC for more performance
One of the disadvantages of the old GigaCube router(Huawei B528) was that it was limited to 300 Mbit/s in download with LTE-CAT6. This has now been remedied with the new GigaCube CAT19 version. As the name suggests, the new Cube is in the 4G LTE CAT19 and thus achieves a maximum download of up to 1.6 Gbit/s. The new HiSilicon Balong V7R65 SoC (System on a Chip) is responsible for this. The new centerpiece also does a lot more in uploading. Here a clear jump was made from 50 to 150 Mbit/s.
Significantly gained weight
The new Cube is now more angular and looks much more modern. The color is still white and is a little reminiscent of the design artists from Apple. While the predecessor only managed 366 grams, the CAT19 version with 620g is almost twice as heavy but a lightweight. However, this should not interfere in daily operation, because it is not intended as a companion for a hiking tour. Furthermore, there is no battery, so you always have to rely on an outlet.
If you want a wide range of connectivity, you will enjoy the new edition. Naturally, WiFi is on board and works at 2.4 and 5 GHz according to 802.11 a/b/g/n and ac. The MIMO capability (multi-antenna technology) has also been improved. So 3 × 3 is used instead of 2 × 2, which significantly increases data throughput. The Gigacube CAT19 also offers more wired options. One the back, there was only one Gigabit Ethernet port before, you now have access to two. The USB port, which is now new and allows the connection of external data carriers, is very pleasing. Last but not least, the new GigaCube also offers connection options for external antennas via two TS9 ports. Internally, however, four antennas are already in service, so that 4 × 4 MIMO via LTE is possible, as specified by CAT19.
A small downgrade was made on one point. While up to 64 simultaneous devices were previously possible, the number is now reduced to 32. However, this should not play a major role in daily use. It will rarely happen that such a number of devices should be operated. If so, the two Ethernet ports are a good alternative to connect another router. By the way, this additional technology also means a slightly higher power consumption.
Difference to the predecessor Huawei B528
The new Huawei 4G WiFi router from 2019 primarily offers a more modern LTE modem, which is also well equipped for future upgrades in the 4G network from Vodafone. The first generation Gigacube, on the other hand, is “only” designed up to 300 MBit. In addition, the CAT19 box already supports LTE at 700 MHz. Otherwise, the differences are rather small. Both offer WLAN up to 802.11ac and two TS9 sockets for external antennas. The GigaCube CAT19 also provides an additional gigabit LAN port. Our later test report shows whether the successor can get more out of it in practice.