How to Buy 4G Modem between Similar Models?

More and more people are choosing 4G modems as their preferred network in the plan. And more and more 4G dongles are available for various operators all over the world. Then here comes a problem: many customers feel confused by the models and especially two similar models. Customer don’t know what’s the difference, which make s them in trouble deciding which one to buy.



ZTE MF821 and MF821D are two similar 4G dongles. We will take the two 4G LTE modem as example to explain our topic today. Now if I list them in front of you and let you tell what the difference is. You maybe feel headache…don’t worry; if I were you, I also can’t tell anything, perhaps my answer is they are completely the same.  But actually, they are different, of course, not on the appearance.


The key differences for most of the 4G modems are the LTE frequency bands that they could support. Other features are almost the same and not influence the usage. ZTE MF821 could support 4G LTE band 1, band 3 and band 7 (1800/2100/2600MHz). But ZTE MF821D supports band 3, Band 7 and band 20(800/1800/2600MHz).


Even though some customer may concern about the connector for external 4G antenna, the network bands should be the first concern because it determines whether a 4G modem would work properly or not. And we could see this feature from the dongle body. The inner part, especially the technical specifications are invisible.



Getting to know the specification of the 4G LTE modem, user need check the operator’s network bands. If the bands are partially the same as the 4G USB dongle or 4G mobile hotspot, then the operators’ SIM card work with the Wireless devices.  But if you are using a USB modem that is not with contract plan, you must make sure the USB modems are SIM card unlocked.



Above should be the key matters that influence the usage of a 4G dongle/modem/surfstick/datacard.  If you want to know the details of a 4G USB Modem, welcome to check the list UEs by LTE Frequency bands:


LTE Dual-mode 4G Modem-ZTE MF880 VS MF825

More and more operators are investing the TD-LTE technology so as to improve the spectrum application efficiency. It seems the TDD technology would become the mainstream for LTE network. But We could also see the dual-mode LTE, that is FDD & TD-LTE combination, is also become popular.



To make the LTE dual-mode network more efficiency, the UEs must also support FDD and TDD bands simultaneously, and they could auto switch between the two modes. We have found there are many USB dongles, mobile WiFi hotspots and LTE router available for such networks.



As one of the important vendor for 4G LTE equipments, ZTE had released many models that can support TD-LTE/FDD dual-mode networks. ZTE MF880 and MF825 are such 4G USB dongles.




ZTE MF880 is the first generation 4G modem from ZTE. One of the main features for them is they don’t have the connector for MIMO external antennas. The body of the 4G modem is a little bit bigger than 3G modems. As a 4G dual-mode LTE modem, ZTE MF880 could support 4G FDD band 20 & band 7(800/2600MHz), and TD-LTE band 38 & band 40 (2300/2600MHz). Band 7 and band 20 are two most popular spectrums in European countries and the two TDD bands are the most commonly deployed broadband worldwide, which make ZTE MF880 4G data card one of the most popular 4G dongles.



ZTE MF825 is the typical model for the second generation of ZTE 4G modems. Based optimization and improve in hardware and firmware, the ZTE is much slimmer then it’s predecessors. And it’s not as big as ZTE MF880, and to make the MIMO transmission come true, two external antenna connectors are available in MF825. Besides the TDD band 38 & 40(2300/2600MHz), ZTE MF825 supports more FDD bands, they are band 20, band 3, band 1 & band 7(800/1800/2100/2600MHz). From the specification, we could know if ZTE MF880 could work in any place, ZTE MF825 would fully replace it.




What’s more, the two 4G dongles ZTE MF880 and MF825 could also work on 3G UMTS/DC-HSPA+ networks (900/2100MHz) and 2G GAM/GPRS networks, and the peak download speed on 3G could reach 42Mbps. So if user is in a location where 4G network is not available, the two ZTE 4G modems would switch to 3G to fulfill the Internet access requirement.



Someone may ask, if ZTE MF825 could fully replace MF880, then why they both are presented from operators? It’s a good question, actually, the more powerful one device is, and the more expensive it is. ZTE MF825 is more powerful based on its great internal chipset, and it costs more. For some operators, it’s unnecessary for them to use a modem with high price when a cheaper one could meet the requirements. And for some operators, they didn’t provide some of the network spectrums that ZTE MF825 supports.


But for users who usually travel overseas or to different countries, it would be better to get ZTE MF825, because it would be more possible for the data card to compatible with the target operators when on a trip.


To conclude, the LTE dual-mode 4G modems provide better solution for users to access Internet and travel around. If you want more TD-LTE/FDD USB modem, welcome to visit .


Vodafone ZTE K5006Z 4G LTE USB Surfstick

Vodafone offers a new LTE Stick for the in house mobile LTE solution. The stick K5006-Z comes from the Chinese manufacturer ZTE and very similar to the K5005, which came from the manufacturer Huawei. Here you will find the most important features of K5006Z.


Features and Specifications of the Vodafone ZTE K5006 surfstick

Manufacturer and type designation

K5006-Z (ZTE) USB Modem

Download to rate

100 MBit/s

Upload to rate

50 Mbit/s

supported LTE bands

LTE Band 3/7/20 (800/1800/2600MHz)

backward compatible with:

DC-HSPA +, UMTS, GSM frequencies (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz)

MIMO Support:

MIMO 2×2

Connector for external antenna

yes, 2 antenna jacks TS-9

LTE category:

LTE Category 3 (3GPP Release 8) modem


Qualcomm MDM9200



90 mm x 27 mm x 18 mm, 30 grams

USB standard

USB 2.0

Memory card expansion

Yes, MicroSD up to 32 GB

Compatible Operating Systems

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS (10.4)

Specs PDF

Vodafone K5006Z ZTE 4G LTE Stick Specifications


Network Bands


The new model Vodafone K5006Z supports all relevant Web standards. In LTE, it could work on  LTE 800MHz and LTE 2600MHz. In the latter case theoretical maximum download speeds of up to 100 Mbps and 50 Mbps in upload are possible. If LTE is not available, the stick could switch on UMTS and HSPA (DC-HSPA+). The quad-band operation for four GSM frequencies 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz is provided. Even abroad, the stick should almost always provide good reception.



Optics and other features


The panel is held in the Vodafone typical design, so setting with red border. However, compared to the K5005, the sequel looks a bit clumsy and not quite as elegant. But that is a matter of taste and a score is up to you. Same with almost all surf sticks, the dongle K5006 with an additional memory card to USB memory can be upgraded. For this purpose, the device offers a MicroSD slot. Corresponding maps are mostly cheaper than USB flash drives with the same storage capacity.


Under adverse reception conditions, high speed could reach by one or two TS9 connector (MIMO) antennas plug it. Just outside of urban areas, this can be very helpful, such as in tourist areas. Also noticeable is the lower weight. Instead of 40 grams (K5005), it weighs 10 grams less. With 90 x 27 x 18 mm, it is also slightly narrower and deeper dimensions.




Those who still does not have a LTE Stick, the 4G LTE Surfstick K5006-Z is considerable. And there are unlocked Vodafone K5006Z to use any SIM card, just one pay for the dongle and never limited to any contract. For those who have the predecessor, the newer, the better.




A completely ordinary stick, which brings all you need for the high speed data rates needs.