Why you must have 2 antennas for LTE
The easiest way to improve the throughput and reliability of mobile broadband connections is to use external antennas. This concept has been used extensively in rural areas where the only form of high speed internet is usually a 3G/4G cellular connection. In the past this meant a directional antenna with potentially a low noise amplifier. The same concept also applies to 4G LTE technologies today where having a strong receive signal and most importantly a high signal to noise ratio (SNR) is essential for high data throughputs.
The MIMO difference
While the same general concept external antenna exists for 4G LTE there is one major difference, MIMO. MIMO uses two or more separate antennas to create virtual paths through the air instead of just one path with conventional 3G technologies. MIMO is extremely important as it uses multipath to greatly increase the downlink throughput.
Currently only LTE supports MIMO in the downlink and most cellular operations are deploying a 2×2 MIMO solution which means two antennas are used for transmitting at the base station (4G Tower) and two antennas are used to receive at the mobile device (4G Router). This means to maximise your 4G LTE router throughput you must use two antennas. If you hook up only one external antenna even with the best RF conditions you will be limiting yourself to roughly half the downlink speed. This means it is extremely important to use two separate external antennas to maximise performance with LTE.
Routers compatible with external 3G/4G/4GX antennas
Both the CM685T-W and the CM820T-W 4G LTE routers, as well as the CM210A-W 4GX LTE-A router offered by Comset support external antennas. This makes hooking up external antennas a breeze. Simply plug the two SMA-M connectors of your MIMO LTE antenna (Omni or Directional) into the external antenna jacks and you should be all set. This will result in a substantial throughput improvement and allow you to maintain a reliable connection even in fringe signal areas.
Discuss your needs with a Comset representative and find out how we could help you.