Why you must have two or more antennas for 4G LTE and 5G
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 and 5G 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 and 5G there is one major difference, MIMO. MIMO, or Multiple-Input Multiple-Output, 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 both 4G LTE and 5G support MIMO in the downlink and most cellular operations are deploying 2×2, 4×4 or 6×6 MIMO solutions which means multiple antennas are used for transmitting at the base station (4G or 5G Towers) and multiple antennas are used to receive at the mobile device (4G or 5G Routers). This means to maximise your 4G LTE or 5G router throughput you must use multiple single antennas, MIMO 2×2 antennas or MIMO 4×4 antennas. In a 2×2 MIMO scenario for example, 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 multiple external antennas to maximise performance with 4G LTE and 5G.
With the roll out of 5G networks around the world, you can now future proof your installation by going with 5G antennas that are backwards compatible with 3G and 4G networks.
Routers compatible with external 3G/4G/5G antennas
All 3G, 4G and 5G routers offered by Comset support external antennas. This makes hooking up external antennas extremely simple. Simply plug the two SMA-M connectors of your MIMO 4G LTE or MIMO 5G 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 can help you.