Lousy and Sporadic BR1 MAX LTE Connections

We have 50~100 BR1 MAX Minis all over the world and they work fairly well. But it seems like they do a very poor job of maintaining a cellular connection with the cell provider’s towers. Even with watchdog turned on, the units still need to be reset every once in a while.

Right now, we have a modem in an area were an iPad with the same SIM card can get internet just fine with a very fast internet connection, but the BR1 has a poor cell signal: RSSI of -84 and it’s stuck on Obtaining IP Address and never connects.

Why is it that a $500 modem with an 8 inch LTE antenna (mounted 10 feet high) cannot maintain a connection nearly as well as a cell phone with a hidden antenna at ground level? Are we configuring something wrong here?

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Welcome to the forum!

Hard to say. Would be interesting to see what the RSSI of the ipad is and what frequencies its connected on.

Most of the time, when we see poor comparisons between ipads / iphones and MAX devices it is a combination of:

  • signal issues. A high gain antenna in an environment with lots of noise will perform worse than a small antenna.

  • Poor antenna cable selection / long length.

  • different category modems being compared. The latest iPads have gigabit LTE modems (eg iPad pro 11 XS/XS Max/XR with full Gigabit LTE support - 4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM, 5x CA) inside with 5 carrier frequency aggregation. A BR1 mini has at most a CAT6. So more cellular bandwidth is possible on an iPad compared to a BR1 mini, but an iPad can connect to more frequencies too which means it can try different frequencies to find more bandwidth.

  • M2M routers / tethered devices being treated differently to the operators own phones and tablets - different traffic profiles / allowances etc.

  • unfair comparison between products. A car and a lorry both have wheels, engine and move things from one place to another but are used for very different purposes. You can’t run a office full of people, wired phones and printers on a single iPad, but you can on a mini, and you can remotely manage the router and traffic flows in ways that are impossible on other types of devices.

Your issue of maintaining a connection - some mobile networks will forcefully disconnect a device that has been connected for longer than 12/16/20hrs. A nightly scheduled reboot can help reduce the impact of that.



Great comparison. I was also to ask if he was using LTE vs LTE-A.

Between the same category levels says a br1 vs a transit vs a balance 30 LTE PRO, is there any difference in the cellular gain levels. I also know the balance series with cellular tend to have the antenna ports spread apart, any gain difference doing so?


Is there a way to schedule a disconnect/reconnect of SIMA or SIMB?

(without either rebooting the whole device or switching to the other SIM.)

I happened to come across this post tonight as I was finding that disconnecting and reconnecting improves my speed occasionally when it’s slumping. (I don’t want to switch sims on a schedule because it takes a while for the modem to reprogram to a different carrier and I don’t have two same carrier sims, and a whole device reboot seems a bit wasteful… so was curious if there is a way to just schedule a disconnect/reconnect of the same SIM.)