Newly Published FAQ: US Wireless Carrier

Don’t know the difference between LTE-A and LTE, or which frequencies are used by different US carriers?

We recently released a downloadable FAQ to address these commonly asked questions and more. Our US Wireless Carrier FAQ covers the basic areas of selecting your Peplink router, knowing your wireless carrier, and how to get these two to work together for reliable connectivity.

Click here for the US Wireless Carrier FAQ or visit our FAQ page for all available downloadable FAQs.


This question and answer is an obvious error.

Can I use a voice/data plan with my Peplink router?
Yes, the IMEI you are using is transmitted to the carrier.


Based on my usage with Verizon SIMs/cellular plans with the Max Transit CAT-18/MAX BR1 PRO CAT-20, SIMs activated in a phone or acquired for a phone, did not work without some sort of intervention.
I would suggest the question & answer is somewhat mis-leading. At a minimum, I believe you owe it to prospective customers & your partners to qualify this particular question & response.
If I have completely missed the point, I would really like to know how to utilize a voice/data plan from Verizon in my Peplink device.
Thank you.

I think it might be helpful if the document draws the distinction between certification and plan policies… I.e., the difference between being certified for a particular carrier and the carrier’s policies w.r.t. what equipment they allow for a particular connection plan.
The forum is full of questions where the conversation goes: “I cannot make it work on carrier NN”followed by “which plan are you on” followed by “carrier NN allows only certain equipment on their [WHATEVER] plan, you have to sign up for [SOME OTHER] plan”. Add to that the observation that carrier plans change frequently, with policies re. equipment acceptability changing along the way.
Add to that the attempts by folks to use voice plans for routers - which is acceptable on some carriers, and not on others.
Add to that all the 3rd party folks and the MVNOs, who market their own stuff and whose plans may be different again.
And then add to that the fact that for specific plans there may be tricks avoiding the policy enforcement - tricks that may work for a while.
And then add to that the fact that store and 1st level support are frequently clueless, both about the plan limitations and the equipments specifics. Case in point, the recent limit by TMO to 50GB at 5G for generic routers (including Peplink brands), while allowing 100GB 5G plans for specific equipment sold by TMO. I am sure I am not the only one purchasing a 100GB plan while being assured by store personnel that it would work fine.
These are not the fault of (nor the responsibility of) Peplink, once certification is achieved (and the IMEIs have been registered).
Alerting the reader to these facts might be useful, and alleviate a lot of the cries of pain we’re seeing on the forum. Or at least deflect the complaints from Peplink towards the correct recipient - the carrier policy makers.

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@tetranz Thank you for pointing this out. Edits have been made and the revised FAQ document is available through the same link.

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Hi George. I confess – I’m the guy who wrote this item. What said was
“[w]hile a plan intended for a phone may work, the best approach is to subscribe to a plan intended for routers and mobile devices. The best source for the answer to this question is the carrier itself or one of the carrier’s dealers/agents.”
I must say, in my experience what I said is correct. Do you think “[t]he best source for the answer to this question is the carrier itself or one of the carrier’s dealers/agents” is incorrect?

In the case of Verizon I believe you are absolutely correct and if one checks with Verizon that belief will be confirmed. My point was essentially to say “talk with your carrier” – Peplink cannot reasonably make any promises about what plan will or will not work. Would you agree?


I think the real answer to “Will a phone plan work?” is something like this:

Officially no. Using a phone plan in a router violates carrier’s terms and conditions which are easy to find and read. All those that I’ve seen say something about “unapproved device” or some such wording. Asking the carrier is basically the same as asking “Are you serious about what those T&Cs say?”.

In practice, it might or might not work. If it does work then it’s impossible to predict how long it will work for. If it stops and you’re lucky, the account will simply be cancelled or you’ll be asked to put it back in an approved device. If you’re very unlucky then your device IMEI could be blacklisted and unable to be used again with any plan on that carrier. If it’s a postpaid plan, you could also owe a much higher bill when they “conveniently move you to a more appropriate plan”. Admittedly I haven’t heard of that happening but most T&Cs allow the carrier to do that.

In other words. Take you chances. YMMV.

I know this is probably not appropriate for this document but a real question for many people is something like this:

I just bought a Pepwave router to provide internet for my RV, boat or rural property. I’m just a private consumer, not a business. I want to use it for streaming and other activities. I probably need at least 500 GB per month. I don’t want to spend a fortune. I’m new at this so I don’t have any grandfathered plans etc. Where can I buy a plan?

There is nothing direct from the carriers. The best is something like the 100 GB for $55 prepaid from AT&T. That will be expensive.

You could get something like Caylx or (if you qualify) PCs for People. Unfortunately their T&Cs insist that you use their hotspot. Many people report moving it to another device. You might be able to get away with that too but there are no guarantees.

You could try a phone or tablet plan but that’s risky. See previous answer.

Your only other choice is to try one of numerous resellers. Popular opinion is that most are not selling legit plans. They tend to work until they don’t and then (maybe several times per year) the reseller will go out of business or need to send a new SIM, often associated with a price rise.

Really? Is there nothing better than this?

Probably not. Let us know if you find something. Good luck.

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To respond to Rick’s question… I’m not sure where the best source of information on appropriate data plans would be in today’s environment. I don’t believe it’s with Peplink any more than it would be appropriate to ask CISCO which ISP I should use for my network.
I’ve only been playing in the cellular internet ‘sandbox’ for around 2 years. The one thing which appears to be true… ‘there are no absolutes’ when it comes to what equipment will work on what cellular network with any given cellular plan. It seems like someone has always found a way to accomplish something others were not able to. Information is then propagated throughout various forums & it becomes a ‘viable solution’…
Ideally, the various carriers should know the answer. For whatever reason, this does not appear to be the case. It’s been my experience one can search for ‘devices certified for use on XXX network’, where XXX equals the cellular carrier & in many instances one can find a listing of devices certified for use on that network. A general rule of thumb… if it’s not on the list, it may not work without some technical intervention.
From my perspective, I have difficulty in understanding why someone would spend $250,000 for a diesel pusher RV they use 2 or 3 months a year, another $2000.00+ for cellular equipment & then want to acquire a $25.00 Visible phone party plan at WalMart for streaming 480p media to a 4K TV at 5Mbps. Is this considered being frugal? Perhaps an extreme example, but, I think you can get the point I’m trying to make.
More than anything, I believe the cellular industry needs to be more proactive in establishing realistic expectations based on the current cellular infrastructure & equipment.
Kudo’s to Peplink for addressing the question.


I don’t think someone with an expensive RV playing around with phone plans etc is necessarily trying to be irrationally frugal. I think it’s more likely that they’ve hit a dead end trying to find a legit plan for their needs.

Rightly or wrongly, reasonable expectation or not, they hope to use it somewhat like a home broadband connection especially when it comes to streaming.

They might have tried a reseller and been burned or at least frustrated. They might have tried one of the few legit carrier plans and burned through the 100 GB or so in the first week of the month and decided that four of them per month is too expensive.

They find the Mobile Internet Resource Center which is a good site with a lots of good information but at the end of the day, if you’re a retail consumer who wants a high volume plan there are very few legitimate options.

They hear of other options and think, well, nothing to lose, let’s give it a go.

Of course, none of this is any fault of Pepwave.

Perhaps I was a little too cynical in my use case example. It was my attempt to point out the absurdity of some of the expectations some users seem to have with regards to cellular internet.

Unfortunately, it takes the same type of equipment and data plans to facilitate short term high GB usage as it does for long term high GB usage. It can get expensive.

Again, KUDOs to Peplink for providing some guidance regarding this subject.

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