Pepwave 40G Mobility Performance Disapointment

I purchased and have been running a Max Transit BR1 which I use with Verizon and ATT carriers and so far its been great unit but a recent trip to Assateague Island National seashore which is on the fringes of any cell service got me thinking I need to move the antennas to the roof of my van so I purchased a 40G Mobility 5 in 1 antenna.

I was able to get this mounted and configured before my next trip so I was pretty excited with some of the new RSSI numbers I was seeing compared to using the internal antennas but same area on the island I could not get any type of of good throughput from the antenna/Max Transit combo. Whether TMo, Visible, or ATT but using my iPhone 13 Pro Max (TMo) as wifi as wan I could at least get around 5-8Mbps pretty consistently which allowed me to get some work done and watch some Netflix.

Needless to say I was pretty disappointed and I’m sure there are many variables to consider but I was pretty bummed my costly setup got beaten out by my cell phone.

The antenna is mounted to an aluminum crossbar away from objects like a roof top AC so looking for some feedback.

Hi Timothy. Can you post the exact model number of your device please?
Trying to understand what the issue might be.

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https://download.peplink.com/resources/pepwave_puma_401_datasheet.pdf and https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083VYPKYY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

OK. So there are many factors that will affect the amount of bandwidth you can achieve when connected to an operator network.

Signal strength and quality is one factor of course, but assuming you can find signal in the first place, the biggest factor in achieving useful bandwidth is the Category of modem in your device.

You are comparing a cat6 modem (capable of 300Mbps down) in the BR1 LTE-A with a Cat22 LTE-Advanced Pro modem (capable of 4.5Gbps) in the iPhone 13 (yes its a 5G modem, but at these speeds we’re using 4G/LTE).

I wrote a post a while ago explaining what that means in practice here Why is My iPhone faster than My Router? – Martin Langmaid – SDWAN Architect

But to summarise. The higher category modem you have, the more antenna elements and frequencies it can use at the same time and the higher the throughput it will achieve.

The closest you can get to the performance of your iphone in Peplinks world right now is the BR1 Pro 5G. That is a CAT20 modem and will be pretty close, with potentially higher throughput with the improved signal from the 40G.

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Thanks for the feedback which reminded me that even though I have a TMo Sim in that Max Transit it is indeed a Cat 6 modem but I don’t think the issue is related to speed. Its getting a connection but again my Max Transit is not capable of the same bands my iPhone is able to get.

I guess I’ll need to consider upgrading to a unit.

Thanks.

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is this on a boat or RV?

what signals are you seeing?

i have traveled to some places where cell service is just terrible/non-existent, you can’t magically make signal better or make it where it does not exist. i tend to find wifi WANs at those locations to latch onto.

your iphone 13 pro max radio might be more advanced than the max transit. did you see what bands your iphone was using and try to lock the peplink onto the same bands?

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Your cell phone has 2x the number of receive+transmit antenna elements as your current setup.

The antenna isnt the problem… BR1 Mini is underpowered for anything except maybe sitting inside of an ATM somewhere. That hardware is not designed for “high performance”.

Replace the BR1 Mini with a CAT18 or higher device and not only will peak-performance improve but also your range. Here is a great video which describes the advantages of having 4x4 LTE antennas.

Also, if you really wanna ‘go remote’ you should consider just doing a directional antenna like the Poynting XPOL. Obviously a directional antenna is not ideal for constantly moving around, but it can be incredibly nice-to-have for places where you are spending longer periods of time.

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