Pepwave BR1 cant use Sprint unlimited data sim card from their USB modem

After several days i have learned that Sprint nor any other cell provider will not offer an unlimited data in conjunction with the Pepwave device …The only unlimited data plan i can get MUST use their aircard modem via USB connection. Simply taking out the sim card out and installing it into the BR1 will not work.Sprint knows it is not in their device and drops the connection. However if you call Sprint and ask them if they have a device that is compatible the answer is yes but it is very very limited on the amount of data available.After making several call to other providers they all said the same that none of them will offer unlimited data on any device that will act as a router.So now living in an area that my only real option for internet was cellular I now have to figure out what i can use that is USB based and wifi so that I can function at home. The current aircard I have will not get a strong enough signal to stay in 4g but yet my phone sitting right next to it does.

The good news is the USB modem you can get from Sprint (341U) is compatible with Peplink, specifically the Surf SOHO. USB modems as you noticed don’t always have the best signal but an external cellular antenna can be connected to that modem to help you out. Feel free to give us a call at 3Gstore and we can discuss exactly what you need along with the SOHO. Contact Us - Get In Touch With 5Gstore

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Would a new SIM card regissgered to the IMEI number of the Pepwave make a difference?

I have run into this a lot recently, TMobile has just opened a plan to “business” customers if you provide tax number, billing address and a quart of blood (JK) they will provide FULL LTE speed up to 30g of data.
also, this automatically opens your router up for international plans where TMobile is in service.

I do not have a dog in the fight but I work with a lot of motor yacht captains and this is the best plan for them.
Sprint is the only carrier that will guarantee a static IP but if your looking for full coverage check with them. AT&T has been the biggest pains about “roaming” SIM cards and international plans.

BTW im referring to the BR1 and MAX_HD_2 here specifically

Yes, since Sprint locks down their SIM cards to an IMEI (ex I can’t take my Sprint SIM from my phone and put it in a BR1) the way to fix this would be to get the IMEI of the BR1 on your account. It is hit or miss though if Sprint will make this change for you. If they look up the device or realize its an embedded router they won’t let their unlimited plan work on it.

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Sprint nor any other cell provider will not offer an unlimited data in conjunction with the Pepwave device .

ATT & T-Mobile SIMs can be used in the BR1. Any tmobile/att SIM that has an unlimited data plan attached to it can be put in the BR1, and works without any configuration changes.

Sprint checks which device a SIM is installed in, and disables the account it if it is not the right device.

I have the unlimited plan on Verizon and I can put my SIM card in a BR1 and it works just fine since the SIM card is already active. You just couldn’t activate a new SIM card on the unlimited data plan using a commercial router like the BR1, they don’t allow this.

With Sprint it has nothing to do with what plan you are on but rather the fact that they lock the SIM card to a specific IMEI and it can’t be moved to another device. This will probably change later this year.

Just keep in mind that the carriers know when you put your SIM card in a different device and will most likely throttle you to 3G speeds after xGB are used. They will treat this as tethered data.


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In Australia, none of the mobile carriers offer any unlimited usage accounts, those that do offer the larger usage accounts lock the account to the paired SIM Card # and IMIE modem number that they supply you with. Many people have attempted to negotiate with the carriers here in Australia to allow them to change over to a different IMIE, though to date the carriers simply will not do it.

In this case, we still would do something like what @kevin has mentioned using the USB into a Peplink router with an external mounted and frequency matched LTE MIMO antenna solution such as those found here in Australia from Telco Antennas

As a side note, we had to do this a lot until recently good quality LTE-A chip sets for commercial devices became available in Australia, now that the MAX range has the LTE-A chip sets, we have been a lot happier , here is @Alan’s previous post on these models.

If the carrier is locking the SIM to the IMIE, then you have to use that option from the carriers device, then how you get that connection going is open to lots of good options here.
Contact Peplink Support for your local certified specialist, the specialist will be able to help you make this work very well for you.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

I have a BR1 mini on AT&T with an unlimited data business plan. The results so far have been stroke inducing but they absolutely do allow a sim to work with any IMEI. I actually just got off the phone with them a few minutes ago due to problems with crawling slow speeds. They’re hiding behind my use of data over the 22gb threshold for throttling. Apparently I have around 450gb so far this month. They opened up a case to try and fix the problem but I’m not optimistic. I typically see speeds around 1-2 down and similar up. Been like that all year. Painful.

I’m desperate to try and get this working better and I don’t know what to do. This is my only option for data at my home and trying to run a business with 1-2 mbps speeds doesn’t get it done.

Hello @uellc,
Can you share more information on how your MAX BR1 is setup such as:

  • Firmware Version
  • Hardware Version
  • How you connect your MAX BR1 to your computer
  • Setting details for the modem
  • Antenna connections, antenna locations and antenna alignment (professionally installed & frequency matched external antennas correctly aligned make a huge difference for our customers)
  • Are you using a mobile repeater/booster in your premises (these often cause a slowdown in available throughput of the modem)

If you are concerned about sharing details here, then you may wish to Open A support Ticket here. Please post your ticket # here if you do this.

Alternatively you may wish to reach out to your local Certified Peplink Partner listed here.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:


Firmware 7.0.3 build 2765
Pepwave max BR Mini
Connected to my computer via wifi
I have the pepwave set to connect to AT&T LTE Band 12; IP forwarding is
active along with IP Passthrough; pepwave wifi is OFF; I’m using google
DNS servers. I have the pepwave plugged into an Eero which broadcasts
wifi around my home, which is what all devices are connected to. DNS
Proxy Settings: Enable box is checked along with DNS Caching.

I have a SureCall Wide-Band Yagi (SC-230W) external antenna plugged into
the pepwave to try and get a better LTE signal. Antenna is directed
towards the closest tower, per a conversation with AT&T.

If you have any information that would help, be it different
configuration, additional antenna, etc., I am ALL ears. This is my
primary internet connection and it’s critical to my business. I need to
get better speeds than I’ve been getting. This is a real problem.


I might be late to the party. I have a client that has the same Max_BR_1. They have had an ongoing issue with AT&T SIM cards for 2 years now. Exactly as you describe it, slow speeds/ no connection, health check fails and it sits and waits.
I did a google search for APN’s for AT&T and punched in a few different ones. they would work 3g speeds only and only thru a billing cycle. However, as a test we used EVERY carrier we could think of and the results were staggering! All, including Cricket, preformed at LTE (4g) speeds. when we went back to AT&T they were throttled back to 3g (or slower in some cases)

Your firmware is behind, not that that will change the results but 7.1.0 did seem to help for a while.

The only help was changing Carriers, and that was with much kicking and dragging, the owner has an AT&T contract and wanted to keep it all together. but with this BR_1 it was the only thing we could do. we had Hong Kong reflash the card cage we had a trouble tix open for 3 months.

try the pay-as-you -go or prepaid card from another carrier, in S. Florida T-Mobile has a deal for Peplink owners, $75 per month unlimited (and it is fast when they take the throttle off)

hope this helps

I have multiple clients using ATT with no problem but they are all using LTE-A units so I wonder if that is your problem if you’re using a regular LTE unit. I’ve been around the block with ATT regarding APN’s and this seems variable. Try manually entering “nextgenphone” with an LTE-A unit and also “broadband”. One rep told me it doesn’t matter, but sometimes it does. Throttling also seems variable, sometimes quick and other times not until 120Gb. An ATT rep told me just this week that they will throttle you quicker in more congested urban areas.

I posted this earlier, but here’s a much more cost effective source for that antenna. Get a 2nd one and their splitter/combiner to phase two antennas if you need the gain:

Once again, a built-in speed test would be nice for testing these problem installations.

Last, suggest you read this: Extreme range BR1 - #7 by Rexymav