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Old 01-11-2018, 16:27   #1
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3G/LTE routers?

hey all,

I'm looking hard at solutions for a masthead antenna and inboard router to connect my onboard wifi network to cellphone networks. I had an oddball Motorola device years ago that I could just put a sim card into and get decent coverage in Mexico, but that was years ago and I'm sure the technology is better now.

I'm looking at this Netgear 4G/LTE modem: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5ASNTE/

And this antenna:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RYB97KC/

does anyone have any experience with either device, particularly in Central America?? how about recommendations of systems that you've used before and like?

thanks in advance,
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Old 02-11-2018, 00:49   #2
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

I would put a 4g amp between the router and antenna as well. like a wilson etc.

I have put a few of those antennas on.

around here we use the cell models from our cell provider.
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Old 04-11-2018, 15:07   #3
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

I replied in detail about boat focused options on the FB thread. But figured I would specifically address your question here as well..

The Shakespeare Galaxy antenna is what I include with my Cellular Booster and router packages. So that's no problem. Obviously you need a decent coax cable to run between the LTE modem/router and the Antenna. LMR400 for long runs up the mast.

As far as the Netgear device itself, it would certainly work as an LTE modem, and with a TS9 to N-Type adapter you could connect the LMR400 cable to the antenna.

The downside to the Netgear device is the network frequency (band) support. It supports 3G bands 2 and 5, and LTE bands 2,4,5, and 12. This is pretty limiting as far as roaming the world.

Central America:
Mexico It will work (band 4) with TelCel LTE and (bands 2/5) with TelCel 3G in MX.
Guatemala 2,5 (ok)
El Salvador 2,5 (ok)
Nicaragua 2,4,5 (ok)
Costa Rica 1,5,3,7 (5 is only on 3G for one carrier so this one is very iffy)
Panama 2,5,28 (might work)
Colombia 2,4,7 (might work)
Ecuador 2,4,5 (ok)

Oceana Examples: (most of oceana is out with the Netgear device)
French Polynesia is Band 1 (won't work)
Fiji (Bands 1,3,8,20)
Vanuatu (Bands 8 and 40)
NZ (1,3,8,28)
OZ (1,3,5,7,28,40) (note that only one of the four major networks has band 5, and it may not be everywhere in the country).

As you go further, you are into Asia and European networks and the bands will be very different from the US.

So, in US and Mexico, the NetGear device will work fine. But as you go south and west, it will be hit or miss, eventually moving to miss as you get further.

As far as an actual booster, same issue. Will work as you get down to Ecuador, but moving west across the ocean it will be useless.

Richard Anderson

Quote:
Originally Posted by drew23 View Post
hey all,

I'm looking hard at solutions for a masthead antenna and inboard router to connect my onboard wifi network to cellphone networks. I had an oddball Motorola device years ago that I could just put a sim card into and get decent coverage in Mexico, but that was years ago and I'm sure the technology is better now.

I'm looking at this Netgear 4G/LTE modem: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5ASNTE/

And this antenna:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RYB97KC/

does anyone have any experience with either device, particularly in Central America?? how about recommendations of systems that you've used before and like?

thanks in advance,
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Old 04-11-2018, 19:57   #4
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

I have the 2120 - basically the same unit. I got a MIMO diversity antenna (dual antennas) and it works great in US. I would recommend looking into dual antennas / single diversity as signal quality is better. I also found that an antenna high with long coax had a worse signal than a rail mounted antenna with a very short coax. I went from getting maybe 500kbs-1mbs in my marina on a single antenna LTE to getting 20-30mbs with a short coax diversity antenna.
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Old 04-11-2018, 22:35   #5
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

I've been using a Globsurfer III+ for 4 years, worked U.S, Mexico, Tonga, Vanuatu. I am currently using in Fiji. I suspect this unit is dated, but still working for me.

Cheers
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Old 04-11-2018, 23:09   #6
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
I would put a 4g amp between the router and antenna as well. like a wilson etc.

I have put a few of those antennas on.

around here we use the cell models from our cell provider.
Ive run a Wilson amp with a variety of routers (CradlePoint, TP-Link, ...) over many years in Central America...all the way down the coast line from Belize to Panama. Generally pleased w performance. All using an external modem w local SIM card.

If you get a Wilson get an upgraded antenna for marine use...the standard one is a little ferrous metal pig tail and rusts quickly.

My favorite router has been a Cradlepoint MBR900 because of its error recovery capabilities...which are good and configurable. I use one ashore in Guatemala too. Unfortunately, I think it is now discontinued. Often it recovers from network issues on its own before I even know there is an issue.

The TP-LINK mini routers pack a lot of software functionality into a small package, great for travel, but their error recover is nil...if there is a glitch (common on remote networks) they just give up until you reset them.
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Old 04-11-2018, 23:15   #7
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svmobert View Post
I replied in detail about boat focused options on the FB thread. But figured I would specifically address your question here as well..

The Shakespeare Galaxy antenna is what I include with my Cellular Booster and router packages. So that's no problem. Obviously you need a decent coax cable to run between the LTE modem/router and the Antenna. LMR400 for long runs up the mast.

As far as the Netgear device itself, it would certainly work as an LTE modem, and with a TS9 to N-Type adapter you could connect the LMR400 cable to the antenna.

The downside to the Netgear device is the network frequency (band) support. It supports 3G bands 2 and 5, and LTE bands 2,4,5, and 12. This is pretty limiting as far as roaming the world.

Central America:
Mexico It will work (band 4) with TelCel LTE and (bands 2/5) with TelCel 3G in MX.
Guatemala 2,5 (ok)
El Salvador 2,5 (ok)
Nicaragua 2,4,5 (ok)
Costa Rica 1,5,3,7 (5 is only on 3G for one carrier so this one is very iffy)
Panama 2,5,28 (might work)
Colombia 2,4,7 (might work)
Ecuador 2,4,5 (ok)

Oceana Examples: (most of oceana is out with the Netgear device)
French Polynesia is Band 1 (won't work)
Fiji (Bands 1,3,8,20)
Vanuatu (Bands 8 and 40)
NZ (1,3,8,28)
OZ (1,3,5,7,28,40) (note that only one of the four major networks has band 5, and it may not be everywhere in the country).

As you go further, you are into Asia and European networks and the bands will be very different from the US.

So, in US and Mexico, the NetGear device will work fine. But as you go south and west, it will be hit or miss, eventually moving to miss as you get further.

As far as an actual booster, same issue. Will work as you get down to Ecuador, but moving west across the ocean it will be useless.

Richard Anderson
Ive always used external modems, partially for this reason. Ive got a small inventory of them now and can usually find a combo that will work...if not...modems are usually inexpensive and available locally even in some fairly remote spots.
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Old 07-11-2018, 21:54   #8
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

I believe there are a few prefabricated packages out there that are guaranteed to work.
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Old 07-11-2018, 22:17   #9
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

There definitely are.. From Redport, Wave WiFi, KVH, Shakespeare, Glomex, and one or two others.. I can help figure out which are the best for any particular boat/need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelMe View Post
I believe there are a few prefabricated packages out there that are guaranteed to work.
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Old 07-11-2018, 23:30   #10
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

How about multi band LTE repeaters?

We have both TMobile and At&T on the same boat, as well as a Verizon work phone.

We need to get all 3 providers at full 4G LTE speed in remote areas.

What's the best way to accomplish this?
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Old 07-11-2018, 23:33   #11
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
How about multi band LTE repeaters?

We have both TMobile and At&T on the same boat, as well as a Verizon work phone.

We need to get all 3 providers at full 4G LTE speed in remote areas.

What's the best way to accomplish this?
A good cell booster will do that. Like this one..https://www.sea-tech.com/product/sea...r-booster-kit/
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:09   #12
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svmobert View Post
A good cell booster will do that. Like this one..https://www.sea-tech.com/product/sea...r-booster-kit/
Thank you. Stupid question. I'm more of a computer guy than a phone guy. Does this device support the 3 phones at once? Don't need voice calls often but one may be watching YouTube, the other texting and the third may randomly get a voice call every couple hours.

We run a small businesses while traveling and it would be nice to be able to have to worry a little less about connectivity and signal strength.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:32   #13
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Re: 3G/LTE routers?

Yes, it will support multiple devices at once. By the way.. I also offer mentoring/consulting for people running businesses while cruising. Specifically covering things like internet service, bandwidth, automation, fulfillment, etc.

https://www.sea-tech.com/2018/11/05/...oring-service/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Thank you. Stupid question. I'm more of a computer guy than a phone guy. Does this device support the 3 phones at once? Don't need voice calls often but one may be watching YouTube, the other texting and the third may randomly get a voice call every couple hours.

We run a small businesses while traveling and it would be nice to be able to have to worry a little less about connectivity and signal strength.
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