Whether you are on a fixed-LTE package from Rain, Cell C, or Telkom, you are likely to be using a Huawei LTE router.
Huawei has established a strong position for itself in the South African LTE market, with its devices often the default option when taking out a package with an ISP.
With Cell C’s fixed-LTE deals from local Internet service providers, for example, users will receive either a Huawei B618 or a Huawei B315 LTE router.
The B315 comes with your package for free, while the B618 requires users to pay in an extra once-off amount.
Based on this extra payment, you can assume that the B618 is better than the B315 – but why is this the case, and will getting the B618 give you a better experience compared to the Huawei B315?
To help you make an informed choice when buying an LTE package, we have outlined the differences between the various Huawei LTE router in the market below.
The table below details the main differences between popular Huawei routers on offer.
|LTE Cat.||Cat. 4||Cat. 6||Cat. 6||Cat. 11|
|MIMO||No||No||4×4 MIMO||4×4 MIMO|
|Connections||32 Users||64 Users||32 Users||64 Users|
|Operators||Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, Rain||Telkom||MTN||Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, Rain|
Key elements to take into account when buying an LTE device are:
- LTE Cat. – The LTE category essentially refers to the speeds the device can achieve. The higher the Cat. number, the faster the speeds.
- CA – Carrier aggregation allows for the aggregation of contiguous or non-contiguous component carriers (CC) to expand bandwidth. This means a better user experience if CA is supported.
- MIMO – multiple-input and multiple-output multiplies the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receive antennas to exploit multipath propagation. In simple terms, it means sending and receiving more than one data signal simultaneously.
It must be noted that the maximum speeds you will achieve on an LTE network will also depend on the network’s coverage and capacity.
While your router may support 150Mbps download speeds, you are unlikely to receive these during peak times in an area where many users are on the network.
It must also be noted that networks may not support certain routers or devices on their network. If you plan to buy an LTE router to use on a specific network, you must check with the network that the device is supported.
Devices which are supplied with an LTE package by an ISP, such as the Huawei B618 with Cell C’s deals, will be supported by the network.
Images of the routers are shown below.