I recently conducted a comparative testing of LTE routers
and quite As expected, it turned out that the performance and sensitivity of the radio modules is significantly different. When I connected the antenna to the routers, the speed increase increased by several times. This prompted me to carry out a comparative test of antennas, which will allow not only to provide communication in a private house, but also to make it no worse than in a city apartment, with a cable connection. Well, what ended this testing can be found below. Traditionally, for those who want to watch, not read, made a video.
Without a normal structural approach, not to get high-quality results, and the purpose of this test I set the choice of the best antenna for the fastest Internet access. The Zyxel LTE3316-M604
, which in the previous test rightly won first place. This device can work with a conventional wired provider, using a backup 3G/4G communication channel, if necessary, and work completely autonomously using 3G and 4G cellular networks. In my test, only the 4G network is used, since only data is transmitted through it and the voice traffic load does not affect this communication channel.
For the test, I chose three different antennas of different types: the first test, to obtain pure values, the router worked without external antennas, using only the built-in antennas. The second test was connected antenna with a circular pattern. The third test involved a panel antenna with a narrower radiation pattern that was used in the past test. Well, the fourth stage was testing a narrow-beam mesh parabolic antenna.
All speed measurements were performed on a weekday in the daytime, so that the load on the base station was minimal and the download speed was maximal. At each stage, the test was carried out three times and the average value of the download speed and impact was calculated. The router was connected to the same BS, the antennas were adjusted according to the signal in the router’s web interface.
I also made a daily graph of download speeds and data returns in my locality, which perfectly demonstrates the work of users on the Internet. I believe that the provider will have approximately the same picture of the load on the BS. Interestingly, the download speed graph jumps significantly, but the return graph is almost unchanged - this suggests that users download more than they give away data.
GSM/3G/4G FREGAT MIMO
Price: 4800 p
Frequency ranges, MHz: 700–960, 1700–2700
Gain, dB: 2 x 6
Allowable transmit power: 10 W
Size, cm: 37 x Ø6,5
Mass, grams: 840
Let's start with the test antenna, which has a circular pattern.This antenna cannot boast of any exorbitant gain, but it does support MIMO technology, that is, these are two antennas in one package. In addition, it is sealed and has immediately mounted cable assemblies 5 meters long. The frequency range captures all segments from GSM to LTE, that is, 2G/3G/4G networks are supported. The kit includes mounting to the bar or directly to the wall. And now we will consider in what situations it can be used, if it also has this size. The first thing that comes to mind is shielded rooms: a basement or basement, a metal warehouse or hangar, a ship or a boat. In all these cases, reinforced concrete and metal perfectly shield the external signal, and if outside radio engineering may work perfectly, then there may be no reception inside. In this case, such an antenna will solve the communication problem. It can be used not only for the router, but also for the repeater. But just for the router, it will reveal its full potential, and the circular pattern works well on moving objects, allowing you not to tune the antenna to any one tower. In my case, the speed with the antenna turned out to be somewhat lower than without it, since the antenna KU is similar to the built-in antenna in the router, but losses occur on 5-meter cables.
Finished kit with hardware and assembled cable, suitable for shielded rooms, sealed
It has a small CG
OMEGA 3G/4G MIMO
Price: 4500 p
Frequency range, MHz: 1700-2700
Gain, dB: 2x16-18
Allowable transmit power: 50 W
Dimensions, cm: 45 x 45 x 6
Weight, grams: 2900
The second antenna has worked for me for several years and participated in the previous test. Has proven itself very well when working both directly with the tower and with the reflected signal. Since its radiation pattern is narrower than that of an omnidirectional antenna, the gain has increased to 16-18 dBi, depending on the signal frequency. In addition, it works in MIMO mode, and this already gives an increase in speed. The standard mount on the boom provides the ability to adjust both horizon and vertical. In addition, the mount allows you to rotate the antenna by 45 degrees to change the polarization - sometimes it gives a gain of several megabits. Big, sealed and efficient! And if without this antenna the RSRP/SINR indicators were -10/10, then with a panel antenna they grew to -98/11. This gave an increase in download speed from 13 to 28 Mbit/s, and return from 12 to 16 Mbit/s. That is, a two-fold increase in downloading on the same BS is an excellent result. In addition, the antenna, thanks to a small angle, allows you to cut near, but more loaded base stations and switch to other, less loaded. One has only to note that the cable assembly is desirable to do a shorter, so as not to lose the signal in the wires.
Signal amplification allows you to double the speed, the radiation pattern allows you to choose a less loaded BS, convenient mounting kit, for several years has not lost its qualities
With a size of 45x45 centimeters it has a windage, which requires a quality base for mounting
PRISMA 3G/4G MIMO
Price: 6000 p
Frequency range, MHz: 1700–2700
Gain: 25 dB at a frequency of 1700–1880 MHz, 26 dB at a frequency of 1900–2175 MHz, 27 dB at a frequency of 2,600–2700 MHz
Maximum power input: 100 W
Size, cm: 90 x 81 x 36
Mass, grams: 3200
The parabolic mesh antenna is remarkable in itself - it has an impressive size of 90x81 centimeters. It is not round, as is the case with satellite dishes, which even has a positive effect on the radiation pattern. In addition, the mesh performance very noticeably reduces windage - the wind simply passes through it, and this has virtually no effect on the focusing of the signal. The antenna operates in the frequency range from 1700 to 2700 MHz. There are three positions of the irradiator: one for each frequency. The instruction manual shows how to position the illuminator relative to the antenna in order to get the maximum gain at the desired frequency, that is, you first need to know at what frequencies your provider operates. Here comes to the rescue web-interface of the router, in which the working frequency is quite readily demonstrated. It is somewhat more difficult to work with this antenna, it needs precise adjustment, since the directivity angle is very small. The obvious advantage of this solution is the ability to accurately route to the desired base station, even if several stations are located almost in a straight line. There are also disadvantages: the time of detuning at the BS increases significantly, and working with the reflected signal becomes more difficult. But the most important thing is the gain. It ranges from 25 to 27 dBi. In my case, this allowed us to amplify the signal from the original RSRP/SINR -106/10 to -90/19 dBi, and the reception speed increased from 13 to 41 Mbit/s, transmissions from 12 to 21 Mbit/s. That is, the reception rate has increased more than three times! Well, in remote areas, where cellular communication may not catch at all, it is quite possible to catch both 3G and 4G signals for several tens of kilometers!
Excellent gain, mesh performance reduces windiness, the ability to adjust the irradiator to the desired frequency
Comparative testing has shown that even without an antenna, with a good elevation (10 m from the ground), the Zyxel LTE3316-M604 router can provide an acceptable Internet speed. But you will not leave the router on the street, so this option is suitable in an apartment, office, but not where a tower cannot be seen even with binoculars.
The FREGAT MIMO antenna is suitable for those who, for a number of reasons, cannot receive a radio signal at the installation site of the router. This may be shielded walls, low location, other interference. And two antennas in a single package will provide support for MIMO technology, which should increase the speed of work.
As for the OMEGA 3G/4G MIMO panel antenna, it showed itself very worthily. Work with both direct and reflected signals, a lot of mounting options, good gain. Small dimensions do not give a big sail, and the gain in speed is noticeable. You can take it safely if there is a 3G/4G signal, but it is extremely weak or not at all.
Well, the PRISMA 3G/4G MIMO parabolic mesh antenna is suitable for the most desperate, because with such gain and the ability to fine-tune the BS you can get a connection even in the most remote village, if there is a cellular operator base station within a few tens of kilometers.
At the moment I left the OMEGA 3G/4G MIMO antenna working. It was necessary to move the mounting bar to the wall a little, as the dimensions of the antenna dictate their conditions.With a cable length of 3 meters and the selected router, I saw speeds up to 50 Mbit/s, when the BS was the least loaded. This tends to a theoretical speed limit of 75 Mbit/s under the current BS operating conditions: Band31800 MHz frequency, 10 MHz channel width. But the main thing is that if you remove more than 8 km from the base station, I managed to get speeds close to those that can be in the immediate vicinity of the tower. Let me give you an example of a picture of radio coverage when using different frequencies.
In conclusion, I will say that you can always provide yourself with good Internet in the country or in a private house. Do not be afraid of unfamiliar equipment: to select a 3G/4G router, just read my previous article. And when choosing an antenna, contact those who deal with them seriously - they will select the optimal solution and even prepare all cable assemblies. All you have to do is connect everything. Good luck, good ping and stable speed!