MikroTik LTE vs LTE-A
Long Term Evolution (LTE), also known as 4G, is a technology designed to deliver data over the radio wave spectrum typically between 700MHz-2600MHz.
With the demand for bandwidth increasing, technology providers like MikroTik have adapted their product line to include several high-performance LTE devices. Choosing MikroTik over conventional entry-level LTE products has many advantages. It is packed with functionality and is available in different form factors with high-gain MIMO antennas to cater for long-distance applications. All models include PoE which allows users to make the most of their signal without introducing long antenna cables with associated loss.
What's inside MikroTik?R11e-LTE (Cat4)
Category 4 represents the throughput available on the modem which is theoretically 150 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink.
|LTE category||4 (150 Mbps Downlink, 50 Mbps Uplink)|
|3G category||R7 (21 Mbps Downlink, 5.76 Mbps Uplink)||R8 (Cat24 – 42.2 Mbps Downlink)
R7 (Cat14 – 21.1 Mbps Downlink)
MikroTik has updated their LTE product line-up to include an LTE-Advanced modem to take advantage of performance gains in the same form factor as all their other LTE devices.
|LTE category||6 (300 Mbps Downlink, 50 Mbps Uplink)|
|3G category||R7 (21 Mbps Downlink, 5.76 Mbps Uplink)
R8 (42.2 Mbps Downlink, 5.76 Mbps Uplink)
LTE-Advanced makes use of Cat6 modems and can achieve up to 300 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink. This is due to a technology known as Carrier Aggregation, which essentially makes use of multiple frequency bands to improve performance. Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) is a method of simultaneous transmit and receive signalling over different channels in each part of the spectrum e.g. 800MHz (TX) + 1900MHz (RX)
Carrier Aggregation using Frequency Division Duplexing
PerformanceThe result, naturally, will vary based on the towers distance, congestion and the implementation of LTE-A in that specific location. Even-though we did not professionally install these devices during our testing, the results were sufficiently clear for us to observe the benefits using the LTE6 modems. For optimum results, please follow the correct installation principles.
MikroTik also plans to launch more LTE products up to Cat18 (1200 Mbps) as well as some 5G hardware. Watch this space for more info!
Blog post by Timothy Symonds