The Austrian network operator 3 has once again added a new 4G LTE router to its product range: the 3neo by the Chinese manufacturer ZTE. At first glance, the design of the router looks unusual and definitely not like a usual wireless router. Technically speaking, the 3neo router comes from the factory model ZTE MF287, which has an LTE Cat6 modem for up to 300 MBit/s in the downlink and up to 50 MBit/s in the uplink. As a special feature, there is an integrated rechargeable battery, so you can use the 3neo as mobile router when on the go.
3neo LTE router
The design of the 3neo is unusual, but also has the connections to be found at the back, like the ZTE MF286 and Huawei E5186. On the side there is a LED light bar for the status display and on the top there is a LED light ring for the display of the network mode. Both the LTE antennas and the WLAN antennas are permanently integrated in the device and are not visible from the outside.
The modem of the 3neo can use LTE of category 6 and reaches up to 300 MBit/s in the downlink and up to 50 MBit/s in the uplink. Of course the router is also downwards compatible with the older 3G/UMTS technology, and up to 42.2 MBit/s in the downlink is possible. If desired, the mobile radio reception can be improved by an external LTE antenna, the required connections are hidden under a cover on the back.
In addition to the two connectors for an external antenna, there are also four RJ-45 Gigabit LAN connections as well as an RJ-11 telephone connection. Also the connection for the power supply is on the back, the plug for 12V/5A is also suitable for operation on an external battery/Powerbank, but unfortunately no MicroUSB connection for power supply has been installed. The built-in rechargeable battery in the 3neo / ZTE MF287 has a capacity of 3020 mAh and is supposed to allow an operating time of up to 4 hours without power supply.
The WLAN in the 3neo runs on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, the router can supply up to 64 devices at the same time. As a convenience function, for example, a guest network function as well as a WLAN timer is available. The connection is to be set up quickly thanks to QR code and "3Home" app for the smartphone without complicated password input.
The 3neo LTE router is now available in Austria. However, the 3neo LTE router has a netlock, so it can only be used with SIM cards from 3 Austria. If you want the unlocked 3neo, you may check www.4gltemall.com and the unlocked version of 3neo would be available in future time.
The fourth mobile LTE radio generation is becoming more and more powerful, with LTE Advanced Pro and 4.5G, respectively, currently experiencing a new leap in speed. Some 4G smartphones and mobile hotspots already support LTE category 11 or higher, while LTE Cat6 with 300 MBit/s in LTE router models was the highest of the feelings. A few weeks ago, Huawei presents a new 4G LTE Router, the model number is Huawei B618, which supports LTE of category 11 with up to 600 MBit/s in the downlink and 50 MBit/s in the uplink.
Huawei B618 Appearance
The Huawei B618 router visually resembles the design of the Huawei E5180 and can therefore be designated as its successor. The device is square and quite "high" built, on the front there are various LEDs as well as a WPS button. On the back there is a power button, two RJ-45 Gigabit LAN ports (one of which can also function as a WAN port), as well as a USB 2.0 port. There is also an RJ-11 connection for an analog telephone or fax machine as well as the connection for the external power supply. Under one cover are two connectors for an external antenna. There is no battery for mobile use.
Huawei B618 Technical Specifications
The modem in the Huawei B618 works with LTE Cat11 and achieves data rates of up to 600 MBit/s in the downlink as well as 50 MBit/s in the uplink. Which LTE Advanced Pro / 4.5G features are supported exactly is still unknown, but in any case, Triple Carrier Aggregation is on board. This allows the Huawei B618 to bundle three different frequency ranges with a maximum of 20 MHz each. To get to 600 MBit/s is enough but not the same, as the 256QAM modulation controls the modem in the downlink. Alternatively, the support for 4 × 4 MIMO would be conceivable whether the B618 can do this, but is currently not clearly identified.
The WLAN module allows connection to up to 64 devices at the same time in the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz band. The maximum data rate is 867 Mbps (802.11 ac), the WLAN antennas are fixed in the Huawei B618 and cannot be exchanged.
Until now, the Huawei B618 only appears in Poland at Play (February 2017), where it is marketed in conjunction with the "4G LTE ULTRA" offer. As mobile radio networks continue to grow, however, it is likely that the Huawei B618 LTE router will also find their way to other countries and to other providers, which is often the case with Huawei LTE router models, however, user should pay close attention to the supported features and frequency bands, as Huawei can often optimize the routers for the respective provider and remove individual functions such as the telephone function. The B618 router available model number Huawei B618s-22d in Poland at Play seems to be unbranded and it may be suitable for the other market in Europe as it supports all important LTE band 1, 3, 7, 8, 20.
If you are looking for the latest new 4G Router with special design and supporting LTE-advanced network, you’d better have a check the ZTE MF287 4G Router which looks not like a common router. The MF287 router was presented by ZTE at CES 2016, and now it’s introduced to the carrier “3” in Austria and named “3neo”. The 3neo design is hard to describe, below is the image in white color. In the middle, there is a line of blue color, which should be the indicator for power and network. At the bottom side, the Drei logo is listed.
|ZTE MF287 Technical Specifications|
|Category||LTE Category 6|
|Download speed||Up to 300 Mbit/sec.|
|Upload speed||Up to 50Mbit/sec.|
|Power supply||Socket (AC adapter 12V / 1.5A - cable included in the package)|
|Internet connection||WLAN + 4 x LAN|
|Number of connections||Up to 64 devices|
|Dimensions||220 x 110 x 106 mm (including socket 18mm)|
|Weight||730g with battery|
|WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS|
|USB (number of connections)||Yes - 1x (only for manufacturer diagnosis)|
|Sim Type||Standard SIM Card|