What is a 5G Cellular Router?

Here’s a comprehensive guide.

If you’re looking at improving your Internet network setup and wondering what a 5G cellular router is, what 5G cellular means and how it affects download and upload speeds, network reliability, and other factors, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find an explanation of the technology, answers to frequently asked questions about 5G cellular routers, and more.

What is a 5G cellular router?

A 5G cellular router is a device that connects to 5G cellular networks to provide Internet connectivity to other devices. Instead of getting Internet connectivity from a fixed line like DSL, cable, or fiber, a 5G cellular router has a built in cellular modem that connects through a 5G cellular network. While not every community has 5G service yet, 5G networks are rapidly expanding around the world.

A Small Office 5G Router and a Rugged Mobile 5G Router

Is 5G WiFi Internet the same as 5G cellular?

5G WiFi, really a misnomer, is also known as 5GHz WiFi, which is used by the standard routers many people have in their homes. 5GHz WiFi routers use short range radio frequencies to connect devices like your computer to the Internet. Most modern 5GHz WiFi routers can transmit a signal on two frequency bands, 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. 

5G Cellular connects to the Internet, 5GHz WiFi connects to your devices

5G cellular is the new broadband cellular communication standard. We’re on the fifth generation of wireless cellular communication technology, which is why it’s called 5G. 5G cellular routers use radio frequency bands similar to previous generation routers along with a new radio frequency band. By opening up more frequencies for data traffic, 5G cellular routers offer significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and more network capacity (simultaneous connections) than previous-generation 4G LTE networks. Read more about the differences between 5G and 4G routers here.

What are some use cases for 5G cellular?

The faster download/upload speeds, real-time responses, and reliable connections enabled by 5G cellular power everything from mission-critical services to enhanced enterprise networks and even the Internet of Things (IoT). The significantly lower latency (lag time) is important for applications that are extremely latency sensitive, such as self-driving cars, drones, cloud gaming, and robo surgeries.

These industries and many others are using 5G wireless routers: 

Automotive: 5G autonomous connectivity enables vehicles to stay connected to increase safety and efficiency on the road and improve the passenger experience.

Broadcast and Production: Decreased latency, increased bandwidth uplink, and extended coverage empowers remote production and digital transformation in remote broadcasting. See case study.

Healthcare: 5G router solutions fuel robust connectivity for robotic surgery, telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, video consultations, telemedicine, connected ambulances, and more. See case study.

Hospitality: From resorts in the heart of busy cities to superyachts at sea, 5G cellular routers provide reliable Internet for social media, streaming movies, and accessing work files through the cloud.

Manufacturing: The 5G network offers manufacturers and telecom operators greater exposure and opportunities in automation, artificial intelligence, and IoT.

Public Transit: Passengers on buses, trains, ferries, streetcars and subways are experiencing faster and more reliable connections on the go with 5G cellular.

Public Safety/Emergency Services: Firefighters, emergency medical responders, and police can focus on doing their job with high speed, low latency connectivity.

Retail: Reliable digital payments, physical store and ecommerce integration, and personalized customer experiences count on a fast and agile network, and 5G can help. See case study.

Home Internet: Robust and affordable home Internet access is now available without wires using 5G cellular routers to connect home devices to the Internet.

Key points about 5G cellular routers:

5G Connectivity: The cellular modem built into 5G wireless routers connects to ultra-fast 5G cellular networks offering significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and more network capacity than previous-generation 4G LTE networks.

Increased Network Capacity: Just like a regular router, a 5G cellular router provides Internet access to laptops, tablets, TVs, computers, and other devices – but it can connect more devices simultaneously and with better performance than 4G LTE routers.

Portability: Many 5G routers are designed to be portable, so you can take them with you and set up a WiFi network wherever there’s 5G coverage. A 5G mobile router is especially useful for business travels or those who need Internet on the go.

Cost: While 5G can be more expensive than other forms of broadband, especially if data usage is high, a suitable data plan can help you avoid excessive costs.

Signal Dependence: The quality and speed of the Internet connection depend on the 5G signal strength in the area. Just as with mobile phones, if the signal is weak or if the router is in a location with lots of obstructions, the connection might be slower or less stable.

Transition to Fixed Wireless Access (FWA): With the advent of 5G, there’s a growing interest in using 5G as a form of fixed wireless access, especially in areas where laying traditional broadband cables might be challenging or not cost-effective. In this context, a 5G router is essential for connecting to the Internet.

Backup for Fiber: For businesses that rely on fiber or other wired Internet, 5G cellular routers can serve as backup for fiber, so that when the Internet goes down, the business doesn’t go down with it. Here’s why 5G works so well as a backup for fiber.

5G routers come with features like:

  • SIM card slots (to access the cellular network).  With a 5G router with SIM card slots, you can pop a few local SIMs in and your network is up and running. You can also add a hardline (link to new fiber Internet page) to a SIM card router or WiFi for extra redundancy. 
  • Battery power for portability
  • Outdoor antennas for better reception
  • VPN support for increased security
  • Guest networks and content/parental controls
  • Multiple WAN to support higher reliability and better coverage from multiple cellular carriers

Power Your Future with the Best 5G Router

Consumers and businesses today are looking for faster download and upload speeds, real-time responses, extended coverage, and general connection stability, wherever they are. 5G cellular routers from Peplink represent an evolution in mobile connectivity solutions, because they harness the power of new 5G networks to provide faster, more reliable connections between people, businesses and objects around the world.

Retail remains always on with 5G

Point of sale, stock inventory, and even membership data cannot afford downtime in the retail industry – yet one America-based retail company found their setup unreliable as they were using routers that heavily relied on the Internet and one LTE SIM for backup. 

When this company’s Internet line was down, any open session would depend on the LTE SIM for connection, which resulted in slow backup speeds. The company was looking to upgrade their devices to those capable of better backup speeds at an affordable price. They turned to Peplink for a newer device that would allow their setup to failover to 5G for backup speed in case of any disruptions.

Peplink’s suggested solution included switching out their old routers for Balance 310 5G routers. With Peplink’s SpeedFusion Hot Failover technology, the retail company can still use their existing Internet connection, but will now failover to 5G for better bandwidth and additional backup support. As this retail company discovered, the Balance 310 5G’s low price point is ideal for multiple large-scale deployment, increasing reliability and speed without compromising their setup. Learn more about Peplink 5G technology.

Medical collaboration expands with 5G

A secure and reliable connection can be challenging to establish in remote areas, especially if time is limited. One U.S. health network operating in a variety of remote and highly populated areas needed an efficient connectivity solution for their mobile clinic, and they reached out to Peplink for help.

Due to the need for high bandwidth, Peplink’s MAX HD4 MBX 5G routers were deployed to local sites. This on-the-go device provided connectivity from one 5G and three LTE connections, all via its embedded cellular radios. Its flexible power inputs paired with mobile generators allowed for the safe provision of consistent power. Each router was also housed in a custom SpeedFusion case to further equip the already shock and vibration resistant industrial design.

Two Peplink Balance 1350s were installed at this organization’s headquarters in a high availability configuration to provide optimal operational performance and a backup at times of high load. By linking the mobile clinics to the headquarters, a SpeedFusion VPN tunnel was created to provide secure connectivity for confidential data.

This resulted in SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding aggregating cellular links into one tunnel, preparing the network for the transmission of a serious volume of data. Additionally, load balancing algorithms took place to fine tune each connection depending on priority or even application. Learn more about Peplink’s SpeedFusion.

Broadcasting companies optimize performance with 5G

A broadcasting team was experiencing slow multimedia uploads and long delays for their broadcast, due to using routers with low throughput and poor cellular data uplink rates. This team knew they couldn’t continue with this setup, as they constantly needed to upload videos to share online and regularly held live streams to interact with their viewers.

The business reached out to Peplink for a new connectivity solution that would deliver jitter-free content in real-time. The team also needed a portable 5G mobile router setup, as they regularly broadcast from different locations.

The business found the MAX Transit 5G router to be optimal for their needs, as its high cellular data uplink made it easy to upload multimedia content online. With this device’s support for a wider range of bands, the team was able to achieve lower latency, resulting in less buffering when hosting live streams. Dual–band WiFi maximized throughput by allowing two independent networks to work simultaneously.

With two Micro-USB B ports built into the MAX Transit 5G, the broadcasting team can use power banks as a stable power supply, which is ideal for mobile deployments. They team now uploads media content and organizes live streams easily, wherever business takes them. Learn more..

See how you can leverage 5G with Peplink Cellular Routers

Contact peplink to learn more about 5G powered routers.

Read more about how to choose the best 5G Router.