What is a 5G SIM Router?

Do I need one?

A 5G SIM router is a device that uses a mobile Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card to communicate with a cellular carrier’s network and share this connection with your laptop, phone, camera, and other devices within range. 5G SIM routers basically combine the capabilities of a router (to manage and distribute Internet connections to multiple devices) with the ability to connect to 5G networks with a SIM card, like the one inside your cell phone, providing the best of all worlds.

5G SIM card routers can be ideal when you need a backup Internet connection or a temporary yet stable Internet connection. Their high-speed and flexible connectivity options make them extremely valuable in these scenarios:

5G SIM Router with antennas

Areas with Limited Fixed Broadband Access: 5G SIM routers can be an excellent solution for individuals or businesses in rural or underserved areas that have 5G coverage but traditional fixed-line broadband options are limited or unavailable. SIM routers provide a reliable high-speed Internet connection without the need for wired infrastructure. 

Temporary or Mobile Locations: 5G SIM routers are valuable for temporary setups, events, construction sites, or mobile businesses where a stable Internet connection is required but installing fixed-line infrastructure is not practical. 

Backup Internet Connection: Many businesses and even some homes use 5G SIM routers as backup Internet connections. In case their primary wired Internet connection fails, the 5G router can automatically take over to ensure continuous connectivity.

Remote Work: Remote workers can use 5G SIM routers to ensure a stable and fast Internet connection, which is crucial for video conferencing, file transfers, and other tasks.

Public Wi-Fi Hotspots: Deploying 5G SIM routers as public Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes, parks, or other public areas can provide fast and convenient Internet access to the public. Learn about the differences between mobile hotspots and SIM routers. [link to new page: Is a sim router better than a hotspot?]

International Travel: Travelers can benefit from 5G SIM routers to stay connected while abroad. By accepting local SIM cards, SIM routers enable cost-effective international data access.

5G SIM routers offer a number of benefits and features, such as:

5G Connectivity: Because SIM card routers can connect to the 5G network, you can benefit from potentially faster speeds and lower latencies compared to regular cellular 4G/LTE connections.

SIM Card Slot: SIM routers contain a slot for inserting a SIM card from a mobile network provider that offers 5G service. Multi-slot SIM routers enable multiple SIM cards to be inserted, and automatically switch between SIM cards and networks when a network experiences downtime or poor connectivity.

5G SIM Card with 5G Cellular Router

Wi-Fi Distribution: Once connected to the 5G network, 5G SIM routers can distribute this Internet connection to your devices wirelessly using WiFi.

External Antenna Support: Connecting external antennas to 5G SIM routers can boost signal reception and improve overall connectivity, especially in areas with weaker 5G signals.

Ethernet Ports: Most SIM routers also have Ethernet ports, so you can use wired connections to PCs, gaming consoles, and other network equipment.

Backwards Compatibility: 5G SIM routers can support multiple generations of cellular technology, including 4G. That means you can insert a 4G/LTE card if 5G is not available. Read More: Do You Need a 5G SIM Card for a 5G Router?

Portability: Some SIM routers have built-in batteries for Internet connectivity on the go. Others are more stationary, designed for home or office setups.

Advanced Features: From VPN support and firewall settings to parental controls and Quality of Service (QoS) configurations, 5G SIM routers offer a number of advanced features that make them ideal for a variety of use cases.

Subscription Plans: To use a 5G SIM router, you’ll typically need a data plan from a mobile network provider that supports 5G. The cost, data caps, and terms of service can vary, so it’s essential to choose a plan that aligns with your usage needs.

How many SIM card slots does a 5G SIM router have?

5G SIM routers can have anywhere from one to as many as eight or even more SIM card slots (specialized equipment can hold up to 48 SIM cards!), depending on the model. Dual-SIM routers support two SIM cards simultaneously, and are often used for basic redundancy and load balancing. A multi-SIM router typically supports four or more SIM cards, and is generally used in business environments, remote locations, or situations where high availability and network stability are critical. Read more about multi-SIM routers here. [link to new “What is a multi-sim router” page]

A SIM router and a SIM modem are both networking devices that use a SIM card to connect to cellular networks for Internet access, but they serve different purposes and have distinct features:

SIM routers are designed for creating a local network and sharing an Internet connection among multiple devices, making them suitable for homes, small businesses, and remote locations where traditional broadband connections are unavailable or unreliable.

A SIM modem, also known as a USB dongle, adapter, or cellular modem, is a portable device that connects to cellular networks via a USB port on a computer or other compatible device. These modems don’t usually have built-in WiFi or multiple Ethernet ports. They provide cellular Internet connectivity to one device at a time.

People who need Internet access on a single computer or device while traveling or in areas where wired connections are not feasible can plug the SIM modem into a USB port to establish a cellular data connection for that specific device.

Powering 5G connectivity at sea

MY PARADIS, a superyacht that sails regularly across the Mediterranean, was originally dependent on LTE connectivity, but needed an upgrade to 5G to enable guests to stream on their devices while onboard and away from shorelines. After looking into possible solutions, MY PARADIS found their upgrade through Peplink. They installed Peplink’s MAX HD2 MBX 5G onboard the yacht. With dual 5G modems and slots for up to 4 5G SIM cards, this solution enables the superyacht to rely on multiple cellular carriers.

To increase 5G signal strength and minimize interference while away from shorelines, Peplink’s Maritime 20G antennas and a Mobility 40G were attached in one of the superyacht’s domes. Connectivity was reinforced through SpeedFusion, which aggregated the multiple 5G connections through the MAX HD2 MBX 5G into one large-bandwidth link to power onboard streaming capabilities. 

Thanks to this new deployment, MY PARADIS is equipped with limitless 5G and full coverage in the Mediterranean. With the pairing of Peplink’s devices and the 5G-capable SIMs, MY PARADIS supports simultaneous streaming and seamless network usage at sea.

Read more about Internet connectivity on a superyacht

Bringing 5G connectivity to a one-of-a-kind mobile office

A client of goRoam was interested in converting an old school bus into a modern mobile office, but wasn’t sure how to maintain internet connectivity when traveling across rural Texas. Because the client was selling insurance policies to teachers, stringent security requirements also needed to be met. In addition, the client required support for an IP phone connected to his home office and a guest network so teachers could access their information before and during their appointments.

The goRoam team found that Peplink provided the most flexibility in traveling and adapting to the local environment, and recommended Peplink’s dual-cellular router. The team set up a highly secure private wireless network for transmitting sensitive data and a separate public network to enable clients to access the internet in the mobile office. The final pieces of the solution were a Peplink Mobility antenna and Verizon mobile broadband 5G SIM card.  As a result of this solution, the insurance professional can successfully bring his business to his clients and maintain uninterrupted connectivity.

Read more about bringing Internet to a remote mobile office

Staying connected on the slopes

In order to be the best, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team trains at some of the most spectacular and most dangerous venues in the world. Unfortunately for them, these picturesque sites are often dead zones for connectivity, which restrict their ability to connect with each other and access weather tracking devices, video uploads, and playbacks. In addition to challenges in mountainous areas, the team has also encountered issues in large cities – like in a large Australian city where 50,000 fans challenged the limits of available bandwidth and made it impossible to get consistent access to the live videos of races they needed to manage their skis and waxing schedule. 

In order to obtain the unbreakable connectivity that the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team required, they deployed Peplink’s HD4 MBX router. Designed for industrial usage and ideal for on-the-go deployments, the HD4 MBX is capable of aggregating the bandwidth of up to four cellular links into an unbreakable, high-speed, SD-WAN connection. The router was installed in the team’s mobile wax truck with an antenna was mounted on top of their vehicle and the router securely mounted away from work stations. The HD4 MBX uses local WiFi when available, and the team also uses SIM cards. With up to 16 cellular providers to connect to, the team’s spotty coverage issues are a thing of the past.

Reach more about remote mobile Internet for the US Ski team

Crossing borders without crossing out connectivity 

The biggest challenge facing a cargo vessel company was how to stay connected while passing through different countries and sailing across different waters. Disconnections while roaming were common and signals were weak when the vessel sailed along the sparsely populated coastline and when it was further away from the shore. 

The perfect solution for this cargo vessel company turned out to be a simple setup consisting of Peplink’s MAX Transit Duo, Maritime 40G antenna, and FusionHub. As a dual-cellular router with redundant SIM slots, the MAX Transit Duo’s SIM card capacity enabled concurrent connections from different carriers, each of which had another SIM card as a backup. The two active cellular connections enabled stable connectivity while the vessel travelled between different countries. There was no more waiting caused by roaming – because when one SIM card was disconnected, the other one was already there. This resulted in 100% uptime when the vessel wasn’t crossing the North Sea. 

And even when the vessel was sailing through the North Sea, the uptime never dropped below 75%, which was much higher than before. The Maritime 40G antenna significantly improved signal reception, so that the vessel had network coverage a further distance from shore. As a result of this solution, passengers and crew enjoy reliable connectivity onboard.

Read more about global maritime connectivity

Livestreaming an Emergency Response Plan at the airport

As one of the world’s largest low-cost carrier airports, Don Mueang Airport needed to regularly hold Emergency Response Plan training in order to maintain their high standards of service and safety. They also had to live stream the training to staff for them to watch and learn. So they needed an unbreakable connection that could to live stream at least 8 video feeds at the same time. But there was one major problem – the video feeds were from the airport runway where there was no cellular signal, and the airport didn’t provide any Internet for the training.

Don Mueang Airport found the ideal solution consisted of 8 encoders, 1 for each camera, 4 MAX Transit Duo SIM routers, 12 SIM cards with unlimited data plan and 10 Mbps upload speed, 4 generic routers, and Peplink’s FusionHub as a virtual server. With this innovative setup, airport staff were able to receive a live stream with a latency of under 1 second, due to the SIM cards’ upload speed along with SpeedFusion. In addition to being in real-time, the live stream was stable and jitter-free thanks to WAN Smoothing technology. 

Read more about live feeds from airport runway

Hosting WiFi at the WiFi World Congress

Event organizer, Wi-Fi Now, needed a reliable source of connectivity for their event in Brighton, UK. The hotel venue already provided WiFi, but like many venues, it wasn’t fit for event-scale usage. The aging hotel infrastructure relied on a single internet connection with no backup.

To create consistent WiFI, Peplink Transit Duo Pros were deployed around the hotel, utilizing their dual cellular modems and WiFi 6 capability. FusionSIM, a technology unique to Peplink, allowed the organizers to assign SIMs to the different cellular modems around the venue without needing physical SIM cards in the device itself. In the event that an issue occurred with a particular carrier, FusionSIM can use its predefined rules to allocate new SIMs as necessary. 

An additional WAN using a BR2 Pro was also placed in the hotel. A wireless backhaul solution was used to distribute the network, which was connected to the Transit WANs to give it an extra internet feed. And last but not least, the hotel’s existing in-house WiFi supplemented the network via Peplink’s WiFi as WAN feature. With the help of SpeedFusion and efficient network management, the different WANs were combined into a single supercharged network offering fast and consistent WiFi connectivity throughout the 3-day event. 

Read more about stable WiFi Internet at large events

Explore 5G SIM routers from Peplink

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