Peplink Adds CAT 12 Modems

Peplink Cat 12 Routers

Peplink has upgraded to CAT 12 modems in certain Pepwave cellular products. These Modems, also called LTEA Pro, will allow significantly higher data speeds and improve reliability. The FirstNet routers will be the initial units to include CAT 12 hardware.

Pepwave MAX CAT 12 Routers

Single CAT 12 Modem
BR1-Enterprise – one CAT 12 modem
Transit – one CAT 12 modem
HD2 – one CAT 12 modem and one LTEA modem
HD4 – one CAT 12 modem and three LTEA modems
HD2 IP67 – one CAT 12 modem and one LTEA modem
HD2 Dome – one CAT 12 modem and one LTEA modem

Multiple CAT 12 Modems
MAX Transit Duo – two CAT 12 Modems
HD4-MBX – four CAT 12 modems
EXM Flex Module (for EPX and SDX) three CAT 12 modems

In short, these CAT 12 units will support download speeds 4 to 6 times faster than previous CAT 3 and CAT 4 LTEA modems. CAT 12 also allows 4×4 MIMO connections.

Modem Type Download Speed Upload Speed MIMO Layers
CAT 3 100 Mbps 51 Mbps 2
CAT 4 150 Mbps 51 Mbps 2
CAT 12 603 Mbps 102 Mbps 2 or 4

Of course, the speeds and throughput are dependent on the cellular provider networks. Unlike 5G which is only available in very limited locations, CAT 12 LTEA Pro modems can handle the speed improvements attainable now in thousands of cellular markets. While the current cellular networks will not all achieve the full 600 Mbps possible with the CAT 12 modems, as speeds increase this new hardware will be ready to keep up. The technology in CAT 12 modems is part of the transition to 5G.

What is CAT?

The designation of CAT on a modem should not be confused with CAT designation used on Ethernet cables. Generally CAT is shorthand for Equipment Category. The CAT of Ethernet cables was created by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and is based on wire thickness, shielding and data integrity, with higher numbers more appropriate for longer cable runs. These cable designations like CAT4, CAT5e, or CAT6a are not the same CAT of wireless modems. Rather the CAT we talk about for modems are the Equipment Categories established by 3GPP, the unifying Mobile Broadband Standard organization.

The 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) unites seven previous telecommunications standard development organizations (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA, TTC). These “organizational Partners” work in cooperation to set the rules for protocols and standards in order for all of us to have a unified set of connection technologies and goals. It started with 3G, then 4G, and now 5G. These are not the invention of one person or company, but the result of the collective international intelligence and agreements from hardware, software, and network leaders and engineers working together. This consortium creates the standards and protocols that allow developers to create hardware that will work with the entire range of networks and networks that can host varied hardware.

The consortium issues releases that each build on the technology of the previous release. In these releases the 3GPP has already defined several “User Equipment Categories,” from CAT 0 to CAT 19. Industry adoption of these standards is not necessarily linear, and different modems from different standards can work side by side. CAT 3, CAT 4, and CAT 6 are all variously used. Peplink has chosen CAT 12 from 3GPP Release 11 with 600 Mbps speeds.

The nine Pepwave CAT 12 models are in stock at Frontier. Contact your Peplink reseller to order or for more details.

Frontier Computer Corp. is the largest distributor of Peplink products in the world and carries the full Peplink line. In addition to Peplink, the Frontier channel represents Poynting Antennas, Wilson Amplifiers, Yealink and Grandstream VoIP phones, and other connectivity solutions. Resellers and integrators are welcome to apply for participation in the Frontier Channel.

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