4G/LTE Router recommendation


do you have a current recommendation for a OpenWRT/LEDE compatible 4G/LTE Router?
Must have: OpenWRT

Optional preferred:

  • built in 4G
  • built in battery

Thanks, Michael

-> LTE/battery powered are mutually exclusive

Your best bet by far in my experience is Huawei E5186 running in bridge mode and getting a separate router. There are a few other routers by Huawei which also supports bridge mode which you can find by using Google.

You might want to look into the new GL.iNet GL-X750-Ext. It seems to have options for the internal card that support more-current LTE bands and modulation types than previous-generation offerings from most manufacturers. At least for me, lack of Band 12 on many of the common, cheap alternatives is a deal breaker.

I do not have this unit, but am impressed by the GL-AR750S "travel router" that I do have in hand.

That's probably quite slow using LTE however...

@jeff: X750 Sounds very interesting!
Is this based on a clean, vanilla OpenWRT/LEDE (root, ssh-access)?
I really don't care about the vendors Webinterface..

I'll explain further, what I'm looking for:
Built-in LTE-modem (or Stick), fully vanilla OpenWRT/LEDE is essential, I need to have access to raw RSSI, Provider etc.;
Battery could be external

If the test goes right, I need plenty of them..


It's fine as long as you don't have high expectiations about performance, the QCA/Atheros MIPS platforms are showing their age and most "PCIe" LTE modems actually use USB. The rest is down to the drivers for the LTE modem in question.

At least on the AR750S I have, there is a "friendly" GUI (which I think is very well done), and "advanced" option that takes you to what appears to be "standard" LuCI, and normal SSH access as well. GL.iNet's firmware for the AR750S is based on the v18.06.1 tag.

@diizzy: "Performance" is not the main objective, root access to performance data is in this case really more important..
But I don't understand that fully, are we talking about "Chipset XYZ" is 10% faster than "Chipset/Modem ZYX" ? Then I really don't care.. or are we talking about 10 vs. 100MBit?


A Cat 6 LTE modem can run at 300 mbps over USB 3.0 -- I know from experience that 300 mbps is close to what a 720 MHz MIPS processor in a Archer C7 can handle through its Ethernet phy before it starts to become interrupt bound. Running things through the USB interface adds another layer of potential CPU load. As to where the threshold is, I don't know, as I'm happy to get a few mbps on Band 12 here, 5-10 km from a cell tower.

The accessibility to low-level functions will be a function of the driver and mode you choose. With the Sierra Wireless card, the QMI layer is pretty well built out on Linux. The "AT" mode works as well. Same for the SIMCOM card I've worked with. I would guess that the Quectel cards are similar.

While the information is a bit old I found a few posts for Mikrotik devices where people mentioned about 30-40mbit before the CPU bottlenecks which doesn't sound too crazy. Keep in mind that they are also USB 2.0 and not USB 3.0.

To my knowledge pretty much all current LTE gateways use ARM cores for performance reasons

Okay, I'm totally fine with - lets say 30 MBit/s - much more importantant is, as said, to be able to keep track of any performance/statistics value available..

I'll give the X750 a try and parallel ordered a TL-MR6400, we'll see (if the test is sucessful, I need a bunch of..)

I'm definitely interested in hearing your experiences with the X750

I tested some Mikrotik's devices - RB912 ~ 100 Mbit/s, RB953 ~ 130 Mbit/s.
The router based on mt7688a - 90 Mbit/s.
The router based on NXP i.mx287 - 30 Mbit/s.
The router based on TI am335x - 50 Mbit/s.
The router based on TI am43xx - 100 Mbit/s.
Different chipsets give very different speeds.

Is that LTE or Ethernet?

We're talking about lte. So, its lte speed

First impressions of the GL.iNet Spitz (GL-X750):
Ordered: 2018-12-15 evening, shipped 2018-12-18 from HK with DHL Express (so no worries with customs), delivered 2018-12-21 :ok_hand:

OpenWRT vanilla!
(there is a "custom" Web-UI at first, which makes sense) but you can go straight through ("Advanced") to LuCI and root via SSH
-> exactly what I searched for!

Performance (Germany):
-> Will deliver that next week, as I have very bad reception here, it makes no sense to test now.
(I've set up a pretty clean and comparable Test-Environment, as I need more of them if testing succeeds)

So - first impression is :fu::fu:

I could post more if someone needs, just let me know, for know: it "just works"


1 Like

(Maybe worth a new topic)

Are there any proven, existing ways to (long-term) record and graph (RRD or similar) that:

root@GL-X750:~# tail -f /tmp/modem.1-1.2/signal 


I can't help you, but I'm wondering whether this is for collecting data for Mozilla's Location Service
That's something I've been theorizing on so I can do it someday ^^

Good luck with your experiments!

Merry Christmas