What's the fastest 4G/5G supported OpenWrt Modem/Router?

I am getting ready to upgrade my current sim supported 5G openwrt modem/router and I want to get something that I won't have to upgrade for a while and get the most speed out of it. I am curious to see what you guys would do im my shoes or what you guys/girls would choose as the most capable device from the bunch.

Some x86-64 Sophos XG models have an empty mini-pcie slot where you may be able to install a 4g/5g model of your choosing.

"fastest" is hard. Generic system boards will not be able to support any fast 5G modem at maximum speed, primarily due to limited power available to the m.2 slots.

Mini-PCIe slots have the same issues, and cause additional complexity by requiring an m.2 adapter. You'll have to verify that both the slot and the adapter supports the required high speed bus and power delivery. Very few mini-PCIe slots have USB3 support, which means that you're limited to running modems in PCIe mode. Maybe not a big problem as you might want that anyway for "fastest". Using USB3 will probably max out at 3-4 Gbps. Raw guess. I have no system or network where this can be tested. But simply having a PCIe modem does not make it simpler to pull together a complete working system for OpenWrt. Expect a lot of research to figure out a working combination of system board, adapter and modem.

IMHO, it should be a lot easier to find a system designed specifically for a particular high speed 5G modem, and buy it with that modem already installed. Then you'll also get a working antenna configuration, which is an important to achieve this "fastest" requirement. In theory, I guess only mmWave 5G modems qualify for the "fastest" competition, making the antenna choices even more interesting. But there is little point in using money for such a modem unless the network supports it. In practice, modem and antenna choices should be based on the available bands, making "fastest" rather theoretical.

As for the OpenWrt support, this is pretty simple at the moment. x86 would be fine if there were any complete 5G systems. I don't think there are? Otherwise it's Mediatek, with something more powerful than the omnipresent MT7621. Now I don't know of any of such system either, but it's much more likely to exist. At least in the very near future.

1 Like

Hello,

I have a tower in which mmWave 5G is in service on my network provider, T-Mobile Home Internet.

However, it is my understanding that mmWave is also VERY limited distance.

I can drive to the tower, and my phone is crazy fast.
I see the mmWave icon at home, though, the speed is nowhere near it is close to the tower.

Just asking, as I want to do an x86 build, and if I should get the new
Quectel 5G mmWave RM530N-GL modem, or use my existing non mmWave 5G RM520N-GL.

That and keeping the thread active, hoping for more thoughts and dialog on this subject.

Can't answer what you should. But do check the antenna options if you consider mmWave. It's a bit more complicated than sub-6.

My understanding is that the modem interface is an intermediate frequency and power for active antennas. So you'll have to get acttive antenna modules with cables matching your modem. I believe those are made in at least two variants - high and low power.

I guess mmWave also requires outdoor mounting. Maybe not an option for your x86?

EDIT: Here's a link to the mmWave antenna design document for the RM510Q-GL:

I assume they can provide a similar document for the RM530N-GL. But I believe that one illustrates the complexity pretty well. Building your own mmWave CPE could be fun, but it's not a simple task

1 Like

Thanks, it's always hard to decide.
The latest and greatest is "always" "just around the corner".
As now I see the announcement of the Quectel RG650E series.

Though in the case of mmWave, I think will wait.