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4G. 5G, 5G+!!! Gee, why do I care?

Written by WiFiRanger Ambassador, Joel Weiss “docj”

To the average person, today’s cellular data marketplace is a jumble of technobabble. Carriers continuously boast of the capabilities of their networks while also claiming that even better service is soon to be available. At the same time several companies planning to establish satellite-based internet systems claim that users will be better off with those (when they exist)! If only there was a way to sift through the “Geek speak” to better understand what the situation actually is!

The acronym 4G LTE actually stands for 4th Generation Long Term Evolution and, believe it or not, it is even a registered trademark. It pertains to cellular transmission standards that were first proposed all the way back in 2004. To be called 4G LTE a cellular system has to be capable of providing at least 100 Mbps capability. 4G LTE is in use essentially all over the world and LTE phones can, with some specific exceptions, be used in most countries. 4G LTE replaced the 3G CDMA network used by some US carriers and that network will be shut down in the near future.

Even though people (and advertisers) use the terms 4G and LTE as if they are synonyms, in reality, the term LTE encompasses futures evolution beyond 4G.

So if LTE is what we have today, what comes next? I’ve heard people talk about Advanced LTE; is that the same as 5G?

Advanced 4G LTE is an improvement on “regular” 4G LTE but it doesn’t represent a whole new technology…For properly equipped cell towers and receivers (phones) Advanced 4G, sometimes called LTE+ in ads, can provide increased download speeds, up to ~300Mbps. To enable this, the cellular network essential permits a receiver to make multiple simultaneous connections to the network. It’s as if you phone or hotspot had two or more parallel connections to the same cellular tower. In “Geek speak” this is called carrier aggregation!

For carrier aggregation to work, the modem in your phone (the device that actually talks to the cellular network) has to be of an advanced type and it has to be communicating with a tower that has the proper hardware on it. Suffice it to say that at present, most of your phone and hotspots won’t yet support this capability and it is not uniformly available in the US.

To make matters even more confusing, some marketing flacks at AT&T decided to create a non-existent standard that they called “5Ge” which is nothing more than AT&T’s implementation of 4G LTE+. Irrespective of anything you hear in an ad, 5Ge is NOT 5G

So, if we don’t yet even have LTE+ why are we worrying about 5G? What would be different about 5G?

The 5G cellular system will be a completely new cellular implementation that will enable users to experience download speeds up to the Gbps range. Although, the actual speed obtained by users on any specific tower will probably be less than that, on the average most people will see download speed improvement of factors of at least 10 to 100. In addition, one of the advantages of 5G will be greatly reduced “ping times” (the time it takes for your “click” to reach the computer on the receiving end.) That would mean that a cellular connection would have plenty of bandwidth to support multiple video streams and/or to engage in real-time gaming

5G technology actually will come in three “flavors” and the implementation you encounter will depend significantly on which carrier you subscribe with and where you live. Different carriers have purchased the rights to use different sets of frequencies for their own 5G implementation. Furthermore, 5G implementation will be different in different parts of the country depending on the population density.

The following graphic depicts a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and how our current and proposed communications networks fit together. The orange oval in the 0.8-2 GHz region is where today’s cellular phones and hotspots operate. The red oval shows the general spectral region called millimeter wave where the highest performance 5G systems will operate.

At the high performance end of the 5G spectrum there will be very high frequency 5G using what some people refer to as “millimeter waves.” The good news is that systems using mm waves will be capable of download speeds in the ~10 Gbps range. These transmissions will use frequencies of around 25 GHz. The bad news is that these wave are easily blocked by the walls of buildings, trees, rain and other obstacles and there will have to be many small “towers” to serve an area compared with the relatively small number of large towers we have today. Most people expect that this high frequency 5G will mostly be limited to urban and/or suburban environments.

At somewhat lower frequencies, in the 1-6 GHz range, there will be other implementations of 5G. Sprint had made investments in this frequency spectrum and other carriers are expected to use it also. Signals at these slightly lower frequencies will penetrate buildings and other obstacles better than do mm waves, but they won’t have quite as much penetration capability as we are used to with cellular signals today. The download speeds provided by 5G systems operating at these frequencies will be somewhat less than those made possible in the mm wave region.

At the lower end of the spectrum, there will be “low frequency” 5G and the carrier most aggressively pursuing this approach is T-Mobile which made a large investment in frequencies around 600 MHz, the so-called Band 71. T-Mobile is already using Band 71 for 4G LTE service, but later in 2020 it is expected to begin 5G operations using the same band . However, existing phones and hotspots that can receive Band 71 will not, in general, be able to receive 5G broadcasts on Band 71.

Furthermore, the physics of low frequency transmissions, however, limits 5G using these low frequencies to download speeds of ~100 Mbps. That might not compare with the Gbps speeds of higher frequency approaches, but it is sure a lot faster than the 1-10 Mbps speeds many of us live with today!

Wow, that’s a lot of information. When will all this happen?

5G is currently being rolled out by all the major carriers and is available in quite a few major metro areas. Here’s an interactive map of where you can already get 5G: https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/5g-availability-map/

It will probably take a number of years before the mix of technologies being offered by different carriers shakes out completely. Since I live in a relatively rural area, I doubt I’m going to see much of anything any time soon! But, no doubt our grandchildren will grow up in a word in which everything is wireless. “Grandpa, what’s that funny dish-like thing on the roof of your RV?”

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Two Connections Can Be Better Than One

Written by WiFiRanger Ambassador, Joel Weiss “docj”

Most of us who are dependent on cellular data connections know that even the best of them aren’t all that stable. In fact, if you use a speed test like speedofme.com you’ll observe that the speed of any cellular connection can vary rather dramatically even during the course of a speed test. In addition, both my OTR Mobile and my Verizon unlimited prepaid Jetpack SIM are subject to momentary “outages” lasting a couple of seconds. These often evidence themselves by brief rebuffering events on my YouTube TV.

Even though these brief outages are worse with plans that are heavily “network managed” even the hotspot on my postpaid Verizon plan exhibits significant variation on a moment-to-moment basis.

To combat this situation, I’m now using my WiFiRanger in Load Balance mode to “join” my two connections. The Ranger does not do true connection bonding (which is more complex and usually more expensive) but it does select which connection it wants to use for every webpage element or streaming segment. When one connection becomes slow the Ranger can choose the other. The result is that I’m now pretty much immune to the variabilities of my two connections. It’s not all that likely that both of my connections will slow at the same moment.

I’ve attached a screenshot which shows the real time data usage through my Ranger for a period of a couple of minutes. Usage through my Jetpack is shown in orange with the green representing the OTR Mobile AT&T hotspot. You can see how the load shifts from one connection to the other. You can even see moments when the green line seems to take over entirely from the orange one.

Screenshot of Control Panel with Load Balanced Ethernet WAN & Cellular Usage

What we’re doing here won’t help you if neither of your connections is fast enough to stream video, but it is quite helpful if you are concerned about moments during which one of your connections may drop below the threshold for high resolution streaming. When that happens, the router simply shifts the data stream to the other connection.

I won’t try to claim that WiFiRanger is the only router that has this Load Balance capability. But, typically, it is found in higher priced devices. If you’ve never tried it you might find it useful. It’s available on all WiFiRanger products including the new Converge models. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t limit your internet usage in any way.

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What’s the Best WiFi + LTE for Your Specific Rig During Your Specific Travels

Photo of happy young man with his head of the vehicle window while traveling down the road.

Written by WiFiRanger Ambassador, Joel Weiss “docj”

Maintaining an internet connection is no longer a luxury for many RVers. Although conventional thought may be that the RV community is populated by retirees, there are an increasing number of working people who now live at least part time in their RVs. Add to that group the huge number of RV “vacationers” who travel with their families and who want to maintain connectivity for all their web-enabled devices. The bottom line is that millions of RVers want and need stable internet connections.

Continue reading What’s the Best WiFi + LTE for Your Specific Rig During Your Specific Travels
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WiFiRanger Disrupts RV WiFi & LTE Market With $199 MSRP Teton Offering

Debuts Converge Teton Long Range WiFi & LTE At Half The Cost Of Competitive Units

Graphic of the WiFiRanger Teton router of the Converge product line.

ORDERS – Oct 1st 2019

SHIPPING – Oct 15th 2019

September 25th, 2019 – Meridian, Idaho – WiFiRanger, the leader in Innovative RV connectivity & control solutions, announced the highly capable Converge Teton WiFi & LTE RV connectivity solution, extending long range WIFi acquisition, and extended range LTE to the reach of any budget.

“Working with our global suppliers to improve value, we were able to deliver our renowned feature packed RV connectivity solution including Extended Range LTE at a very aggressive price point, offering our capabilities to nearly every budget.”

Kelly Hogan
CEO & Visionary, WiFiRanger

The Teton stand alone WiFi platform has an MSRP of $129, with a $70 add-on to include LTE in the outdoor unit. The system has a dual chain 2Ghz WiFi system, Integrated GPS, and includes the new TetherPoint(™) cable system, allowing owners to add an indoor TetherPoint(™) router for extending the capabilities to include future indoor LTE devices, and tethering up to 3 hand held devices for data aggregation. Powered by either 12VDC, or AC, the system is at home in Towable’s and Class A’s alike.

“This system allows the access to our sought after features of security, simplicity, and automation known to the RV community. Even adding our Poplar TetherPoint router to the Teton system still comes in nearly $100 less than stand alone, roof-top only competitive products, and delivers more capability and upgrade potential than any other solution.” Continued Hogan.

The product will be available via WiFiRanger.com website, and pre-orders will commence October 1st with shipments beginning October 15th, 2019.


WiFiRanger products are envisioned, designed & assembled in Meridian Idaho by a team of innovative Americans dedicated to improving RV connectivity. Information and ordering is available directly at WIFIRanger.com and direct inquiries can be eMailed to sales@wifiranger.com, or call 208-321-5544. For OE integration through MITO Corporation in Elkhart, Indiana call 574-295-2441.

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WiFiRanger to Offer AT&T Data Plans for RVs

The plans will support mobile hotspots, video streaming

Graphic of the SkyPro LTE Pack by WiFiRanger with AT&T logo.

July 30th, 2019 – Meridian, Idaho –  WiFiRangerTM, the leader in Integrated Vehicle Connectivity Systems,TM will offer AT&T 4G LTE data plans for its pre-installed rooftop antenna systems on Recreational Vehicles. 

The Weekend Adventure plan will offer 5GB of monthly data for $25 per month*. RVers can  choose the Extended Getaway plan with 22GB of monthly data for $90 per month.* This way, users can choose which plan works for their data needs.

“LTE connectivity has become more important than ever to RVers, to stay connected just about anywhere. With AT&T’s national LTE footprint, we will be able to be an increasingly trusted data source for the mobile lifestyles that we enable”

Jim Owsley
VP Marketing & Communications, WiFiRanger

WiFiRangerTM products are assembled and designed in Meridian, Idaho. Information and ordering are available directly at WiFiRanger.com and direct inquiries can be emailed to sales@WiFiRanger.com, or by calling 208-321-5544.

For information regarding RV OE integration of WifiRanger contact MITO Corporation in Elkhart, Indiana, 574-295-2441.

For more information on AT&T data plans go here:  www.att.com/wifiranger.

*Taxes and fees may apply; plans are non-transferrable and require the purchase of WiFiRangerTM 

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WiFiRanger Begins OE Shipments Of SkyProLTE V3 With Improved LTE Support

New V3 Iteration of SkyPro LTE delivers Improved LTE Modem, Processor Speed, Integrated GPS Capabilities and new Lower Profile.

SHIPPING IMMEDIATELY TO OE INTEGRATORS

July 9th, 2019 – Meridian, Idaho – WiFiRanger, the leader in Innovative RV connectivity & control solutions, today announced the next generation evolution to their popular Sky Pro LTE offerings. The new version, shipping immediately, includes an updated LTE modem that is positioned for faster LTE offerings and transition capabilities as the major carriers begin rolling out new advanced services.

“We’ve been working on V3 for some time, knowing that we had to give our customers a certified LTE modem with additional LTE bands 12, 14, 66, and 71 support. The change is of specific interest to the RV community due to it’s inherit ‘Extended Range LTE’ support, and positions our customers to take advantage of future offerings when they really start to hit the streets by the major carriers, including Band 14, for FirstNet usage by first responders and public safety organizations.”

Kelly Hogan
CEO & Visionary, WiFiRanger

WiFiRanger SkyProLTE release V3 includes other enhancements, including an updated processor offering for faster speeds and data handling, as well as improved firmware release 7.0.8, offering new features for integration with other RV sub-systems including an exposed NMEA-0183 GPS socket. Additionally, the V3 version includes a slightly slimmer outdoor unit, and our renowned “Rubber Leg” PCB mounting system within the outdoor unit, providing additional protection from road harmonics and vibration to the upgraded electronics, and improving longevity and reliability.

“In addition to our improved hardware, our engineering team worked diligently to insure that every aspect of our latest firmware is ready to take full advantage of faster connections in the future, as well as assisting other integration partners with features they need. We’re proud of our teams continuous efforts to improve connectivity for the RV community, and stay ahead of the competition.” Continued Hogan.

Some OE’s will start receiving the SkyProLTE V3 units in late July, and will see no changes in their volume pricing for the improved units.


WiFiRanger products are envisioned, designed & assembled in Meridian Idaho. Retail information and ordering is available directly at WiFiRanger.com and direct inquiries can be eMailed to sales@wifiranger.com, or call 208-321-5544.

For information regarding RV OE integration of WifiRanger contact MITO Corporation in Elkhart, Indiana, 574-295-2441.

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REV Adds WiFiRangers As Standard Option – Model Year 2020

REV GROUP Announces WiFiRangerTM WiFi + LTE Connectivity Solutions as Standard Equipment on Selected RV Motorhomes – Model Year 2020

March 8, 2019 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin  – In a joint statement, REV RV GROUP a division of REV GROUP (NYSE: REVG) (Decatur, IN) and WiFiRanger™ (Meridian, ID) announced today that “in-coach” private/secure local networking and WIFI signal boosting will be a standard feature on selected REV Class A Motorhomes in model year 2020.

“REV RV Group has a reputation of providing our customers with standard features they don’t typically find on other motorhome makes or in aftermarket channels. We’re continuing that reputation by announcing the WiFiRanger™ Sky4 DC as a standard feature on all of our class A gas products, and the WiFiRanger™ Sky4 ProPack w/LTE as a selected option on all 2020 products. Our customers continue to ask for secure, reliable, user-friendly connectivity solutions while they’re traveling in their REV coach, and we listened by making WiFiRanger™ a standard factory feature.”

Don Gephart
Marketing Manager, REV

“With several WiFi+LTE solutions out there we know REV GROUP had choices.  We’re naturally encouraged they see the value & stability WiFiRanger™ firmware/hardware is known for across the industry.  Having REV GROUP as part of our elite OEM roster has further accelerated our footprint in the RV Industry and we’re looking forward to providing safe, reliable connectivity services to REV Customers.”

Jim Owsley
VP Marketing & Communications, WiFiRanger

REV GROUP is the leader in connecting and protecting communities around the clock and around the world with a lineup of vehicles that have long served the bus, emergency, recreation and speciality markets.  WiFiRanger™ products are envisioned, designed & assembled in Meridian Idaho.  See product information at WiFiRanger.com.  For OE integration of WiFiRanger™ through MITO Corporation in Elkhart, Indiana call 574-295-2441.

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WiFiRanger Announces New MicroLTE Pack Availability

Value Designed LTE Outdoor Cellular & WiFi with Micro Indoor Router

January 3rd, 2018 – Meridian, Idaho – WiFiRanger, the leader in RV networking solutions, announced today their latest LTE offering for the RV Industry. The WiFiRanger MicroLTE Pack is a unified aftermarket solution for both Cellular and WiFi Internet access. It is bundled with a ready-to-activate Millenicom SIM installed for the customer.

The pack includes a powerful Sky3 outdoor unit, equipped with a Category 4 LTE modem, high gain WiFi antenna, and the innovative WiFiRanger Micro indoor router. About the size of a matchbook, the indoor router is small and compact, but offers all the features WiFiRanger is best known for, including SafeSurf(TM), Multi-WAN Bonding, Auto Login at thousands of RV parks, and intelligent bandwidth management for automatically optimizing the LTE data usage.

“Every RV owner knows that space is at a premium in an RV, so we answered the request to make the indoor router as small as possible. We made it so small, that you may need your reading glasses to find it!”

Kelly Hogan
CEO, WiFiRanger

The WiFiRanger MicroLTE Pack is conveniently powered by 12VDC, drawing very little current, so it may be used even while boondocking and dry camping.

“The entire design of this pack is to improve internet availability at an affordable price. With an MSRP of $299, this is a fantastic value for a complete LTE equipped solution, with all the benefits of having both indoor and outdoor devices on the RV.”

Kelly Hogan
CEO, WiFiRanger

Initial shipments are scheduled for January 15th, with full production availability in mid February.

WiFiRanger partnered with Millenicom, the leader in affordable Cellular data plans for the mobile lifestyle community, in order to provide customers with a turn-key, no contract WiFi and Cellular solution. Customers may activate their own Millenicom account as needed through a simple and easy-to-use web portal, and only have the plan active when needed.

“Providing great value in Cellular data has always been the aim, and now having outdoor LTE connectivity combined with WiFi makes mobile internet entirely better and more reliable.”

Dennis Castle
Director, Millenicom

WiFiRanger products, assembled and designed in Meridian, Idaho, are available directly at wifiranger.com or for OE integration from their Elkhart, Indiana distributor, MITO Corporation. For aftermarket information, inquiries can be emailed to sales@wifiranger.com or call 208-321-5544 while for OE inquiries, call MITO at 574-295-2441.

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Embedded LTE Outdoor Cellular Modem Allows Customer Choice of Carriers

WiFiRanger, the leader in RV networking solutions, today announced their latest innovation of embedded LTE modem support within their outdoor Sky product line, including the ability for end consumers to bring their own device, or add the Sky product to their existing cellular plan. Limited units available immediately, with full production in May, this offering allows better reception for the data device, by moving the modem out of the coach or RV, and in clear view of the cellular towers, improving reception and data speeds.

“An issue commonly faced by those with a mobile lifestyle is that other integrated Cellular solutions are often locked into a specific carrier or an overpriced plan, but we are liberating the consumer so they can choose their own carrier, device, and plan.” -Evan Sorenson, Brand Developer, WiFiRanger

For the coach manufacturer market, individual OE’s may select any carrier, including AT&T, Verizon, or any of the other major carriers and WiFiRanger will include the appropriate modem and SIM desired in the industry standard Sky3 or SkyPro product line used on thousands of RVs each year.

“We are proud to be providing RV manufacturers with WiFiRanger products, the absolute best RV networking solutions, now with LTE integration at an amazing price-point.” -Rod Hire, Vice President of Sales, MITO Corporation

For the direct to consumer market, WiFiRanger expanded its SkyPro product line to include their innovative YODPod.tm (Your Own Device, Pod) The YODPod is an IP67 rated sealed enclosure within the WiFiRanger SkyPro allowing either the WiFiRanger LTE modem, or the customer’s existing USB cellular device within, granting the advantages of outdoor reception and antennas, and improved speeds, all without another data plan or carrier to contend with.

WiFiRanger has always supported customer USB cellular tethering, including bonding of multiple Internet sources for performance and redundancy. This integration improves capabilities further, by utilizing seamless fail-over and fail-back from the cellular devices to insure continuous connectivity for the RV and its owner, saving precious data automatically.

“Make it simple, make it automatic, make it magic. That’s always been our goal, improving RV internet connectivity in an innovative way. Our latest LTE integration takes these concepts to the next level, providing better performance, consumer choice of carrier, and simple operation for the owner.” -Kelly Hogan, CEO, WiFiRanger

WiFiRanger has also partnered with Millenicom, the leader in affordable Cellular data plans for the mobile lifestyle community, in order to provide customers with a turn-key, no contract WiFi and Cellular solution. The WiFiRanger LTE modem is integrated directly into the SkyPro LTE product with inactive SIM, allowing the end-consumer to activate their own Millenicom account as needed through a simple and easy-to-use web portal.

“Providing great value in Cellular data has always been the aim, and now having outdoor LTE connectivity combined with WiFi makes mobile internet entirely better and more reliable.” – Dennis Castle, Director, Millenicom


Picture of the WiFiRanger YODPod LTE Modem.
WiFiRanger LTE Modem Installed with SIM Slot Exposed for Easy Insertion
Photo of the WiFiRanger YODPod with an AT&T USB modem.
WiFiRanger YODPodTM with Customer-installed Modem