Central to the success of any telecommunications project is using the right modem. In many ways choosing the right modem for the job has become easier, but with rapid evolution of 4G and 5G technology there are now many new considerations.
To help you out on your journey we’ve written a number of guides that may aid in building an understanding of the technology and terminology.
Today’s modems are typically made up of a micro-computer with a cellular module inserted. They run an embedded operating system which can also provide router functionality if the board has Ethernet or WiFi integrated. This helps to explain why you might encounter different names – routers, gateways, modems, hotspots, when in reality they are all modems with different software or hardware features.
Modem performance is mostly determined by what cellular module has been installed. Modules are designed to a Device Category which determines their maximum speed. For example, a Category-18 modem is capable of data rates up to 1.2 Gigabits per second (Gb/s), where a Category-20 modem is capable of 2.2 Gb/s.
Connection speed isn’t everything of course, many modems are optimised for long range low speed connectivity, others for operating in dusty high temperature environments, and others with multiple SIM cards to protect against connection loss. It all depends on your (or your client’s) needs.