4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

The communication between the Lte cat 4 and the server is performed by the
Lte cat 4 side (client). The server did not respond to the Lte cat 4 based on
the feedback sent back, or the communication was accepted. The Lte cat 4 end and
the server end form an application system of network communication based on 4G
communication and Internet technology. Compared with the Lte cat 4 terminal
device, the network server terminal device is equipped with a more complex
mobile phone application program, which can accept all communication requests
sent by the Lte cat 4 terminal device and check the communication status of the
link anytime and anywhere, thus realizing the application of instant data
collection and database services.

The Lte cat 4 needs to know the IP address and port number of the server
before it can initiate a communication request. Once communication is
established, there is no difference between the server and the Lte cat 4.

The IP address of the server may be a public network IP (fixed IP) or a
dynamic domain name obtained through a domain name resolution server.

The port number of the server generally matches the particular mobile
application running in the server. For example, the FTP service project uses the
port number TCP 21, and the Dynamic Web Server (Http) uses the port number TCP
80. That is, server-side mobile applications are suitable for pushing and
receiving data based on a particular server port.

The IP address obtained by the Lte cat 4 terminal is the
internal network IP address randomly assigned by the network operator, and the
Internet network can be accessed through the gateway of the mobile operator. It
should be noted that the time limit of NAT (Network Address Translation) port
mapping service is very short, so if it is necessary to maintain two-way
communication, 4G-Lte cat 4 heartbeat packets sent at regular intervals must be
set to maintain NAT port mapping.


Lte cat 4 features

Connection mode: support 4G, and backward compatible with 2G and 3G

Transmission mode: transparent data transmission, configuration software

Transmission protocol: support TCP, UDP, MQTT, AT command control

Data center: support dynamic domain name and fixed IP address access,
multi-backup data center

Efficient: Cache function to ensure no data loss

Flexible: support real-time online, support SMS, telephone, serial data and
other remote wake-up mode

Manageable: Lte cat 4 can be remotely configured and queried via SMS

Easy maintenance: support local firmware upgrade

Four core functions of Lte cat 4

Internally integrated TCP/IP stack

The Lte cat 4 encapsulates the PPP dial-up protocol and the TCP/IP protocol
stack, and has an embedded operating system. From the hardware, it can be seen
as a combination of embedded PC and wireless 4G MODEM. It has the functions of
4G dial-up Internet access and TCP/IP data communication.

Provide bidirectional conversion function of serial port data

Support automatic heartbeat, always online

One of the advantages of Lte cat 4 devices is that they support 4G terminal
devices that are always online. As a result, a typical Lte cat 4 is designed to
support always-on functionality. This requires the Lte cat 4 to be permanently
online with power-on automatic dialing and heartbeat packets (when there is no
data communication for a long time, the mobile gateway will disconnect the Lte
cat 4 from the center). Heartbeat packets are kept connected by the Lte cat 4
until it is disconnected from the data center.) Equipped with watchdog
technology, double protection equipment, automatic reconnection when the
equipment is disconnected, automatic redial and other functions.

Support parameter configuration and permanent storage

As a kind of communication equipment, Lte cat 4 has a wide range of
applications. In different applications, the IP address and port number of the
data center and the baud rate of the serial port are different. Therefore, the
Lte cat 4 shall support parameter configuration and save the configured
parameters in an internal permanent storage device (usually FLASH or EEPROM,
etc.). Once powered on, it will automatically work according to the set

In remote mountainous areas, the traditional GPRS network signal is not
strong or weak, while the 4G network signal is better than GPRS in most

Using 4G Netcom intelligent charging pile technology, the detected charging
pile data can be sent to the server, cloud platform and so on in real time.

The 4G all-netcom Lte cat 4 can be used not only in the above situations,
but also in the monitoring of mountain torrents/floods, on-site dust monitoring
systems, automatic payment inquiry terminals, public transport wireless
networking, industrial control fields, traffic management, environmental
monitoring, meteorology, water conservancy, coal mines, and so on.

4G refers to the fourth generation of cellular communication technology,
which replaces the GSM and HSPA standards. Since it is completely IP-based, it
greatly improves data throughput and reduces latency on 2G and 3G networks. Since
4G is IP-based, it no longer supports circuit-switched network nodes, so the
base station only needs to support IP traffic, which means all 4G voice traffic
is sent over the IP infrastructure.

The LTE Cat 4 classification supports uplink data rates of up to 50Mbps and
downlink data rates of up to 150Mbps, enabling services such as high-speed video
surveillance and broadband Internet backup for server farms and high-reliability
installations. However, in order to achieve these high uplink and downlink data
rates, it is necessary to use multiple antennas to allow the entire data
transmission. LTE Cat 4 classifications are compatible with LTE Cat 1
classifications on the same network, and these classifications can be used
interchangeably with higher LTE classifications to achieve higher data

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

Note: The table lists the characteristic differences between LTE Cat 1 and
LTE Cat 4, including the differences in maximum downlink rate, maximum uplink
rate, supported frequency bands, MIMO, number of antennas, applicable scenarios,
standby time, and power consumption. It can be seen that with the increase of the
level, the supported data rate is gradually increased, and more frequency bands
and antennas are supported, and the applicable scenarios are more extensive. In
terms of power consumption, as the level increases, the typical transmission
power consumption also increases gradually, so it is necessary to select the
appropriate level according to the specific application scenario to balance the
data rate and power consumption.

The above table lists the characteristic differences of LTE Cat. 1 to LTE
Cat. 4, including data rate, modulation, MIMO technology, coverage and
application scenarios. It can be seen that the LTE Cat. 1 is suitable for the
Internet of Things, smart home, car networking and other scenarios, and has a
wide coverage and a low data rate. L TE Cat 4 is suitable for high-speed mobile
broadband, video surveillance and other scenarios, with narrow coverage and high
data rate. In terms of modulation mode and MIMO technology, with the improvement
of the level, higher-level modulation mode and more complex MIMO technology are
supported, thereby improving the data transmission rate and stability. The
differences are detailed below.


Maximum speed

LTE Cat. 1 has a maximum downlink rate of 10 Mbps and a maximum uplink rate
of 5 Mbps. L TE Cat. 2 has a maximum downlink rate of 50 Mbps and a maximum
uplink rate of 25 Mbps. L TE Cat 3 has a maximum downlink rate of 100 Mbps and a
maximum uplink rate of 50 Mbps. L TE Cat 4 has a maximum downlink rate of 150
Mbps and a maximum uplink rate of 50 Mbps.

Modulation mode

LTE Cat. 1 only supports QPSK and 16Qam. L TE Cat. 2 supports QPSK, 16Qam
and 64Qam. L TE Cat. 3 supports QPSK, 16Qam, 64Qam and 256Qam. The LTE Cat. 4
also supports QPSK, 16Qam, 64Qam and 256Qam, and also supports 2×2 MIMO

MIMO antenna technology

LTE Cat 1 does not support MIMO technology. L TE Cat 2 and LTE Cat 3 also do
not support MIMO technology. Only LTE Cat 4 supports 2×2 MIMO technology.


LTE Cat 1

LTE Cat 2

LTE Cat 2 supports higher data rates and more modulation methods, which are
suitable for general data transmission and video streaming scenarios. It is
characterized by high speed, moderate power consumption and wide coverage, and
is suitable for applications with high bandwidth and low latency.

LTE Cat 3

LTE Cat 4

LTE Cat 4 supports higher data rates, more modulation methods and 2×2 MIMO
technology, which is suitable for high-speed data transmission, high-definition
video streaming and online games. It is characterized by the fastest speed,
supporting more modulation methods and MIMO technology, and relatively small
coverage, which is suitable for high-bandwidth and low-latency applications.


LTE Cat 1 is suitable for scenarios such as low-speed data transmission and
M2M communication, such as smart meters, smart homes, remote monitoring and
vending machines.

LTE Cat 2 is suitable for general data transmission and video streaming
scenarios, such as smart TV, smart speakers, smart home and Internet of Things

LTE Cat 3 is suitable for high-speed data transmission and high-definition
video streaming scenarios, such as mobile office, telemedicine and
high-definition video conferencing.

LTE Cat 4 is suitable for high-speed data transmission, high-definition
video streaming and online games, such as high-speed mobile broadband, cloud
games, smart cars and remote control.

Give an example

Application of LTE Cat 1

Taking smart meters as an example, LTE Cat 1 can provide enough bandwidth
and reliability to enable smart meters to upload real-time electricity
consumption information and fault information to the cloud, thus realizing
remote monitoring and control.

Application of LTE Cat 2

Taking smart speakers as an example, LTE Cat 2 can provide enough bandwidth
and speed to enable smart speakers to play music, voice recognition and cloud
interaction in real time, so as to realize smart home control and human-computer

Application of LTE Cat 3

Application of LTE Cat 4

4G Like 3G, all the benefits of 2G and 3G systems have been incorporated
into the 4G network to provide enhanced services and support legacy applications
such as SMS.

4G spectrum operates in a similar way to 2G and 3G, with different regions
supported by different bands, but the number of bands and regions is quite
different compared to 2G and 3G.

TDD uses one frequency carrier to send and receive data, but at different
times. F DD uses two different frequencies to send and receive data, but can send
data simultaneously.

Compared with 2G and 3G, 4G has a higher cost position.

But as LTE cat 4 technology becomes more widely used around the world, this
cost is coming down. 4 G networks are divided into categories that define the
mode of operation (TDD or FDD), frequency band, speed of operation, and number
of MIMO layers. This can be seen in the table opposite.

Since the IoT market does not necessarily require high data rates, often
without the enhancements that LTE cat 4 networks bring, 2G is still the
preferred solution for IoT device developers. As with 3G, the significant
improvement that 4G networks offer over 2G networks is the latency of the
network connection between the two endpoints. This improvement means that the
first byte will be received faster at the destination, which means that the
overall system latency will be reduced. This opens the door to more real-time,
secure applications and allows for faster response times when sending and
receiving information over the network.

Unlike 2G and 3G networks, LTE cat 4 networks are investing heavily to
provide more global coverage and to further develop new 3GPP releases. In
addition to this investment, investments have been made for M-class and NB-class
IoT that provide low-speed connectivity designed for direct 2G network

LTE CAT 4 is mainly used in high data rate transmission scenarios, mainly
used in vehicle networking, smart grid, 4G wireless routing, video security,
business display equipment, 4G law enforcement instrument, live video equipment,
ANPR, asset tracking, environmental monitoring and other fields requiring nearly
permanent connection and high data and high stability rate communication.

Ранее мы уже писали статью о технологии 4G LTE, её особенностях, частотных диапазонах и т.д. Однако, в последнее время многие пользователи и клиенты, в том числе в комментариях, задают вопросы о технологии LTE-Advanced, в частности об агрегацию частотных диапазонов и категориях LTE, как они работают, в чём разница и зачем это всё нужно.

В данном материале мы постарались в удобной табличной форме собрать наиболее необходимую информацию по категориям LTE. Жирным выделены категории LTE, которые в России сейчас наиболее актуальны и перспективны. In conditions when the launch of 5G networks in our country is postponed year after year and at the moment there is no clarity, not even in terms of timing, but on the fundamental aspects of introducing 5G in Russia, in particular, at what frequencies it will work, who and when will receive commercial licenses, who will be involved in the development of infrastructure, the development of 4G LTE networks will not lose relevance in the next 5-7 years. And they will develop mainly through the transition to a higher category of LTE on the part of operators. Thus, they will be able to increase the capacity of base stations, access speeds and quality of service during periods of peak loads without significant infrastructure changes.

The values ​​shown in the table are maximum values. Those. even if you have frequency band aggregation, an ideal signal and appropriate equipment with support for MIMO 8×8 and 256QAM signal modulation, this does not mean at all that you will have a connection speed of, for example, 2000 Mbps (LTE cat.20 ). The actual speed of the Internet in 4G LTE networks depends on many factors. More about this here.

In parallel with the development of 4G LTE networks on the part of operators, the segment of consumer (client) network access devices will continue to develop. This will also affect smartphones, in which even budget models will support LTE-Advanced with frequency aggregation, but also stationary 4G routers and portable 4G modems. The first generation of 4G modems in Russia (2012-2013) corresponded to the LTE cat.3 category with a maximum download speed of 100 Mbps. However, in fact, since 2014, all current 4G modems have switched to the LTE cat.4 category. At the same time, the transition to LTE cat.5 or cat.6 in this segment has not yet occurred. Fixed and portable 4G routers continued to develop, which now even reach the category of LTE cat.16. True, for Russia, LTE cat.6 and cat.9 is more relevant for now, but in the future, when operators massively prepare networks, there will also be models of 4G routers of higher categories that can provide users with Internet access speeds of over 300 Mbps in real conditions. from by air.

The increase in capacity of LTE networks is achieved through three main mechanisms:

Together, these mechanisms make it possible to multiply the performance and throughput of devices without actually changing their shapes and sizes. Unless the transition from MIMO 2×2 to MIMO 4×4 and MIMO 8×8 is associated with an increase in the number of transmit-receive antennas. But modern antennas in mobile devices are quite compact and are located on a printed circuit board, which means they practically do not take up extra space. Changing modulation methods is sometimes not even related to the physical capabilities of the chip (processor), but can be implemented programmatically at the device firmware level.

It should be noted that not all categories of LTE and LTE-Advanced are widely used by operators in the world. Some categories are very specialized and are used in certain industries or even locations, such as large enterprises and factories for internal communication.

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

In the previous article, we already considered the third generation standards under the general name 3G. However, fourth-generation 4G communications are rapidly spreading. The main standard in 4G at the moment is LTE. Strictly speaking, LTE was not the first standard of the fourth generation, the first widespread was the WiMAX standard. The Yota network worked in it for the first time, and some operators still use WiMAX. The maximum WiMAX speed is 40 Mbps, however, the real figures are in the range from 10 to 20 Mbps.

But back to LTE. It is he who is now the most common in the world in general and in Russia in particular. But what is 4G LTE? LTE (Long-Term Evolution) is a wireless high-speed data transmission standard for mobile devices. It is based on the same GSM/UMTS protocols, however, theoretical and actual data transfer rates in LTE networks are much higher, sometimes even exceeding wired connections!


There are two types of LTE standard, the differences between which are quite significant. F DD (Frequency Division Duplex) – frequency separation of the incoming and outgoing channel. TDD (Time Division Duplex) – time separation of the incoming and outgoing channel.

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

Roughly speaking, FDD is parallel LTE and TDD is serial LTE. For example, with a channel width of 20 MHz in FDD LTE, part of the range (15 MHz) is given for download (download), and part (5 MHz) for upload (upload). Thus, the channels do not overlap in frequency, which allows you to work simultaneously and stably for downloading and uploading data. In TDD LTE, the same 20 MHz channel is completely allocated for both download and upload, and data is transmitted in one direction or the other in turn, while downloading still has priority. In general, FDD LTE is preferable because it works faster and more stable.

LTE Frequencies

LTE networks (FDD and TDD) operate on different frequencies in different countries. In many countries, several frequency bands are operated at once. It is worth noting that not all equipment can work on different “bands”, i.e. frequency ranges. F DD ranges are numbered 1 to 31, TDD ranges 33 to 44. There are a few additional standards that have not yet been assigned numbers. Specifications for frequency bands are called bands (BAND). In Russia and Europe, band 7, band 20, band 3 and band 38 are mainly used.

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

LTE frequencies in Russia

Here is a list of frequency bands of 4G LTE networks in Russia of the Big Four operators (data as of the end of 2019). There are also regional 4G LTE networks of local operators operating in other frequency bands, but we will not consider them in this article.

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

Frequency distribution of cellular communication channels in Russia

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

4G LTE Speed ​​

The most important criterion that is of particular interest to subscribers, i.е. users of 4G LTE networks, is the data rate. And the speed primarily depends on the width (band) of the frequency range of a particular operator, as well as the type of duplex used in the network.

These indicators are typical for LTE cat.4 networks, which are currently the most common.

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

In LTE-Advanced networks (LTE cat.6, LTE cat.9, etc.), aggregation occurs, i.e. summation of bands on different frequency bands, thus achieving a significant increase in 4G LTE speed. For example, if you add a 10 MHz band from one band and a 20 MHz band from another band, you get a 30 MHz band and a speed of 225 Mbps. In some countries, aggregation of up to four bands (LTE cat. 12) is already working, which gives speeds up to 600 Mbps and higher. The most modern at the moment (end of 2020) category of LTE is LTE cat.20 with the aggregation of seven channels of 20 MHz each (7 × 20 = 140 MHz band) and speeds up to 2000 Mbps. This is a huge data transfer rate for wireless networks. Read more about the real Internet speed in 4G LTE networks in our article.

Equipment for 4G Internet

To connect to 4G LTE networks, you need at least the simplest equipment: a smartphone, tablet, modem or router. We do not consider mobile (portable) devices such as a smartphone or tablet, because these are devices primarily for communication, and not for providing access to the Internet. But a 4G modem or a 4G router are just the devices that are most often used to provide the main or backup channel for accessing the Internet. The modem can be used for one computer via a USB connector, or for multiple devices via a compatible Wi-Fi router. In this case, the router distributes the Internet received from the modem over the air via Wi-Fi or via wire via Ethernet. 4 G-router is the same router, only with a modem integrated inside.

To fully utilize the potential of 4G LTE networks, it is recommended to connect outdoor 4G antennas to a modem or router. In this case, the highest quality and most powerful signal is received from the base station, which means that the fastest and most stable connection is provided. Read more about the types of antennas and the features of their connection in our article.

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

4G LTE and LTE-Advanced categories

4G LTE prospects

Despite the fact that the 4G LTE standard appeared several years ago, many regions of our country still do not even have 3G networks. So there is still room to grow. The world is already testing networks of the 5th generation (5G), but in real conditions, 4G LTE networks will dominate for a long time, since operators are actively developing them.

In many cases, 4G Internet is not only an alternative to a wired connection, but also the only option without an alternative, including economically viable. Remote objects, the laying of a wire to which is associated with certain difficulties or risks, and sometimes it is completely impossible, also need to be connected to the Internet. It is often possible to connect 4G Internet even where there is no coverage of LTE networks. For this, special 4G antennas are used that catch and amplify the 4G LTE signal. To choose the right antenna, you need to know which operator’s network you need to catch, at what frequency it operates, and also in what duplex mode (FDD or TDD). Our experts will determine the type of signal, measure its parameters, select the appropriate equipment to ensure fast and stable access to the Internet via the 4G LTE network.

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