Bear with us, it’s a technical topic but we’ve got a great tip for you here and we’ll make sure it’s easy to follow….
It’s probably fair to say that if you are using internet connectivity on your site, whether for connecting devices, plant and machinery or your team using their laptops, you will in some way be using the available mobile networks (4G or if you are very lucky right now, 5G).
What you may not know is that not all 4G is equal. And how you access it could significantly improve the internet speeds you can get.
It’s true that the speeds you get will be dependent to an extent on the network you’re on (EE, Vodafone, O2, Three or a combo of all of them), how close you are to the nearest mast and the capability of the kit on that mast, BUT here’s the trick. There is another factor to consider which could be the game changer when it comes to speed and reliability.
LTE Category (Cat)
If you haven’t ever noticed it, then the The LTE category (Cat) number is sometimes written on the outside of your router or dongle. I urge you to take a look and see if you can find it on your site WiFi equipment. It would normally be written as “Cat4 LTE” for example. This example would mean it has a Cat 4 grading.
The Cat (User Equipment Category) number relates directly to the capabilities of the 4G equipment you are using. The actual range of Categories goes from Cat1 (the slowest) which works with LTE, all the way through to Cat18, the highest you are likely to see. Cat18 offers the fastest speeds.
To put these numbers into some sort of perspective for you, let’s compare a typical example (speeds do depend on location):
A small Cat 2 dongle / MiFi on EE gives speeds of 20Mbps down and 8Mbps up.
A Cat 11 router on EE in exactly the same location gives speeds of 60Mbps down and 20Mbps up.
As you can see, there is a noticeable difference. And you may have just worked out how to make your life a whole lot easier!
If you are looking to sort your own connectivity, it’s always worth asking what Cat LTE the equipment you are getting for your site WiFi is. As we started out saying, not all 4G is created equal, but if you know what you are looking for you can make sure you are getting the best you possibly can.
Our previous article on how to get reliable construction site WiFi is also full of tips and advice and will help you to understand what speeds you could be getting.
Find out how to make your site run seamlessly with these construction internet options.
Happy to help
Fli-Fi is a specialist construction WiFi provider, working with construction sites across the UK to optimise speeds. We welcome you to look at some of our construction site WiFi case studies. We believe in providing only high category LTE hardware equipment to ensure you have the very best speeds possible for your location and usage type. If you ever need help or guidance, we’d love to chat, please feel free to contact us.