"Enterprise" LTE Modem for fallback WAN connection

  • Hi everybody,

    we are looking for an LTE modem so that our pfSense gets an additional path to the internet.  :)
    My wishes are:

    • an ethernet connection, because it feels more "professional" than USB, doesn't it?
    • Compatibility to Telekom (german ISP)
    • Transparency, because it feels better than "double NAT".
    • Compatibility to pfSense 2.3.2+  ;)

    I looked around a bit and found these two examples:
    Zyxel LTE3300 Series: https://www.zyxel.com/products_services/lte3300_series.shtml?t=p
    Sierra Wireless AirLink® ES450: https://www.sierrawireless.com/products-and-solutions/routers-gateways/es450/

    Is this the correct direction to look? Do you have experiences or ideas how to build up an enterprise ready LTE connection with pfSense?

    by the way: Our pfSense hardware is "generic" server stuff, so we could also put PCIe cards in.

    Thanks a lot for your support and many greets from Germany

  • Hello Sherminator

    I too have been looking for an ether connected, wireless WAN modem and mostly because of how USB functions and resources are handled on a Intel based motherboard compared to a PCIe mounted ether card, have looked at the Sierra Wireless AirLink ES450 as well, to include some devices produced by Cradlepoint such as the new CBA850.


    The Cradlepoint CBA850, if purchased with the integrated wireless modem, is limited to 300Mbps download so I am not sure what chipset they are using. If using the CBA850 with the non integrated (removable) MC400LP wireless modem, it is limited to 100Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload and similar in performance, though not stated on their website, to the Qualcomm X5 chipset but with slower download speed.


    My preference is to get an ether connected wireless WAN device that uses the new Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 (9x45/9x40) chipset, thus getting 600Mbps download and 150Mbps upload.


    I have been using a USB 2.0 connected AT&T Unite Pro for the past two years and that works with an Asus RT-AC68U router. The Unite Pro is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X5 (9x28/9x25/9x20) chipset and as such is limited to 150Mbps download and 50Mbps upload.


    I know you are not interested but simply for comparison, AT&T has released a new USB 3.0 version called the Unite Explore and that device is built around the new Qualcomm X12.


    The central problem with both the Unite Pro and Unite Explore, when used as a standalone device, is the very limited admin features, even when using the http interface, in addition to few updates.

    The Zyxel device, their US office located less than 10 minutes away from where I am, is rated at 150Mbps download and reads like it could be based on the older Qualcomm X5 like the AT&T Untie Pro. The Zyxel website does not specify.

    I have not committed to any new wireless WAN device for I too do not want to purchase such device only to find out that the wireless WAN does not function (configure) with pfSense and what I am experiencing with the Unite Pro.


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