Waveform

Inseego 5G Wavemaker FG2000 External Antenna Guide

Updated:

Looking to get the best possible data rates from your Inseego FG2000?

You’ll want to purchase and connect external MIMO antennas to the device’s two TS9 ports.

In this guide, we'll:

  • Recommend the best external antennas to use
  • Show where the TS9 ports are located.
  • Explain how to aim the antennas for best results.

In this guide

Note: The Inseego 5G Wavemaker FG2000 only supports the use of bands B42, B48, and n78 for external antennas. Consult your carrier for their support of these bands prior to purchasing any external antenna equipment.

The Best External Antennas For the Inseego FG2000

Using a MIMO antenna outside your building, pointed at the nearest tower, can help you get the fastest LTE data rates possible.

The Inseego FG2000 has two TS9 ports on the side, which allow for a 2x2 MIMO antenna to be connected to the device.

We recommend two different MIMO antenna options for use with the Inseego FG2000:

Best For Most Users

This MIMO panel antenna kit will provide meaningful signal improvement, even if you're surrounded by trees, hills, or tall buildings.

For most users the best external antenna choice for the Inseego FG2000 is our MIMO panel antenna kit. This antenna doesn’t require line-of-sight to the tower.

Best With Line Of Sight

These cross polarized log periodic antennas are have higher gain and are more directional, but work best if you have direct line-of-sight to the tower.

However, if you have line of sight to the nearest tower, we recommend using a MIMO log periodic antenna kit instead. The higher gain on these antennas can get you better performance, but only when you have a straight shot to the tower.

Why External Antennas Are Critical for Improving Data Rates

There's one big misconception about external antennas.

Most people think that external antennas primarily help you increase your data rates by increasing the signal strength but that's not the case.

An increase in signal strength is often a less important way that external antennas help.

Here are the two main ways that external antennas help you increase your data rates:

1.They Improve Signal Quality

In 4G LTE and 5G networks, signal quality is measured as SINR (Signal to Interference plus Noise Ratio) or sometimes as RSRQ (Reference Signal Received Quality).

Improving signal quality has a huge impact on your data rates.

Higher data rates allow your hotspot to communicate using "higher order modulation schemes." That means they can use the same wireless spectrum to send more data per second.

However, there's one big caveat:

In order to improve your signal quality, you need to both aim and shield your outdoor antenna properly. We talk more about this in the next section.

2.They Increase Your Signal Strength

As you might expect, using outdoor directional antennas can help increase the signal strength.

This helps increase data rates, but only up to a point.

If your signal strength (called "RSRP" in LTE and 5G networks) is stronger than about -100 dBm, stronger signal won't speed up your connection any further.

Positioning and Aiming MIMO Antennas

Positioning and aiming MIMO antennas well is crucial to getting the best performance from your Inseego FG2000, or indeed any other hotspot.

We've actually compiled a detailed instruction manual to accompany our own MIMO Antenna Kits, where we go into depth on the best ways to aim the antennas.

The goal is to find the best location and direction for the antenna(s), to maximize data rates to the Nighthawk 5G M5. It can take a little patience, but can have a huge impact – it’s worth a bit of extra effort!

Before getting started, it's always a good idea to run a couple of speed tests indoors from a device connected to your Inseego FG2000's WiFi. The results will fluctuate a little, but this is the baseline you're trying to improve.

TS9 adapters connected to the Inseego FG2000

TS9 adapters connected to the Inseego FG2000

Now connect the MIMO antennas to your Inseego FG2000 via the two TS9 ports, like in the image above, and go outside with your "test-rig".

With each location and direction you try, run a couple speed tests, and make a note of the results. Here are all the locations and directions where we recommend testing your MIMO antenna:

Where to test your signal

Where to test your signal

Pro tip: Don’t just go to the highest point of the roof! While signal is generally stronger the higher you go, there’s also often more interference. We’ve found it’s often better to mount the antenna(s) on the side of the building where the structure can shield the antennas from interference.

Once you've found the position which gets you the highest data rates to the Inseego FG2000, that's where you'll want to install the MIMO antenna. Go ahead and mount the antenna, run cables inside, connect everything up, and enjoy superior data rates!

Inseego FG2000 Technical Specifications

Supported 4G LTE bands

  • AT&T: B2, B4, B5, B12, B17, B14, B29, B30, B46, B66
  • Verizon: B2, B4, B5, B66, B13
  • T-Mobile: B2, B4, B5, B12, B25, B26, B41, B66, B71
  • Other: B1, B3, B7, B8, B20, B38, B39, B40, B42, B48

Supported 5G bands

  • AT&T: n5, n260
  • Verizon: n2, n5, n40, n66, n77, n260, n261
  • T-Mobile: n41, n71, n260, n261
  • Other: n1, n3, n7, n8, n12, n25, n28, n40, n78

Supported bands (via external antennas)

  • 4G LTE: B42, B48
  • 5G: n78

Cellular Modem

  • Model: Qualcomm Snapdragon x55
  • MIMO Support: 4X4 w/ internal antennas, 2X2 w/ external antennas
  • LTE Performance Category: Cat 22
  • Max Theoretical Speeds: 3.3 Gbps Download, 316 Mbps Upload

Wi-Fi

  • Technologies: WiFi 6 - 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Bands: Simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz

Ports

  • Cellular Antenna Ports: 2x TS9
  • SIM (4FF Nano) Ports: 1x SIM for FG2000, 2x SIM for FG2000e
  • Other Ports: 1x 5 Gbps LAN; 2x 1 Gbps LAN; 1x 1 GBps WAN; 1x RJ11 for VoLTE

Wavemaker (FG2000) vs Wavemaker Pro (FG2000e)

The key difference between these two Wavemaker models is that the Wavemaker Pro has "Dual SIM" support for (2) Nano 4FF SIM cards. This allows the Wavemaker Pro to have multi-carrier support with auto-switching.

Other Helpful Resources

Inseego 5G Wavemaker FG2000 Announcement Video

Inseego 5G Wavemaker Pro FG2000e Announcement Video

Inseego Product Page for the Wavemaker FG2000 series

Wavemaker FG2000 Documentation

Wavemaker Pro FG2000e Documentation

Comments