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MOFI5500-5GXeLTE External Antenna Guide


Looking to get the best possible data rates from your MOFI5500-5GXeLTE router?

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

In this guide, we'll:

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

In this guide

The Best External Antennas For the Mofi Network MOFI5500-5GXeLTE

Using a MIMO antenna outside your building, pointed at the nearest tower, can help you get the fastest 5G and LTE data rates possible.

The MoFi 5500 has four SMA ports for cellular on the sides, which allow for 4x4 MIMO antennas to be connected to the device.

Which of the two different 4x4 MIMO External Antenna Kit options to use depends primarily on how much time you're willing to spend on aiming.

The easiest antenna choice for the MoFi 5500 is our QuadMini Antenna Kit. With up to 5.2 dBi of omnidirectional gain and multiple mounting options, it is designed to be extremely simple to install outdoors or indoors, at home or in an RV.

Easy install, no aiming

Upgrade your 5G in minutes with no aiming, and four easy mounting options.

However, if you're willing to spend a little bit of time aiming, our QuadPro Antenna Kit will generally get you the fastest data speeds, thanks to its 9.1 dBi of directional gain. This is particularly important if you're on the edge of coverage, or have very weak signal.

Best performance, requires aiming

Aim QuadPro at your nearest tower for blazing data, even at the edges of cellular coverage.

Why External Antennas Are Critical for Improving Data Rates

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 less important than other ways that external antennas help.

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

1.They Improve Signal Quality

In 5G and 4G LTE 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 Allow You To Connect On More Bands

Hotspots like the MoFi 5500 support a 5G and LTE feature called "carrier aggregation."

Carrier aggregation allows the MoFi 5500 to connect on multiple cellular bands simultaneously.

The more bands you're connected on, the greater the bandwidth, and the higher your data rates.

However, many of the higher frequency bands aren't able to penetrate into buildings. Using external antennas allows you to access higher frequency bands, which are often less congested and offer higher speeds than lower frequency bands.

3.MIMO Isolation

MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology uses signals travelling along multiple paths simultaneously, increasing both bandwidth and reliability in wireless connections.

MIMO isolation is the antenna's ability to handle several data streams at once, cleanly and without interference, leading to quicker data speeds and steadier connections

Our external antennas are specifically designed for superior MIMO isolation, and dramatically outperform standard built-in antennas found in most home devices.

This means you'll see a more reliable connection with enhanced bandwidth, ensuring smoother streaming, gaming, and browsing with minimal interruptions.

Installing External Antennas to the MOFI5500

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

Once you've tested your baseline internet speeds, you're ready to install external antennas.

In the next section of this guide, we'll show you how to open up your Mofi 5500, connect adapters for external antennas.

Note that the device has eight antenna ports:

  • The four RP-SMA ports grouped on the front edge, labeled "2.4/5.0GHz Wifi" are for WiFi antennas (the ones with the red accents). Leave these connected.
  • The two SMA ports paired on each side, labeled "Primary #1" and "Primary #2" & "Secondary #1" and "Secondary #2", respectively, are for cellular antennas. These are the ports you'll be connecting to your MIMO external antenna(s).

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Adapters for External Antennas

Step 1: Disconnect the standard paddle antennas that are connected to all of the "Primary" and "Secondary" antenna ports.

Step 2: Connect the external MIMO antennas to the newly available cellular SMA ports on your MoFi 5500 in the order shown below:

device ports
antenna ports

Congrats! Your MOFI5500 is now connected to your more powerful MIMO External Antennas.

Positioning and Aiming MIMO Antennas

Positioning and aiming MIMO antennas well is crucial to getting the best performance to your MoFi 5500, or indeed any other router.

We've actually compiled a detailed QuadPro and QuadMini 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 MoFi. It can take a little patience, but can have a huge impact – it’s worth a bit of extra effort!

Once you've got your external MIMO antennas connected, you're ready to 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:

Suggested test and measurement locations

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 MoFi 5500, 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!

Advanced Optimization

If you've gone through the trouble of installing and accurately aiming a MIMO Antenna Kit, you're likely already getting excellent data rates from your MoFi 5500.

That said, there's always more that can be done!

Band locking is a great way to optimize data rates through an LTE router or hotspot. The idea is that you test every different frequency band being received by your device, and lock it onto the band that results in the best data rates.

The MoFi 5500 is one of few routers to allow manual band locking in their web interface - here's a step by step guide of how to do it.

Band Locking the MoFi 5500 5GXeLTE

The reason this works so well, is because different frequency bands transmit with different bandwidths.

Generally speaking, higher frequency bands (like 1900 MHz and 2100 MHz) offer more bandwidth but travel less far and penetrate building materials less well than lower frequency bands (like 700 MHz and 800 MHz).

As a result of travelling less far, higher frequency bands tend to be less “congested” - they have fewer users connected to them, and data rates are often faster.

This isn’t always the case though, sometimes a lower frequency band may have better data rates, depending on your location.

This can be quite time consuming, but often results in significant improvements to data rates.

We'll keep the steps below as simple and concise as possible! If you need a little more guidance, you can find a video about this here.

Step 1: Access the MoFi's web interface

  • Use a laptop to connect to your MoFi's WiFi network, and open a web browser - Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari are recommended.
  • Enter "" into the URL bar to log into the MoFi's web interface.
  • Login to the interface with your username and password - default username is "root" and the password is "admin".

There's a fair amount of useful and interesting information to be found in the web interface. For now, we're only interested in the band locking feature.

Step 2: Lock the MoFi to a frequency band

  • In the left hand menu, navigate to "Network" -> "MoFi Internal Modem" -> "BandLock".
  • Expand the dropdown menu next to "Bandwatcher" and select "ON".
  • Expand the dropdown menu next to "Lock Modem to a Band".
  • From the list, select the band which you'd like to lock the MoFi to. In the example below we've selected Band 4.
Locking the MoFi to Band 4 in the web interface

Locking the MoFi to Band 4 in the web interface

Once you hit finish to select a new frequency band, the MoFi will take a few minutes to reboot. Once it's back up and running, connect to it's WiFi network again.

Now, lets test each available band in your area, to determine which will result in the best data rates.

Step 3: Test and select the best tower and frequency band

  • Look up your nearby towers. This can be time consuming and accuracy is often questionable - we've listed our suggestions in an article on the Best Ways to Locate Nearby Cell Towers.
  • Aim your external MIMO antenna(s) at each nearby tower and band lock the MoFi to each band that the tower transmits.
  • Run 3 to 4 speed tests on each band to find the fastest bands. is a great tool for this.
  • Repeat this for every tower in your area, and make notes of the speed test results you get from each band and tower combination.

Once you've identified the best tower and band combination, lock your MoFi to that band, and make sure your outdoor antenna is secured so that it doesn't move in the wind.

Note: The above steps were tested with a MoFi4500 4GXeLTE, but should work precisely the same on the MoFi5500 5GXeLTE.

MoFi 5500 5GXeLTE Versions and Technical Specifcations

The MoFi 5500 5GXeLTE comes in a few variants:

  • MOFI5500-5GXeLTE-COMBO - WiFi only, no integrated cellular - $299.99
  • MOFI5500-5GXeLTE-7411-COMBO - Base model, with single Cat7 4G LTE Modem - $399.99
  • MOFI5500-5GXeLTE-7411-GPS-COMBO - Cat7 4G LTE modem, plus GPS for vehicle tracking - $439.99
  • MOFI5500-5XeLTE-7411-DUAL-COMBO - Dual modem Cat7 4G LTE, for two SIM cards - $549.99
  • MOFI5500-5GXeLTE-7690-COMBO - Cat20 4G LTE, for faster download speeds - $499.99
  • MOFI5500-5GXeLTE-9191-5G-SUB6-COMBO - Cat20 4G LTE and Sub-6GHz 5G - $649.99

If you need any 5G bands, then the "9191-5G-SUB6-COMBO" is the model to get - but it does come with a higher price tag. For most folks we'd recommend the "7411-COMBO" version.

Technical Specifications

Supported 4G LTE bands in the US

  • AT&T: B2, B4, B5, B12, B14, B17, B29, B30, B66, B46
  • Verizon: B2, B4, B5, B13, B66
  • T-Mobile: B2, B4, B5, B12, B25, B26, B41, B71

Cellular Modem

  • Model: 7411

    • MIMO Support: 4x4
    • LTE-A Carrier Aggregation: Yes (up to 2x carrier aggregation)
    • LTE Performance Category: Cat 7
    • Max Theoretical Speeds: 300 Mbps Download, 150 Mbps Upload
  • Model: 7690 or 9191

    • MIMO Support: 4x4
    • LTE-A Carrier Aggregation: Yes (up to 5x carrier aggregation)
    • LTE Performance Category: Cat 20
    • Max Theoretical Speeds: 2 Gbps Download, 211 Mbps Upload


  • Technologies: 802.11 ac
  • Bands: 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz simultaneous
  • MIMO: 4x4


  • Cellular Antenna Ports: 4x SMA
  • WiFi Antenna Ports: 4x RP-SMA
  • Other Ports: 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN; 1x Gigabit Ethernet WAN; 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0


  • Power: AC power only (no battery)

Other Helpful Resources

A helpful review by Mobile Internet Resource Center

MoFi's product page for the MoFi 5500 5GXeLTE base model