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Verizon Orbic Speed 5G (R500L5) Optimization Guide

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Looking to get the best possible data rates from your Verizon Orbic Speed 5G (R500L5)?

While the Verizon Orbic Speed 5G (R500L5) does not support the use of external antennas, there are still many things that can be done!

We've created the this guide to describe the two best options that we have found to provide an improvement to Verizon Hotspot Internet data speeds.

Got Verizon's older Verizon Orbic Speed 4G (RC400L)? Check out our guide for that device here.

In this guide

Why External Antennas Don’t Work

Unfortunately, the cellular antenna ports used by the Verizon Orbic Speed 5G (R500L5) are hidden behind thermal paste and other electrical components deep within the enclosure.

As a result, we concluded that Verizon has designed the device to be unsuitable for external antennas. We would not recommend attempting to disassemble this device.

Join Us in Asking Verizon to Add Support for External Antennas!

Getting Verizon's attention and letting them know how important it is for you to get faster data speeds with external antennas will help convince Verizon that there is a demand for external antennas support with their Verizon Hotspots.

You can let Verizon know why improved data speeds are important to you and why you want their future systems to support 2x2 or 4x4 MIMO external antenna connections by sending a message to their Executive Leadership: https://www.verizon.com/about/our-company/leader/contact/922789

What You Can Do

Option #1: Use the Verizon Hotspot SIM Card in a Different 5G Router

Even though the Verizon Orbic Speed 5G (R500L5) doesn't support the use of external antennas, you can still use it's SIM card in a different 5G LTE Router that does.

Since the Verizon Orbic Speed 5G (R500L5) supports a 4x4 MIMO connection, to get the fastest data speeds possible we highly recommend 5G LTE Routers that also support a 4x4 MIMO connection via four external cellular antenna ports.

The top recommendations we offer is our bundle of the Peplink MAX BR1 Pro 5G with our 4x4 MIMO Panel or 4x4 MIMO Log Periodic External antenna kits.

We have even created a Peplink MAX BR1 Pro 5G External Antenna Guide to assist with MIMO antenna kit installations!

Here are two of the many different 4x4 MIMO Panel antenna kits bundles we offer, depending on whether you are interested in bundling them with the Peplink MAX BR1 Pro 5G or are interested in our antennas for the use with a different cellular router:

WITH OUR PEPLINK ROUTER

This 4x4 MIMO Panel Antenna kit will provide meaningful signal improvement, even if you're surrounded by trees, hills, or tall buildings.

For users surrounded by trees, hills, or tall buildings, the best external antenna choice is our 4x4 MIMO Panel Antenna kit. While still directional, this antenna doesn’t require line-of-sight to the tower.

WITH OTHER CELLULAR ROUTERS

This 4x4 MIMO Panel Antenna kit will provide meaningful signal improvement, even if you're surrounded by trees, hills, or tall buildings.

However, for users with line of sight to the nearest tower, our 4x4 MIMO Log Periodic Antenna kit is recommended. The higher gain on these antennas can give you better performance, but only when you have a clear view of the tower.

Option #2: Optimize the Verizon Orbic Speed 5G Location

Here are the best steps for optimizing the position of your Verizon Orbic Speed 5G:

  1. Look up your nearby towers. This can be time consuming and difficult to get right - we've listed our suggestions in an article on the Best Ways to Locate Nearby Cell Towers
  2. Run speed tests with your Verizon Orbic Speed 5G at the windows closest to each nearby tower (If you have multiple floors, perform this process on each floor).
  3. Place your Verizon Orbic Speed 5G at the location with the fastest data speeds.

This process is simple but effective if you haven't already optimized the position of your Verizon Orbic Speed 5G, however this method will likely provide only a small improvement to data speeds compared to Option #1.

Why External Antennas Are Critical for Improving Data Rates

By using external MIMO antennas placed outside your building, you can bring the faster LTE data rates from outdoors into the 5G LTE Router with much less signal loss.

One big misconception about external antennas is that external antennas primarily help you increase your data rates by increasing the signal strength, but that's not the case.

In reality, often an increase in signal strength is the third most important factor for data speeds that external antennas help with.

Here are the three main ways that external antennas help you increase 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'll talk more about this in the next section of this guide.

2.They Allow You To Connect On More Bands

5G LTE Routers, like the Verizon Orbic Speed 5G and Peplink MAX BR1 Pro 5G, support an LTE feature called "carrier aggregation."

Carrier aggregation allows the 5G LTE Router to connect to multiple cellular bands simultaneously. The more bands you're connected to, 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 these higher frequency bands, which are often less congested and offer higher speeds than lower frequency bands.

3.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, measured as RSRP (Reference Signal Received Power) in 4G LTE and 5G networks, is stronger than about -100 dBm, a stronger signal won't speed up your connection any further.

Pro tip: When placing cellular antennas, 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.

Verizon Orbic Speed 5G (R500L5) Technical Specifications

Supported Bands

  • 4G LTE: B2, B4, B5, B12, B13, B48, B66
  • 5G: n2, n5, n48, n66, n77, N78, n257, n260, n261

Cellular Modem

  • Modem Chipset: Qualcomm SD X55
  • MIMO Support: 4x4 (Downlink), None (Uplink)
  • LTE-A Carrier Aggregation: Yes
  • LTE Performance Category: Cat 20
  • Max Theoretical Speeds: 600 Mbps Download, 75 Mbps Upload

Wi-Fi

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

Other

  • Charging Port: USB-C
  • SIM Card Slot: Nano-SIM
  • Power: Removable 4400 mAh battery

Other Helpful Resources

A helpful announcement video by Mobile Internet Resource Center

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