4G sim: 18Mbps in GL-X750, 80Mbps in phone

I have a EE 4G unlimited SIM in my GL-X750 router and I’m getting speeds ~ 18Mbps. If I put the same SIM in my iPhone 11 (next to the router) I see speeds at 80+ Mbps.

I’ve tried moving the router around the house, it makes no difference. I’ve even attached an external antenna to the router and the speed doesn’t change.

I’ve ensured the router will only use 4G (not drop to 3G) and have confirmed thats the case. I’ve even manually changed the band to the same one the phone was using (7) but I cannot get the speed close to that of the phone.

In a fit of desperation I phoned EE technical services (which are the best I’ve encountered in the UK from the mobile companies I’ve used). Managed to get hold of a ‘level 2’ person and they suggested they’d replicated the problem but had no idea why that would be the case and how to resolve it.

Does anyone have any ideas? Happy to give anything a go. The potential if quadrupling the speed we get now is very attractive.

You did not mention the type of LTE modem what you use. But:
your 800$ or more iPhone has a great LTE modem, probably CAT20 that supports different types of aggregation. I bet your LTE modem in the router is much simpler therefore if in this case it can use only one band 7 which is probably 20Mhz wide then 18Mbps is quite good speed which can go up or down depending on the network congestion (number of users of this particular cell tower).

Another possibility (but it is less likely) - traffic shaping i.e. your carrier limits your speed and it can be done due to a number of reasons. But having 18Mpbs I guess is a good thing i.e. nothing to complain about.
I have 2 LTE modems (Netgear, Sierra Wireless), my Samsung s10 (LTE Modem CAT20) gets up
200 Mbps down and 100 up, SW (CAT6) - up to 50-60 down / 30-40up, Netgear (no aggregation) 20 down -10/25 Mpbs up with the same SIM card.

Last but not least: phones have always highest priority on the network comparing to tethering phones, modems etc.

And just to add, some carriers do IMEI checks to see the brand of the device that is connecting, and can affect the speed if the device is not recognized or supported (ie not a phone and they don’t want you to tether).

Thanks very much for the feedback.

The modem in the router is a CAT6. You’re right about the modem in my iPhone, apparently it’s a CAT19. I’ve arranged to borrow a CAT19 router from a friend to see if that helps at all.

I did consider that they may be checking MAC and prioritising phones so I cloned my MAC and it didn’t increase the speed any.

I’ll report back when it arrives and I have a chance to play!

How did you get on with the CAT19 modem?

I’m still waiting for it to arrive. Hopefully in the next week!

The CAT19 router made a bit of a difference!

18Mbps to 170Mbps (highest, tested with fast.com).