4G LTE Cat 1 vs 4G LTE Cat 4


Along with the rapid development of wireless communication technology, growing transmission speed demands, and greater convenience for IoT deployment, it is becoming a trend for global network operators to gradually mature 4G LTE, accelerate 5G connectivity, and then withdraw 2G / 3G technology step by step.


Excellence on 4G LTE

2G and 3G adopt the mobile network technologies of GSM and WCDMA separately with the bandwidth 25MHz. Their main applications include voice calls, text messages, image transmission, GPS, etc. But for wireless broadband, 4G LTE, the cross-era progress in the data transmission rate, featuring higher velocity with maximum download speed 150Mbps (4G LTE-A up to 1Gbps max.), has been the outstanding cellular network technology over years’ iterations worldwide. To easily distinguish the core mission of each generation, we can say 2G is on voice, 3G is for image stream, and 4G is ready for videos and more IoT applications.


So what makes 4G LTE Wi-Fi technology enjoy such fast growth in just several years?


Advantage #1: Strong Signal Propagation Ability

3G network suffers inevitable restrictions on its further development since there are various unified types of communication technologies under the 3G network. Learning from this experience, 4G LTE is born with the integration of the key advantages and technologies of WiFi and 3G network, and has encountered a global centralized development investment. Therefore, the global 4G LTE network can be regarded as a seamless coverage cellular network.


Advantage #2: Super Fast Transmission Speed

Throughout 4G LTE transmission speed overall, with network bandwidth 2-8GHz and Category 0 to 15 covering multi-grade maximum upstream rate and downstream rate, its improving access capabilities ensures faster and smoother data rate to adjust various IoT application scenarios.


Advantage #3: High Level of Intelligence

Speaking of the 4G LTE property of high intelligence, its application function performance on independence selection and processing capability can be a typical explanation. For example, as one of the most commonly-used services, geographic location positioning can grow into a more accurate and faster positioning device similar to navigation equipment after being supported by 4G communication technology, convenient and cost-effective.


4G LTE Cat 1 VS 4G LTE Cat 4

All the above has clarified the overwhelming dominance of 4G connectivity regarding coverage and reliability. Currently, the 4G LTE Cat 1 and Cat 4 technologies have become particularly significant in cellular wireless communication applications. So what to consider for satisfying various applications when choosing LTE Cat 1 or LTE Cat 4?


4G LTE Cat 4, was first announced in 2009 in 3GPP Release 8, and 4G LTE Cat 1 advanced in 3GPP Release 13.


Features of 4G LTE Cat 1:

  • Its downlink speed is 10 Mbit/s with an uplink speed of 5Mbit/s, low power consumption, and is ideal for the medium rate market.
  • It has lower unit module costs due to its slower data speed and lower recurring network costs since it can be seamlessly connected to the existing 4G LTE network without additional network construction on software and hardware. The entire network coverage cost on the operators’ side will be quite low due to the absence of extra deployment investment. Generally speaking, the 4G LTE Cat 1 module is just half the price of the 4G LTE Cat 4 module, an attractive low-cost option.
  • 4G LTE Cat 1 module is an excellent option for wearable devices, shared payment, water control, charging stations, intelligent agriculture, smart home appliances, and logistics tracking that have certain necessities on power consumption and data transmission stability.


Features of 4G LTE Cat 4:

  • 4G LTE Cat 4 supports a high-speed data transmission market based on the utmost downlink rate of 150Mbps and top uplink rate of 50Mbps.
  • LTE Cat 4 has a higher unit cost according to its rising standard on data rate per second, thus pricey main chip and other components. 4G LTE Cat 1 has just perfectly acted as the cost-reduction.
  • Higher speed LTE Cat 4 module applies to scenarios less sensitive to cost and power consumption like media live broadcast and streaming, video surveillance and security, internet of vehicles, broadband access, 4G wireless routing, and wireless commercial display devices.


Momentum on 5G

Concerning the 5G mobile technology, based on multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, and massive network capacity, employing super high-speed MIMO and mm Waves technology, it plans to connect everyone and everything in soon future and invents a whole new era.


The Leading IoT Module

As one of the leading IoT module manufacturers and one-stop IoT solution provider, ThinkWill creates a series of:

  • 4G LTE modules such as Cat 1 module BVE200, Cat.4 BVE11, BVE16, and BVE11-B modules with standard fixed positioning holes 34mm(L) * 34mm(W);
  • 5G module such as BVE51 with single 1000M Ethernet Port and BVE52 with dual 1000M Ethernet Port;

To simplify the IoT module deployment process, ThinkWill uniquely embeds related router functions and platform protocols in advance. For more details and advantages, please check the blog: 5 Advantages of LTE IoT Module Compared to Traditional LTE Module .



Cindy Chan, Wireless Communication Marketing, ThinkWill
ThinkWill is the provider of wireless communication modules, IoT router modules, IoT mobile broadband devices, and IoT comprehensive solutions that enable wireless connections of any scale.


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