5G Mobile Tethering, Why Not 5G CPE?

Compared with mobile networks in the 4G era, 5G has several times the advantages of high bandwidth and low latency. Take 5G smartphones for example, it can give at least 500Mbps peak bandwidth, which not only means that we can enjoy ultra-high-definition video and large-scale games, etc., but it also naturally gives us an idea: it would be great if the old devices that do not support 5G can use the 5G high bandwidth!
Yes, some friends may say, nearly all major smartphones support mobile ethering, why not use this function to turn the 5G smartphone to mobile hotspot and share its Internet connection? However, in reality, this function can only cope with a short-term emergency at best, and is unlikely to be used as a long-term network deployment solution.

What is Mobile Tethering?

Mobile tethering – also called “mobile hotspotting” – is the process of connecting a Wi-Fi device to Internet via smartphone’s data connection function. Nearly all smartphones have the function that lets them act as a mobile hotspot. With it, other Wi-Fi gadgets can access the internet from the phone without any extra devices!

Since the phone could do mobile tethering, why does these mobile hotspot or CPE devices appear?
This is because Wi-Fi sharing consumes a lot of power, and the damage to the battery caused by the long-term “charging and using” of smart phones cannot be underestimated.

What is 5G CPE?

Now, have a look at CPE. The concept of CPE has been concerned by many consumers since its birth. What is “CPE”? It is short for Customer Premise Equipment. 5G CPE is a “router” that connects itself to a 5G network and converts 5G traffic into Wi-Fi or wired network signals for other devices to use. Generally, a CPE device lets you share your internet connections with up to 12 other devices. Such devices maybe cell phones, tablets, or personal computers.

Is it Better to Tether or CPE? Difference Bewteen them

If you want more devices to enjoy the high-speed 5G network, what is the difference between using 5G mobile phones and 5G CPE? Let us first look at the disadvantages of using mobile phones as hotspots.

  • Tether: Pros and Cons
    • Increase power consumption
      Firstly, using a mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot will turn on the Bluetooth function and increase power consumption. Secondly, when used as a hotspot, the phone will continuously receive and send data through wireless signals, increasing power consumption. Thirdly, Wi-Fi sharing is very power-consuming, and the battery of the mobile phone will be quickly consumed in a short period of time, causing the mobile phone to heat up and eventually damage the mobile phone.
      When use the hotspot feature, in order to provide full-speed Wi-Fi, many hardware cannot enter low power consumption, and the heat generation of the radio frequency transmitter itself is not low, so the mobile phone is in a state of full load operation and power consumption for a long time. Long-term use of mobile phones as hotspots will affect battery life.
    • Network Stability
      It is prone to disconnection and instability. The network throughput performance is not strong enough. Even for top flagship phones, their built-in small WiFi modules are destined to not be very high in throughput performance. The mobile phone cannot be moved at will, then other devices cannot receive the signal if it is too far away.
    • Connected Wi-Fi Devices
      When the mobile phone is used as a hotspot, because the power of the device itself is small, the transmission distance is generally shorter, and the number of devices that can be connected is also less. Generally, the hotspot of a mobile phone can be connected to 5-8 devices at the same time. The specific number of connections depends on Phone system. The more mobile phones connected at the same time, the slower the Internet speed.

    Of course there will be advantages. That is, it is very convenient and quick to use without carrying extra equipment. If it is only used for a short time, it is still a good choice.

  • 5G CPE: Pros and Cons
    • Provide more stable signal and network speed. Many 5G CPEs have the latest 5G chips built in, such as OPPO 5G CPE T1’s Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem. Connect device via 5G CPE will allow for more robust activities, such as online gaming, watching Netflix or Hulu, and pretty much anything else that requires a consistent, stable network connection.
    • Don’t worry too much about heat dissipation. Manufactures has made a lot of efforts in the aspect of heat dissipation for the 5G CPE devices. Though multiple devices are connected to the Internet at the same time, the network speed will not decrease due to temperature.
    • Support more gadgets to go online. Almost all CPEs can support at least 32 devices simultaneously on the network. Most of them support at least 64 devices to network, such as Huawei 5G CPE Pro. This is enough for home or small office usage.
    • High security. General CPE will have a built-in chip that supports Wi-Fi 6. Take OPPO 5G CPE T1 as an example, it supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax which supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi. The theoretical peak rate of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is 574Mbps, and the theoretical peak rate of 5GHz Wi-Fi is 1201Mbps. It supports WLAN encryption standard WPA, WPA2, and WPS.


If you need a quick connection, tethering is a great option. For sharing or streaming large amounts of data over multiple sessions and Wi-Fi devices, use 5G CPE is better.

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October 2021