Introduction

An industrial 4G LTE/5G router is a wireless router designed specifically for industrial applications and environments. These routers provide reliable, secure wireless connectivity in factories, warehouses, utilities, transportation systems and other industrial settings.

Industrial 4G LTE/5G routers are important for modernizing operations, improving efficiency, and enabling real-time data collection and analytics in the industrial sector. With capabilities like rugged enclosures, extended temperature ranges, hardened security, remote monitoring and dual SIM support, these routers can withstand harsh conditions while providing the wireless performance needed for smart manufacturing, IIoT connectivity and industry 4.0 initiatives.

Some key benefits of using industrial 4G LTE/5G routers include:

  • Increased productivity and efficiency – With real-time wireless data, analytics and monitoring, industrial processes can be optimized for maximum performance and output.
  • Reduced costs – Wireless connectivity eliminates the need for trenching cable and related expenses. Less downtime also saves money.
  • Improved safety and security – Industrial routers allow for security measures like VPNs, firewalls and encryption over the network. Real-time alerts can also notify about dangerous conditions.
  • Enhanced flexibility and scalability – Wireless systems are easy to set up, reconfigure and scale to additional sensors, machines and locations.
  • Better equipment monitoring – The condition of machinery can be monitored remotely via industrial routers to prevent disruptions.
  • Real-time data connectivity and analytics – With instant data over wireless, operators get actionable insights to improve quality control, output and more.

Major applications of industrial 4G LTE/5G routers include:

  • Smart Manufacturing – Connecting production systems, machines, assets and workers for data-driven manufacturing.
  • Smart Utilities – Enabling automated metering, grid optimization and broadband access.
  • Smart Transportation – Collecting vehicle telemetry and logistics data for fleet management.
  • Smart Cities – Providing public WiFi, traffic control and city operations monitoring.
  • Smart Agriculture – Applying IoT sensors, drones, robotics and data analysis for precision agriculture.
  • Retail and Logistics – Tracking inventory, managing warehouses and supply chains efficiently.
  • Public Safety – Connecting surveillance systems, mobile access and emergency services.

This article will highlight the top 3 best industrial 4G LTE/5G router brands in China for 2023. The focus will be on leading Chinese manufacturers known for reliable, high-performing routers suitable for industrial use.

Top 3 Best Industrial 4G LTE/5G Router Brands for 2023 in China

Modbus RTU vs Modbus TCP/IP: Communication Hardware

Alotcer

Alotcer is a technology company in Xiamen, China specializing in industrial wireless products including industrial 4G LTE and 5G routers. Their routers are widely used in applications like smart city, safe city, intelligent transportation, smart grid and industrial automation.

Some of their top industrial cellular router models include:

AR7091G Industrial IoT Edge Gateway Devices

AR7091G Industrial IoT Edge Gateway Devices

  • Dual-module 5G 4G LTE gateway
  • Gigabit Ethernet and RS232/RS485 ports
  • VPN, firewall, filtering functions
  • Hardened aluminum housing
  • Wide -40°C to 75°C operating temperature

AD7028D(T/Z) Industrial Cellular Mobile Router 2 LAN 1 RS232

AD7028D(T/Z) Industrial Cellular Mobile Router 2 LAN 1 RS232

  • LTE cat.4 speeds up to 300Mbps down
  • Dual SIM redundancy for better connectivity
  • Built-in VPN client and server
  • Digital input/output for device monitoring
  • Rugged IP30 housing

AR7091 Industrial IoT Gateway

AR7091 Industrial IoT Gateway

  • 4G LTE speeds up to 100Mbps
  • Gigabit Ethernet, RS232, RS485, DI/DO
  • IPsec VPN for secure remote access
  • Modbus protocol conversion gateway
  • Dual SIM with auto failover

Alotcer focuses on delivering reliable, secure industrial grade connectivity optimized for harsh environments and mission critical applications. Their rugged routers are widely used in industrial automation, utility distribution, smart cities and intelligent transportation systems.

Inhand Networks

Inhand Networks is a world leading industrial IoT solution provider based in Shenzhen, China. Their industrial cellular routers and gateways enable fast, reliable wireless connectivity for utility, transportation, industrial automation and enterprise applications.

Here are some of their top industrial 4G LTE/5G routers:

InGateway502 IoT Edge Gateway

  • LTE cat 4 speeds up to 150Mbps
  • WiFi, Ethernet, RS232/RS485 ports
  • Built-in firewall, VPN, routing functions
  • Internal wide range power supply
  • Rugged aluminum housing

InRouter301 5G Industrial Router

  • 5G NR NSA/SA connectivity
  • Gigabit Ethernet, RS485 interface
  • IPsec VPN, firewall, routing features
  • Ultra compact form factor
  • Wide -40°C to 75°C temp range

ODU2000 Cloud-Managed 5G Outdoor Unit

  • 5G mmWave connectivity for up to 7Gbps speed
  • Integrated directional antennas
  • Self-organization and interference avoidance
  • IP67 weatherproof enclosure
  • Ideal for wireless broadband access

Inhand Networks is a leader in industrial cellular solutions tailored for smart cities, safe cities, utilities, rail transit and enterprise markets. Their rugged, reliable routers withstand harsh environments for always-on connectivity.

Robustel

Robustel is a high-tech enterprise offering a wide range of industrial wireless routers and gateways. The company is based in Guangdong, China and serves over 100 countries worldwide.

Some of their most popular industrial 4G LTE/5G routers include:

R1520 Global IoT Router

  • 4G LTE speeds up to 300Mbps down
  • Gigabit Ethernet, RS232, RS485, WiFi
  • IPsec/OpenVPN, firewall, routing functions
  • Hardened casing for extreme conditions
  • Operating temps from -40°C to 70°C

R1520 Dual-SIM Cellular VPN Router

  • Dual SIM LTE with auto-failover
  • 300Mbps downlink speed over LTE
  • Gigabit WAN/LAN Ethernet ports
  • Built-in hardware VPN acceleration
  • Modular design for easy installation

R2110 High Speed Smart LTE / LTE-A IoT Gateway

  • LTE-Advanced Cat.6 up to 300Mbps
  • 5 Ethernet ports, 2 RS232, 1 RS485
  • SMS and data usage monitoring
  • Hardened SIM card slot design
  • IP30 rating for dust and moisture

Robustel‘s industrial cellular routers boast high security, robust designs and reliability even in the harshest conditions. Their solutions are widely used in industrial automation, public transit, utilities, enterprise branch networks and outdoor wireless projects.

Features of Industrial 4G LTE/5G Routers

Industrial 4G LTE and 5G routers have specialized features to withstand harsh environments while providing secure, reliable wireless connectivity. Here are some key capabilities:

  • Rugged design – Sturdy enclosures, vibration resistance and reinforced electronics withstand shock, drops, heat, cold etc.
  • Wide operating temperature range – Support for extreme temps like -40°C to 75°C suited for outdoor use.
  • High availability and reliability – Dual SIM, redundant power inputs, watchdog timer, surge protection etc. keep connection alive.
  • Advanced security features – VPN, firewall, MAC filtering, authentication protects industrial data and devices.
  • Remote monitoring and management – Routers can be monitored and managed remotely via cloud platforms.
  • PoE support – Power over Ethernet allows device powering over the LAN cable.
  • Modbus support – Popular industrial protocol enables easy integration with legacy systems.
  • IGMP snooping – Optimizes multicast traffic common in video surveillance applications.
  • DFS frequency support – For interference avoidance on 5G networks using DFS channels.
  • GNSS support – Some routers integrate GNSS for applications needing precise location data.

Industrial 4G LTE/5G routers are designed for plug-and-play deployment with hassle-free setup, flexible interfaces like digital IO, serial ports, modular slots etc. and the reliability needed for critical industrial applications.

Benefits of Industrial 4G LTE/5G Routers

Adopting industrial cellular routers in manufacturing facilities, utilities, transportation systems and other industrial environments provides multiple benefits including:

  • Increased productivity and efficiency – With real-time wireless data for operational optimization, output and productivity is improved.
  • Reduced costs – No need for laying cables or wiring. Less downtime lowers costs. Consolidates separate analog modems.
  • Improved safety and security – Advanced cybersecurity protections lock down the industrial network. Real-time alerts notify operators about dangerous conditions.
  • Enhanced flexibility and scalability – Wireless systems are easy to set up, reconfigure and scale. Additional sensors, machines, trucks etc. can be connected anytime.
  • Better equipment monitoring – Machinery health can be monitored remotely over a wireless network to prevent disruptions.
  • Real-time data connectivity and analytics – Instant data for quality control, supply chain visibility, asset tracking and other analytics applications.
  • Regulatory compliance – Cellular routers help comply with regulations like NERC-CIP in utilities.
  • Easier troubleshooting – Built-in tools like ping, traceroute help with network diagnostics and troubleshooting.

With capabilities like remote monitoring, ruggedness and real-time data delivery, industrial 4G LTE/5G routers empower digital transformation initiatives across the industrial sector.

Applications of Industrial 4G LTE/5G Routers

Industrial grade wireless routers enable real-time IIoT applications across manufacturing, utilities, transportation, oil & gas, mining, construction, public safety and other verticals. Major applications include:

Smart Manufacturing

  • Connecting manufacturing equipment, machines, assets for data collection
  • Real-time analytics to reduce downtime, improve quality control
  • Connecting production systems, ERP, MES, SCM systems
  • Remote monitoring and predictive maintenance of machinery
  • Over-the-air (OTA) software updates for equipment
  • Wireless video feeds for surveillance and monitoring
  • Asset tracking with RFID, GPS sensors over cellular network

Smart Cities

  • Citywide public WiFi and broadband access
  • Connecting city operations like traffic signals, cameras etc.
  • Environmental monitoring through pollution, air quality sensors
  • Automated metering infrastructure (AMI) for smart utilities
  • Public transit fleet management and dispatch systems
  • Intelligent transportation systems and smart highways
  • LTE/5G backhaul links for city surveillance networks

Smart Utilities

  • Automated meter reading (AMR) for gas, electric meters
  • SCADA connectivity in transmission and distribution
  • Microwave tower backhaul replacement with industrial cellular
  • Substation automation and distribution automation
  • Critical infrastructure and pole-top monitoring
  • Connecting solar, wind installations for grid stability
  • Workforce connectivity via vehicle routers and mobile devices

Smart Transportation

  • Fleet management and vehicle tracking
  • Collecting diagnostic data from heavy machinery
  • Intelligent traffic systems (ITS) connectivity
  • Public transportation connectivity for dispatch, telemetry
  • Railroad wireless connectivity for PTC, signals etc.
  • Port operations monitoring and container tracking

Smart Agriculture

  • Connecting sensors, irrigation systems, weather stations -Tracking livestock using neck collars, ear tags
  • Monitoring soil moisture, crop health using sensors
  • Automating greenhouses, nurseries via wireless mesh networks
  • Aerial imagery, data collection using drones
  • Geo-fencing and remote asset monitoring

Retail and Logistics

  • Warehouse automation and asset tracking
  • Forklift telemetry, safety monitoring and routing
  • Cold chain logistics monitoring of perishable goods
  • Trailer tracking and refrigerated container monitoring
  • Last mile delivery tracking and optimization

Oil & Gas

  • Connecting wells, pipelines for remote monitoring
  • Real-time pipeline integrity monitoring
  • Oil field automation, production optimization
  • Personnel and lone worker safety solutions
  • Tank farm monitoring and wellhead automation

Mining

  • Ventilation on demand for air quality monitoring
  • Tracking underground mining vehicles, assets
  • Personnel and equipment positioning, safety
  • Connecting mining camps deployed in remote locations

Construction

  • Construction site connectivity and asset monitoring
  • Remote operation of heavy machinery
  • Site surveillance and security
  • Workforce connectivity and safety solutions
  • Project collaboration between the field and office

Public Safety

  • Police vehicle broadband connectivity and video surveillance
  • Body-worn cameras and real-time situational awareness
  • First responder dispatch and communications
  • Rapidly connecting surveillance systems during events
  • Backup connectivity for primary radio systems

With ultra reliable wireless connectivity, robust designs and cybersecurity protections, industrial cellular routers power a wide range of real-time IIoT use cases across verticals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an industrial 4G LTE/5G router and a commercial router?

Industrial routers are purpose-built for harsh industrial environments with features like rugged enclosures, extensive temp ranges, vibration resistance, hazardous location certifications and redundant power inputs. They focus on reliability rather than peak speeds.

What are the key factors to consider when choosing an industrial 4G LTE/5G router?

Reliability, security, ruggedness, interfaces like serial ports and remote monitoring capabilities should be prioritized. Also consider LTE bands used locally, antenna ports, certifications and vendor SLA.

What are the benefits of using a 5G industrial router over a 4G LTE industrial router?

5G offers higher speeds, lower latency, and ability to connect massive IoT devices. This allows higher throughput applications, real-time analytics and large scale device deployments. But 4G LTE provides more mature, cost-effective solution in locations lacking 5G.

What are the best practices for deploying and managing industrial 4G LTE/5G routers?

Conduct site surveys, choose optimal antennas, verify cellular signal quality. Use redundant SIMs from different carriers. Configure firewall, VPN for security hardening. Monitor device health proactively using cloud management platforms.

How to troubleshoot common problems with industrial 4G LTE/5G routers?

  • Check signal strength which should be > -90dBm. Use external directional antenna if poor signal
  • Verify SIM and data plan validity, enable roaming if required
  • Bypass site firewalls blocking outbound cellular connectivity
  • Confirm router has latest firmware. Power cycle device.
  • Check cables, ports, interfaces for any physical damage or faults

What are the key differences between consumer and industrial routers?

Industrial routers are optimized for mission-critical applications with rugged enclosures, redundant components, extended temperature ranges, advanced security protections, real-time monitoring, long-term support and field-replaceable components.

Is 5G technology widely available in industrial areas in China?

5G coverage is still quite limited in China, mostly confined to urban areas. For industrial areas, mature 4G LTE networks currently provide the reliable wireless connectivity needed for most IIoT use cases. 5G coverage will expand over the coming years.

How can I ensure the security of my industrial network with these routers?

Utilize the advanced cybersecurity features like firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention, MAC filtering provided by industrial routers. Harden the routers themselves by changing default passwords, enabling SSH etc. Authenticate devices and users connecting to the network.

Are these routers compatible with legacy industrial equipment?

Yes, industrial routers come with serial ports, Modbus support, customizable I/O and flexible interfacing options to integrate with most legacy industrial systems and equipment.

What should I do if I face connectivity issues with my industrial router?

  • Check signal quality and switch carriers if needed. Use an external antenna for better reception
  • Confirm data plan is active with cellular carrier
  • Verify SIM card slot is not damaged. Replace SIM if defective.
  • Check router settings – APN profile, roaming enabled if required
  • Confirm latest firmware. Reset router to factory defaults.
  • Contact vendor support if issues persist

How does the price of these industrial routers compare to their performance?

Industrial cellular routers provide excellent value for performance critical applications. While priced higher than commercial routers, their reliability, security hardening, ruggedness, long life support and advanced features are essential for industrial use cases where connectivity downtime can be very costly.

Can I expect reliable customer support from these brands in China?

Yes, leading Chinese industrial networking vendors like Robustel, Inhand and Alotcer have multi-lingual technical support teams based in China for quick after-sales service and support. They also provide long term support for firmware and security updates.

Are there any government regulations in China related to industrial routers?

Yes, industrial routers operating in certain frequency bands like 5.8 GHz need SRRC certification. EM conformity certification is required for EMI/EMC compliance. CCC certification is needed for commercial products sold in China. There are also specific regulations around router security hardening.

Conclusion

Reliable wireless connectivity is crucial for industrial environments to enable IIoT, industry 4.0 and digital transformation initiatives. Purpose-built industrial 4G LTE and 5G routers provide the robust performance, security protections and remote monitoring capabilities needed for smart manufacturing, utilities, transportation systems and other industrial use cases.

Leading Chinese vendors like Alotcer, Inhand Networks and Robustel offer field-proven, high quality industrial cellular routers with advanced capabilities tailored specifically for harsh industrial environments and operating conditions.

When selecting an industrial cellular router, key factors to evaluate include LTE category, interfaces, antenna connectors, network security features, ruggedness, operating temperature range, remote monitoring and management, and long term vendor support. By choosing the right industrial wireless platform, organizations across transportation,