ZTE MF288 Turbo Hub: which antenna is for what?

fb23aafb23aa CanadaPosts: 3 ✭✭✭✭
Hi there,
I am trying to improve the LTE performance of my ZTE MF288 Turbo Hub by installing external antennas, but I can't figure out which ones of the 5 antenna connectors are used for wireless reception and which ones are for the wifi if any. 

I am pretty sure each connector has a specific frequency range allocated to, but I have been unable to find any technical documentation about this device anywhere.

Anyone here has access to some technical literature about the ZTE MF288? Anyone knows the brand and model of the LTE module used in this device?

Thanks in advance!


  • sshasansshasan Staff Member United StatesPosts: 4,077 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Adding in @razor512 to see if he has any insight. 
  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 14, 2018 1:17PM
    Seems the FCC has a decent list of the antennas in the device.

    Also seems all of the WiFi antennas are internal only PIFA antennas.

    Here are the specs for the LTE antennas and transmit power for the LTE radio.

    If you are looking to replace the antennas for better reception or other needs, focus on the antenna gain for the frequency ranges you are working with, and also know that it is not uncommon for an antenna that advertises 4-5 dBi of gain, to only give 1-2 dBi gain in the frequencies you actually want to use, thus antenna tuning is important. Most factory default antennas for devices like this, stick to lower gain antennas in order to ensure a more omnidirectional behavior (thus not requiring as much fidgeting with the antennas in order to get a decent signal. If going with higher gain, and you know where the cell tower is, and the device is stationary, then an expensive but effective solution, is to go with multiple tuned yagi or bi-quad antennas (only really useful if you are are a mile or 2 of range from the tower using low gain antennas).

    For the LTE radio, it seems to be the Qualcomm MDM9250 SOC that is used for its Snapdragon X16 LTE modem.

  • fb23aafb23aa CanadaPosts: 3 ✭✭✭✭
    Wow, thanks a ton @razor512 !!!
    This is exactly what I was looking for.
    Thanks also for the antenna advice, I am dealing with a quite challenging environnement, so I will likely go with a multiple tuned yagi configuration, now I know the exact band mapping on the device, I'll be able to set this up properly.

    Thanks again guys, you are awesome  B) 
  • kc57kc57 CanadaPosts: 1 ✭✭
    I am deploying on the fringe of the Bell network. My plan is to use hi gain directional yagi(s) (log periodic), and maybe mimo. Supported bands are 2,4 (primary i think) 5,7,12,13,17 29.  Looks like 4 of the 5 antenna connections are appropriate. 

    Not sure until I can do a detailed site survey but there be the chance to hit 2 towers- how far can a 15 dbi reach line of sight?

    My question is 1 yagi into 1 connection? or maybe 2 yagi and 1 mimo into 4 of the 5, tuning each one independently? 
  • jjlink05jjlink05 Puerto RicoPosts: 1 ✭✭

    Did you ever found out exactly which ports where good for an external antenna to get better LTE signal?

  • ltemodemltemodem https://www.4gltemall.com/ United StatesPosts: 1 ✭✭

    i have the same question, i get an outdoor LTE antenna with two SMA connectors, which connector should I connect to?


  • maxinikemaxinike CanadaPosts: 2 ✭✭

    same question. already have antennas but all the connector i try don't give me a better signal.

  • dodger4dodger4 CanadaPosts: 2 ✭✭

    Same question. How come ZTE is silent on these routine support issues??

  • louisdlouisd Arguer in Chief United StatesPosts: 1,192 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    What routine support issue? Taking a device apart and asking about which antenna does what would be the literal definition of NOT routine.

  • maxinikemaxinike CanadaPosts: 2 ✭✭
    edited September 2, 2019 8:35PM

    support? ZTE dont know what is support. contacted them directly by e-mail and never responded.We have so many problem with this sh..t not telling im at my second hub and still same problem. work ggod first days and then lost of signal gradually over few months

  • hernia1hernia1 United StatesPosts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I'm curious if you ever figured this one out? I think the diagram by razor512 is excellent but I'm just getting started and I don't really understand the bands and frequencies. I received a ZTE MF288 modem from a local reseller and it didn't come with antennas, so I'm always fidgeting with the modem until I receive a good signal. If I order the same antenna as ltemodem, where would I plug in the two cables for LTE, on the left and right sides?

  • LordDonkeyLordDonkey United StatesPosts: 3 ✭✭

    At appears that the left and right sides would be sufficient. My advice is just to experiment around with it. The one in the center rear and the two right ones are the main antennas, the other 2 are for diversity.

    As a side note, does anyone know if this has a way to send AT commands to get modem status? You know, to band lock or check carrier aggregation status? I know Nighthawk can do it over telnet on port 5510, it has the MDM9250 as well.

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