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can anyone recommend an antenna to use with MF279? Preferably not the ground plane type.
Thanks westside80 I couldn't find anything with either guy. I have seen these MF279 devices consistenly yield 50Mbps in 4 bar signal areas on AT&T. I am in AT&T 3 bar and getting in the 15-20Mbps range. Seems logical to me that a properly matched simple antenna would give me the speed I need. AT&T has not been much help.
There are a number of options floating around the internet, you just need a SMA male connector to plug into the device. I don't have one setup yet, my plan is to install a YaGi directional antenna to boost my indoor signal for both our cell phones and the modem. For reference, with no antenna, I get a -98db (3 bar) reading and consistently see 40-50Mbps.
Glad to be at the blog....I have also fumbled around with AT&T trying to obtain knowledge and recently found a store helpful and they put me into the MF279 model. It has the external antennas however I already had a Weboost in my home and I placed the unit in the attic right above a ceiling panel antenna and it works super...all bars...I have it connected to a Netgear router in my family room and it works great. I had trouble trying to get good information from AT&T. I've learned from Utube that a lot of people use the MOFI4500 which has a built in router and uses the same card. The knowledgable tech at AT&T said if you change equipment you must register it with them or in 30 days they will turn it off...thinking it was stolen. Also I've learned that ZTE sells a similar unit in the Canadian market. I will run a test of the MF279 on my shop antenna. It is a Weboost directional and I will test it unboosted and report back. I'm not sure if you can connect the boosted signal directly into the MF279. I've got some adapters coming from Amazon. I wish AT&T people were more knowledgable as they could have saved me a $370 penalty from Hughesnet. They're service works but data usage is not there and latency is lousy. I don't plan on using the phone aspect of the service as I'll have too many numbers out there...but this is my take....been highly investigating....Chuck in Kentucky
The MF279 supports 50 Ohm antennas. The FCC internal photos show the left antenna from the top looking down is RX/TX while the right is only RX. These support antenna diversity but it appears only for RX. The connectors are SMA females and require SMA males to connect. With a yagi such as the Wilson 314411 directly connected to the left antenna jack I was able to reduce the dbm about -10 but it seems like the right antenna did nothing to help reduce the dbm with a second yagi connected.
A Wilson rep advised me that they wouldn't recommend two yagis on this router since they thought it was tuned for different RX frequencies per each antenna jack and the two yagis may interfere with each other. They also weren't sure if it supported MIMO or not but I assume it does with the dual antenna diversity. I also tried a Wilson 460119 M2M signal booster directly fed into the RX/TX antenna jack and it lowered the dbm by -14 using the yagi as its external antenna.
It would be nice if ZTE would release some antenna specs to get the max performance out of this device. It works fine on both AT&T and VZW in the US as long as you unlock it and add the VZW APN info under the settings section. The AT&T rep who sold it to me had no clue on the antenna specs.
Update: I talked to a ZTE USA rep via chat and she stated the MF279 does support MIMO. She wasn't sure if the internal antennas are bypassed when externals are used but I suspect not since the dbm is still affected when repositioning the device with external connections.
I really wish we could figure out the intended antenna setup for this unit. I bought two 460119 Wilson antennas to install this week, along with the Wilson 460119 M2M signal booster to play with. We get borderline signal that fades some nights, so I imagine just one antenna without the boosted would probably do us fine, but me being a techie you know I'm going to go all out and see just how far I can push LTE :)
I did watch a video somewhere where someone had used an indoor omni antenna with one port and a 460119 on the other, but you know without someone doing it scientifically and testing at every step it's hard to tell if the second antenna even did squat for them. We can only hope that someone at ZTE eventually spreads light on the inner workings of this device I suppose.
I know this post is a few years old now, but if you have any updates at all please let us know, thanks!
There is all kinds of information about the device from the FCC at the link below. It shows all testing done on the device as well as internal pictures that you can use to figure out what you need to know.
I have DSL, which stinks, so I recently got the MF279.... and I just began working with the Wilson 314411 yagi antennas this weekend; bought 2. I am 3 miles from the tower and can get up to 6MB down and up to 8 MB up. BUT, I also can get 1.5 down and .5 up. Sooooo, I am trying anything to make this solution more consistent. I also just ordered (2) 32' low loss coax cables, type N on both ends to connect the 2 Wilson antennas to the ZTE MF279. Of course, I have the N to SMA adapters for the modem; hoping that helps a few db since I started out using cable tv RG59 with type F connectors and the necessary adapters for the N on the antenna and the SMA on the modem. Currently, looking at the modem status shows 87db to 89db. I also tried an inline Wilson 460119 booster, but it actually harms the downlink, according to the data sheet, so I sent it back.
I also just ordered a Proxicast MIMO antenna to try out and see if a true MIMO antenna will work better than my 2 wilson YAGI's. I haven't tried to put the yagi's into this (pictured) configuration yet, but its on my short list. Good that my new coax cables, coming this next week, will work with the Proxicast OR the yagis, so I can try both. More to come!