- Insty Connect now offers the option of a 5G modem based on the Qualcomm X62 modem chipset.
- The X62 provides several significant advantages over older chipsets used in mobile routers.
- Insty Connect is the first mobile-friendly router manufacturer to bring the X62 to market.
Insty Connect is a small company run by a part-time RVer that makes cellular connectivity systems for RVers. The Insty Connect system is primarily designed for RVs and consists of a rooftop unit housing a cellular modem and antennas that is connected to an indoor router.
Insty Connect announced that they now have the option for a more modern modem module that utilizes the Qualcomm X62 cellular modem. The X62 provides several enhancements over the X55 modems used in most mobile cellular routers today.
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Insty Connect Explorer 5G X62
As we noted in our Fall 2022 Roundup of cellular modem developments, we have eagerly awaited the arrival of Qualcomm's next-generation X62 and X65 cellular modems in the cellular modem modules used in the vast majority of cellular routers on the market.
And these modules have recently started to become available on the market for router manufacturers.
Insty Connect, as a small company, is the first mobile-focused company out of the block with an X62 option for the Insty Connect Explorer 5G system. They're selling the first units at the annual Quartzite RV festival and will begin shipping Explorer 5G systems with the new modules starting next week.
The modem module used in the Insty Connect is the Quectel RM520N which also supports LTE at Cat-19 for downloads and Cat-18 for uploads. The module supports every major 5G and LTE band used in North America. Overall, this module provides excellent cellular performance.
The new X62 modem module is an additional $200 above the X55-based 5G module, which is still available. Bringing the total kit cost to $1224.
Upgrade Path For Existing Insty Connect Customers
Existing customers who already own an Insty Connect Explorer 4G or Explorer 5G with an X55 modem can upgrade their system to the new X62 modem.
Upgrading from the older 4G system to the X62 is $549, and to go from the X55 5G modem to the X62 is $399, plus shipping. Customers need to initially pay $599 to make the upgrade and then will receive a refund back once the original modem is returned to Insty Connect.
Insty Connect has an upgrade page with all the details.
Advantages of the X62
So why is the X62 coming to the Insty Connect and, hopefully soon, other mobile routers a big deal?
The short answer (again, read our Fall 2022 Modem Update for the full details), the X62 and its bigger brother, the X65, are the first modems designed to support the 3GPP Release 16 specification (aka "5G Phase 2"). Supporting this newer spec comes with some significant advantages:
- Support for three-way 5G carrier aggregation and higher peak theoretical speeds.
- Support for carrier aggregation between low and mid-band frequencies. The ability to combine more and different types of cellular spectrum improves speed, range, and reliability. X55 modems, by contrast, can do carrier aggregation on low-band or mid-band frequencies, but not both at once. Considering that all the carriers are now using, or are in the process of deploying, low and mid-band 5G spectrum, this is a tremendous advantage going forward compared to X55 modems.
- Support for AT&T's upcoming "Andromeda" mid-band spectrum. For users of AT&T 5G, having access to Andromeda will be very important and is only available on newer modems like the X62.
The overall result is that the 5G Phase 2 modems like the X62 should see improvements in both peak speed and overall range so that faster 5G speeds can be maintained. And they will be much more future-proof for 5G developments coming in the future.
Right now, T-Mobile is the only carrier that can really take advantage of some of these advanced features, but the other carriers are catching up. So most people with an X55 should not feel any need to rush to upgrade immediately, but those who are looking to jump into 5G from LTE should consider an X62-based device, like this new option from Insty Connect, and skip the X55.
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It's great to finally see more advanced modem modules coming to mobile router products, and we expect that many other companies, such as Pepwave, will come out with mobile routers with X62 and X65 modems in 2023.
Insty Connect was able to beat the big players to the market thanks to being a small company and also because of the system's design. With the modem separated from the router, Insty Connect does not need to go through the FCC certification process as a router with an integrated modem, which can take significant time and expense. The design also allows for an easy upgrade path when newer modems become available.
For those who've been thinking about getting an Insty Connect system, we recommend the X62 version, even though it is $200 more expensive than the X55 version. The extra expense will provide a lot of future-proofing advantages.
- Gear Center: Insty Connect Explorer - Our review of the Insty Connect Explorer.
- Guide: Understanding Cellular Modem Specifications - Our in-depth guide to cellular modem specifications.
- Guide: 5G Cellular Fundamentals for Mobile Internet - Our guide covering the fundamentals of 5G.
- Guide: Understanding Cellular Frequencies - This guide will help you understand the different frequency bands and why they are so critical.
- Resources: Cellular Resources - All of our guides related to cellular connectivity.
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- Insty Connect Offering X62 5G Modems - A First For Mobile Routers Posted on: January 27, 2023
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- Winegard Releases Air 360+ 5G Dome and 5G Gateway Router Posted on: October 19, 2022