AVM launches LTE Fritz!Box routers

German router manufacturer AVM adds LTE support to a pair of 802.11n models and introduces a new case design.

Pricing issues aside, LTE — a.k.a 4G mobile broadband — could be an interesting alternative to fixed-line broadband for some small businesses, with high speeds and portability making it particularly handy for use in locations with little or no fixed-line access — or even for roadshows and exhibitions, for example. AVM's new Fritz!Box 6840 LTE and 6810 LTE routers are two of the first LTE-enabled models on the market.

The Fritz!Box 6840 uses AVM's existing case design and supports tri-band (800MHz, 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz) LTE, as well as dual-band (2.4GHz, 5GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi. image: AVM

Currently, LTE services in the UK are only available from EE, and use the 1.8GHz band, but other operators are scheduling rollouts on the 800MHz band later in 2013. So for the time being, the Fritz!Box 6840 LTE is the only choice for UK users as it's a tri-band model (800MHz, 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz). The cheaper 6810 LTE model only supports the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands.

The 6810 model uses a new case design and supports dual-band (800MHz, 2.6GHz) LTE plus 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi. Image: AVM

Both models have LTE category 3 modems, meaning they support downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps and uplinks of up to 50Mbps. They take a standard LTE SIM card in a slot on the rear panel. The 6840 LTE has a case design similar to other Fritz!Box models, but with three external antennas. It has four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, a USB 2.0 port and an analogue phone port for use with the integrated VoIP features. Designed for more entry-level requirements, the 6810 LTE has a just has a single GbE port and a completely new case.

Both Fritz!Boxes include full VoIP functionality as found in other Fritz!Box models, including multiple SIP accounts and answering machines, and also have a built-in DECT base station. The 6840 has a dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi radio, while the 6810 only works on the 2.4GHz 802.11n frequency.

Both models support the Fritz!App smartphone/tablet app for telephony and router configuration, and also support the MyFritz remote access service.

Pricing and availability of AVM's new routers was not available at the time of writing.