Table of Contents

Products Covered

  • All Pepwave Max Series Mobile Routers
  • Pepwave Balance Series Mobile routers (screenshots on Balance will vary but the concept is the same)


In this article, we will discuss the basics of using band selection or band locking functionality to force your modem to connect to a particular band or channel on the cellular networks. Certain bands offer higher capacity or longer range based on the frequencies utilized. By manually selecting bands you may improve your data connection speeds (or make them worse depending on the bands selected). This article and associated video will describe how to use band locking. 

Band Locking Summary video

In the video below we provide a summary overview of band locking and how to use the function. 

Band Locking Process

Each cellular carrier uses different bands approved for their individual use by the FCC. As you become familiar with your carrier you may find that certain bands at certain locations perform better than others. If you have multiple carriers or a multi-modem device such as a Pepwave Max Transit DUO you will need to perform band locking on each individual modem and speed test each modem individually to test your performance. Make sure to disable any modems not being tested to ensure your traffic is routing out the device you are testing. Get yourself a pen and paper and document the results from the testing steps below. 

Step 1: To begin testing, select the cellular details page of the modem in question as shown in the screenshot below. The cellular details page is located on the dashboard of your Pepwave administration console.

For a guide to accessing your admin console consult our guide.

Step 2: Once you have accessed the cellular details page note the band you are currently connected to. See the screenshot below. Note you may be connected to multiple bands, for this example, we will focus on the primary band listed first. In this example, we see we are connected to Band 12. 

Step 3: Now that we know we are connected to Band 12, we will run a baseline speed test. You can run a speed test by visiting Note that you must complete each speed test using the same server for optimal results. See speed test results below. 

Step 4: At this point you have the option to disable "all" bands except the one you wish to test however we have found that it is faster to simply disable the band you are connected to and let the modem automatically select the next band available from the carrier. Under the cellular details page, scroll down to band selection and select Custom. This will display the bands available. See screenshots below. 

Wait for the modem to reconnect. This may take up to 1 minute. If the modem does not reconnect then there are no other available bands in your area and you should re-enable any disabled bands. Otherwise, move on to next steps. 

Step 5: Now that the modem has reconnected after disabling the band previously connected Repeat steps 1 to determine which band you are now connected to. In our case we are now connected to Band 66. See screenshot below. 

Repeat Steps 3 & 4 for each band available testing which band is the fastest. In our example Band 12 was 4mbps download speed, while Band 66 was only 1.2mbps download. We continued to disable active bands and issolated Band 2 as having 16mbps download which was the fastest in this example location. Note that results will vary based on location, time of day and can even be impacted by the weather and if you are experiencing slow downs you should re-enable all bands and repeat the steps in this article begining from step 1. 

Before You Leave Camp - Reset Your Band Locking to AUTO

It is extremely important that before you leave camp that you re-enable the bands that were disabled and set your modem to AUTO before travel. This will ensure your modem has the highest chance of remaining connected while you travel and connecting at your new location. See screenshot below. 

Make sure to scroll down and hit Save/Apply.

Need More Help with Advanced Features? Consider Becoming a Member

This article is provided as-is as a courtesy to our customers. does not provide complimentary support for advanced features such as the one covered in this article. If you need more help with advanced functionality like what is covered in this article, consider joining our Insider Explore Membership. Members receive access to our MMH Forums inside the Mobile Internet Resource Center and can ask questions and get direct assistance from our engineering staff on more complicated functionality and configurations. MMH Insider Explore Membership Benefits and purchase information is located here

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