Its full name is customer premium equipment, which the industry likes to call “customer terminal equipment”. As a matter of fact, premise means “premise, hypothesis”, and the more accurate translation should be “customer’s front-end device”.

The so-called “front” means that it always stands in front of the user’s equipment. Its function is to convert mobile communication signal (4G, 5g, etc.) or wired broadband signal into local LAN signal for user equipment.


In China, CPE generally appears in two situations.

  • One is the private line access broadband service for government and enterprise users. Generally, there is such a device on the user side。
  • The other is 5gcpe, which has gradually become popular in China in recent years.


5g CPE is a kind of 5g terminal equipment. It receives 5g signals from base stations of operators, and then converts them into Wi Fi signals or wired signals to let more local devices (mobile phones, tablets, computers) access the Internet.

As you can see, 5g CPE is very similar to the “optical cat” function of optical broadband in our home.

Optical cat used in optical fiber broadband. In fact, in essence, “light cat” is a kind of CPE. The difference between “optical cat” and 5g CPE is that “optical cat” connects the optical access network equipment of operators upward, while 5g

CPE connects  the 5g base station.

Now that we have the “light cat”, what’s the use of 5g CPE? Will 5g CPE replace “light cat”?

Let’s start with the conclusion: of course not.

The current 5g CPE products use the same or similar 5g chips as 5g mobile phones. They have strong 5g connection capability, support SA / NSA networking, and are compatible with 4G / 5G signals. In terms of speed, 5g CPE is comparable to “light cat”.

It can be said that 5g CPE is an enhanced version of “light cat”.


The advantage of 5g CPE is mobility and flexibility.


Unlike the conventional “light cat” which can only be fixed in one place, 5g CPE can be “mobile”. Where there is 5g signal, 5g CPE can be used.

For example, when our family goes to a villa in the suburbs for a holiday, we can use 5g CPE to set up a Wi Fi 6 high-speed hotspot, so that all family members can access the Internet and share the video.

For another example, when companies go out to hold activities or participate in exhibitions, 5g CPE can be used to facilitate employees and customers to access the Internet.

Even if you want to set up a stall, you can also bring CPE, which is equivalent to bringing a fiber broadband around.


  • The flexibility of 5g CPE lies in the service opening.

The traditional “optical fiber broadband” is relatively easy to open. If you go to the business hall to handle the package, you can open it. But cancelling is a lot of trouble. Today’s broadband services basically have an agreement period. If the agreement period is not over, they can’t be stopped at will.

In case of need to move, fiber broadband also need to deal with the relocation, also very troublesome.

5g CPE is different, as long as there is a 5g mobile phone card (now the online traffic card is very cheap), you can access the Internet at high speed.

Card slot behind CPE


5g CPE is very suitable for young people’s renting and small and micro enterprise’s office. The equipment can be taken with it and used as it goes, which completely avoids the trouble of broadband installation and dismantling.

5g CPE is also suitable for remote areas or complex terrain areas (such as rural areas, wild areas, etc.). If optical fiber is to be laid in these areas, it will be difficult and costly, which is not cost-effective.

In fact, many foreign regions, because of the vast land and sparse population, began to use CPE very early. They use outdoor CPE to receive base station signals, and then convert them into local signals to access the Internet.


Fixed wireless access (FWA)

If it’s millimeter wave CPE, it’s even more exciting


Outdoor CPE

In addition, 5g CPE has larger volume, stronger antenna gain, higher power, and stronger signal transmitting and receiving ability than mobile phones, so it is often used in various 5g scene tests in outfield.


In short, 5g CPE combines the low cost of Wi Fi and the large bandwidth of 5g, and combines the advantages of both to form a powerful supplement to the traditional optical broadband.

In addition to surfing the Internet, 5g CPE will also act as a home intelligent gateway in the future.

All along, the home router market is the focus of competition of many manufacturers. It’s not because the router makes money, but because it’s the gateway of family network traffic and the basic platform of family digital application. 5g CPE, playing the same role as router, will be the “smart gateway” of 5g family in the future, and also the fulcrum of intelligent life of the family.


Through 5g CPE, users can control a variety of smart devices at home, which can significantly improve the life experience of family members while realizing the interconnection of everything.

In addition to the family oriented to C scenario, 5g CPE also has a very broad application prospect in the enterprise oriented to B market.

Take the smart factory as an example. In the future, the equipment and materials of the factory will be networked. 5g CPE can be used as the unified flow entrance and exit of all equipment in a certain area (workshop), providing low-cost and high-speed network connection for these equipment.


With the increase of application scenarios, 5g CPE will support more communication protocols (such as Bluetooth, UWB, etc.) besides 5g, and truly become the management and control center of all devices.

In addition to the network connection function, 5g CPE will also be combined with edge computing to become a sinking edge computing node to provide computing power support for related equipment.All in all, 5gcpe is of great significance to both home users and enterprise users.

With the comprehensive development of 5g network construction, more and more places begin to cover 5g signal. The demand for 5g CPE will increase continuously, and the application scenarios around 5g CPE will become more and more.


I believe 5g CPE will gradually enter more people’s lives!