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Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(knowledge is power) Mon 05-May-14 16:17:48
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Data Dongle & SIM - UPDATE


[link to this post]
 
Thought that I would post an update.

First of all, I decided to update my dongle to a Mobile WiFi device. My location has a good 3G signal from Vodafone, I can see their mast through my study window and it is about 200 metres away. That said, the best speed I ever got from it through the K3565 was 2.25 Mbps on TBB's HTTPx6 Speedtest.

Depending upon network and whether 3G and its variants or 4G there appeared to be scope for more speed, subject to signal at my location.

I decided on a Huawei E5776 which would be reasonably future proof for some time at my location. I also decided that I wanted a Huawei badged device and not an unlocked one. Looking on Huawei's UK website, there was a link to Amazon and I placed my order. I more surprised than annoyed to receive a E5776 which whilst Huawei badged, had EE branded firmware although was not locked.

Meanwhile I was considering which network to go on. GiffGaff looked promising, but at 20p per MB after the first 20 MB per day, was a little too much even for a very low user such as myself. Basically I am looking for a reserve/standby means of internet access should my BT line fail and also for use away from home.

I am grateful to Mark (mixt) who reminded me that my ISP, Andrews & Arnold offer mobile & data SIMs. Their monthly charge is £2.00 + VAT and 2p per MB + VAT for data used. A&A's tariff has to be looked at in the context of what I was paying previously with Vodafone. I had been with Vodafone for over 4 years and had only topped up 2 or 3 times. Vodafone's tariff having been £15 for 1 GB of data.

So I ordered an A&A Data SIM which arrived the next morning. A&A use the Three network which according to A&A's website gives marginal coverage at my location. Also the nearest masts are each about a mile away. So I was not too surprised when the E5776 connected at 3G with NO signal bars showing. What did surprise me was the speed, an improvement to 3.32 Mbps using the same Speedtest. A 3G yagi antenna is currently on its way to me from Hong Kong, which I can aim in the appropriate direction and if worthwhile I can easily mount and connect to the E5776.

Once the charges for data roaming in Europe have been levelled off, next year I believe, it will be worth looking to see what PAYG offerings are available. There should be an advantage then that when outside the country of registration, it should be possible to use any UK network; as happens now when you take a mobile phone outside the UK.

Getting back to the Huawei E5776 having EE firmware, I contacted Huawei's UK helpline and from the IMEI confirmed that it was from a batch intended for EE. They were not too helpful as to how to resolve the problem, despite the link on Huawei's website pointing to the particular E5776 offering at Amazon. Their suggestion, which really was quite bizarre, was for me to approach EE! That I know would have got me nowhere. The fact that they could not even locate a User Guide (there wasn't one in the sealed box it came in) nor is it listed on their website, together with any idea of how to supply me with what I wanted if I were to return the unit I have to Amazon, suggested that I would be better making my own arrangements. Google came up trumps here when it found an article entitled Updating Huawei E5776 Firmware at http://willtaylor.org/update-e5776-firmware/ which advised that the German Huawei website had unbranded firmware available.

The process was simple and my E5776 has now lost its EE user interface.

edited typo

All looking good!

Cheers!

Clive


Andrews & Arnold FTTC
DrayTek Vigor 2920Vn

Edited by Ancient_Mariner (Mon 05-May-14 16:19:29)

Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Mon 05-May-14 18:36:40
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Re: Data Dongle & SIM - UPDATE


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
Good experience update Clive., - Thank you smile

I went for mobi-data's 20GB package and whilst also on 3 it's shocking bad round here. I regret committing £60 for 3 months but there you go.

I was going to go with A & A for fibre and mobile but the prices did put me off as well as the fibre being limited. I couldn't however fault the IRC chat and the staff. I can see why you rate them highly
Standard User mixt
(experienced) Tue 06-May-14 12:50:32
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Re: Data Dongle & SIM - UPDATE


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
I was looking at that Huawei device but the comments on Amazon, about receiving a device with EE branded firmware on it, put me off. So I went with a Netgear Aircard instead. One of the main differences between this and the Huawei is that the Netgear has LTE category 3 support only (up to 100Mbits/sec) whereas the unit you've purchased is category 4 (up to 150Mbits/sec), so in that respect, yours is faster. However, I also read reports of the Huawei being not that great on reception. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

In any case, right now, you need to have a 4G enabled SIM card + tariff + be in a 4G area to even get 4G speeds anyway, but at least the option is there for you to have that speed when it becomes more easily available/obtainable, which is why I went with a 4G hotspot device.

Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 (BQMv4) | IPv6 via HE (BQMv6) | 60/20Mb FTTC
Previous ISPs: <aaisp.net> | Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable) | Be* Un Limited | Zen
Is Linux routing your internet connection?
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Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Tue 06-May-14 18:36:23
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Re: Data Dongle & SIM - UPDATE


[re: mixt] [link to this post]
 
Is this the same device that is sold on EEs store? Is is the Y808 or something?
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 06-May-14 18:53:58
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Re: Data Dongle & SIM - UPDATE


[re: pcoventry76] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by pcoventry76:
Is this the same device that is sold on EEs store? Is is the Y808 or something?

EE have a Huawei and an Alcatel, not a Netgear.

James BT Infinity 2 19/09/2012 - Sold 42/6, Now 52/9, Sync @ 55 / 9.5 Mbps @ 470m approx
15 years broadband (1999 ntl: cablemodem, BT FTTC) - Router: Asus RT-AC68U (merlin) - Modem: HG612 unlocked Typical speedtest
Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Tue 06-May-14 20:04:55
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Re: Data Dongle & SIM - UPDATE


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Which is why I was referring to the Huawei E5776. Sorry I directed it to the wrong person
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