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Standard User ScreamingPict
(newbie) Tue 30-Jun-15 13:03:10
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Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[link to this post]
 
Hi,

Just wondering if anyone has seen this issue.

I've got my father using a Three 3G broadband connection.

He's using a 3G router (Huawei B683) with an external antenna.

Previously the signal strength (RSSI) was around -80dBm and he was getting about 2Mbs download speed.

Recently (for the last 4 weeks) his connection started dropping and the overall throughput fell to about 100-300kbps.

When I took at a look at it I noticed that the signal strength was now -60dBm (which is MUCH better than -80), but the throughput worse than it was before.

I've made sure that this is not a Wi-Fi issue by having him connect directly to the modem over Ethernet.

I've made sure it's not a router issue by switching over to a Teltonika RUT-500; issue still exists.

I've made sure that I have the correct APN etc. I spoke to Three and they said that there were no maintenance works going on on any of the local cell towers and there was no way that the router could be accidentally connecting to a Femtocell.

My next step is to switch networks.

Meanwile- does anyone have an idea of how the signal strength could have improved and yet the throughput fallen?


Thanks in advance.
--
Niall
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 30-Jun-15 13:38:46
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: ScreamingPict] [link to this post]
 
Better strength so maybe wider footprint from the cell tower, more people using it and congestion is the issue.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User ScreamingPict
(newbie) Tue 30-Jun-15 14:13:09
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Andrew,

Yeah- but it really doesn't feel like congestion- the throughput is terrible day and night (even at 2:30am) and sometimes the whole connection just hangs for 5 minutes. Also my father lives out in the middle of nowhere, so it's not as if there's a big population to use the tower. I suspect that something else is at play.


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Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Tue 30-Jun-15 14:44:30
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: ScreamingPict] [link to this post]
 
No direct experience of the system; but I wonder if the Phone RF signals are too strong, ie over-loading?

Also, could it be that something has been erected near-by causing (multi-) reflections, as happened often in the early days of Channel 5 TV.
Standard User ScreamingPict
(newbie) Wed 01-Jul-15 15:02:00
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
Eckie,

Good thoughts.
It's not likely to be a phone thing- as it happens even when the mobile phones are out of the area (plus they are operating on a different network, so a different frequency).

It could be a multi-path issue like you mention- always possible that someone's put up a new building somewhere that's reflecting the signal, giving it more strength but degrading the actual result due to multi-path fading.

I guess switching networks is the best option. Thanks,
Standard User bookey
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 02-Jul-15 22:13:53
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: ScreamingPict] [link to this post]
 
Mind sharing a postcode?

Paul
Standard User ScreamingPict
(newbie) Fri 03-Jul-15 11:12:55
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: bookey] [link to this post]
 
EH53 0HT

It's out in the sticks- lots of fields but it's not totally flat (very slight hill to the south despite the fact that I think that's where the Three tower is).

Does anyone know of a good way to find the location of cell towers these days? The databases I found are all mostly out of date now frown
Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Fri 03-Jul-15 12:53:19
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: ScreamingPict] [link to this post]
 
I note that there is a caravan site - which looks in the 2005 Google Earth Image, as though it may be expanding.

Also although not "crowded", that there are various industrial units around.

Both involve a lot of metal walls etc - any major changes in that aspect recently, thinking of multiple reflections?



The Post Code location is also directly in line with the SW Landing Approach and Take Off Paths of Edinburgh Airport.

Any signs of new equipment for those purposes?

--------------------

Generally I would expect any Phone Masts to be towards Newbridge nearer the airport and with the many industrial units there; or towards Livingston and its many industrial units.

-------------------

Another thought - could it be any temporary arrangements to cover the preparations and running of the Royal Highland Show very recently?

There can be several weeks of preparation, when exhibitors etc may be looking for better-than-normal communications, followed by the 4 days of the actual running, followed by two or three weeks of "tearing down".

I had some trouble getting to and from the airport on 16th & 17th June respectively.

Huge queues to get away on the evening of 18th.

------------------

Location is

3 miles east from big, clover-leaf junction in middle of Livingston,

2.3 miles from the big M8/M9 junction at Newbridge

3.7 miles from Airport Main Terminal entrance; and about same for the RHS
Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Sat 04-Jul-15 19:35:48
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: ScreamingPict] [link to this post]
 
Another possibility may be temporary communications for Network Rail, from Newbridge Junction, 2.2 Miles, to Winchburgh Junction, 4.2 Miles, in preparation and including the re-structuring of Winchburgh Tunnel and that whole section of track, for Overhead Electrification.


That normally very busy section on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow route, was temporarily closed about three weeks back, for six weeks, to accommodate that work, with major disruptions to the high-speed, high frequency E&G services.

Edited by eckiedoo (Sat 04-Jul-15 19:37:50)

Standard User ScreamingPict
(newbie) Tue 07-Jul-15 15:49:13
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Re: Improved signal strength, worse throughput? (on Three)


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
Eckiedoo,

Sorry about the delay in replying- the external antenna outside the house is pointing almost due South, so the Network Rail works are certainly an interesting possibility (most of the other suggestions that you astutely came up with are to the North of the house).

Will see if it all goes away in three more weeks. Thanks for the thoughts!
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