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Standard User daviestar
(newbie) Fri 20-Nov-15 18:30:04
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difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[link to this post]
 
Hello, I have been having a fiasco with BT and am now researching moving to 4G broadband.

I've noticed that most companies in the UK are currently offering unlimited 4G sim-only contracts for use in mobiles, but 4G dongle/home contracts are limited to ~20GB max.

So I called Three pre-sales, and asked if I was to buy a router which takes a sim card, and get an unlimited contract, would I be breaking any terms. And the advisor said he had actually tried this himself with the Three staff SIM card, and it worked for a few hours before he got an email telling him the SIM card had been cancelled for 'improper use'.

This got me thinking.. if I had a unlimited sim-only contract, with the sim in a phone, and the phone plugged into the router via USB, could this work? I then read that people who have tried to plug a phone into a router via USB for '4G fail-over' have had difficulties and needed to buy a USB dongle containing a SIM, to plug into the router.

Can anyone please offer some advice and shed some light on the technical aspects of this?

Thanks.
Standard User fearby
(committed) Fri 20-Nov-15 18:37:01
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: daviestar] [link to this post]
 
Convention is to call tarrifs for broadband use "mobile broadband" and everything else is just normal sim contract stuff.

Normal 4G sim contracts would rely on the operator allowing tethering so always check that if you opt for one of those deals. The sims themselves are identical in size and function though.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 20-Nov-15 18:48:26
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: daviestar] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by daviestar:
Can anyone please offer some advice and shed some light on the technical aspects of this?

The "unlimited" SIMs are only on handset use, and only with Three, the other networks (EE, Vodafone, O2) don't offer this at all. Any time you connect to another device (e.g. WiFi sharing, tethering via USB cable etc) the network detects this. Each contract gives an amount of tethering, 4GB or 8GB a month for most. the One Plan has gone for new customers.

http://ask3.three.co.uk/srvs/cgi-bin/webisapi.dll/,/...

If you need a lot of data for tethering you could get an EE Promo SIM, currently called the "Christmas SIM" and put this into a router, such as a B593

Router:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Huawei-B593s-22-Unlocked-Wir...

SIM:
http://shop.ee.co.uk/campaigns/christmas-sim-from-ee

plusnet unlimited fibre 80/20 since 2 Jun 14 / Sync 6th Nov: 58,280/10,784 kbps with G.INP
16 years UK broadband (Since 1999 ntl:cable trial), Asus RT-AC68U & HG612 - BQM - Flash Speedtest - HTML Speedtest

Edited by jchamier (Fri 20-Nov-15 18:49:28)


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Standard User daviestar
(newbie) Fri 20-Nov-15 19:53:14
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the info guys.

Thanks, now I understand that connecting the mobile via USB to the router would eat into 'tethering' usage limits and not the full data allowance of the mobile contract.

I guess the mobile networks are scared they will collapse under the weight of everyone watching Netflix and playing games all night on 4G - plus it's more of a 'family' centric service and not an individual one. Although it does strike me as strange that they are willing to offer an unlimited service on one type of device and not another, when the service - from their perspective of transmitting and receiving data - is exactly the same.

I imagine it would be fairly trivial to trick a phone into sending it's usual data allowance through the USB port (avoiding tethering allowances) as I'd guess the separation is software-side.

Weekend project!

Thanks.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 20-Nov-15 20:18:39
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: daviestar] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by daviestar:
Thanks, now I understand that connecting the mobile via USB to the router would eat into 'tethering' usage limits and not the full data allowance of the mobile contract.


Three did have unlimited tethering until early last year - apparently students would buy a One Plan contract and set it up as the mobile hotspot for a shared house. Gaming (PS3/PS4, XBox360/XBOne) and Video (Netflix, Amazon etc) would mean some shared homes could get through 1Tb or even 2Tb of data in a month.

Completely impractical on a radio shared medium, this is where copper wire (or Virgin's Coax) is a lot more suitable.

I guess the mobile networks are scared they will collapse under the weight of everyone watching Netflix and playing games all night on 4G - plus it's more of a 'family' centric service and not an individual one. Although it does strike me as strange that they are willing to offer an unlimited service on one type of device and not another, when the service - from their perspective of transmitting and receiving data - is exactly the same.


Not scared - they're actually having the issues. Three has had some seriously long term speed issues, and they've been blaiming a few 'over using'.

I imagine it would be fairly trivial to trick a phone into sending it's usual data allowance through the USB port (avoiding tethering allowances) as I'd guess the separation is software-side.


I think people have tried, but Three's TrafficSense has network side detection as well as mobile side.

EE's 100gb for two months for £10 is still the best deal, supports 4G+ (99mbps) speeds in appropriate areas with appropriate Cat6 LTE hardware.

plusnet unlimited fibre 80/20 since 2 Jun 14 / Sync 6th Nov: 58,280/10,784 kbps with G.INP
16 years UK broadband (Since 1999 ntl:cable trial), Asus RT-AC68U & HG612 - BQM - Flash Speedtest - HTML Speedtest
Standard User leexgx
(committed) Sun 22-Nov-15 17:55:58
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: daviestar] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by daviestar:
Thanks for the info guys.

Thanks, now I understand that connecting the mobile via USB to the router would eat into 'tethering' usage limits and not the full data allowance of the mobile contract.

I guess the mobile networks are scared they will collapse under the weight of everyone watching Netflix and playing games all night on 4G - plus it's more of a 'family' centric service and not an individual one. Although it does strike me as strange that they are willing to offer an unlimited service on one type of device and not another, when the service - from their perspective of transmitting and receiving data - is exactly the same.

I imagine it would be fairly trivial to trick a phone into sending it's usual data allowance through the USB port (avoiding tethering allowances) as I'd guess the separation is software-side.

Weekend project!

Thanks.


Unlimited data is not really meant to replace hardline but some people treat it as there right to do so (you get that a lot from USA peeps)

i don't really agree trying to use mobile data as a replacement for a hardline connection, mobile networks in more dense areas just cant handle people using it as a replacement for hardline connection as they cant just add more bandwidth at a press of a button as they are limited by the radio they are using,, when people are doing that on 3 the Traffic Sense normally drops the top 5% to Lowest QOS priority but sometimes even that is not enough and phone calls and text become unreliable until they bring 4G in the Area to offload all the high data users onto 4G, in a lot of areas i go into 3G is faster then 4G on 3, both are still fully usable

if you put a AYCE sim into a mobile broadband device, if not right away they block the sim card at some point

on 3 the tethering detection is more on the side if the phone actually reports to 3 that the device is tethering (like most phones in the USA do), if it does that data used by tethering uses that allowance (or get "the time to untether" page on AYCE on PAYG)

if the phone does not report tethering and the tethering 2-4-8-12GB allowance will not Drop,, But the DPI will detect it and slow the tethering data down to lowest QOS priority so your are or it thinks your tethering it should not affect other users in that area (but does not affect the phones normal data speed which is interesting even if tethering at the same time), i see quite a number of people using tethering on the AYCE PAYG on 3 its slow but works (they are/were not aware they are not allowed to do it)

they do it that way as they prefer to keep you as a customer then cut you off, if it was incorrectly detecting tethering a lot, pepole would leave (and using Up/your tethering allowance up) best just traffic shape them to the lowest QOS level (it can actually result in no data if you're on a highly loaded mast, as it happens on the mast near me as it has limited capacity due to been a repeater mast, PAYG is nearly not useable between 5pm-11pm, but 0.5mb/s usable on contract between them times out of them times its 5-15mb/s)

Edited by leexgx (Sun 22-Nov-15 17:58:08)

Standard User daviestar
(newbie) Mon 23-Nov-15 12:38:11
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: leexgx] [link to this post]
 
Hello again,

I think the underlying problem here is the mobile network advertising an unlimited plan in the first place, if their network can't handle it. If I was to take out an unlimited contract, then watch hi-def Netflix all day through a phone to a TV using a Chromecast or similar, I think you're suggesting Three would throttle my service right down in an attempt to keep phone calls working in the area. This is plainly false advertising as I imagine after a few hours my 'unlimited' contract would be unusable. Unlimited should not be throttled - by definition.

Radio-based infrastructure is surely the future though - no one wants to be at the mercy of monopolies like BT for their infrastructure. The reason I'm researching alternatives is because of my current situation with BT: I had a job with an Australian company that needed a fixed IP for a few months so had to take out BT Business Broadband for 2 years just for this.. now no longer working for this company and have till next November to finish my contract. Now moving house and BT want me to pay a £150 connection fee, PLUS open a new 2 year contract - or else pay almost £1000 to end my current contract early. I am basically over a barrel because of their monopoly. I don't want a home phone line, I don't want to have to pay £150 for someone to flick a switch at the exchange, and I definitely don't want a 2 year contract (they offered me a small discount in exchange for a 5 year contract!!!)
Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Mon 23-Nov-15 23:06:52
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: daviestar] [link to this post]
 
If radio infrastructure is going to be the future, it needs decent non-radio backhaul. If it has to cope with high capacity, it needs a dense re-use of spectrum, which means dense mast placement ... which means a dense network of wired backhaul infrastructure. The ultimate setup is a fixed-line connection into each home, with a radio transceiver at the end. Rather like an FTTC/ADSL router with WiFi ....

As for being over a barrel ... You are there through the choices you made yourself, not because of BT having a supposed monopoly. You chose the ISP and contract.

I have a static IP address. It cost me £5, once, a decade ago. No tie in.

For some contracts, I've taken out a dirt cheap VPS just to get a different IP address. $7 per month, no tie in.
Standard User Michael_Chare
(experienced) Tue 24-Nov-15 09:30:51
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: daviestar] [link to this post]
 
I agree with your point about the way unlimited broadband is sold particularly for mobile phones but also by landline, as there are clearly capacity constraints. So called 'fair usage' is a way of getting round this problem.

I see fibre (FTTP) as the future for broadband delivery, as it has a very large capacity. It is also reliable and you don't have to be an expert wondering whether you should have interleaving, g.inp, ADSL2+ or anything else to get the best connection speed over copper. However FTTP is expensive to install and for homes close to telephone cabinets, FTTC offers a lower cost service that meets many peoples needs at the moment.

I see mobile data as a stop gap that if you are fortunate enough to get a good signal, can be very useful. At the moment I am getting value for money from my EE Christmas Sim as it is has taken the Post Office two weeks to turn on a phone line and I then have to wait another week before the broadband service is turned on. There was a dial tone on the phone and a DSL signal for the router before I started.

Michael Chare
Standard User leexgx
(committed) Wed 25-Nov-15 15:39:01
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Re: difference between 4G 'mobile' SIMS and 'dongle' SIMS


[re: daviestar] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by daviestar:
Hello again,

I think the underlying problem here is the mobile network advertising an unlimited plan in the first place, if their network can't handle it. If I was to take out an unlimited contract, then watch hi-def Netflix all day through a phone to a TV using a Chromecast or similar, I think you're suggesting Three would throttle my service right down in an attempt to keep phone calls working in the area. This is plainly false advertising as I imagine after a few hours my 'unlimited' contract would be unusable. Unlimited should not be throttled - by definition.


not just about unlimited data as the traffic sense on 3 affects Any plan your on not just unlimited but more likely to affected first (again your only affected if the mast your on is under Very high load so it must be traffic managed to prevent top 5% screwing over the other 90-95% of people on the mast)

so if your in the top 5% and the mast is congested, expect your streaming video to drop to its lowest quality or constantly under buffer (your data connection will be set to Lowest QOS priority so you get what spare data is left)

if the mast is not congested you can burn up 200GB with no slow down easy and traffic sense will not slow you down unless you move onto a busy mast you be instantly slowed down until you moved onto another mast (i know as i have done 150GB once but that was due to it temory using it as hardline connection for 3 weeks as i was waiting for the hardline internet to go live)

if a mast is congested it has to be traff managed, if its not you end up in the situation like giffgaff where data is unuseable between 4pm-midnight (but not completely the same as giffgaff is due to them not ponying up some money to buy 10x more capacity to get speeds above 0kbs-300kbs on giffgaff but no higher then 1-2mb)

Edited by leexgx (Wed 25-Nov-15 15:39:47)

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