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  >> Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G etc)


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Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Fri 20-Jan-17 23:38:06
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Re: Ideas to improve broadband speed: 3G / 4G a good option?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, very informative - and sounds hopeful for improving 4G coverage this year! smile
Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Fri 20-Jan-17 23:48:20
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Re: Ideas to improve broadband speed: 3G / 4G a good option?


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the advice. If I had clear line-of-sight to the cell mast, then a directional antenna would be ideal. Otherwise, hopefully the omnidirectional will improve the situation anyway - will have to experiment a lot with positioning the aerial, the router may even end up in the attic (or even in a DIY waterproof mast out in the field if really necessary, linked back to the house via fibre or a Ubiquiti point-to-point device of some kind!!).

Thanks for the tips anyway. And that Huawei E5372 looks good for a "MiFi" device, quite a few don't seem to have connectors for external antennae.
Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Mon 30-Jan-17 12:48:48
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UPDATE


[re: AdamInTheSticks] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for everyone's input.

I just thought I'd post an update.

I took the plunge and purchased the TP-Link Archer MR200 4G router, along with an EE Data SIM with 6Gb of data (lasting 90 days) for testing purposes. I did also get the Poynting A-XPOL-0001 external antenna as well, in case it was needed.

I was a bit nervous, as I can't get a 4G signal via EE at all on my phone inside the house (and there's only one location so far in our field where I get a 4G signal most of the time). I haven't yet tried with other networks (Vodafone may be worth a go here too).

Anyway - I had success in the window of 1 of the upstairs bedrooms - after much trial & error in positioning the modem (I had to put it on a small pile of boxes to gain height - now looking for some kind of adjustable windowsill stand/shelf), and also after *forcing* it into 4G mode (otherwise it would always pick up a 2G or 3G signal), I eventually can get a consistent 1 bar (out of 4 - i.e. 25%) 4G LTE signal! smile

So, comparing my PlusNet ADSL - these are typical speed test results:
SpeedTest.net - PlusNet ADSL (on my 20CN Market A exchange)
ThinkBroadBand - PlusNet ADSL (on my 20CN Market A exchange)
(Speed has dropped back to it's usual 2.8Mbps down, 0.37 Mbps up - I can't complain too much, others nearby are worse).

My 4G router with EE SIM gives these (it is variable, and this is one of the better test results):
SpeedTest.net - EE Mobile from 4G router
ThinkBroadband - EE Mobile from 4G router

It does vary from around 10 to 35 Mbps downstream, & 1 Mbps to 15 Mbps upstream - according to router position, signal strength, weather conditions, etc.

But it's huge improvement! I've been able to extend the range of the router via TP-Link powerline adapters (with one also acting as a WiFi extender).

Also - the Poynting Antenna so far hasn't made a difference, in fact I get a stronger signal via the router's own antennae! However, I may need to use it later, as we have a row of Beech + Ash trees nearby, and come the summer when in full leaf, these may adversely affect the 4G signal, such that I may need to put the external antenna on a home-made mast/pole beyond the trees (or on external wall of house) to improve things.

However - the 4G does provide a huge speed boost over my ADSL link.
It's just a shame about the costly data caps!! At least for mobile data contracts, it usually less than £1 per Gigabyte of data (and sometimes special offers mean it's closer to 50p per Gb - I've seen past deals of around £15 per month for 32Gb), so maybe things are improving.

I think 4G would be a viable "booster" for my slow-ish ADSL, and also provide an excellent backup in case the landline has any problems - but is still not a substitute for improved fixed-line NGA broadband. A good FWA link *could* be a substitute, so may investigate that option further down the line (but I'm a bit dubious about LOS [Line Of Sight] issues, due to trees etc).

But, at least it shows that 3G/4G (and upcoming 5G) could help to improve the situation in slower broadband areas.

Thanks again for all the input. smile

Kind regards,

Adam.


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Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Mon 30-Jan-17 13:35:50
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Re: UPDATE


[re: AdamInTheSticks] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by AdamInTheSticks:
It does vary from around 10 to 35 Mbps downstream, & 1 Mbps to 15 Mbps upstream - according to router position, signal strength, weather conditions, etc.


Do you have any variation by time of day? We had found behaviour much worse between 4pm and 6pm.

In reply to a post by AdamInTheSticks:
Also - the Poynting Antenna so far hasn't made a difference,


Have you used it outside?

We found quite an improvement at home by using the suction feet, and putting it on the outside of the window.

When out, we have found that sticking it higher, by 2-3 feet, on a loft pole
http://aerialsandtv.com/_wp_generated/wpa20c0767_01_...
Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Mon 30-Jan-17 16:47:03
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Re: UPDATE


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
Do you have any variation by time of day? We had found behaviour much worse between 4pm and 6pm.


I've just ran a couple of tests via Ookla:
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/6010574949
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/6010616186

(EDIT: and another test at 6pm - pretty decent: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/6010830084 - although bear in mind I'm at a very rural location, so there won't be that many people using the cell mast compared to an equivalent urban area).

Not as good as some previous tests - although still a big improvement on 2.8 down & 0.3 up via ADSL! And still on just 1 bar of 4G signal. Also, damp & foggy today, which may affect things.

But a pattern may appear.

I must admit that running through speed tests (both SpeedTest.net and ThinkBroadband) chews through the data allowance pretty fast - I've already used up almost 3Gb of my 6Gb in this "test SIM" in just a few days of mainly speed tests! I think doing one each of Ookla (SpeedTest.net) & ThinkBroadband tests uses about 100Mb.

Have you used it outside?

We found quite an improvement at home by using the suction feet, and putting it on the outside of the window.


I did try sticking it out the windows for a bit, on a "J pole" (similar to the one you linked to), but so far it made no difference. I do get a 4G signal on the router via the Poynting antenna, so I know it's working - but officially showing as no bars and 0% - although still between 2Mbps & 10Mbps downstream and 0.5Mbps to 2Mbps upstream (if I recall correctly).

I haven't yet tried the suction feet for outside the window - they seem a very tight fit, would be awkward to remove afterwards maybe without resorting to cutting them off ?!

When the weather improves, hopefully on Wednesday, I'll try it again (maybe temporarily on a broom handle or something similar to stick out the window, and will test in different locations - purely for testing purposes!). I'm sure that gaining the maximum height possible is the key, so maybe a longer pole in the correct location will yield good results.

Thanks for the tips.

Edited by AdamInTheSticks (Mon 30-Jan-17 19:18:13)

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