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Standard User clv101
(regular) Fri 10-Feb-17 19:49:53
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LTE Router


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Does anyone have experience of running an LTE router?

I'm looking for something like this TPLINK MR6400 4G Router which is around £90, the Asus 4G-N12 for just over £100 or the Huawei B315 for around £130.

I presume these, especially with an external antenna are going to be much better than little MiFi boxes like EE's Osprey 2?

My LTE coverage is good being around 2 miles from an 800MHz EE LTE site, and I'd plan to use a pair or antennas on the eves.
Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Fri 10-Feb-17 23:16:20
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Re: LTE Router


[re: clv101] [link to this post]
 
Hi,

I have recently purchased a TP-Link Archer MR200, and am very happy with it so far.

I have a thread on the forum about my experience here: http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/t/4...

I can't get any 4G signal indoors in my house on my Smartphone (a WileyFox Spark X) - although I usually get a 4G signal in one spot in our field around 50 metres from the house. I do get an occasional poor (slow) 3G signal on my phone. This is all on EE, which probably has the better 4G coverage in my area (although we're right on the edge of any 4G coverage, in a poor signal area generally). I may try a Vodafone SIM soon as well.

But the TP-Link Archer MR200 does pick up a 4G signal indoors, and in 1 or 2 selected locations it's a 1-bar signal, that usually gives me a downstream speed of 12 to 35Mbps (dependant on signal strength, weather, time of day, etc), and an upstream speed of 2 to 20 Mbps - even the lowest of these is much better than my ADSL link, which gives usually 2.5Mbps downstream & 0.3Mbps upstream.

I do also have this external antenna: Solwise Omni-Directional (actually a Poynting antenna) - which does work, but I haven't yet had the chance to test or position it properly - waiting for some better weather first! But from brief tests so far, the built-in LTE antennae on the router have provided just as good a signal. They are external screw-in antenna.

I would imagine that the antenna for the MR200 have much better reception than a MiFi unit, and the MiFi's probably in turn have better reception than many smartphones. That's just my feeling though. Of course, with the MR200 (and most similar LTE routers) you have the extra option of fitting an outdoor directional or omni-directional antenna, so more options still.

One extra point: the MR200 allows you to "force" the router into 3G or 4G mode (or otherwise "Auto" mode to select the best signal), which is a bonus, as otherwise I rarely pick up a stable 4G connection - in 4G mode my 1-bar signal seems very stable & consistent.

I'm now just waiting for a good deal / offer to come round again on EE 64Gb/month Data SIMs (has been around £30 per month or just under before now). 4G is an excellent back-up for ADSL (or indeed any other connection, even FTTC/FTTP or Fixed Wireless), or as a "turbo boost" for a slower ADSL connection - but due to the low data caps generally available, I don't think it could replace an ADSL connection completely (as mine allows unlimited data downloads, I'd always want that as a fall-back option).

Kind regards,

Adam.
Standard User clv101
(regular) Sat 11-Feb-17 20:03:23
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Re: LTE Router


[re: AdamInTheSticks] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Adam, that sounds very positive. I'm not a million miles from you, in rural west Carmarthenshire. Very fortunately, there's good 4G coverage though.

The MR200 looks good, could you tell me what DC voltage it uses? It should say on the transformer.


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Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Sat 11-Feb-17 23:46:38
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Re: LTE Router


[re: clv101] [link to this post]
 
Small world! It seems quite a few people in the West Wales region are looking into using 4G to boost their speed! (And act as a backup too).

Yes, I'm very pleased with the MR200 so far, although I've only really used it a small amount so far for testing purposes.

According to the transformer, the Output is 12V 1A.

Kind regards,

Adam.
Standard User clv101
(regular) Sun 12-Feb-17 19:24:02
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Re: LTE Router


[re: AdamInTheSticks] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for confirming the voltage. I've ordered it now, will report back on how I get on.
Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Sun 12-Feb-17 23:39:50
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Re: LTE Router


[re: clv101] [link to this post]
 
Good Luck - I hope it works well for you: keep us updated.
Standard User clv101
(regular) Tue 14-Feb-17 19:07:03
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Re: LTE Router


[re: AdamInTheSticks] [link to this post]
 
This LTE stuff is impressive! 49ms ping, 34mbps down, 9mbps up! No need for external antennas. That's using a BT Mobile SIM.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 14-Feb-17 19:40:09
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Re: LTE Router


[re: clv101] [link to this post]
 
Just had a go on my mobile phone, sitting indoors, downstairs. 38ms, 49.09/7.73. Wifi turned off.

Using the thinkbroadband tester I get 106ms 42.3/5.3. It correctly identified the carrier. (EE)

My FTTC connection is 55Mbps down (banded) and 14.4Mbps up. shocked

Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin. Daisy Ridley.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 54999/14466Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Wed 15-Feb-17 15:51:15
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Re: LTE Router


[re: clv101] [link to this post]
 
Excellent - glad you got it working ok! I'm guessing it's a big improvement on your current fixed line (ADSL/ADSL2?) broadband?

I'm now just waiting for some special offers on Data SIMs, so that I can get a reasonable monthly data allowance (ideally 50Gb or more, for £30 or less per month) to use as a boost to my slow ADSL (data limits are the main problem with 4G).

Anyway - I'm glad the MR200 is working well for you. smile
Standard User clivers
(regular) Wed 15-Feb-17 20:24:18
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Re: LTE Router


[re: AdamInTheSticks] [link to this post]
 
Have you got Vodafone 4g coverage where you are? they have been doing some decent data packages for a while now. £25 for 50Gb 30 day contract sim only.
Standard User AdamInTheSticks
(newbie) Wed 15-Feb-17 21:51:14
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Re: LTE Router


[re: clivers] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the "heads up": I've just found the info on their website here: Vodafone Data-Only SIMs

I've just got a spare Vodafone SIM so I'll pop in in the router tomorrow, add a bit of credit and try it out!

£25 per month for 50Gb data per month on a 30-day rolling contract is not bad at all - will be interesting if I can get a decent 4G signal in the house.

I do know that EE do special offers from time-to-time, when I last spoke to their TeleSales they said they usually do a 64Gb per month for around £30 (or a little under - discounted further if you're already an EE customer) every so often, at least twice a year - either on a 12-month or rolling 30-day contract - which is even better value than the Vodafone 50Gb offer. (Plus I know I can get a reasonable speed on even 1 bar of EE 4G here). I'll keep looking out for the offers.

But - in the meantime, 50Gb for £25 on a 30-day contract is very tempting (and, as it's just a 30-day rolling contract, can't really go wrong) - will test the signal tomorrow - thanks again! smile
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