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Standard User Rolandrat
(committed) Tue 13-Aug-19 11:12:33
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
Use cellmapper.net website to see if you can see where your masts are, website isnt great and its not very intuitive but the info is there if you get the hang of it.
Also bear in mind that a few cm's can make all the difference in positioning the router, sometimes logic has to be thrown out the window.
Look at the Mikrotik external 4G kit, they fairly inexpensive and poe (they come with poe injectors)
Good Luck.
Standard User jabuzzard
(committed) Tue 13-Aug-19 12:44:27
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: Rolandrat] [link to this post]
 
Indeed, the Mikrotik SXT 4G kit is a good default choice.

https://mikrotik.com/product/sxt_4g_kit

That has a directional 10.5dBi antenna so will turn a weak signal on a mobile in to a good signal. There is also the LHG 4G kit which has a 40cm diameter dish giving 21dB of gain.

https://mikrotik.com/product/lhg_4g_kit

The trick is to find your mast and check if you have line of sight to it. If you do have line of sight and it is enabled for 4G then you will be able to get a signal using the LHG 4G kit in a worst case scenario. They are not cheap at ~£170 but that's not terrible either and the SXT is ~£130 anyway. Sometimes you have to pay for a nice view.

Both of these can be put into bridge mode and you can use whatever "indoor" solution works for you. I think an Edgerouter X SFP to power the 4G modem via PoE eliminating the injector and one or more UniFi AC LR access points as needed makes for a top notch system, but there are other options too.
Standard User DanielCoffey67
(regular) Tue 13-Aug-19 12:55:25
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
For indoor use I have my nearly new ASUS AC86U and Netgear 16-port switch so will probably keep using that. First I have to find where the dratted masts are - certainly not in direct line of sight however as there are hills all around.

Out of interest, when properly set up how do these external antennas compare with the speed results shown by modern smartphones? I stood outside looking for the 4G signal from my O2 SIM and got 10mbps down 1mbps up without moving away from the property. That was on an iPhone X showing two bars of 4G (though it also returned 5 bars of 3G). I would be interested to know if the MikroTek was similar in performance or in a different ballpark.


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Standard User gary333
(member) Tue 13-Aug-19 13:27:56
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
Do you know if the Mkrotik 4g kit happens to support carrier aggregation?
Standard User DanielCoffey67
(regular) Tue 13-Aug-19 13:35:07
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: gary333] [link to this post]
 
It doesn't appear to be mentioned.

I have also noticed that even though the SXT 4G model allows 150/50 comms, it is only fitted with 10/100 Ethernet. Wouldn't that prevent full use of the 150mbps down?
Standard User gary333
(member) Tue 13-Aug-19 14:06:43
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
Yeah the network port would certainly limit performance, but if it hasn't got aggregation it won't be able to hit over 100mbps anyway smile
Standard User jabuzzard
(committed) Tue 13-Aug-19 16:45:17
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
Indeed I have always thought that a bit odd that it does not have a 1Gbps port. On the other hand I imagine that most people buying one of these would be chuffed to bits to have a 100/50 internet connection.
Standard User DanielCoffey67
(regular) Tue 13-Aug-19 17:02:17
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
Looking at the specs and the reviews, I think it is certainly fit for purpose and it is affordable.

In most of the more marginal 4G areas of the UK, the Cat4 modem at 150/50 is more than enough for the job and the cheap 10/100 ethernet will be able the handle the best the marginal 4G will throw at it.

What concerns me is the casing it is in. The mounting location is all plastic and one review mentioned the waterproofing was marginal and should be supplemented with tape. I wonder if it is a consumer 4G modem in a plastic box with a reasonable antenna with short cable in close proximity rather than a "designed for outdoor" CA IP65 unit.
Standard User Rolandrat
(committed) Tue 13-Aug-19 17:14:10
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
Ive had one outside now since middle of December last year, its on a North facing wall, with some slight protection with the eves of the house, no problems yet (famous last words!).
If its mounted correctly, ie access ports down then it should be ok i'd say.
I havent looked inside since so cant say if there is any corrosion of any parts.

I have an electric joint box, the standard ones with two screws on the cover and a thin rubber seal and thats been on my shed for 16 years fully exposed to the elements and I looked at that the other week out of curiosity and its all fine inside, so im hopeful this will be fine.

I have another one inside the house with another sim in as failover/load balance, so if it ever goes belly up ill swap.
TBH the relief of not trying to divvy up 4Mb ADSL anymore is worth it even if it only lasts a year. Cityfibre is starting rollout in the Autumn so fingers crossed they will come to us sooner rather than later.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 13-Aug-19 21:59:56
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Re: Any alternatives to Three who also offer Unlimited Data?


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by DanielCoffey67:
... is there any important technical difference between the SIMs offered with the Unlimited Mobile SIM on the 6mth at £10 then £20/mth for 24 months and the HomeFi Broadband 6mth at £11.50 then £23/mth for 24 months offers?
The mobile one is sold as a "phone" SIM with unlimited everything.

The one included with the router is the one sold in the 100GB data package, which after a couple of days automatically gets a free add-on to unlimited data.

My phone one defaults to 3ireland.ie APN. My HomeFi one (with the B311 router) defaults to APN three.co.uk

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
If you never think of anything off the wall, you'll never think of anything original.

Edited by RobertoS (Tue 13-Aug-19 22:00:41)

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