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  >> Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G, 5G etc)


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Standard User andynormancx
(committed) Sun 10-Jan-21 14:52:25
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: andynormancx] [link to this post]
 
I also had very significant difficulty buying the EE SIM (after getting a PAYG one to test with), I've ended up with three different EE accounts on their systems frown
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 10-Jan-21 14:53:17
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: andynormancx] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by andynormancx:
VM do not have the monopoly on lousy support...
In mobile data, Three's rubbish support is legendary. I suspect many find them worse than VM. Vodafone have been fined more than once by Ofcom for incompetent support. EE and O2 both seem quite good.

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Sun 10-Jan-21 17:10:48
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: andynormancx] [link to this post]
 
Are you not aware you can cancel by text? Simply text STAC to 75075 then issue the STAC code to your new or existing provider, and the old one will be ended - STAC does not transfer the number.

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/06/ofcoms...
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-interne...

The Ofcom page doesn't seem to be loading at the moment.

I've been with Three for nine years, so yes I have experienced their support and VM is still the worst in my opinion.

Purely in the interests of experimentation I have ordered a Huawei B818


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Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 10-Jan-21 17:16:12
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by R0NSKI:
Purely in the interests of experimentation I have ordered a Huawei B818
If that is the same as this model, then it looks good. Amazon has no price.

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Sun 10-Jan-21 17:29:04
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Yes it is

https://www.efones.com/products/huawei-b818-grade-a-...
https://www.efones.com/products/huawei-b818

They only had the refurbished one, so went with that. Spec seems very good and they get very good reviews, can even be run in bridge mode apparently. If it doesn't work out I can always pop it on eBay for more than I paid for it with £1 max selling fee's wink

I have an Intel NUC in the room with a suitable window, so can connect that to it and run some regular speed tests via the speedtest.net CLI.

I'll see how it performs with my own SIM, and then may pick up a Three sim for some longer term testing.

Huawei also do a new 5G version - Huawei 5G CPE Pro, but that's rather expensive, and as we don't have 5G so a bit pointless - but Three does have 5G in Margate, so hopefully they'll roll it out in Broadstairs soon.

Edited by R0NSKI (Sun 10-Jan-21 17:30:43)

Standard User andynormancx
(committed) Sun 10-Jan-21 18:09:12
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
The Three web pages led me to believe all I needed to do to leave was to request a STAC or PAC number, I don't remember which one. As far as I know I then requested one back in August, thinking that was the way to terminate my contract.

So I was surprised to realise in December that I was still being billed for the service. At that point I had to spend 40 minutes online chatting to convince them to cancel it.

As far as I'm concerned they conned me out of four months of £30, but I really don't have the energy at that moment to argue that with them.

And know, I didn't know the intimate details of cancelling/migrating mobile contracts. I've migrated one in my life, many years ago and this is the first one I've ever cancelled.
Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Sun 10-Jan-21 18:58:45
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: andynormancx] [link to this post]
 
Yes I agree companies websites are often poorly worded, sometimes to deliberately mislead. I knew about PAC codes years ago, but only found out about the ability to text for them a couple of years ago when I got my P20 Mate Pro via an o2 refresh deal, had a nightmare of a time trying to cancel the phone contract, and then found out about the text code which were brought in to make it easier for people to transfer between providers.

The fact its designed to make it easier to transfer is why you need to give the STAC or PAC code to your new provider, so the old contract is cancelled in time with the new one starting so they don't overlap (a PAC transfers the number and a STAC doesn't), a side affect is you can give an existing provider a STAC code from another contract you no longer want, and they will cancel that contract for you, but appreciate it probably wasn't clear on Three's website - I actually had to give Three my 02 STAC code via a chat session as the website didn't action it when it was entered on there.

Nothings ever simple these days, and the current problems have only made it more difficult wink

Standard User JakeRoof
(newbie) Mon 11-Jan-21 09:56:41
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
This is my own experience.

Earlier last year (2020), with the sudden 'work from home' that came into place, I had to rethink my network. Had a line with BT (FTTC). Speeds weren't that great, while price was very high, so thought I'd get an unlimited 3 sim.

A deal was on at that time, so price per month was great, albeit being on a 24 month contract. Tested a 3 sim - speed was decent/ok (approx 30-50 up 15-20 down), so went ahead and ordered the sim, purchased a basic Huawei router and was good to go. A couple of weeks later, started seeing speeds dropping. PING was extremely bad.

Researched and was suggestions it could be the router, so went for another 4G router, this time it cost over £150. That did show some increase in speed, but PING is still bad. We aren't even that far away from the 3 mast. Speed was slow for most of the day, and would speed up during the night, post 12am - till 6am.

It got to a point where it was unbearable, just two people using it, brought it to it's knees.

So, stuck on a 24 month contract, was left with no option but going back to a fixed line broadband, and opted with VM, the 350 package (due to the highest upload speed available in the area).

That has since worked wonders, ah, as well as multiple people working from home, home schooling, gaming, 4k on multiple TV's etc all working fine.

Long story short, I would advise strongly against it.

If you are able to, go for a fixed line, unless for some reason the sim card route is somehow more superior than the other options.

But I'm now left with two contracts (VM & Three 18 month and 24 month respectively). Three I can't even use as failover, as it crawls so slow.

Edited by JakeRoof (Mon 11-Jan-21 09:59:58)

Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Mon 11-Jan-21 10:21:00
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: JakeRoof] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your input.

For now it's only going to be an experiment, but every time I've tested speeds on my phone they have been 80Mbps or faster. So it will be interesting to see how the experiment pans out.

I think once 5G becomes available it could make a lot of difference so long as the cell tower has the capacity and back haul in place.

It will certainly give me a bargaining tool against VM, FTTC speeds are pretty poor even though I'm roughly 500 meters from the cabinet, speeds are about 40/6 hence why I went with Virgin.

Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 11-Jan-21 10:36:43
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by R0NSKI:
For now it's only going to be an experiment, but every time I've tested speeds on my phone they have been 80Mbps or faster. So it will be interesting to see how the experiment pans out.

There are multiple areas of congestion, the radio spectrum that Three owns, and those that it has deployed on the mast(s) you can receive. Then there is the backhaul from the mast to the network core. The latter is most often NOT the cause of congestion. Three has a relatively good spectrum portfolio given they have ~10m customers. Their competitors have more spectrum, but they have more customers.

Mobile networks were designed for moving people, so the whole pandemic has caused mobile network planners headaches. Deploying more capacity is hard, even if the network owns it.

I think once 5G becomes available it could make a lot of difference so long as the cell tower has the capacity and back haul in place.
5G is tricky indoors currently due to the high frequency band n78 (3500 MHz) so as you will see on other forums/discussions people find it "comes and goes".

Think of radio spectrum as lanes on the motorway. Three has 15 MHz on Band 3, and 5 MHz on band 20. They are also shrinking their 3G capacity and using this for 4G, and that is Band 1. Your local mast only had Band 3 and Band 20. If your modem can do aggregation (cat 6 and higher) then you MAY get 20 MHz of capacity if the mast permits. (If under heavy load on band 20 it may decline). Sometimes Three adds their supplementary downlink, which adds capacity in one direction.

It is reported elsewhere that Three are in the middle of a major network rebuild, so many of their older masts will be upgraded to supply multiple frequency bands, and some of those additionally 5G. In my dual town conurbation of around 100,000 people, Three has upgraded ONE mast to 5G, and this in the middle of an industrial park. That mast now has 4 bands of 4G, as well as 5G, and I've seen speeds of 400 Mbps on my PAYG SIM, sitting in a car park.

I live very close to an EE mast, which is Dec was being upgraded, so we went from 50 Mbps general speeds, to 5 Mbps for about 3 weeks until the upgrade was complete, and now we achieve 180+ Mbps most of the time.

As many others have said, it is very much a gamble! Especially if you have a family that needs to study & work at home during the pandemic.

good luck!

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
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