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Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Sat 09-Jan-21 18:03:34
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4G instead of Virgin?


[link to this post]
 
I'm currently with VM on M350 broadband only, paying £37 a month but have just received notification of a £4.50 price rise (just over 12%), add to that our current £15 a month discount ends in March, so there will be another increase then.

So I'm weighing up my options, which are phoning VM and negotiating a new deal, which will mean giving 30 days notice, or moving to 4G. We have FTTC available, but the speeds are poor, especially the upload which is important to me. FTTP is being rolled out, but our estate is DIG, so is being left until near the end, at which point they'll decide if there is enough money left to cover the rollout cost on our estate, so FTTP is at best probably 12 months away.

We are lucky that we have excellent speeds on Three, having line of sight to the cell tower, which is only 400 meters away. I regulary get speeds tests of over 80/25 and and hit as high as 157/30 sometimes on my Mate 20 Pro.

This is my cell mapper data https://i.postimg.cc/RZsmzQsY/2021-01-09-12-31-41.jpg and https://i.postimg.cc/SsnqNZ15/Network-Cell-Info.jpg I don't really know what it all means though, these screen shots were taken standing inside an upstairs window with line of sight to the tower.

I use pfSense as my router,so would need something suitable to connect to that in bridge mode purely as a modem.

One thing that's very important is I have a public IP address as I need access to my home network when away, preferably that doesn't change too often, although fixed would be better. Is this possible on Three?

Given I can get a 12 months unlimited sim for an effective price of £13.34 a month, how much is the other kit likely going to cost - I've seen some pretty high prices for some 5G kit, but currently we don't have 5G, although it seems that Margate does but of course that doesn't mean we'll get it any time soon.

I'd like something fairly cheap at first to experiment with that could be sat in a window, perhaps with an external aerial stuck in said window, but at a later date could very easily fit an external 4G or 5G modem if I decided to do this long term.

I should add that we don't play online games, and use our mobiles for calls.

So what's my options please?

Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 09-Jan-21 19:12:55
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
I'm not an expert in the hardware available, others should post. However your cellmapper data leads to a mast at Rumfield waterworks, by the Dane grammar school. Also located here is an O2 mast with a massive amount of cellular spectrum. It appears that Vodafone and EE are likely to be weaker in this town, given the limited spectrum deployed. On the O2/Vodafone regional split, you are in an O2 managed part of the country. Whilst this is slowly being unwound, the impact to yourself is that Vodafone is likely to be slower than O2 services.

You have a very fast, and (fairly?) reliable fixed line service with good upload speeds. Moving to cellular data over LTE is going to be a lower quality service in average. You cannot tell when other people in the cell area increase their usage. Some on this forum have reported speeds of 100+ Mbps dropping down to 5 Mbps before Christmas, perhaps a fault, but also perhaps due to user load.

Having multiple network SIMs available to switch between is costly, but could provide some resilience, or keeping a slower speed Virgin Media cable service for resilience. Especially given everyone is working and schooling from home !

Any hardware you buy would be worth checking it supports Bands 20 (800 MHz), Band 1 (2100 MHz) and Band 3 (1800 MHz) for the Three network and the same bands with Band 40 added for the O2 network. Any virtual / resellers (e.g. Smarty or GiffGaff) are usually slower and have annoying effects (e.g. transparent proxy) for usage away from a smart phone.

The sort of hardware you may be interested in:
* Expensive- Netgear ORBI 4G router, with lots of bands supported and high LTE category:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/NETGEAR-Tri-Band-primary-In...
https://www.netgear.co.uk/orbi/lbr20.aspx
This is an LTE category 18 device, but sadly doesn't support LTE Band 40 for O2 (the only UK network with Band 40). It is also not 5G enabled - it is however excellent for any other network assuming you have tested in advance in a smartphone handset. This router is equivalent to a 2020 smart phone device (e.g. OnePlus Nord) in 4G capabilities.

* Cheaper - TP Link - this is LTE category 4 which as you can see is dramatically less than Category 18, and means "max lab speeds of 150 Mbps" which translates in real world usually just under 90. In my opinion this would be a poor purchase even if you stay with the Three network, as Three are rebuilding and upgrading a LOT of sites in the UK in 2021 and will be adding capacity that this could not use. (This is equivalent to a 2014/2015 smart phone in 4G capabilities. ).
https://www.amazon.co.uk/TL-MR6400-Unlocked-Configur...

* Portable - you can buy this sort of thing, which is portable, but also has an ethernet socket, so you'd have to attach a switch for more devices. Unclear what the WiFi range would be.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079H2LX8X

There are Huawei products around, but I don't see them on Amazon. The elderly design ones such as the B311 should be avoided, as it is sensible now to buy a 5G enabled one, which means it will also have much more modern 4G(LTE) capabilities.

Good luck.

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sat 09-Jan-21 19:53:16
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
* Portable - you can buy this sort of thing, which is portable, but also has an ethernet socket, so you'd have to attach a switch for more devices. Unclear what the WiFi range would be.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079H2LX8X
?
It claims it supports 20 devices on WiFi, though how well is another question. Even with some of them through a separate switch or WAP.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, sites and mail hosting - Tsohost & Ionos.
Connections: OnePlus 8 Pro max 165Mbps down, 24Mbps up on Three, and B311 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
========================
Experience shows us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


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Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 09-Jan-21 21:09:00
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
It claims it supports 20 devices on WiFi, though how well is another question. Even with some of them through a separate switch or WAP.
The older models did not have ethernet ports, and supported 5 devices, so that is an improvement. It is intended as a portable solution, and might be useful as a test box before buying something more expensive.

Sadly the cheaper hardware is much lower specification in LTE specification.

Even in rural areas the assumption was the mobile networks would only deploy their base levels of technology. This is now changing, and so having better capability hardware is worthwhile, especially as usage increases.

Of course the other option is to tether a smartphone via USB into a traditional router, but this is where you need to confirm USB 3 at least, as USB 2 will limit speeds dramatically.

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Sat 09-Jan-21 22:41:21
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for taking the time to write a comprehensive reply, certainly some things to think about, and I obviously need to experiment prior to jumping in. Perhaps I'll keep a look out for some decent second hand hardware to experiment with, and I can always sell it if not successful.


I only really have a fast download to get a fast upload, so a slower download isn't an issue, but substantially lower would be. Reliability is generally good, I've had VM since April 2018 and had two faults, both were a complete nightmare to sort out because VM's telephone support is totally useless and I had to resort to the forums.

PS. Yes that's the correct cell tower.

Edited by R0NSKI (Sat 09-Jan-21 22:46:07)

Standard User andynormancx
(committed) Sun 10-Jan-21 11:29:10
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
I've been on mobile broadband for about two years now, only 1,600 metres from a seemingly reasonably lightly loaded mast.

In that time I've had to switch provider from Three to EE, because Three's service became unusable. After switching to EE the service then gradually degraded over several months.

I then had to fall back to my backup FTTC line for a couple of weeks when EE deployed some network update that broke things.

If I had Virgin available, I'd not be thinking about switching to mobile broadband unless I couldn't afford Virgin's prices. The only reason I'm on mobile is that our FTTC is 25 down, 5 up and I spent a small future for a while with two lines getting a heady 50/10...
Standard User busterboy
(experienced) Sun 10-Jan-21 11:33:00
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: andynormancx] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by andynormancx:
If I had Virgin available, I'd not be thinking about switching to mobile broadband unless I couldn't afford Virgin's prices.


+1

Not a chance in hell would I cancel VM choose how bad you think it is for a 4G setup

Been there done that. frown

Standard User dect
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 10-Jan-21 11:58:05
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
I agree with the others, if Virgin or Openreach networks are available and meet your minimum requirements and you can afford the ongoing costs I really wouldn't recommend switching to 4G as I think you may regret it.
Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Sun 10-Jan-21 12:07:28
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: busterboy] [link to this post]
 
Appreciate what you guys are saying, but have you ever had to deal with VM support? I've never experienced worse support in all my life.

Haggling with VM over price pretty much always requires giving 30 days notice, and then getting an acceptable offer at the eleventh hour.

So it would be prudent to have a back up plan in place just in case the cancellation did go through.

Standard User andynormancx
(committed) Sun 10-Jan-21 14:50:30
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
It took me 40 minutes on a online chat the other week to cancel my Three SIM (after their awful website convinced me I'd cancelled it back in August 2020). They kept trying to get me to migrate to a new network to cancel the contract, rather than them doing the work on their systems to cancel it.

It was a ridiculous and frustrating experience.

VM do not have the monopoly on lousy support...
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

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
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 11-Jan-21 12:44:23
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
Even I, as a two-year exponent of home use of mobile networks, would be chary of heavy usage by multiple people on a single connection.

I took the plunge of ditching my AAISP FTTC on the basis of simply changing my EE phone SIM at just over £13 pm with 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB data to the Three £20 unlimited everything. Very low risk, as a single retired non-gamer.

A month later I dropped the £14pm Pulse8 line as no longer needed. Neither that nor the AAISP cease cost me anything, and both easily and cheaply replaced if my circumstances changed.

That I also now have the original much slower Three B311 which is not a brilliant piece of kit is purely because I have since added an external security camera and expect to add more. I wish to have that/those recording to the Cloud rather on-premises recorder.

I also already had/have very cheap unlimited data space on what was 1&1, a product no longer on sale as far as I know. The B311 also happily supports my laptop, iPad and two-month old Sony Android TV simultaneously so I can happily go out taking my phone if necessary and record on the tele.

Simultaneous F1 on TV and Live Timing on iPad is great, though the lack of sync is amusing and often useful at times! Especially when the iPad is ahead.

Very different circumstances and risks from what I believe you have.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, sites and mail hosting - Tsohost & Ionos.
Connections: OnePlus 8 Pro max 165Mbps down, 24Mbps up on Three, and B311 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
========================
Experience shows us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Mon 11-Jan-21 13:30:51
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thank you and John for your input, it's appreciated.

Both my wife and I have to go to work, neither of us can work from home. My oldest daughter works and lives away from home, my other daughter is currently furloughed. She does stream quite a bit, the wife uses pretty much zero data,, I'm probably the biggest data user, and over night off site backups hence needing a decent upload speed.

For now it's just an experiment, and possibly just to tide us over if I need to cancel Virgin, and then a month or so later become a new customer. I'm not going to payout potentially £20 per month extra just because I can - I'm a tight old git saving for retirement.

Standard User mlmclaren
(knowledge is power) Mon 11-Jan-21 15:21:50
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
I tried switching from Virgin M100 to 4G Broadband for one of my accounts, I think the experiment cost me £150+ quid in the end after testing Three, Smarty, then EE and Vodafone....

The outcome was that EE was the best, achieving speeds at well above 100mbps and uploads in the 20-40 region BUT.

It didn't cope well multitasking, also got annoyed with it straying from Dual Carriage to single bands losing all bandwidth and also randomly switching from the main high capacity mast in the area and jumping to the lower capacity mast.

Three was just terrible, although the speeds weren't bad up to 50mbps the connections where not reliable at all, IP constantly changing, packet loss, and websites just not loading.

Vodafone was ok, however mast location behind hill so limited me to Band 1 and Band 20 which where busy in the area and Band 7 was unreachable making for sub 20mbps.

I understand the issues with Virgin support, I hold 3 accounts currently and they are giving me headache, but connection wise they've been pretty solid and mobile broadband isn't something I consider a replacement for them.

If price is of an issue, then downgrade to M100 or order FTTC
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Mon 11-Jan-21 15:37:25
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
I used 3 for a couple of weeks when I had broadband migrating over. Points to raise:
1) For a day or two the network was 1 bar due to an issue on local mast, it was horrific, like dial-up
2) Sky Q downloads almost always failed part way through, IP changed, router changed mast or whatever and SkyQ would just fail the download so you'd get 15 mins in, then it would stop, and then you'd have to redownload from the start for it to happen all over.
3) Teams was ok, with occasional poor quality network error, but screen sharing was a problem
4) Streaming always started horrifically low quality, I'd be watching 5 pixels move as it snailed up in quality to HD, even when speeds were 30+ Mbps
5) Under high load, there was total degradation of other services e.g. SkyQ download often meant every other device felt like a snail
6) Torrents basically did not seem to work, or if they did it was like sub 10KB/s

Avg speeds around 40Mbps, mast about 50m from house...

Overall pretty horrific and would not recommend for anyone unless they had very slow broadband already.

EE did fair better, as I ended up using their SIM from my phone in the end, no major issues other than when it chose band 20 a few times at random.
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Thu 14-Jan-21 23:03:30
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
For a permanent alternative I personally wouldn't jump from Virgin cable (even with their drawbacks) to a 4G service. Three don't fill me with lots of confidence given their recent extended issues.

When you do get 5G service it is a quite different proposition to LTE. The major improvement over LTE is download speeds - as long as you have decent signal strength. For the time being you would not notice any discernible difference between LTE and 5G on upload speeds.

In central London, I've been using a 5G Gigacube (unlimited @ discounted £50/month) as a "stop gap" for almost 18 months, which has been pretty good for heavy usage. Reasonable sub-25ms ping times, and still good enough for multiple SIP trunks. No issues with streaming. I've have a handful of serious mast slowdowns due to upgrades over that period, but its been a good service on the whole. Unfortunately public/routable IP is not possible (its all CGNAT), so you'd have to get crafty with a VPN.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User R0NSKI
(knowledge is power) Fri 15-Jan-21 10:14:35
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Re: 4G instead of Virgin?


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the feed back, I've yet to run any extended tests but have pretty much decided to use it just as a stop gap if my cancellation goes through, but hopefully VM will make me a decent offer.

The next town to us does have 5G, no idea why, perhaps they just needed to update the equipment. If and when we do get 5G I'm very close to a couple of towers, 400 meters to the Three tower, but if there is no fixed or sticky IP then using a VPN will lose most the speed. A&A are the obvious choice but they limit the download to 100Mbps.

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