Kitz Forum

Broadband Related => Mobile broadband => Topic started by: Weaver on January 21, 2019, 06:19:07 PM

Title: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 21, 2019, 06:19:07 PM
Am going to seriously look into going 4G with an all-you-can-eat deal and combining that with DSL for resilience as mobile network does very occasionally disappear for a few days and dies when there are any mains power distribution problems and always after lightning strikes.

AA offered to research 4G modems for me. 4G dongles for the Firebrick present hassle with horrible setup and internal non-transparency - some are like a mixture of NIC and router as they can apparently interfere with the traffic and do NAT internally. If a horrid mobile ISP also does IPv4 carrier NAT themselves that could be double NAT. Anyway L2TP tunnelling would make all that crap go away and get IPv6 going.

AA themselves do a nice 4G/3G service but itís way too expensive for heavy use, charged by the byte. It does nice static IPv4, but incredibly no IPv6, which is the fault of either Three or the intermediate service provider AQL, whom AA uses to link them to Three.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 22, 2019, 04:34:22 AM
I donít think it would be a very good idea to use an IPv4 router like the Solwise 4G-to-2.4GHz 802.11n router that I have and connect that to the Firebrick. I think there would be many difficulties if not using PPPoE and a modem into the Firebrick.

ó

Question: if I used two 4G modems simultaneously and IP-bonded them using the usual AA+Firebrick technology, how would that do in terms of performance on the 4G network? I realise that the two would be contending with each other. I donít know whether there are collisions or not. Would it be a way of greatly increasing throughput? At double the cost of course.

I get 8Mbps downstream and 2.8 Mbps upstream (presumably TCP payload figures?) reported by speedtester2.aa.net.uk with my iPad on 3G when in bed. This is right st the back of the east-facing bedroom. The base station itself is in clear view to the east when at the window. However lying here I am at the wrong angle and too low down. I would get 4G mode if I moved to a better position in the room. A modem used in the office with the Firebrick would get a superb view of the base station and would be in 4G mode. Not sure what speeds can be expected in 4G.

I have seen an all-you-can-eat 4G deal from Three. It is, I think, £27 per month for a data SIM which is incredible. I canít be reading that right. That looks like the way to go.

Any thoughts?

I could use that together with DSL as a fallback.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 22, 2019, 06:21:39 AM
We've been here before, giving loads of suggestions such as external aerials, if fact I suggested exactly what you are now proposing and you totally dismissed the idea rather abruptly.

My advice is keep it simple to start with and build on it from there.

Back in the Black Friday sales you could get that sim for £20 a month, Robertos on think broadband did away his VDSL and uses it instead I believe.

Here's what I get sat in bed https://www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/4574762663
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 22, 2019, 10:12:26 AM
Here is a link to that thread on TBB forums

http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/f/4606674-ive-just-signed-up-to-threes-sim-only-unlimited-everything.html?vc=1

Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: underzone on January 22, 2019, 10:34:04 AM
Maybe get one of those sims and put it in an old/spare IOS device and share the connection with wifi (tethering).

You can then put the IOS device wherever you get the best signal reception.

https://kenstechtips.com/index.php/three-all-you-can-eat-data-reviewed
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 22, 2019, 03:40:47 PM
For best results Weaver needs an external aerial as IIRC the reception is not great.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 22, 2019, 11:48:19 PM
Ronski is indeed right. My apologies completely if I was abrupt, emotion and tone is not conveyed well electronically. So my most sincere apologies.

When I dismissed the idea before I believed that 4G was ridiculously expensive. Also I had not thought of doing L2TP to AA. Nor had I thought of bonding/failover between 4G and DSL. Also there were problems with 4G kit being really awkward which I could not see a way past.

So I owe Ronski a great public apology. I suspect he is better informed about such things than I am.

I donít know if things have changed, but I was shocked by seeing the recent low price for 4G. It may be that Ronski knew about these prices when I did not (my ignorance), or it may be that they are a new development.

So yes indeed we have been here before.

Back then DSL was really very reliable, with less than one fault per line per year iirc. Just recently we have had a run of faults with no end in sight and that obviously made me revisit the 4G thing. At that point I discovered to my amazement that it is extremely affordable.

As for the aerial, I am in direct line of sight to the base station across the valley from the office window. The distance is 6250m to the BT Kinloch site according to mastdata.com. So in the window all should be good. In bed with my iPad things are not so good because I am too low and to far back in the room, so my iPad switches down to 3G not 4G and gets 8Mbps downstream 2.8Mbps upstream. I am not sure what I would get with 4G in the window.mim guessing st perhaps 16Mbps d/s donít know what upstream.

@underzone Have done this during a major outage. Also did this when in hospital. Stuck my BlackBerry Z10 phone in a window and had my iPad in bed, BB creating a wireless LAN and connecting to 3G or 4G when in Inverness. At home I have an emergency Solwise 4G to 2.4GHz 802.11n router too, with two external antennae which Mrs Weaver has buried (lost).
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 22, 2019, 11:54:28 PM
One major reservation, an illogical long-term whinge of mine, is the worry about what happens if another user takes all the bandwidth. It may be however that in a location such as this there are very few users, with such a low population, and especially very few serious data users if most are phone users. So practically I can get away with it.

This could have been part of my earlier Ďanti-Ronskií [humour, apol] mind-set.

But now I have realised that I could always fix that by bonding with dsl anyway if need be so thereís little reason to not use 4G in that case, since if you bond the entire lot together it can only be an improvement on DSL, Ďcannot be worseí.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 23, 2019, 12:02:41 AM
AA said they would look into modems for me. Does anyone know anything about pppoe 4G Hugh performance modems?

I didnít know that such things existed, if they do exist, that is. In my ignorance, I have only heard of routers, myfi, 4G/3G-to-802.11 routers and USB dongles or laptop cards. I would ideally want something aimed at business users/sysadmins not home users so as to avoid problems some of the devices have with annoying features that get in the way such as routing and NATing, which I have been warned about in the case of the 4G dongles tested by AA a couple of years ago and written up in their support website.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 23, 2019, 01:27:37 AM
That RobertoS thread at Thinkbroadband mentioned earlier was incredibly helpful, many thanks. The performance figures reported by some of the London users were horrible, and there is also the fact that a previous all-you-can-eat deal was a farce, so this exactly confirmed my fears about pig-in-a-poke minimum performance guarantees. Chrysalis said ďthree dont seem to learn, they attracting all the data hoarders and last time I tried their service it made ntl docsis1 look godly.Ē

On the other hand some performance figures were good and I am not in London. However one can try it for 14 days, and I can bond it to DSL too whereas those users have not done so. I can do some tests now as my current AA SIM uses Three > AQL > AA.

Another excellent tip from that thread was the Mikrotik SXT LTE device. I would have to find my mains-to-POE injectors as Mrs Weaver May have filed them. I am not sure what the input is, 24V DC and it says you get a POE injector with it in a kit, but not sure whether 24V is the input as well as the output or what. And Iím hoping it might speak pppoe but canít see any stuff about protocols just now.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: DaveC on January 23, 2019, 02:14:12 AM
I donít think it would be a very good idea to use an IPv4 router like the Solwise 4G-to-2.4GHz 802.11n router that I have and connect that to the Firebrick. I think there would be many difficulties if not using PPPoE and a modem into the Firebrick.

What kind of problems do you forsee?  Any 4G router (assuming it has an ethernet port) should work fine - you just need an ipv4 connection to route your L2TP tunnel to A&A over (a few layers of NAT shouldn't affect it).  No need for modems and PPP - you just give the Firebrick an address on your 4G router's LAN and use that for the outgoing L2TP tunnel.

The only downside I can think of with L2TP is that you'll get a reduced MTU.

Also, I'm not sure bonding 4G and DSL would work - I would expect a significant difference in latency.

Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 23, 2019, 06:24:18 AM
Thank you for the apologies Weaver, very much appreciated. I don't know much about 4G but at the time I'd done some research due to your BB issues and I could clearly see it would most likely perform better than what you have and certainly be cheaper. I also figured that in a low population area you shouldn't be too congested.

I've been with Three for a long time, having the original One Plan many year's ago, I've always used my phone on holiday for tethering, sometimes reception was bad but over the years it's generally improved. Due to a WiFi issue at home I now always use 4G on my phone although I'm very close to the cell tower.

Unless you really try you'll never know, and a proper external directional antenna will vastly improve things.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 23, 2019, 06:50:39 AM
You'll find this page an interesting and informative read https://www.solwise.co.uk/4g-lte-antenna-considerations.html


Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 23, 2019, 12:02:10 PM
Thereís a review linked to in the TBB thread. The author talks about the scary ĎTrafficsenseí throttling that Three applies. One user reports scary horrible performance figures. Since I would be using it flat out at times this would be a nightmare, far far slower than DSL.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 23, 2019, 12:27:47 PM
I skipped through that thread the other day the user that got throttled had hammered the connection solid for 3 weeks until he hit 1TB of data. They only throttle to 2Mbps so no worse than one of your lines really.

I really doubt you'll see the congestion you'll get in a busy city where you are, and even if it does slow is it really going to be as slow as ADSL?

I can't remember when I last used my phone and had a poor connection, there will always be someone somewhere having a bad experience.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on January 23, 2019, 02:05:11 PM
Hi Weaver,

This is my first posting on this forum!  :)

I do use 4G myself, and *load balance* (not bond) it with my slow-ish 2.5Mbps ADSL connection. I'm not sure if true bonding is usually available for Fixed Line + 4G connections, as that has to be done at both the user's end plus the ISP end, as far as I know. So load balancing (+ "fail-over") seems the next best way of combining the 2 types of connections - the slower fixed line connection provides stability and unlimited data, and the 4G is useful for "turbo charging" for bursts of speed when you need it (plus v.useful backup connection).

I live in rural Ceredigion (in West Wales), and unfortunately we've been left out of any BDUK upgrades (via "SuperFast Cymru" here) - and being on a long-ish EO (Exchange Only) line, options are few & far between.

Also, being in a small hamlet (<= approx 30 premises), and sandwiched between villages that have been upgraded to FTTC, this has resulted in splitting the area into smaller fragments of slower broadband (usually <= 3Mbps, all on EO lines), making community schemes less viable.

I'm still going to look into possible options: Openreach Community Fibre, FWA [Fixed Wireless Access via a local WISP], and TV Whitespace are the main possibilities I can think of, but with <= 30 households in play, and most providers needing at least 10 or 20 properties to sign up to make it viable, then as I mentioned, community schemes become a bit harder.

Hence, the option of a 4G connection. I use a DrayTek Vigor 2860Vac router (with built-in ADSL/VDSL modem) as my main router, and a TP-Link Archer MR200 4G router with an EE Data SIM (32Gb currently, but now looking at the >= 100Gb per month data offers from Virgin / EE and testing Three coverage too), and the DrayTek has good options for load balancing these 2 connections, with plenty of scope for configuration which links to use for what (I haven't really got into it fully get).

So, if as I understand things Weaver, you have several ADSL lines bonded together, you could add a 4G link load-balanced with that connection. You may even find that you could drop 1 (or 2) of your landlines eventually if all goes well, saving you money.

I'm thinking of upgrading to the Huawei B525 4G router soon, as that's a Category 6 LTE router and, testing with a friend in the village who has one, gives a better connection than the TP-Link MR200. Also, I have a Poynting XPOL-A0001 omni-directional external 4G antenna that I may use, although I haven't really needed it as yet.

But, in summary: I think a 4G connection is definitely worth adding into the mix if your only other current option is ADSL - well worth experimenting with at least. There are some good deals with EE or EE-based mobile networks at the moment (e.g. Virgin are doing 120Gb per month for £20 per month until 31 January - see: https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/01/virgin-mobile-uk-offers-120gb-data-4g-sim-plan-for-just-20.html (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/01/virgin-mobile-uk-offers-120gb-data-4g-sim-plan-for-just-20.html) - and Three do unlimited data for around £27 per month - but you have to look out for special offers every so often, e.g. "Black Friday" deals in November, and at other times too (I've seen Three with unlimited data [well, up to 1Tb - see other post in thread referencing ThinkBroadBand forum thread] for £20 per month, and Virgin Mobile [via EE's network] with 200Gb [or even 300Gb] for £20 per month). It's a good idea to get a decent 4G router, and order a few test Data SIMS (free from the mobile provider websites - Three give you 200Mb free data per month, which is plenty to test coverage and run speed tests, with other networks you may have to top-up with some credit to run speed tests, but even then you can still get a rough indication of signal strength from the router LED lights - remember to force router into 4G mode so that it doesn't fall back to 2G or 3G), so that you can test network coverage and speed in your area.

4G (at least via EE [=BT]) will have to be a suitable alternative to FTTC (with enough backhaul), as that's what BT/Openreach are proposing to use to cover the majority of USO (Universal Service Obligation) premises (see BT's response to Ofcom's USO consultation where they mention using their 4G FWA to cover the majority of premises, and also mention they will monitor & upgrade 4G capacity as & when needed - link to PDF file: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/120361/BT.pdf (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/120361/BT.pdf)).

Good Luck anyway! It's definitely worth at least experimenting with 4G, I would say.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, I get consistently over 10Mbps downstream & 1Mbps upstream via my 4G link, which is the minimum I'm looking for (based on proposed USO) - I usually get 15-30Mbps downstream and 3-15Mbps upstream (I'm expecting the Huawei B525 router will improve on this, testing over next 2-3 days). I have had downstream speeds up to 50Mbps on a few occasions! And using an external 4G antenna could improve speeds & consistency even further. I've just used the 4G router built-in antennae up until now (which have much better signal reception than any smartphone I've tried).

All the best...

Adam.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: burakkucat on January 23, 2019, 07:37:23 PM
A few links, while I think of them . . .

Huawei B618 4G LTE Router (https://consumer.huawei.com/uk/smart-home/b618/) and basic specification (https://consumer.huawei.com/uk/smart-home/b618/specs/).

Huawei B525 4G LTE Router (https://consumer.huawei.com/uk/smart-home/b525/) and basic specification (https://consumer.huawei.com/uk/smart-home/b525/specs/).

An ISPreview Forum thread (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/threads/which-4g-router-huawei-b525-or-b618.35553/).
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on January 24, 2019, 11:43:45 PM
Thanks for adding those links, burakkucat, I should have really done that myself.

Anyway - just to add an update, I've now borrowed my friend's Huawei B525 and tested it at home, and can say that it seems much better than my old TP-Link Archer MR200 - in fact, I can get a decent Three signal using the B525 router, with downstream speeds of 10-20Mbps and upstream of 5-10Mbps (that's only with brief testing, without scouring the house or attic for location with the best signal, and I haven't tried with external antenna yet). I can't get any signal at all using a Three SIM in the MR200.

So - my recommendation for a decent stand-alone 4G router would be the Huawei B525. In fact, based on my testing tonight, I've ordered one (specifically, a Huawei B525s-65a, which has support for extra LTE bands) tonight from eBay.

I'll look out now for special offers on Three SIMs (there's a rumour of the £20 per month unlimited data [well, 1Tb fair usage policy] being repeated soon, possibly tomorrow [Friday]), and hopefully use that as my final solution for boosting my broadband speeds (will load balance with ADSL - for now: I can understand why some people are starting to investigate using mobile broadband to actually replace their land lines, especially in areas like mine which are being completely bypassed for FTTC / FTTP).

Anyway - apologies for the rambling post - but in summary: I would definitely encourage anyone interested, including Weaver, who can't get superfast speeds currently via ADSL (or even if they have slow VDSL), to at least investigate and experiment with 4G, ideally with a good 4G router: at the very least, it can be a very useful backup link in case of problems / outages with your landline service.

Kind regards,

Adam.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 24, 2019, 11:44:17 PM
Indeed, there is hope in a cell with such a low population density. Also I could bond it to DSL so that it could not be any slower than DSL, that would protect the minimum speed.

I would need to work out how to get eg. the Mikrotik working, but I donít think I have enough concentration with things as bad as they are.

ó

I wonder how good / bad it would be to run two 4G modems bonded. I would be contending with myself of course. However I would be taking twice the share of the cell and since my traffic would be halved per user that would halve my guilt and help guard against any throttling, plus even if the worst happened and I did get throttled it would be a (more than) 2x better minimum.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 25, 2019, 06:15:37 AM
AdamH, welcome to the forum, two very informative posts, keep us updated with how it goes especially if you get an external antenna.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Chrysalis on January 25, 2019, 12:56:03 PM
I would go for it Weaver, ignore my TBB comment for 2 reasons.

1 - It was based on Three's previous attempt at this "years ago".
2 - It was based on inner city performance, your location is very different, and Three issues seemed to be based on Cities not rural.

Also everyone on TBB who has used it so far is happy.

Plus I dont think you necessarily need an aerial either, I get great 4G in my bed etc. indoors.

I am glad you finally considering this as I think it will be better than your current setup, I am amazed with long adsl lines you were at one point averaging less than one fault per year I consider that an extraordinary run of luck, my experience on a 50db loop loss ADSL service was a mess reliability wise.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 25, 2019, 06:33:39 PM
Things have changed because I realised that the AA L2TP thing should work and itís affordable, now there is a cheap all-you-can-eat-eat deal and Iíve had a very bad period of unprecedented poor reliability. I need to find something that speaks PPPoE and the energy to do the work despite the pain.

It seems however that the recent major replacement repairs done by OR instead of patch-up jobs have done the good thing,with unprecedented all-time high sync rate downstream of 3290kbps at ~3dB actual (6dB target) SNRM and all lines above 3M sync downstream giving 11.1M downstream figure from speedtest2.aa.net.uk, a record by miles.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: DaveC on January 25, 2019, 10:45:35 PM
Why are you looking for PPP support? 

Any 4G router (assuming it has an ethernet port) should work fine - you just need an ipv4 connection to route your L2TP tunnel to A&A over (a few layers of NAT shouldn't affect it).  No need for modems and PPP - you just give the Firebrick an address on your 4G router's LAN and use that for the outgoing L2TP tunnel.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 26, 2019, 12:02:26 AM
DaveC - good to know. I basically dint know what Iím talking about. I donít know if the Firebrick will be as happy without PPP - donít know enough about the bonding and up/down detection in the profile system. AA use PPP LCP pings to detect link up/down, and this might not be relevant. So I hear you. I will ask and find out what I am on about.

But if I can find a good pppoe-speaking device then thereís no reason not to go for it. With a device that has an IP address, such as an IP router, I can get the Brick to detect link up/down state by ICMP pinging and that can control FB Ďprofileí state changes. But Iím not sure about it triggering rebalancing of load-splitting / bonding based on ICMP ping failures.

I donít know enough at all.

The Solwise 4G IPv4 router that I already have would work at that level but it doesnít have a wired Ethernet interface, only 2.4GHz 802.11n so that is a bit of a nuisance. It was meant for emergency portable use, eg hospital visits and has serious (but omni) antennae with it.

Iím quite interested in a Mikrotik device.

AA offered to give me some recommendations. If they would be willing to give me some support then that would be ideal, because, being so ill, concentration is in short supply much of the time.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: j0hn on January 26, 2019, 12:40:16 AM
ICMP pings should work without PPP, without the additional overhead and processing.

It's only a PPP LCP echo on PPP
LCP echo works on IPoE?
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 26, 2019, 01:21:04 AM
Also welcome Adam to the forum. And thank you for your extremely valuable contributions. Itís goodcto hear from someone who has Ďbeen thereí and is in a comparable situation yng Ngheredigion.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on January 26, 2019, 07:54:31 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Ronski & Weaver!  :)

I've just received my new Huawei 4G router today, and set it up in the best location for a Three signal (an upstairs window is usually the best bet for 4G reception, you may have to experiment using it in different locations to get the best signal), and am amazed that I'm getting a full 5 bars of signal on it (using the supplied "bunny ear" external antennae - was 4 bars with the internal antennae), on the Three network - I can't get any signal on Three in a smartphone or via my old TP-Link MR200 router.

I've also ordered a Three Unlimited Data SIM (SIM-only) on the £20 per month deal, which lasts just for this weekend I believe. Note that I believe prices increase in May by January's RPI, but that won't be a lot extra on £20.

I can definitely recommend the Huawei B525 router if you're looking to get into using 4G as a serious add-on to fixed line broadband: I'm not sure on the Kitz Forum rules for linking direct to sales items (e.g. on eBay), but if you search for "Huawei B525s-65a" via Google & select the "Shopping" category, you can find it on eBay, complete with the add-on antennae (which don't seem to be included with the same router on Amazon). The B525s-65a variant supports more LTE bands than the more common B525s-23a version, including the 700MHz band (I believe Three are investing in this band, although that could be for 5G in future), so go for that one if you can - otherwise, the B525s-23a is fine too.

Anyway - I'm hoping that this 4G solution will finally provide those of us "out in the sticks" (e.g. Skye, Ceredigion, ... etc!  ;)) with a useful boost to our internet links. The only possible downsides are contention from more people using it for the same thing reducing speed - but hopefully mobile networks will monitor and upgrade backhaul to cell masts over time, and in any case 4G (and eventually 5G - although probably not the latter in rural areas, for a few years at least). More people in rural "not-spot" locations seem to be cottoning-on to using 4G as an alternative, if they can get it.

So - if you can get a Three signal in your area, I'd recommend taking advantage of the unlimited data SIM offer from Three this weekend. And then pair it with a Huawei B525 router (this has 4 RJ45 ethernet ports, a USB port, an RJ11 port for VOIP or "pass-through" handset [may be able to use minutes + texts on SIM too, I will experiment in time], plus SMA connectors for external antennae). As an aside, it's probably best to opt for the white model, as it may keep cooler on a windowsill location, I would think.

I'll update the thread later on with my experiments & findings over the coming days & weeks. My plan is still to Load Balance the 4G connection with my 2.5Mbps ADSL2+ link, but if all goes to plan I can tweak it so that most traffic goes through WAN2 (i.e. the 4G link) via my DrayTek, with ADSL gradually being side-lined for other traffic (& failover). Good Luck to others who try this route too!

Kind regards,

Adam. :)
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: rpdmallett on January 26, 2019, 10:35:14 PM
I'd highly recommend trying 3G/4G, perhaps in addition to a 'normal' broadband connection.

We live about a mile from the local town and had been stuck with poor (ECI-based) VDSL, with 10M download and a meagre 0.5M upload - but some of my kids wanted to do online gaming, which would be impossible with that setup (as anyone just sending an email with a photo would have literally 'killed them' mid-game).  So a few years ago I put a Huawei B593s-22 in the loft and got a good 4 bar (out of 5) 4G signal from EE.  I got my Draytek 2860 to divert their connection to the 4G modem, whilst everyone else's went via VDSL.  The SIM only had 64GB per month, which was just about enough for their gaming use.

More recently (6 months ago), I put a Three all-you-can-eat SIM into the Huawei and added a directional LTE antenna (Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0002 from Amazon) in the loft (the roof is tiled with slate).  I needed the antenna so that I could choose which Three mast I was connecting to, as I had two locally: the closer one was right near a load of houses and the download rate would often drop below 4Mbps (although upload was always around 30Mbps); and the other was further away but by a motorway and always had excellent up & download speeds (30Mbps for both).  Both gave 3 to 4 bars, but that bore no relation to the data throughput!

Technically I should only use a mobile phone with that SIM, but I'll only be doing this for another few months whilst FTTPoD gets installed - all paid for and currently waiting for some more BT survey work to do with the ducting.

So, yes, get a Huawei modem/router.  Mine had built-in WiFi but I rarely used it - but if your house isn't too big it may be all you need.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on January 26, 2019, 11:53:49 PM
Technically I should only use a mobile phone with that SIM, but I'll only be doing this for another few months whilst FTTPoD gets installed - all paid for and currently waiting for some more BT survey work to do with the ducting.

Apparently, due to a recent Ofcom ruling (due, ironically, to EU regulations!), Three (and presumably other Mobile Networks ?) can no longer restrict what you use your SIM for - see: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/bulletins/competition-bulletins/all-closed-cases/cw_01218 (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/bulletins/competition-bulletins/all-closed-cases/cw_01218)

The pertinent quote from that article is: "withdrawn restrictions on the use of handset SIMs in dongles and mifis" ("handset" refers to "phones", and "dongles and mifis" are taken to include "4G Routers").

So - you are within your rights to use any SIM card in a 4G router! So, don't worry about doing that!  :)
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2019, 08:27:54 AM
Given the speeds I get on my phone sat it bed, which have reached 100/30 it's tempting to do away with VM and change to three, would save £276 a year. With a proper 4G modem it can only be better, I'll have to see what the speeds are like in the evening as we live in a built up area.

ETA Actually this maybe a non starter as there appears to be issues with public IP addresses and Nat.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2019, 09:47:36 AM
I was just reading this page https://editorsean.com/articles/3g4g-antenna-advice/#max_range and it suggests some cell towers enforce a maximum range,  although Weaver does clearly receive a 3G signal on his iPad
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 28, 2019, 10:11:22 AM
How's this for a modem/antenna, I think it would give a nice boost to Weaver's reception/speed.

https://mikrotik.com/product/lhg_lte_kit

Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on January 28, 2019, 12:34:20 PM
The only issue is, there might be issues with using Bridge Mode on Mikrotik Routers, if you need it: they use their own RouterOS system, and according to this ThinkBroadband Forum post, there may be limitations: http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/t/4611951-re-4g-lte-router-and-vdsl.html (http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/t/4611951-re-4g-lte-router-and-vdsl.html) (and the following post too, suggesting more research is needed to investigate support).
Also, it's a shame that the Mikrotik LHG LTE KIT modem is only a Cat4 LTE device, not Cat6 or above (so doesn't support CA [Carrier Aggregation] if available). Having said that, Cat4 is usually fine anyway.
But, yes the Mikrotik or a similar outdoor router with high-gain antenna may be a good option (Zyxel also do one, the ZyXEL LTE7410 - specs here: https://www.zyxel.com/uk/en/products_services/LTE-Outdoor-IAD-LTE7400-Series/ (https://www.zyxel.com/uk/en/products_services/LTE-Outdoor-IAD-LTE7400-Series/) [available here: https://www.broadbandbuyer.com/products/23784-zyxel-lte7410-a214-eu01v1f/ (https://www.broadbandbuyer.com/products/23784-zyxel-lte7410-a214-eu01v1f/), and other suppliers] - this does support Bridge Mode, and is also a Cat4 LTE device - more expensive than the MikroTik, but better availability from UK suppliers it seems).

It may still be worth trying out a Huawei B525 on an upstairs windowsill first though.

Incidentally, apparently on the Three network, CGNAT may not be an issue - see this TBB post: http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/t/4611948-re-4g-lte-router-and-vdsl.html (http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/t/4611948-re-4g-lte-router-and-vdsl.html).
So, you may be ok after all, Ronski!
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: S.Stephenson on January 29, 2019, 05:47:37 PM
My local three mast is underutilized so in order to remedy this I decided to get a B525 as this thread inspired me.

Will load balance this with my 2 under-performing VDSL lines.

I think my speeds are best case as I do get full bars.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: j0hn on January 30, 2019, 01:00:25 PM
http://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Plans_for_phones?id=1681&awc=10210_1548852978_cb9fa3f00f6cfabc9bcb7ae2de1b509c&aidset=1

£20 a month unlimited package on Three is live at the moment.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: underzone on January 30, 2019, 05:41:41 PM
Is that the right SIM for a B525? That looks to be a phone SIM, will that work OK?

Or do you need the 3 home broadband SIM (HomeFi)
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on January 30, 2019, 06:07:58 PM
Yes it is! See my earlier reply below. I'm using this SIM myself in a B525.

Apparently, due to a recent Ofcom ruling (due, ironically, to EU regulations!), Three (and presumably other Mobile Networks ?) can no longer restrict what you use your SIM for - see: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/bulletins/competition-bulletins/all-closed-cases/cw_01218 (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/bulletins/competition-bulletins/all-closed-cases/cw_01218)

The pertinent quote from that article is: "withdrawn restrictions on the use of handset SIMs in dongles and mifis" ("handset" refers to "phones", and "dongles and mifis" are taken to include "4G Routers").

So - you are within your rights to use any SIM card in a 4G router! So, don't worry about doing that!  :)
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: underzone on January 30, 2019, 07:52:36 PM
Thanks mate  :D
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: rpdmallett on February 02, 2019, 10:11:17 AM
Three appear to be offering Unlimited Home 4G broadband for £22pm

http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Devices/Huawei/HomeFi?memory=0&colour=Black

Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on February 02, 2019, 01:26:41 PM
Yes, I just saw that. It's bundled with a Huawei B311 4G router. However, it's on a 24 month contract (instead of a 12 month that the current special offer £20 sim-only deal is for - that deal ends on Monday 4th Feb I think).

I does show that Three are serious about trying to offer a decent 4G link as a Home Broadband solution, useful for those of us out in the sticks with few other options.

However, I'd still personally prefer getting the Huawei B525 separately with the £20 (12-month) SIM. The B525 has an LTE Cat 6 modem (B311 is Cat 4), and has 4 RJ45 Ethernet ports (only 1 in the B311). It does have an RJ11 phone socket though, as does the B525. It may be that the B311 supports VoLTE though (see below) - however, I think the £22 24-month plan is data only? Not sure.

[EDIT: Not to put it down though, the £22 per month deal, with included 4G router, is still good though as an officially-supported Three Home Broadband solution I guess, just "plug & play" I would think out of the box - and shows Three are looking at the home broadband market. Only Three & EE are at this time - maybe O2 and Vodafone will follow, in time? The upcoming 5G will be an even more viable alternative to landlines, in theory at least - but I don't think those of us in more rural areas will have access to it for some years - it will probably benefit urban areas more.]

I've plugged an RJ11-to-BT adapter (this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Phone-Cables/rhinocables%C2%AE-Socket-Telephone-Adaptor-White/B00EVS5UZ2/ (https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Phone-Cables/rhinocables%C2%AE-Socket-Telephone-Adaptor-White/B00EVS5UZ2/), there are many similar ones in the £2 to £5 range) into the RJ11 phone port of my B525 router, and by changing the Network Preferred Mode on the B525 from "4G Only" to "4G / 3G Auto", I'm able to make & receive phone calls on the SIM's number, so can use those unlimited minutes too! And the unlimited SMS text messages can be used either via the router's config web page, or via the "HUAWEI HiLink" app that you can install on a smartphone or tablet.

Three do support VoLTE for making calls via 4G, and it's enabled in my area (on LTE Band 20 [800MHz] I believe) - however, they only officially support it on their own supplied equipment at present, so not on the B525 (as yet) - which is why it has to drop back down to 3G to make & receive phone calls.

Incidentally - I'm not in a good signal area for Three - but generally on 4G get 10 - 20Mbps downstream and 2 - 10Mbps upstream speeds, although the downstream has at times dropped as low as 4 - 5Mbps. That's still much better than my 2Mbps ADSL connection though! I'm *hoping* that speeds stay reasonable once the leaves are out on the trees around May onwards (as that, plus weather conditions, can affect signal).

When the weather improves, I'll have to experiment with the positioning of the B525 router (will try the attic too!), plus adding the outdoor Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0001 omni-directional antenna that I have, could help improve the signal. If I had line-of-sight of the cell mast I'd try a high-gain directional antenna. But I can only as yet receive Three 4G on LTE Band 20 (800MHz), which I guess will limit speeds somewhat.

Still a huge improvement over my ADSL though.

The speed of Three where I am is very variable (I've yet to get over 20Mbps down, 19Mbps is my highest so far), and considerably slower than EE (where I usually get 15 - 30Mbps down) - BUT, EE is a lot more expensive with restrictive data caps, so I'd rather have slower speeds but not have to worry about data (I've put a 950Gb data cap on my B525 router as I don't want to go over the 1Tb "fair usage" cap & be put in the "naughty list", LOL - can't see me getting close to that anyway) than higher speeds which mean that I use up a meagre data cap that much faster!

Once all testing has finished, I'll load balance the Three connection with my ADSL via DrayTek 2860.

Good luck to others who are trying the same 4G boost to their broadband links!  :)

Kind regards,

Adam.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on February 02, 2019, 02:32:43 PM
Hopefully Three are so serious about it they will sort out IPv6 and get rid of CGNat  :fingers:

Just done a speed test on my phone and currently getting 60/20, connection is certainly slower on a Saturday afternoon, when I've tested in the evenings its been around 75/30. I have line of sight of the mast and am about 400 meters away.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on February 02, 2019, 03:51:29 PM
Incidentally, apparently on the Three network, CGNAT may not be an issue - see this TBB post: http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/t/4611948-re-4g-lte-router-and-vdsl.html (http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/mobilebroadband/t/4611948-re-4g-lte-router-and-vdsl.html).

Worth a try at least!

The Huawei B525 4G router (and no doubt other similar 4G routers) also make provision for DDNS services (e.g. No-IP, DynDNS, etc), if that's of any use.

Plus, there's always the L2TP VPN option.

So, you may be ok after all, Ronski! Definitely worth experimenting.

But yes, hopefully all the mobile providers will migrate over to IPv6 soon, fingers crossed.

I must admit I'm envious of your speed test results, mine are more like 10/3 to 16/9 in general (sometimes as low as 5/2, highest so far was 19/10) - but that's without trying router in attic yet, or the external omni-directional antenna, so hopefully speeds may improve. Even the lowest (5/2) is more than double the speed (both up & down) of my only other available connection via ADSL2+, so I'm not complaining too much! Would love to guarantee a minimum of 10/2 if possible though.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on February 02, 2019, 04:38:38 PM
Thanks Adam, I did see your previous mention of that (I've added it to my notes), but having a bit more time I've had a Google and found this, although I've no idea how old the article is.

Quote from: http://www.h685.co.uk/port-forwarding-doesnt-work/
ďYour only option is to use a 3mobile SIM card and use the APN of 3internet and when the router connects it will request a PUBLIC IP address and if there are some available then your connection will receive a public IP address.  if you are using a 4G router then you will need to set your router to connect at 3G speeds only because this public IP address service with this APN does not work for 4G connections.

You should also be aware that this is not a guaranteed service and Three Mobile may stop this at any time and because it is not a contractual part of your service you will still be liable to pay for the remainder of the contract even though you no longer get a PUBLIC IP address and of course you will then need to subscribe to a Fixed IP SIM card service and visit all your sites to replace the SIM cards.Ē

Using a VPN would add cost, so the savings wouldn't really be worthwhile, and it could impact speed. I shall probably wait and see how things improve.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: AdamH on February 02, 2019, 05:15:57 PM
Ah, I see: yes, I can't tell if that would still be the case. Just read through that article, very interesting.

It may be worth posting a follow-up question to "onthenet" in that TBB thread - to check if they are using their 4G router in "4G Only" mode, or if it's set to "3G/4G Auto" (or just "Auto" - i.e. 2G or 3G or 4G). Most 4G router users in my experience do set their routers to a network preference mode of "4G only", which will ensure it stays on a 4G connection - otherwise, if it finds a stronger 3G signal, it may switch to that (with a general decrease in speeds).

I suppose one other option would be to find another cheap fixed line broadband contract, that's fast enough for you but as cheap as possible, which would provide Static IP address as usual, and just combine that (via Load Balancing) with a Three 4G link too, for extra speed, flexibility and failover options - just a thought. It all depends on your particular requirements of course.

Anyway - yes, in your case it may be best to do a bit more digging, otherwise just wait for further developments - hopefully IPv6 will be rolled-out soon. It will also be interesting to see how the upcoming 5G handles this, I would like to think that they would go with IPv6 from the start with that, surely? Will be interesting to follow that over the next 2 years or so.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on February 23, 2019, 05:44:19 AM
I am getting really crappy speed from my huawei 3g dongle. The Firebrick can understand 4G Ethernet NIC-mode dongles as well as 3G PPP ones, my dongle is the latter. I am only getting ~2.0/0.3 Mbps even though I am in direct line of site with a clear view straight out of the window.  Iím guessing that itís very roughly 3.3 miles to the basestation.

That device from Mikrotik looks nice because it could be directional - yes? Iím wondering if these devices can speak pppoe? When posters used the term Ďbridgeí I take it that means Ďstraight modemí mode, not acting as a router? Because that seems to be quite a common usage.

Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on February 23, 2019, 07:43:31 AM
If you're referring to the LHG LTE kit (RBLHGR&R11e-LTE) which I linked to above then it certainly looks directional and the specs stat a beam width of 25 degrees.

It would be best to email Mikrotik to check it can do what you need.

If you post the location of the cell tower I can measure the distance for you.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on February 24, 2019, 10:30:24 PM
I looked up the basestation that is to the east of me on mastadata, tried to roughly measure the distance with the freemaptools but due to exhaustion and fuzziness I couldnít work out how to feed the lat/long cords obtained from the former into the latter.

The basestation is on the east side of the main road, across the valley looking eastwards from the height which is where I am at the very northernmost point of and thus highest point in Heasta.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: burakkucat on February 24, 2019, 11:41:03 PM
I'm not absolutely sure but . . .

IV43 8RA        57.192450,-5.812450
IV49 9BN        57.191480,-5.891450

I make the distance ~2.99 miles.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on February 25, 2019, 06:29:13 AM
Using the Google Maps measure distance feature I make it 3.66 miles / 5.9KM
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: ktz392837 on February 27, 2019, 09:23:19 AM
Don't know how reliable it is but https://www.cellmapper.net seems to be quite good at finding where your towers are with technical details.  Start off by selecting United Kingdom - 3 from the drop down and zoom in to the area you are interested in.  Not really sure what the coloured areas mean perhaps coverage levels of the tower couldn't easily find a page that explained all the options.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on February 27, 2019, 01:50:08 PM
That cellmapper site is an impressive tool. Rather different kind of thing and much more multifunctional.

The mastdata.com website gives you some useful info about base stations even just in for-free casual access mode. I have in the past signed up for a free trial account too, so then you get access to rather more info. No harm came from giving these people my email address.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on February 27, 2019, 08:00:28 PM
The odd thing is that Cell Mapper doesn't show the Three site at kinloch where Mast Data does.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: burakkucat on February 27, 2019, 09:49:47 PM
I realise that I was working from incorrect coordinates.  :-[

IV43 8RA        57.204590,-5.796770
IV49 9BN        57.191180,-5.891450

I now make the distance ~3.67 miles, agreeing with Ronski.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: ktz392837 on February 28, 2019, 09:02:17 AM
The odd thing is that Cell Mapper doesn't show the Three site at kinloch where Mast Data does.
Thanks for this information may be good to combine both sites.  I know the masts listed near me were showing recent updated dates so some useful information may be present.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on February 28, 2019, 11:13:34 AM
I did try AA L2TP with the Three service myself a few days ago.

Now I suspect my cell may have issues as I've seen ping spikes to 2000ms and lots of packet loss under even slight load at times.  Adding AA L2TP on top, it halved my speed.

I'm really not convinced 4G is stable enough for UDP traffic unless you are lucky to live right next to a tower with hardly any active users.

I currently load balance between VDSL and Three on a couple of PCs.  At worst I get timeouts, speedtests fail.  At best I've hit 115Mbit combined, my VDSL alone is 66Mbit.  So its about as variable as you might expect.  Sadly on average I'm getting ~15Mbit or worse from Three and downloads fail to complete all the time.

I couldn't bond the connections though as pfSense doesn't let you run L2TP over PPPoE, it only lists actual physical interfaces and in my use-case getting a Firebrick would be seriously overkill considering the tiny improvement, relative to my plain VDSL.  Its certainly good enough as a backup without the extra cost.

For basic web browsing mind you, it seems perfectly usable and potentially quite the upgrade over poor DSL.  I've just been totally spoilt with VDSL.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on February 28, 2019, 06:38:14 PM
What hardware was used to talk to Three?
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: re0 on February 28, 2019, 07:31:13 PM
I do not know if you are still considering a Three 4G connection, but there is no evidence to suggest mast IV0104 (https://www.mastdata.com/0/address/address.aspx?AdID=93592) even has 4G transmissions on Three, or actually more specifically anything other than LTE Band 20 (800 MHz, which Three "Super-Voice" uses... fancy term for VoLTE). Three's own checker shows 4G coverage for you only with 4G Super-Voice selected, otherwise nothing (well, besides 3G). Ofcom's mobile coverage checker (here (https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage)) shows 4G data coverage for you but I imagine it is using 800 MHz unless, for some reason, Three's own coverage checker is somehow outdated or this is wrong.

Now, you can use Band 20 for data but be warned that you will not get speeds anywhere near that of what Band 3 (1800 MHz) can offer you. This is partly down to the fact Three is only using 5 MHz as opposed to 15 MHz with Band 3 (ignoring the fact it is a lower frequency). In my experience, even selecting 3G (which I presume is 2100 MHz, UTRA Band 1) on my B525 outperforms LTE Band 20 with double the downstream (the upstream is a bit less, but no more than about half). Using an external anetnna on the device, on LTE Band 3 I get anywhere from (DS/US) 45-65/16-20 Mbps mostly, with LTE Band 20 about 5-7/2-4 Mbps, and UTRA Band 1 about 12-18/2-3 Mbps.

I could be completely wrong about all this and just talking out of my arse, or my I am just an outlier when it comes to my experience. But I am literally just going on all the information I could source. In the case that this information is correct, there is a good chance you are better off using 3G UTRA Band 1 over 4G LTE Band 20. Only testing will tell you what is available and how well it works.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on February 28, 2019, 10:19:10 PM
What hardware was used to talk to Three?

It was a little elaborate, Huawei E5573Bs-322 connected to OpenWRT router (used as an Access Point) bridging the USB ethernet to one of the ethernet ports, then that port plugged into my pfSense router.

I think the real problem is just how many houses there are between me and the Three transmitter.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: IBeAdam on December 31, 2020, 04:45:42 PM
I did try AA L2TP with the Three service myself a few days ago.

Now I suspect my cell may have issues as I've seen ping spikes to 2000ms and lots of packet loss under even slight load at times.  Adding AA L2TP on top, it halved my speed.

I'm really not convinced 4G is stable enough for UDP traffic unless you are lucky to live right next to a tower with hardly any active users.

I currently load balance between VDSL and Three on a couple of PCs.  At worst I get timeouts, speedtests fail.  At best I've hit 115Mbit combined, my VDSL alone is 66Mbit.  So its about as variable as you might expect.  Sadly on average I'm getting ~15Mbit or worse from Three and downloads fail to complete all the time.

I couldn't bond the connections though as pfSense doesn't let you run L2TP over PPPoE, it only lists actual physical interfaces and in my use-case getting a Firebrick would be seriously overkill considering the tiny improvement, relative to my plain VDSL.  Its certainly good enough as a backup without the extra cost.

For basic web browsing mind you, it seems perfectly usable and potentially quite the upgrade over poor DSL.  I've just been totally spoilt with VDSL.
Old post, but Iím hoping you can help!

Currently using Huawei B535 for 4G (EE) and also the L2TP client from AAISP. DMZ on the B535 to Unifi USG which handles routing, NAT, DHCP, Firewall etc.

Unfortunately the B535 port forwarding isnít working. Possibly a bug, possibly not supported on VPN traffic. Difficult to tell as very little in the way of debug.

I should be able to put in bridge mode and initiate the L2TP VPN on the Unifi USG but unfortunately the USG doesnít support L2TP client!

Either i need a new 4G modem that can initiate a L2TP connection AND port forward it OR i need a router/firewall that can do the L2TP VPN client.

I though pfsense could do this. Am i right? The quoted post makes me wonder.

Alternatively does anyone know of a 4G router to replace the B535 that actually works as advertised?

Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on January 01, 2021, 02:39:05 AM
Old post, but Iím hoping you can help!

Currently using Huawei B535 for 4G (EE) and also the L2TP client from AAISP. DMZ on the B535 to Unifi USG which handles routing, NAT, DHCP, Firewall etc.

Unfortunately the B535 port forwarding isnít working. Possibly a bug, possibly not supported on VPN traffic. Difficult to tell as very little in the way of debug.

I should be able to put in bridge mode and initiate the L2TP VPN on the Unifi USG but unfortunately the USG doesnít support L2TP client!

Either i need a new 4G modem that can initiate a L2TP connection AND port forward it OR i need a router/firewall that can do the L2TP VPN client.

I though pfsense could do this. Am i right? The quoted post makes me wonder.

Alternatively does anyone know of a 4G router to replace the B535 that actually works as advertised?

I think its assumed by such devices that the VPN is for security so not including port forwarding on it kinda makes sense.  Honestly, I was surprised to see they supported a VPN at all.

I can't remember how I did the L2TP but I assume port forwarding would work, as its available on ANY interface on pfSense.  If you have a spare PC or know how to setup a VM, you could always play with pfSense before buying any dedicated hardware for it.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: IBeAdam on January 01, 2021, 10:42:35 AM
I think its assumed by such devices that the VPN is for security so not including port forwarding on it kinda makes sense.  Honestly, I was surprised to see they supported a VPN at all.

I can't remember how I did the L2TP but I assume port forwarding would work, as its available on ANY interface on pfSense.  If you have a spare PC or know how to setup a VM, you could always play with pfSense before buying any dedicated hardware for it.
Thanks Alex.

I do like the B535 as it gives a good stable connection, so would rather keep it. I do have an Unraid box and there is a good tutorial on setting up pfsense on it. I just need a £15 network card which Iíve seen on ebay. Itís pretty disruptive to the rest of the family though so i haven't decided if to go down that route or just risk it based on what Iíve read about pfsense and go straight for a dedicated box.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: IBeAdam on January 01, 2021, 11:01:51 PM
An update....

Found an old Microserver. Installed pfsense. Put Huawei in to bridge mode. Internet just worked. Set up L2TP client on pfsense. Set routing default to use it. External IP address as if by magic.

It might not look pretty, but does at least work.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on January 02, 2021, 01:02:21 AM
Oh that's lucky, no bridge mode on my B535-232 although its not a big deal as its mostly a backup for my VDSL and I do sometimes connect to its WiFi to test access my local VPN from outside the LAN.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: IBeAdam on January 02, 2021, 10:09:57 AM
Oh that's lucky, no bridge mode on my B535-232 although its not a big deal as its mostly a backup for my VDSL and I do sometimes connect to its WiFi to test access my local VPN from outside the LAN.
Mine has been working well in NAT mode and would probably port forward fine if it wasnít for the VPN requirement. I know Three is able to give a proper external IP but EE was far quicker here.

Unfortunately my FTTC was terrible. 26/2 with random daily drops. It took Openreach 8 months to bother to track it down, with multiple ISP getting me to jump through multiple hoops and spend a fair sum on replacement routers, cables, filters etc efc. Once they did find the fault (degraded cable up pole outside) they refused to fix it as apparently not bad enough. So I finally ditched them and went 4G only, averaging 50/30 with zero drops.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 20, 2021, 08:06:55 PM
Using the Google Maps measure distance feature I make it 3.66 miles / 5.9KM

I've always got good reception on my Three mobile at work, until today I thought it was one of the local cell towers, but I've recently installed cell mapper on my phone and discovered I'm actually connecting to a cell tower that is 4.48 miles away from my first floor office window, I do have an uninterrupted line of sight to this cell tower.

https://www.speedtest.net/result/a/6948732359

That's a 0.8 of mile further than Weaver's hut is from his cell tower across the valley, so if you have a window looking towards that cell tower, I suggest you grab a Huawei B818 and give it a go.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 21, 2021, 12:51:27 AM
Thank you for an excellent tip! I will need to do some work one getting a correct altered configuration to work here as I would presumably be connecting this unit by ethernet not by USB, and I may have to face the problem of tunnelling to get round NAT if the unit is always a router not a modem and with NAT that canít be switched off.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 21, 2021, 06:12:17 AM
Re0 said earlier in this thread that he thought that mast didn't have Three 4G, but looking on cellmapper (https://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=234&MNC=20&type=LTE&latitude=57.18752621429027&longitude=-5.851939418466977&zoom=12.61673679662657&showTowers=true&showTowerLabels=true&clusterEnabled=true&tilesEnabled=true&showOrphans=false&showNoFrequencyOnly=false&showFrequencyOnly=false&showBandwidthOnly=false&DateFilterType=None&showHex=false&showVerifiedOnly=false&showUnverifiedOnly=false&showLTECAOnly=false&showENDCOnly=false&showBand=0&showSectorColours=true&mapType=roadmap) it looks like it does, and I know you mentioned previously that Janet receives 4G so you must have a network on 4G. It may be worth installing the cell mapper app on a mobile and checking that you can get 4G from that mast.

The B818 does have bridge mode - I've seen it in the settings menu myself but haven't tested yet, and yes it's ethernet.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 21, 2021, 10:24:42 PM
My iPad reports 4G received from that basestation.

> The B818 does have bridge mode - I've seen it in the settings menu myself but haven't tested yet, and yes it's ethernet.

Wow, thank you. Thatís really good to know. I will certainly be investigating this when I have some spare cash.

If I can get one, I might ask AA if I can send it to them for evaluation, so they could help me with Firebrick config and, maybe if I ask really nicely, with a few suggestions as to B818 internal config itself.

I need a recap; canít seem to find the full product name. Is this the right unit ? - https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/threads/huawei-b818-263.36602/
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: burakkucat on January 21, 2021, 11:40:46 PM
If I can get one, I might ask AA if I can send it to them for evaluation, so they could help me with Firebrick config and, maybe if I ask really nicely, with a few suggestions as to B818 internal config itself.

That's a good idea.

Quote
I need a recap; canít seem to find the full product name. Is this the right unit ? - https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/threads/huawei-b818-263.36602/

Yes, I believe Huawei B818-263 is correct.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6AgJLce0Wc[/youtube]
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 22, 2021, 06:24:40 AM
Yes that's the one, I got a refurbed one from efones, looks brand new to me. It also has two external aerial connection points, but by all accounts the internal attennas are excellent.

Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Weaver on January 22, 2021, 06:25:16 AM
Thank you.

The difficulty I would have without AA help is that a 3G/4G USB NIC works with an inbuilt auto-switchover facility where the Firebrick 2700/2900 will reroute to use the USB NIC when all the DSL lines go down; thatís built-in behaviour. With any other type of link, I would have to configure such behaviour myself, probably using Ďprofilesí I think ie. Firebrick conditional config, where some config becomes active when certain named conditions become true/false. But I think I can see how to do it or at least some of the way.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: burakkucat on January 22, 2021, 04:48:25 PM
Yes, via A&A would be your best route. As you know, I don't speak Firebrick and the "mobile broadband" concept (i.e. a connection to the Internet via a mobile telephone service) is not something I really understand.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on January 26, 2021, 02:32:06 AM
Well I'm grumpy now.  I finally reached the end of my Three contract and cancelled, put the SIM into my phone to test Voxi in the B535-232 and got 100Mbit off Three on my phone.

Put the SIM back into the B535-232 and its doing 60-70Mbit.

Yet real-world usage I'm still struggling to get over 30Mbit.

Firstly, is the B535-232 a piece of junk?
Secondly, are Three taking the pee and prioritising speedtest.net servers?  This rather suggests they have a ton of spare bandwidth they are deliberately throttling back.

The strange thing is, I could have sworn I got 100Mbit once or twice on Three using the B535-232 when I first got it.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Ronski on January 26, 2021, 06:21:25 AM
One thing I've read recently is phones usually have better antennas 4x4 instead of 2x2, and often more capable modems.

As you know my B818 occasionally hits around 200, but the average is 96.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on January 26, 2021, 03:24:49 PM
One thing I've read recently is phones usually have better antennas 4x4 instead of 2x2, and often more capable modems.

As you know my B818 occasionally hits around 200, but the average is 96.

That's a good point, I think the S10 does have 4x4 which is insane.

The good news is I just got 100Mbit on Voxi on my phone too, at lunch time.  At that point Three had dropped back down to 30Mbit.  So I think Voxi being more expensive, a closer mast (so having less MIMO will hopefully not matter as much) and a monthly contract, may be worth it after all.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: IBeAdam on February 04, 2021, 08:32:36 PM
Firstly, is the B535-232 a piece of junk?
Iím using the B535 with EE in bridge mode and with AAISP L2TP VPN.

I canít answer as to whether itís junk, but itís certainly less so than openreach.
Title: Re: 4G again
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on February 05, 2021, 02:31:00 AM
Yeah I forgot to follow up in this thread, it performs perfectly on Voxi (Vodafone) to a much closer mast, it just sucks on Three compared to my phone sometimes.