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Author Topic: 4G again  (Read 11938 times)

Ronski

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #30 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
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Ronski

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #31 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

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AdamH

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #32 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 (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/ [available here: 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.
So, you may be ok after all, Ronski!
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S.Stephenson

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #33 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.
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j0hn

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2019, 01:00:25 PM »

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underzone

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #35 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)
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AdamH

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #36 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

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!  :)
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underzone

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2019, 07:52:36 PM »

Thanks mate  :D
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rpdmallett

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #38 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

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AdamH

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #39 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/, 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.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 01:32:12 PM by AdamH »
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Ronski

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #40 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.
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AdamH

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #41 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.

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.
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Ronski

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #42 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.

“Your 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.”

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.
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AdamH

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #43 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.
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Weaver

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Re: 4G again
« Reply #44 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.  I’m guessing that it’s very roughly 3.3 miles to the basestation.

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

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