Kitz ADSL Broadband Information
adsl spacer  
Support this site
Home Broadband ISPs Tech Routers Wiki Forum
 
     
   Compare ISP   Rate your ISP
   Glossary   Glossary
 
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month  (Read 1104 times)

meritez

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« on: August 28, 2019, 06:32:30 PM »

So,

Smarty have an £18.75 for life offer on at present: https://smarty.co.uk/

Unlimited Data, Unlimited Calls and Unlimited Texts, for £18.75 pay upfront, 30 day sim, no contract.
So I went for it, picked up a Huawei B525 from Amazon, put the sim in, speeds are 45 down and 43 up, does what I need it to and I can cut the landline.
Logged

kitz

  • Administrator
  • Senior Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 32198
  • Trinity: Most guys do.
    • http://www.kitz.co.uk
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 03:13:21 AM »

Those prices look pretty good.   Thanks for sharing.

I was quite tempted by one of their rates for my mobile which comes out of contract this month (I own the phone anyhow). 
The one thing that swung the balance for me personally, is I just got notification of Vodafone's recent introduction of OneNumber for use for free with Alexa.   I think Vodafone are the only network atm which do this.   If it wasn't for that, then I would be thinking of switching mobile provider.   I'm not quite ready yet to get ride of my landline dsl, but I bet there are many who are. 
Logged
Please do not PM me with queries for broadband help as I may not be able to respond.
-----
How to get your router line stats :: ADSL Exchange Checker

re0

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 619
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 08:08:25 AM »

The 25% off promotional period ended on 28th August, just before midnight. Been reading it ran for 14 days, from 14th. So sadly no longer available, but certainly good value for those who managed to pick it up given it is a 1 month plan and 5G will be launching soon (Three is the parent).
Logged

Alex Atkin UK

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
    • My Broadband History
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 10:16:34 PM »

Those speeds on Three seem to be the exception rather than the rule, sadly.  Must be a good area.  I wouldn't trust it to remain consistent, its not been remotely comparable to FTTC for me.
Logged
Modems: 2 x VMG3925-B10B V5.13(AAVF.12)C0-jumbo
Router: i5-7200U appliance running pfSense.
ISP: Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 + Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra.

meritez

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2019, 12:07:09 AM »

The offer is back until the 22nd October 2019
Logged

aesmith

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 907
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2019, 03:41:05 PM »

Not available for existing customers, but the terms and conditions don't say anything to suggest it wouldn't be available to another person in the same household, who's not an existing customer.
Logged

Weaver

  • Addicted Kitizen
  • *****
  • Posts: 7803
  • Retd sw dev; A&A; 4 × 7km ADSL2; IPv6; Firebrick
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 03:57:32 AM »

I only get 2 Mbps / 0.4 Mbps with 3G even in excellent line of sight but perhaps my Huawei USB 3G ‘dongle’ NIC is just rubbish.
Logged

j0hn

  • Kitizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 12:18:43 PM »

A 3 SIM in a decent smartphone would answer that.
Logged
Plusnet FTTC 80/20 -  ECI now Huawei cab
retx low @ 3dB target SNRM
Zyxel VMG1312-B10A bridged with 1508 MTU + Asus RT-AC68U running Asuswrt-Merlin

re0

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 619
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2019, 06:21:15 PM »

I only get 2 Mbps / 0.4 Mbps with 3G even in excellent line of sight but perhaps my Huawei USB 3G ‘dongle’ NIC is just rubbish.
Without wanting to digress too much, I thought this was because your device is rated for 3.6 Mbps. Discussion here. I'd agree that is rubbish by today's standards. :D
Logged

meritez

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2019, 07:54:49 PM »

A 3 SIM in a decent smartphone would answer that.

If you want to test decent equipment, please let me know, I have FTTC being reinstalled on the 4th October, long story, will write it up and post if anyone is interested.
Logged

burakkucat

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 27503
  • Over the Rainbow Bridge
    • The ELRepo Project
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2019, 08:00:39 PM »

. . . I have FTTC being reinstalled on the 4th October, long story, will write it up and post if anyone is interested.

Yes, please.
Logged
:cat:  100% Linux and, previously, Unix. Co-founder of the ELRepo Project.

Please consider making a donation to support the running of this site.

dee.jay

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 349
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2019, 08:47:27 PM »

+1
Logged
Sky FTTC 69/17 @ 3dB SNR - HG612
AAISP FTTC 67/16 @ 3dB SNR - HG612
Routed by pfSense on VMware ESX 6.0
~600M Huawei cabinet

meritez

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2019, 10:25:19 PM »

On the 18th August 2019, I purchased a Smarty unlimited sim monthly cost £18.75 a month.
I live in Northampton's NN1 postcode, so I have an abundance of 4g masts, and decent LTE-A speeds of around 40 MBps.

Now all I needed was a decent 4g router, reading several forums, thinkbroadband, hotukdeals, ispreview, the Huawei B525 seemed like the ideal choice.

Quote
Huawei B525 is a LTE CAT6 Wireless Router, which pushes and eliminates black spots giving you a smooth and quick Internet connection. The WiFi covers a huge distance, reaching through to each device in any room. Have high-speed Internet for family, friends and yourself all day long!

SPECS:
Download speed: 300Mbps
Upload speed: 50Mbps
Sim Card Size: MicroSim
Dimensions: 16.3 x 22.6 x 5.2 cm
Share: Connects up to 64 WiFi enabled devices.

Sounds ideal, but it's probably the main reason I'm going back to FTTC.
It will achieve 40 down and 40 up, but only if it's on LTE B3 1800mhz.
If it switches to LTE B1 2100mhz, speeds drop to 2mbps or worse.
What is going on, and for a device that supports LTE-A Carrier Aggregation at speeds up to 300Mbps, why is CA never enabled?

Reading up, to upgrade the firmware, I need to open the b525, boot it in emergency boot mode using testpoint, and this will allow me to select bands and give more options.
My FTTC connection ceases on the 30th August, the real testing begins.
My work VOIP phone works without issue.
Email not an issue.
Browsing the web not an issue
Streaming not an issue
Downloading anything takes days during peak hours...

The needed USB-A to USB-A cable arrives 9th September, maybe I should have sent the B525 back, but I have now taken out the warranty sticker screw and have the bare printed circuit board in front of me.
I use balong-flash, which is a beautiful piece of code on github written by rust3028 to flash the b525 from linux.
Success, I have not bricked it, I can now manually choose which bands to connect to, but Carrier Aggregation still does not work.

I read further, the Huawei B525 comes in two different models, B525s-23a for EMEA, and B525s-65a for the rest of the world which supports more bands.
Intrigued, I start reading into what bands they can aggregate:

I find the b525s-23a product specs here: https://www.hetinternethuis.nl/productbestanden/HUAWEI-B525s-23a-datasheet.pdf

B525s-23a supports:
z LTE: B1/3/7/8/20/32/38
FDD: 2100 MHz/1800 MHz/2600 MHz/ 900 MHz/800 MHz/1500 MHz/
TDD: 2600 MHz
Intra-band contiguous: B3+B3, B7+B7, B38+B38
Inter-band: B3+B7, B3+B20, B7+B20, B7+B8, B3+B8, B1+B20, B1+B8,
B20+B32

So, CA (Carrier Aggregation) is supported on B3+B3, or B3+B7, B3+B20 B3+B8, B1+B20 and B1+B8.

I find the B525s-65a specs here: https://www.4gltemall.com/downloads/dl/file/id/354/product/1019/huawei_b525s_65a_lte_modem_datasheet.pdf

B525s-65a supports:
l LTE: B1//B3//B7/B8/B28/B40/ 2CA(DL):
CA_1A-3A,CA_1A-28A,CA_1C,CA _3A-3A,CA_3A-7A,CA_3A-8A,CA_3A-28A,CA
A_3C,CA_4A-28A,CA_5A-7A,CA_5A-38A(SCC),CA_5A-40A(SCC),CA_7A-8A(SC
C),CA_7A-28A,CA_7C,,CA_40A-40A,CA_40C,

Well I can see why the 65a exists, more carrier aggregation bands, but as Smarty is Three UK MVNO, which bands do they support for Carrier Aggregation?
i find my answer here: https://halberdbastion.com/intelligence/countries-nations/united-kingdom and here https://halberdbastion.com/intelligence/mobile-networks/three-uk-3

Carrier Aggregation   
CA_1A-3A (B1+B3)


So the Huawei B525s-23a that Amazon sell is not suitable for 3 UK  :lol:
I have a lovely WiFi4/WiFi5 LTE router crippled by being on the 3 uk network which do not support the Carrier Aggregation required.
Options available:
Move to EE unlimited data or Vodafone unlimited data sims, twice the price.
Send the Huawei B525s-23a back to Amazon as unsuitable, but I have already opened it and voided the warranty sticker  :-X
Try another LTE Modem to prove it.
Get FTTC re-installed.

Simplest option is to try another LTE modem, so I place a couple of orders:
ZTE MF823 Cat4 USB Dongle £15, runs Linux OpenEmbedded, root is possible
ZTE Softbank 403zt Cat6 Usb Dongle £25
Mikrotik RBSXTLTE3-7 Cat3 modem £60 < absolute bargain

ZTE MF823 Cat4 arrived first, getting pretty much identical speeds as the b525, and does not support CA.
Mikrotik RBSXTLTE3-7 arrived next, pretty much brand new, excess stock from a Wireless ISP in Ireland.
The SXT is a CAT3 modem, it supports 100Mbps down and 50Mbps but only on Band 3 1800Mhz LTE and Band 7 2600Mhz LTE, but it contains a 9dbi antenna with 60 degrees alignment.

The SXT is pulling the same speeds as the B525, but also shows something else, it arrived on the 18th September.
The SXT is showing spikes of 14 - 16 Mbps, all the way down to 0.5Mbps on the download during the day, constant 20Mbps upload on speedtests, and only on B3 as it only supports B3 in my area

Basically I'm in a heavy usage area, at night the speed is fantastic, by day, the download is appalling, it looks like traffic flow is applied, but if I was uploading the internet I would be fine.
After 3 hours of reading the information from the SXT that the B525 does not show, I place an order with Vodafone, free install and 80/20 FTTC for the price of 40/10.

The CAT6 USB modem arrived this week, but I'm not testing any further.

While the 4g has performed admirably, and if you were someone who was only streaming video, reading emails and browsing the web, it would probably suit you.
It's just not for me.





Logged

re0

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 619
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2019, 10:54:29 PM »

So the Huawei B525s-23a that Amazon sell is not suitable for 3 UK  :lol:
Uhh... The B525s-23a IS suitable for Three, just not Carrier Aggregation using CA_1A-3A. Three also has CA using CA_3A-20A, and I have experienced that as I previously owned a 23a. I believe CA_3A-20A is more common than CA_A1-3A is since 2100 MHz (Band 1) has not been refarmed extensively to my knowledge.
Logged

burakkucat

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 27503
  • Over the Rainbow Bridge
    • The ELRepo Project
Re: Leaving FTTC and going to Smarty 4G for £18.75 a month
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2019, 01:12:12 AM »

Thank you for writing-up your experience of 4G mobile broadband. To me, someone who has not researched the topic, it seems as if there are numerous pit-falls for the unwary.
Logged
:cat:  100% Linux and, previously, Unix. Co-founder of the ELRepo Project.

Please consider making a donation to support the running of this site.
Pages: [1] 2
 

anything