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Author Topic: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)  (Read 1533 times)

Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2021, 09:38:37 PM »

That's correct, you should get the same improvement in upload going to the B535-232 but get very little (due to hardware improvements) or no improvement moving to 5G.

On the B535 the average on my Three tower is 6-13Mbit upload, but it depends entirely on your local towers congestion, signal strength and probably also bands in use on that tower. I consistently got 25Mbit on Vodafone to a very close tower, was the one reason I was reluctant to get rid of them.

I'm thinking of holding on to the B535 a bit longer and giving LibaraMobile a shot. https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,26464.0.html
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INTAKE (ECI) Home Hub 5A (OpenWRT) on Zen, Hauwei CPE Pro 2 H122-373 on Lebara 4G, Hauwei CPE Pro 2 H122-373 on Three 5G Router: pfSense (i5-7200U) WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX + Ubiquiti nanoHD (OpenWRT)
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DaveC

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2021, 10:26:36 PM »

Thanks.  Over the past couple of days, my upload speedtests have been pretty consistent - between about 15Mbits/s and 20Mbits/s, and generally at the higher end of that range.  So that's promising at least.

I've also noticed that Three now appear to be selling the ZTE MF286D as their standard 4G router (available for £29 upfront + a one month contract at £30).  This is a Cat 12/13 modem, claiming up to 600/100 speeds (compared to 300/100 for the B535).  I can't find much info on it, apart from the fact that (as expected) Three have crippled the firmware.  A more generic version is available on Amazon for £99.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2021, 05:56:11 AM »

I don't think any UK networks are or will ever use the higher speeds.  The real improvement you get is merely going to carrier aggregation.
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INTAKE (ECI) Home Hub 5A (OpenWRT) on Zen, Hauwei CPE Pro 2 H122-373 on Lebara 4G, Hauwei CPE Pro 2 H122-373 on Three 5G Router: pfSense (i5-7200U) WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX + Ubiquiti nanoHD (OpenWRT)
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DaveC

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2021, 07:48:12 AM »

They key with Three is to NOT use 3internet for the APN, there's some weird issue with it that regularly causes packet loss and low speeds, even on 5G.  You have to use three.co.uk which goes over their CGNAT platform and doesn't suffer these problems.

I've just looked at this again, after reading on another forum that you can't change the APN with Smarty - that it ignores and overrides whatever you enter.  With both "3internet" and "three.co.uk", I get connected to their CGNAT network (WAN IP in the 10.0.0.0/8 range).

The official APN for Smarty (which their site says you must use for roaming) is "mob.asm.net" - that's also giving me a 10.0.0.0/8 IP.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2021, 07:50:15 AM by DaveC »
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DaveC

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2021, 10:21:31 PM »

I decided to give the ZTE MF286D a try, and bought one from Amazon as the description showed it as a generic model, rather than the version issued by Three.

However, on receiving it, it had the Three logo on the front and whilst there was no branding in the webui itself, the default SSID was prefixed with "Three_" - so presumably it's the Three firmware.

There was no indication in the webui of the bands being used, and no options to restrict the modem to specific bands.

I managed to do two speedtests with it (both around 80/20 with 20ms pings) before it dropped the network connection and has since failed to reconnect.

It's going back to Amazon.
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DaveC

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2021, 06:42:16 PM »

I'm now the owner of a B535-232 courtesy of ebay.  It appears to be a model from Lithuania, coming with an EU plug.  It has bridge mode available, and the version information is showing as follows:

Hardware version             WL1B535M
Software version              10.0.1.1(H191SP4C983)
Web UI version                WEBUI 10.0.1.1(W2SP1C07)
Configuration file version   B535-232-CUST 10.0.1.1(C07)

(C) date in the webui is 2017-2019, and there are no updates available for it.


I'm trying it out in an upstairs bedroom at the moment (my previous modem was in the loft).

Stats are showing:

RSRQ   -10.0dB
RSRP   -73dBm
RSSI   >=-51dBm
SINR   11dB

Wireless transmit power           PPusch:-10dBm PPucch:-13dBm PSrs:-8dBm PPrach:-16dBm
Uplink mod/demod of MCS       mcsUpCarrier1:19
Downlink mod/demod of MCS   mcsDownCarrier1Code0:25
                                              mcsDownCarrier1Code1:23
PLMN                                      23420
Band                                      20

I've tried a few speedtests, with the following results (ping / download / upload):

28ms   117.97   4.61
28ms   128.36   4.46
39ms   79.21     2.78
29ms   118.83   3.56

So very impressed with the download speed (it seems about 3 or 4 times faster than my previous modem), but not at all impressed with the upload - my previous modem was consistently getting around 15-20Mbits/s.

This is just with the internal antenna at the moment (not even the "bunny ears", which I didn't get).
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risk_reversal

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2021, 10:38:05 AM »

I have also been tinkering around with 4G routers and the speed tests which you have posted suggests that you are using an O2 sim. Is that correct?

If so, then I think that your B535 has probably locked on to a tower with Band 40. You can check this in the B535's UI. This band generally appears to have lower upload speeds.

I have been testing 4G routers, B535, in order to replace my 3G USB dongle Huawei B367

When I tried out my B535 on O2 in a crowded area with no direct line of sight of the mast I get about 75 down and 8 up. The B535 was on band 40.

Since the B535 can do carrier aggregation on 2 bands. I set mine to band 1 + band 3 for download and band 1 for upload and got down 50-55 up 15-17 (during the afternoon, probably better after midnight).

I am not sure if you are familiar with it by if you use LTE-H Monitor (free), you can set / lock these bands manually.

In addition, this program will also identify the actual cell that you are connected to and using CellMapper you can see the location of that cell and of all the others around you.

P.S Having tested the 4 major carriers on my B535, EE comes tops (great down great up, pings okish), O2 2nd, Voda poor and Three awful during the day but great if you use it between midnight and 6am!!!

Good Luck
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 10:54:58 AM by risk_reversal »
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DaveC

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2021, 11:16:02 AM »

Thanks, I've been tinkering some more since my last post, and am starting to understand what I'm seeing.

I'm using a Smarty Unlimited SIM (Three's network), and have identified my cell tower in cellmapper.  It's broadcasting on bands 1, 3 and 20.

I am using a Macbook, and have found a Python tool which I am assuming does the same job as LTE-H Monitor with regards to band locking.  (I haven't yet tried getting LTE-H Monitor running on my Mac).

Am I correct in thinking that carrier aggregation only applies to the download, and the upload will only ever use a single band? 

I haven't been able to recreate my 100+ Mbits/s downloads from my first tests last night, but locking to bands 3 (15MHz bandwidth) and 20 (10MHz bandwidth) is giving me the best results, with downloads typically in the 40-100 range, and uploads around 15-25 (but they do seem to be dropping as more people wake up this morning...).

My SINR is typically only around 12-13dB though, so I need to try and find a better location (e.g. in the loft).  My previous USB modem was acheiving 4-5dB more than that.
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Weaver

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2021, 11:32:09 AM »

Could the Three result be due to the popularity of their all-you-can-eat deal? Was that one of the earliest such deals? Anyway, suggests congestion, no? Are you seeing different basestations for the different networks or only the one?

Here comes a completely stupid question: Since I donít think the Mallaig basestation some way to the south south east of me here in Skye is audible because of the moors in the way, Iím assuming that I only ever have to consider the one basestation to the northeast of me across the glen. That carries EE and Three; I use    A&A/AQL/Three on my iPad (terrifyingly expensive per byte) and my wife uses EE (unlimited data) on her iPhone. Will the different networks share the same hardware on that mast, or is that a stupid suggestion? Iím wondering if the performance of networks is similar if they are received from one common basestation?

I told you it was nonsense. ;-)
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jelv

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2021, 11:55:57 AM »

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DaveC

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2021, 12:03:19 PM »

Yes, I'm sure I am suffering a lot from congestion - I should try some different SIMs.  Although when it manages to lock onto the correct combination of bands, speedtests are not dropping much below around 50/10, and are averaging a lot higher.  So whilst there is a lot of variation, the minimum seems relatively good.

My mast has three distinct cell IDs:

13002/73 - band 1 (2100MHz - 10MHz bandwidth)
13002/2 - band 3 (1800MHz - 15MHz bandwidth)
13002/8 - band 20 (800MHz - 5MHz bandwidth)

If I combine bands 1 and 3 and it has selected 13002/2 for the upload, then things work the best - around 70 download and 15 upload.

However, if I combine those bands and it has selected 13002/73 for the upload, I get < 10 upload, and also slower downloads.

This seems relatively easy to force though - I just set band 3 first, and then add band 1 to it.

Does anyone know if the lack of upload aggregation is a limitation of the B535, or Three, or both?

Things were simpler with DSL....
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risk_reversal

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2021, 01:26:20 PM »

Although your B353 is capable of CA, the network may not.

I know that Three have CA on B1+B20 since I read that on their forum and I have managed to get B3+B20 to work as well.

CA works for downloads only. Usually the first band set is the Primary so set that 1st then the secondary

Try LTE H-Monitor it will accurately tell you which tower you are locked onto.

The Three network around where I live is pooh since it is so cheap and must be well oversubscribed.

Unfortunately, from what I have discovered, getting the best speeds and lowest pings is a matter of trial and error with bands and networks
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 01:28:30 PM by risk_reversal »
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meritez

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2021, 08:24:49 PM »

Yes, I'm sure I am suffering a lot from congestion - I should try some different SIMs.  Although when it manages to lock onto the correct combination of bands, speedtests are not dropping much below around 50/10, and are averaging a lot higher.  So whilst there is a lot of variation, the minimum seems relatively good.

My mast has three distinct cell IDs:

13002/73 - band 1 (2100MHz - 10MHz bandwidth)
13002/2 - band 3 (1800MHz - 15MHz bandwidth)
13002/8 - band 20 (800MHz - 5MHz bandwidth)

If I combine bands 1 and 3 and it has selected 13002/2 for the upload, then things work the best - around 70 download and 15 upload.

However, if I combine those bands and it has selected 13002/73 for the upload, I get < 10 upload, and also slower downloads.

This seems relatively easy to force though - I just set band 3 first, and then add band 1 to it.

Does anyone know if the lack of upload aggregation is a limitation of the B535, or Three, or both?

Things were simpler with DSL....

Can you see band 32 on a b535?

My b525 is running modded firmware and I can aggregate band 20+32.
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DaveC

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2021, 08:57:38 PM »

According to cellmapper my local Three masts are only using bands 1, 3 and 20, so I can't confirm if the B535 supports B32. 

A quick google suggests it does, and although it's not in the webui, my B535 does accept B32 if I try and set it via the Python application i'm using.  It doesn't connect to anything though (which is as expected).
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meritez

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Re: Maximising my speed (Three 4G)
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2021, 10:27:53 PM »

According to 4pda: https://4pda.to/forum/index.php?showtopic=979117

Code: [Select]
Aggregation options for the -232 version:
UL CA: 1C , 3C , 7C , 38C
DL CA: 1C , 3C , 7C , 38C, 3A-3A, 1A-3A , 1A-7A , 1A-8A , 1A-20A , 1A- 28A , 3A-7A , 3A-8A , 3A-20A , 3A-28A , 7A-8A , 7A-20A , 7A-28A , 8A-32A , 8A-38A , 20A-32A , 20A-38A , 28A-38A

Band 32 is the only aggregate band for band 20 primary, but band 3 can use another band 3 or band 20 or band 28.

Sadly the firmware on that link is not available.
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