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BandRich Claim 36Mbps Average Speed in Rural Cumbria 4G Broadband Trial

Monday, November 18th, 2013 (12:55 pm) - Score 1,474

BandRich has today claimed that its outdoor E500 router successfully managed to achieve average Internet download speeds of 36.49Mbps (Megabits), which occured at the edge of the network during EE’s recent trial of a new Fixed Wireless 4G (LTE at 1800MHz) based Home Broadband service in rural Cumbria (England, UK).

The 18 month long trial, which took place in the Northern Fells and Threlkeld area of the picturesque Lake District (here and here), came to an end last week after EE confirmed the official launch of its new Fixed Wireless 4G product (here) and plans for an expanded roll-out.

At the time EE reported that the network could deliver average speeds of 24Mbps using their chosen Huawei B953 router (cost of hardware: £69.99). But today BandRich has claimed that their similar E500 device, which was also tested as part of the trial, ultimately delivered even better performance.

cumbria uk 4g home broadband trial speeds

As well as average 4G download speeds of 36.49Mbps, the router also achieved an average upload speed of 14.88Mbps, which is significantly higher than most mainstream fixed line superfast broadband connections and also eclipses the woeful 1Mbps level of older copper based ADSL2+ lines.

Dr. Wen-Yi Kuo, BandRich’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

The results from the trial completely validate the performance of the E500 series, proving that it meets a real customer need when mobile coverage is poor, particularly in rural areas.”

Paul Coffey, EE’s Head of Strategic Development, added:

When it comes to rural broadband the BandRich E500 delivered excellent data speeds when deployed on the cell edge, where not all devices would connect. The unit performed very well in challenging weather conditions.”

The BandRich E500 is a similar spec LTE Category 3 (i.e. up to 100Mbps) device to the Huawei router and likewise features several high-gain internal antennas. It too would generally be affixed to an outdoor wall where the signal is strongest. Apparently the kit was used by around 10% of trialists in the Threlkeld area, which included several homes and businesses.

Sadly we could not find any pricing information for the E500 and it’s difficult to judge the actual comparable performance of different hardware without having access to all of the trial data.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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20 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark

    The speeds sound perfectly reasonable and achievable but as you point out there are too many unknown variables. Was this, for instance, a “closed test” with one transmitter and one user with zero contention? At what distance? With line of sight or without? And so on.

    Actually, the upstream is fairly poor at only about 15Meg, we only have a 3 bar signal and manage 20Meg upstream here (only 40% of headline/max speed) but then, only about 23Meg downstream. This does however vary depending on the dongle position – like 3G in my experience, the upstream is more sensitive to signal strength than the downstream.

    The manufacturer’s website looks at first glance like it’s designed for UK distributors rather than individuals to buy from. However since I’m looking at getting a modem-router and antenna combination (was going to go for the Huawei B593 but this looks interesting) I have sent them an enquiry. Will let you know if I get an answer.

    • Yes please do Mark, it would be good to know how the price compares.

    • Avatar DTMark

      Very impressive – I have had a reply already to confirm a few things. Will revert.

    • Dear Mark,

      Unfortunately the trial agreement in place between BandRich and EE does not allow me to answer these questions, however due to the nature of the BAndRich E500, the emphasis was on edge of cell performance and locations that experience poor mobile coverage.

      The video announcing the launch of the trial on EE’s website does however give a good insight into the trial format and the types of location where the BandRich E500 was trialled. (https://explore.ee.co.uk/our-company/newsroom/4g-cumbria-trial-what-4g-means-me). This video features both the Huawei B593 indoor router and the BandRich E500 (See the segment featuring Stephen Woolley, Near Howe Holiday Cottages).

      Best regards,

      Peter

      Disclosure: BandRich are a client of Light the Fuse Ltd, a company of which I am a Director.

    • Avatar DTMark

      Just to update this – have been having an email chat with Peter who is highly knowledgeable and helpful. Very refreshing, as is the disclaimer in his posts declaring an interest. Would be helpful if this was more widespread practice on forums generally rather than people posing as “punters” to push particular technologies.

      Am very interested in this kit, so waiting to hear back from UK installation partner now.

    • Glad to be of help Mark. If you don’t here from access-broadband.co.uk in the next day or so, let me know and I’ll chase them for you.

      Disclosure: BandRich are a client of Light the Fuse Ltd, a company of which I am a Director

    • Glad to be of help Mark. If you don’t hear from access-broadband.co.uk in the next day or so, please let me know and I’ll chase them for you.

      Disclosure: BandRich are a client of Light the Fuse Ltd, a company of which I am a Director

  2. Avatar Julian T

    Looking today on the EE website the Huawei router is actually the B593 and I wasn’t aware of this having internal high gain antennas. Is it possible for someone to clarify this point before purchase one?

  3. The router you see on EE’s website is not the one for the above service, which won’t officially go live until early December. Check back on their site about a week into Dec.

    • Avatar DanielM

      I gave a link for pricing on that modem. but it would appear you chose to censor my comment :O

    • Looks like it was caught by the Akismet anti-spam filter for some reason (probably the wording). Re-approved.

    • EE have now confirmed on their website that the standard device they are using in Cumbria is the unmodified B593. Despite EEs claims, this indoor router does not have “internal high gain antennas” – expect a lot of negative feedback from Cumbrian customers with this unit, when they see how poor their data speeds actually are.

      In comparative testing in Cumbria the BandRich E500 connected in more place, more reliably than the B593.

      Disclosure: BandRich are a client of Light the Fuse Ltd, a company of which I am a Director.

  4. Your spam filters also seem to have blocked my reply to DanielM on pricing.

    • Posting a lot of comments that contain links in a short space of time is something that seems to trip Akismet. I’ve marked them as Approved so you should be ok now.

  5. Avatar Julian T

    http://www.4gltemall.com/huawei-b593-4g-lte-cpe-industrial-wireless-router.html
    researching last night and this link goes to the Huawei B593. it seems to be the one that EE mention. it is priced at $399 plus antennas at $80 making it close to $500.

  6. If you have a query regarding installations of the BandRich E500, please visit http://www.access-broadband.co.uk or give them a call on 0800 7999 400

    Disclosure: BandRich are a client of Light the Fuse Ltd, a company of which I am a Director.

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