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3 HomeFi (Huawei B535) 15mhz bandwidth on 1800mhz

daleski

Regular Member
Hi Guys,

Looking for some advice, my Virginmedia connection is down more than it's up so took the plunge and got a 3 branded Huawei B535 on contract, currently I am getting anywhere between 30 and 55mbps indoors with no external attena's

According to HuaCtrl I am always connected to the same mast no matter what which has 15mhz of bandwidth (is that the right word?)

So the question is what is the maximum throughput I can likely get if there looks to be no carrier aggregation on 15Mhz? i.e would buying antennas actually be worth it?

Stats for reference.

CELL_ID 2597120
RSRQ -6.0dB
RSRP -92dBm
RSSI -69dBm
SINR 12dB
Wireless transmit power PPusch:-1dBm PPucch:-15dBm PSrs:0dBm PPrach:2dBm
Uplink mod/demod of MCS mcsUpCarrier1:29
Downlink mod/demod of MCS mcsDownCarrier1Code0:0 mcsDownCarrier1Code1:0
PLMN 23420
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
In my experience no antenna's on the router will improve the quality of Three's service. What's needed is for Three to upgrade their masts and build more of them. All variable speeds and quality of connection issues mentioned on here are due to three having high volumes of users on masts, not the signal quality to our routers.
 

Darsuke

Pro Member
If you have a modern mobile phone try the sim in that. Should give an indication if there's potentially more speed at your mast before wasting money.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I assume you're not seeing 4G+ (plus) in the home page of the router UI, and therefore aren't getting carrier aggregation...

With 15mhz of just Band 3 (the 1800Mhz band) the maximum theoretical throughput is 112Mbps down (37.5Mbps up), assuming 2x2 MIMO and 64QAM - which it will be if there is no carrier aggregation available (it's likely that the mast will be pre-rebuild and probably Samsung radio hardware, which is 2x2 and 64QAM).

Those speeds are the theoretical maximum and a number of factors would apply that would reduce that - distance, physical obstacles (trees/hills/walls) and, as Buggerlugz mentions, the number of people connected to the cell on the mast who are 'sharing' that available throughput.

From the stats you have given, it looks like the signal you're getting is reasonably good (nothing jumps out at me as being 'low') so it probably boils down to the number of people using your cell.

There are things you could try test out:
1. moving your router around your house to try locate a more optimal location - try different windows (usually the least resistance to signal).

2. forcing your router to use Band 1 (2100mhz) - though that might not exist in your area, if other local masts don't have it enabled, in which case it wouldn't connect to anything.
If it connected then you would see a different Cell ID - each frequency has its own Cell ID. But in this situation I'd expect the Band 1 mast to be further away from you - if it was closer than your current mast then you would likely already be connected to it and seeing 4G+/carrier aggregation (unless its crazy oversubscribed and the network is pushing you off to another mast).
Assuming it is further away, I wouldn't expect speeds to improve though.
 
Last edited:

kommando828

Top Member
Band 20 may be active, check by going onto the Three coverage checker and stick in your postcode.

If you get this you can get band 20 5mhtz

Great news. Our new 4G Super-Voice signal is available in this area, kicking Indoor Blackspots' ass.

I can 4g+ using band 3 and 20. No sign of band 1 or band 32 by me yet.
 

daleski

Regular Member
B1 exists but is 3g only, B20 also exists which is 4G+ but the speeds are sub 1mbps per second :(

Tried the sim in my Galaxy S20 Ultra and pretty much same speeds as in the router.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
You should be able to force 4G and B1 to prevent it connecting to the 3G (though there won't be any fall-back to 3G, if 4G B1 fails).

B20 will always give low speeds on its own, its max theoretical is 37.5Mbps but it covers a much larger area, so more devices see it, each getting a small slice.
Not sure why it shows you 4G+ with B20 though - if its a single band, it cannot aggregate.
If its aggregating (B20+B3) then it should be as fast as you had before: 30-55Mbps.

Edit: as you get similar speeds in your phone then that's probably the best you're going to get until Three get around to upgrading your local mast (they don't give ETAs, so useless in asking)
 

daleski

Regular Member
I might mess about with locking it to B20 again but move the router around or try again in the roof where we have a spare socket to see if this improves anything.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
When I said to force B1 and 4G that would cause the router to look for a 4G B1 signal from somewhere, and in this situation that is going to be from a more distant mast than daleski's 'home' mast as that seems to be B3 for 4G only - he forced to B1 and it dropped to 3G.

If forcing B1 + B3, in this case, the router would just use just B3 from the 'home' mast once again - there is no B1 4G available from it yet, so it cannot aggregate the two.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
What about band 3 and band 32 then? I'm not convinced routers which have masts capable of CA in the vicinity are using CA is all.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
For B32, it depends on the router - the B535 can only aggregate B32 with B20 (and not B1/B3 + B32). Other routers can aggregate B32 with the other bands.

If daleski forced B20 + B32 and there was a remote mast that had both of those then (assuming the mast was close enough to latch onto the B32 frequency) then it should aggregate.
Actually, now I've thought about it a little more and put it down in writing, this might well be what is happening when he is seeing 4G+ with B20.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Don't expect miracles in terms of speeds.
If you can get B20+B32 aggregated upload particularly will be slow as , it can only use the B20 for upload - B32 is an SDL (Supplementary DownLink band)
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
One thing I notice when I try to use CA with android apps, is it states on the app "B3 + 5mhz" whatever the 5mhz is, but the router only reports 4g still without the +. But at the same time I am capable of seeing 70Mbs (during quiet off-peak periods) so it must be using CA during those periods? not that it ever tells me I am.

Apparently I can get "supervoice" in my area though...so I'm none the wiser.
 

daleski

Regular Member
B3 reports 15mhz for me and B20 reports 5mhz, B1 reports nothing and B32 does not seem to exist (more testing needed)
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Which Android apps? I believe there is no available public API in Android anymore (they got locked down/removed) that allows apps to identify CA or which bands are being used.
Developers need to find ways around that if they want to report something and doing so may not be reliable for all devices all of the time.

If you're seeing B3 + 5Mhz then that feels like it would be B3 + B20. If the router isn't connecting to both of those at the same time (but you can force each, separately, and it does connect) then maybe there is something at play that is denying routers doing B3+B20.
That is highly plausible as I imagine Three probably have B20 set as the frequency of last resort, given they have such a small piece of it and they probably want that for providing VoLTE (supervoice) calls on the fringes of coverage/deep inside houses.

Personally, I ignore B20 on Three for data, they just isn't enough spectrum for it to provide a significant uplift in throughput to be considered - that is unless you're on the very fringes of coverage and can only get B20 with Three, but in that situation I'd look to another provider, its likely there is a better (faster) one in that location.
 

daleski

Regular Member
Locked the B535 to B1, B3, B20, B32 and will test it out later on in different rooms to see if it locks onto 4G+ rather than 4G
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
You'll need to remove B3 from that list - setting it to those is basically the same as 'Auto' - those are all the bands that Three have, so you're not limiting anything.

As your most-local mast has B3 it will be the cell it connects to. You'll have to remove it from the list of enabled bands to force it to search elsewhere.
If it then connects to B20 then that is because the B20 signal level is higher than B1, even if there is a B1 enabled mast located physically closer to you - B20 travels further, so its signal level is likely higher at longer distances than B1.
Again you can then disable B20 to force B1.

B32 is pretty rare, and as I mentioned, the B535 can only aggregate that with B20 anyway.
 
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