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3 is possibly not the magic number.

LeeWillRockYou

Casual Member
I'm on 3 mobile broadband and whilst it's worked relatively okay, I'm yearning to squeeze just a little bit more out of it. I've spent (wasted) quite a bit of money so far and want to sort this out once and for all! I see these forums and like what I see - hello!

Below are my current stats, they are sometimes better, sometimes worse as it is with mobile signals. I get about 10down / 8up on average. 18up+down on good days. Currently my router sits on my desk in the middle of my house and this tends to be the best place for it, which makes no sense at all but there you go.

I live on the edge of a small town, in a bungalow, behind a big house and our houses are slightly below road level, so yeah the mobile signal Gods aren't kind, however with 3 and Vodafone (on the mobile phone) the signal does work and we can stream HD videos easily, so can't complain too much.

I signed up to 3 in March 2019 and received the Huawei B311 and it was an awful router that constantly disconnected, so I bought a new one with the most I could budget, the Archer MR200. Seems a bit sturdier but didn't improve the signal/speed much and that bugged me, so after (little) research I went and bought one of those Poyang (spelling?) external antennas and could not find a better signal around my bungalow anywhere! I've come to see that this is a common problem. So I just gave up for awhile. But here I am again and the other day I decided to buy the Huawei B535 because I wanted to try 4G+ and I also have the HUACntrl app and I love the UI for the signal indicators, it makes much more sense seeing the bars raise up and down. It's been raining too much this week but when it's dry I can't wait to see if I can get somewhere with the external antenna whilst using this app.

Anyway, I suppose I need a question. What are your thoughts on my numbers below and seeing my RSRP number, is there any hope for me? I've looked at CellMapper but because I live in a small town, it's not really updated much.

Additional question, when 3 say that they are working on the signal in my area, how true is that and could it explain why it appears that I'm connecting to a cell/mast further away than the closest one I can see on the map?

RSSI: -81
RSRQ: -7
RSRP: -107
SINR: 4

Thanks for reading my ramblings.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Looking at your stats I'd say a directional antenna pointing directly at a close mast may be able to get better speeds but like you've discovered its a lottery. What I would recommend is trying sims from other carriers to see if it can be improved upon that way as I don't see three improving with age, just getting slower as time goes on.

As for three's texts saying their working on masts in your area. I've only had one in the last 12 months and not noticed any difference in the quality of service or speed.
 

LeeWillRockYou

Casual Member
Thanks. I've tried Vodafone, O2 and EE and they're all about the same in regards to those readings. But I've not been able to try them over a substantial amount of time without adding credit to them (yet). I used to be with EE on my phone and found theirs to be quite good but they don't seem to offer decent data SIM only plans. Ideally need 500gb p/m to unlimited. I'd pay for the 5g unlimited thing but unsure if it will fall back to 4g or not?
 

Lucian

Pro Member
EE and O2 both have sim only pay monthly contracts, I think for 18 or 24m. I just signed for one with EE for £37 via topcashback site.
As for fallback to 4G, yes, that's what happens.
 

LeeWillRockYou

Casual Member
I'll wait until my Three contract expires in March and see what the landscape is like by then.

My speeds at the moment are acceptable averaging on 15mbps up and down.

I tried the external antenna again at the weekend to no avail. I'm just going to go ahead and sell it, as the bloody thing gives me a headache just thinking about it.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
I'm waiting on a sim from EE currently, which should be an interesting test because they share the same local mast I'm on with Three, so I should get pretty much the same signal levels. As for performance, well that'll be the million dollar question.
 

kommando828

Top Member
so I should get pretty much the same signal levels
No, EE transmit with a higher power, so provided the mast antenna is not too out of angle to you your signal strength should beat Three. That with the higher bandwidth on band 3 should provided you have a router that can handle it give better speeds. But my neighbour who is closer to the mast I use, which is also a Three/EE shared mast, gets lower figures than me on EE and nothing on Three.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
That's good to know! Hopefully the B535-232 will make more use of the EE connection. Will report back once my sim arrives.
 

Jmi

Regular Member
I'll wait until my Three contract expires in March and see what the landscape is like by then.

My speeds at the moment are acceptable averaging on 15mbps up and down.

I tried the external antenna again at the weekend to no avail. I'm just going to go ahead and sell it, as the bloody thing gives me a headache just thinking about it.
Sell the B535 at the same time, and invest the proceeds in the B818.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
I've got to say I'm not a fan of the B535 either. The low cat rating of 4g routers is really holding back the success of home broadband here in the UK, which I suppose is a plus for carriers who really don't appear to want customers getting the most bandwidth out of their hardware anyway.
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
I don’t really think it’s the routers issue.

Huawei don’t sell these devices to consumers in the UK as the mobile networks all provide the routers - there are very well spec’d versions available but the networks all choose the cheaper ones.

In markets where Huawei do sell these routers to consumers they have 4G ones that can do 1.5GBps (theoretically of course) and is fairly inexpensive. About £40.

I don’t think it’s the routers that are the issue..
 
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