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4G mast preferred over slightly farther 5G one

cmsdloma

Casual Member
Hello,

I have just got a Huawei CPE Pro with EE 5G unlimited data plan. I've been trying it out and doing some research to debug my poor speeds.

The cell tower they tell me to connect to is in town - about 1.4km away - this is definately running 5G and on cellmapper.net people have had max downloads of up to 550 Mbits/sec, which is great. The yellow part of the EE coverage checker map strongly suggests this is the broadcast zone of this 5G-enabled mast, and I'm just inside it.

When I first fired up my CPE Pro, I got about 150 Mbits/s on its internal antenna only. But after setting up it has dropped to 40 Mbits/s. Now, no matter what I do I cannot get more than 40 Mbits/s. After some digging, I know what is happening.

It is actually connecting to a closer cell tower (about 0.8 km away) in a different direction, which officially serves my neighborhood, but this tower is not 5G. I have confirmed this by cross referencing the Cell ID in System -> Device information with cellmapper.net.

I'm gonna stick the Poynting 5G XPOL-2 antenna on the chimney in the next few days, but I fear
that I will simply have a stronger signal from the closer cell tower, and it will still continue to use this closer, 4G one, instead of the farther 5G one.

Question: Is there any way to force it to use the specific 5G one which I need it to?

I suppose I could buy a strictly directional antenna and point it the right way. But

I'd prefer a configuration option. Has anyone any ideaS? Is there anything in the Huawei I could tweak?

Cheers,
Dave
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Take a read through this thread (only a few posts earlier in the forum list!) on pretty much identical topic, though for Vodafone.

Also, be aware that the external antennas on the CPE Pro are for 5G only, the 4G will still remain on the internal antennas.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
So the antenna is omnidirectional right? Well, if you put it up on the chimney side opposite the 4G-only tower, than maybe this is how it's now getting 5G.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So the antenna is omnidirectional right? Well, if you put it up on the chimney side opposite the 4G-only tower, than maybe this is how it's now getting 5G.
It could potentially still be using the same 4G site but now the signal conditions are better that 5G is connecting from the other site.
 

cmsdloma

Casual Member
Arggh! Take back what I said, it's switched back to the wrong mast, and now it says 4G signal 50%, 5G signal 0%. Really annoying.

When it's connected to the mast I want (slightly further away), I had a 95% 5G signal.

Now it's back to sub 35 Mbps speeds on 4G. Not happy.

I couldn't install it on the far side of the chimney stack because it's the neighbor's side.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Arggh! Take back what I said, it's switched back to the wrong mast, and now it says 4G signal 50%, 5G signal 0%. Really annoying.

When it's connected to the mast I want (slightly further away), I had a 95% 5G signal.

Now it's back to sub 35 Mbps speeds on 4G. Not happy.

I couldn't install it on the far side of the chimney stack because it's the neighbor's side.

Try a directional antenna then, pointed at the right mast... or improvise one with some aluminium tape or smth stuck to one side of the omnidirectional one.

I really wish EE enable that feature where you can use 4G off one mast and 5G off another like Vodafone just did (as comrade @JitteryPinger graciously informed us).
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Try a directional antenna then, pointed at the right mast... or improvise one with some aluminium tape or smth stuck to one side of the omnidirectional one.

I really wish EE enable that feature where you can use 4G off one mast and 5G off another like Vodafone just did (as comrade @JitteryPinger graciously informed us).
Does Three have intra node EN-DC?
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
5G in UK is not SA (standalone), it's basically just a supplementary band to 4G.. if you disable 4G you got nothing.
Try the aluminium hack.
 

cmsdloma

Casual Member
I put a stainless steel toilet roll holder (complete with slot for cables) over the Huawei unit itself (not the antenna), because someone said that it uses the internal antenna for 4G, and the external antenna only for 5G. I experimented with different orientations. It didn't make any difference at all, sadly, in both scenarios, whether it was working or not.

I've been doing more testing. Now it's showing the same CELL_ID under System -> Device information, in both scenarios, which are:

Working:
4G signal 65%
5G signal 95%

Not working:
4G signal 50%
5G signal 0%

I don't understand it. What's wierd is the CELL_ID is not the one which is (according to EE) 5G enabled; the one slightly further away. The CELL_ID is the closer one, and my antenna isn't pointing to it.

So I have called the aerial man to come back, and on Thursday he'll turn it round to point to the closer one. If the closer one is really 5G enabled then its fantastic news; and orienting the antenna should fix the problem. But this would mean EE totally misled me down the garden path.

I'll keep testing for a few days, before and after reorienting, will keep you posted with updated. Thanks to everyone for their posts, much appreciated.
 

cmsdloma

Casual Member
P.S. Yes, it's an omnidirectional antenna, but it has a bias towards the front if you look at the radiation patterns in the manual.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
P.S. Yes, it's an omnidirectional antenna, but it has a bias towards the front if you look at the radiation patterns in the manual.

Yes, all antennas have this, there's no true 100% "omni"..
The fact that 5G is through the antenna and 4G through the router is an extra problem.. :/
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Who'd have thought they'd not implement 5G properly in the UK?
NSA 5G is a 'proper' 5G implementation.

There are next to no 5G SA devices yet (or at least the 5G devices available don't have suitable firmware that enables them for SA).
The provider's cores need big changes to support SA too.

The providers weren't/aren't going to stand around waiting for those things to be in place before rolling out/lighting up 5G, so NSA it is.
 
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