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Category 7 to category 11 router -automatic improvement?

L-T-E

Member
Hi everyone :) Lots of great threads I've been reading here.

Was looking for a few opinions. I have a 3 unlimited SIM with a Huawei B535 (category 7/2×2 MIMO) and I'm happy with it as I get 20-30MBPS but obviously I'd like more if possible.

I tried an external antenna which boosted the up speed but reduced the down speed. A total faff really as it has to be on the other side of the building so I'll stick with the internal antennae.

I was thinking about buying the Huawei B618 (category 11/4×4 MIMO) router and wondered should I expect an automatic improvement? It claims 600MBPS compared to the 300MBPS on the B535.

Amazon sell it so I'm tempted as it's easy to return. I've always went with freebie modems/routers but if I can get a 20% improvement at least then the investment of £230 would be fine as I have a 24 month contract (£20PM unlimited).

Thanks for any help.

 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
You'd really need to know if your local mast isn't too 'shared' with other users - do speeds improve greatly in the early hours when no-one else is really using it?

Also, not all masts are 4t (4x4) enabled - probably the best way to check the capability of your mast that I know of is to use Network Signal Guru (NSG) on a rooted Android phone which has a Snapdragon CPU which would reveal if the mast was 4t enabled.
Buying a 4x4 router wouldn't bring any benefit if the mast isn't enabled for it.
 

L-T-E

Member
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, very early hours I can get 40MBPS and that can drop to 20MBPS later in the day so there's a lot of sharing going on.

I've ordered it anyway as I'm intrigued and it's coming tomorrow so I'll post my findings after a few days.

I had looked at the Huawei 818 5G router but it seems to do only 4G and 5G where my router gets the signal from 3G & 4G (if I choose either one alone the speed drops quite a bit).

The 5G would have been a better investment I think (although I can't imagine 5G around here anytime soon).
 

Darsuke

Pro Member
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, very early hours I can get 40MBPS and that can drop to 20MBPS later in the day so there's a lot of sharing going on.

I've ordered it anyway as I'm intrigued and it's coming tomorrow so I'll post my findings after a few days.
I too look forward to hearing your results. Though your current difference between peak and off peak speeds don't seem that great to me.
 

L-T-E

Member
Tested it over the last few days and I'm impressed.

Plugged it in, didn't alter settings and put it in the previous (B535) sweet spot in the corner of the livingroom.

Speed increases have been around 25% consistently (actually got 50MBPS down / 9MBPS up @0600 yesterday morning) so I'm very pleased with that. Having 30MBPS is my happy point for 4K YouTube so if I continue to get at least that the B618 is worth the investment for me over the freebie B535 which never quite gave me 4K video (it was OK 90% of the time to be fair and it's obviously got a lot of tricks compared to the older models but no real improvement over my old VDSL (20-25MBPS) landline when talking about 4K YouTube at peak times).

That exact UK model number: B618s-22d

The B618 also has a RJ11. I plugged my landline DECT phone in and it said I need to top up 😁 obviously 3 are blocking data SIMs from outgoing calls. If you ring the data SIM it just rings on and on but if you plug a landline phone in you hear an engaged tone. I'll make sure my next SIM is a handset SIM.

The B618 has 2G/3G/4G unlike the higher category 818 which seems to be just 4G/5G.

Been very pleased with 3 (used 1.3TB data this month on that unlimted SIM) and even when I phoned them about something they were OK just fingers crossed there's no problems as my experience of them in the past wasn't good.

It was this one from Amazon which I purchased for £230 https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B073VBYFL5 UK sourced never seem to go for less than £170 on eBay so £230 with a proper warranty and the opportunity to test makes Amazon a no brainer.
 

kommando828

Top Member
If your mast gets upgraded to L band alternatively known as band 32 your 618 will not be able to take advantage.

Huawei B618s-22d: Band 1/3/7/8/20/38
Huawei B618s-65d: 1/3/5/7/8/28/40

The B715 looks the better option for now but only CAT9.

Huawei B715s-23c LTE B1, B3, B7, B8, B20, B28, B32, B38
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
If your mast gets upgraded to L band alternatively known as band 32 your 618 will not be able to take advantage.

Huawei B618s-22d: Band 1/3/7/8/20/38
Huawei B618s-65d: 1/3/5/7/8/28/40

The B715 looks the better option for now but only CAT9.

Huawei B715s-23c LTE B1, B3, B7, B8, B20, B28, B32, B38
I looked at both of these routers in detail a few weeks ago and these were my findings, based on Three network spectrum allocations and with 64qam:

The B618 will aggregate 1+3 at 4x4mimo = 375down/50up (theoretical)
The B715 will aggregate 1+3+32 but only with 2x2mimo (doesn't do 4x4 at all) = 337.5down/37.5up (theoretical).

As you say, it depends how your mast may change over time (e.g. adding B32).
Some (most?) Three sites are only 2x2 so the B618 would max out at 187.5d/37.5u (theoretical), even though its capable of more - the extra 4x4 capability might be come to a benefit if the site was upgraded to 4x4 but not B32 added (B715 would be stuck at 187.5/37.5 with B1+3 at 2x2).

Apparently it's only recently Three have tested 3xCA in some locations so it probably isn't enabled on your local mast (yet). Needing to add B32 would suggest to me the mast is at capacity and therefore needs the additional bandwidth (probably evident by low speeds all/most of the time).
I think it would also depend how Three want to utilise their B32 - in some cases they may choose to supplement B20 to give more distant users a speed boost, rather than aggregate with B1 or B3 for increasing speeds closer to a mast - but I'm not a network planner so this is a total guess!


Edit: I forgot to add, I assume from the uplift in speed that the OP now gets with the B618 is due to it connecting at 4x4, rather than 2x2.
If that is the case, the B715 likely wouldn't have given a better speed currently than the B535 (maybe a small bit through faster hardware/better antenna design).
But if B32 was available, and had a low volume of users able to connect to it (so minimal sharing), and was enabled for aggregation with both B1 and B3, then the B715 might give better speeds than the B618... but that's a lot of ifs and ands...
 

L-T-E

Member
Thanks for the comments guys much appreciated :)

My mast: https://mastdata.com/0/address/address.aspx?AdID=91858

My signal dropped a bit today with the weather I reckon but still 34MBPS and it's back up to 44MBPS as I type. My only goal was to get YouTube 4K and although it's a bit expensive if I can squeeze a couple of years out of the box I'll be very happy with those speeds. My 3 mast has been there for a very long time and I reckon it was for the M8 motorway originally (it's in a pretty bad spot for anything else originally anyway) and it did virtually zero signal to me an indeed if I walk to my gate or stand in the driveway there's virtually no signal still.

I will sell my B535 once I'm totally happy with the 618.

I've only had 40MBPS from VDSL for one day when it was installed and it's really been pants since. No cable no G.Fast, no proper FTTP, nowt. I had tried 3 before but it was a log time ago before I was aware of these great routers.

Just as a wee side note , my B535 was getting ping sometimes of 900 (!) or more and upload of a few KBPS but still giving me 25MBPS down. The B618 has been giving pings of 45-60 and rock sold uploads (I don't game or upload much so not bothered either way).
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Thanks for the comments guys much appreciated :)

My mast: https://mastdata.com/0/address/address.aspx?AdID=91858

My signal dropped a bit today with the weather I reckon but still 34MBPS and it's back up to 44MBPS as I type. My only goal was to get YouTube 4K and although it's a bit expensive if I can squeeze a couple of years out of the box I'll be very happy with those speeds. My 3 mast has been there for a very long time and I reckon it was for the M8 motorway originally (it's in a pretty bad spot for anything else originally anyway) and it did virtually zero signal to me an indeed if I walk to my gate or stand in the driveway there's virtually no signal still.

I will sell my B535 once I'm totally happy with the 618.

I've only had 40MBPS from VDSL for one day when it was installed and it's really been pants since. No cable no G.Fast, no proper FTTP, nowt. I had tried 3 before but it was a log time ago before I was aware of these great routers.

Just as a wee side note , my B535 was getting ping sometimes of 900 (!) or more and upload of a few KBPS but still giving me 25MBPS down. The B618 has been giving pings of 45-60 and rock sold uploads (I don't game or upload much so not bothered either way).
According to Cellmapper website, the mast you reference only has B3+B20.
From your comments I get a suspicion that you might be connected to B20 only.
Three do do 4x4 on B20 on newer sites so the increase in speed might be because of that - B20 2x2=37.5down/12.5up and 4x4=75down/12.5up - speeds which feel in-line with the ones you have mentioned above from both your B535 and B618.
 

kommando828

Top Member
With my B525 CA with band 3 and 20 does not get much more than band 3 on its own, where it is now set to along with band 32 in case it ever is installed, but it is a rural mast 5km away so will be late in the schedule. Plenty of time to wait for a Cat 11 router that does band 32.
 
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