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Do Three (mobile) broadband throttle their 5G speeds?

Threed

Casual Member
So, I was recently on Three broadband (relish I believe) in SW London and was quite happy about their service (with some few drops and downtime though but not too bad). The up and down speeds were OK too with speed tests regularly showing between 150Mb - 250Mb down and 10-20 upload.

In June I got an email from three saying we're merging our broadband offering together with our three mobile broadband so we'll transfer you over to that one from 23rd of June.

They sent over the same huawei 5g router with a new sim and I connected it today and the speeds have gone drastically down (same spot for the new router), I can barely hit above 50Mb down and 5Mb up.

I should probably call them tomorrow, but you reckon it's because they use different spectrum or more people on their mast than relish or that they throttle the speeds.

Very disappointed with three as I definitely expect it to at least be above 100 down and 10 up.
 
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Pwablo

Top Member
Its likely that when you were with Relish you could of been routed differently through their network, and perhaps had a better allocation of bandwidth or a separate gateway. Now that you are merged you are perhaps now seeing the average speeds that Three customers experience. It would be hard to pin down exactly what is now going on, unless you had trace route records that you could compare with current ones. Then perhaps you could identify if there is a substantial difference in the paths negotiate within Three's wonderful infrastructure.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I think Relish had an entirely separate network, I think they owned they owned/installed their own masts, antennas, radios and backhaul etc. Merging with Three I expect those sites are being decommissioned or rebuilt as Three sites. I don't believe Three throttle 5G just that the Three mast you're now connected to doesn't have the capacity (per user served) the Relish one had.

Edit: are you actually connected to 5G with Three now?
 

Threed

Casual Member
That is super disappointing if that is the case, I did visit threes mobile pages and they did mention some work around my area so maybe they are still expanding those masts.

I will contact them tomorrow to find out more though because I almost get those speeds on my mobile 4g contract (with another vendor) and ping and latency has also increased compared to previously and not nearly to what they advertise.

Thanks everyone.
 
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Threed

Casual Member
Yes Gavin, it's on the 5G on Three.

Speed tests this morning shows speeds back to 'normal' but ping and latency is still double of before
 

Threed

Casual Member
Another update, since yesterday afternoon the speeds have gone down heavily and from time to time the router shows 5G signal and at times it just disappears (I've seen this has been mentioning in other threads re the Huawei router though).

It's been so bad that it's gone below 10Mb on both upload and download and latency has increased too.

Not sure this is indeed a cap as I was a business user with Three broadband and they didn't have this available for Three mobile broadband. Either way, their support says that my area officially now doesnt support 5G (yeah, their 'technical' support is not the best). Funny thing is, first thing this morning i was trying out a speed test and it gave me 250Mb down and then five mins later it was down to below 10Mb :D.

Could be congestion but I'm not a happy chap and will probably cancel it now and actually use my EE business sim for now and also try a cheaper 5G handset to see what their coverage is like.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
I'm pretty convinced this isn't a "mast to customer" issue but a lack of bandwidth across the entire three backhaul between the masts and the core.

You'd think it might just require more bandwidth to the core when installing 5g on a mast, wouldn't you?
 

Threed

Casual Member
Managed to get some kind of update saying there’s ongoing work till 29th of August
Thanks for telling me :D

Although what Buggerlugz is saying might be true too
 

Threed

Casual Member
Perhaps their 9 to 5 schedule Mon to Friday is true because since this morning it's gone back to ’normal’ levels 😅
 
They definitely throttle or do not have the bandwidth on the whole network. I have my modem/router directly facing (about 300 metres line of sight) to a 5G tower owned by Three. Its 100% signal 24/7 4&5G (according to the huawei signal strength) yet I get downloads ranging to advertised to as low as 2mbps. Upload has always been shocking, usually sub 2mbps. Of course this only occured once COVID hit but I feel like thats a poor excuse for shitty infrastructure, dont sell more if you cant match with supply. It may just be the relish network as my 5G phone has no issue on three and is consistantly over 100mbps if I hotspot it. Constant ultra low service as well that is only resolved by flicking the router on and off. Flicking the DNS servers to cloudfare seems to help a little but you lose the caching potential (if they do cache).
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
It sounds like your issues are with the Relish network, rather than Three. Are you in London or Swindon?

AFAIK combining the Relish network into Three merger is still happening and eventually I'd expect your router to be able to achieve similar to your 5G mobile when it is able to connect to the Three network - that is assuming your mobile speed test was performed in the same place as your router is?!
 

AndySW9

Member
I'm, based in SW London and just had the forced transfer of my 5G broadband from Relish/ThreeBroadband to Three. The new 3 SIM arrived Wednesday and my service is degraded beyond belief.

I've had a year with outstanding connectivity, consistently between 300-500Mb down and a usable 20Mb up. Now with exactly the same router but 3 SIM I am now supposedly getting 80-100Mb down, but the lag/latency is really bad - long browser pauses opening web pages etc make the speeds pretty irrelevant. Also cannot get above 1.5Mb up which has crippled my home working capability to the point I am now having to use my (Vodafone) iPhone as a hotspot for work.

Thankfully there is a 14 day cooling off period so I have just ordered the Vodafone GigaCube, figuring it's got to give me at least what I get out of my phone on 4G, if not improvements with 5G as I am on the edge of Vodafone's 5G coverage right now.

Absolutely gutted with this change, and a reminder of why I left 3 in the first place for my phone contract. It's all very well having 5 bars, but if the network is overloaded you get nothing anyway!
 

Threed

Casual Member
I feel you Andy, this week has been ok (mind you, not as good as before with Relish), but just as we're about to hit the weekend (and at about 5pm) the network has gone totally under the load with barely 5Mb down and horrible latency.

Unfortunately my cooling down period has gone and don't want to go back to ADSL either, my EE 5G phone will have to do in situations like these.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Took my xbox 9.5hrs to install an xbox game yesterday folks.......i share the pain of having a three 4g connection.
 

AndySW9

Member
Vodafone 5G GigaCube arrived - 22 hours from ordering! - and currently hitting c270Mb down and 15Mb up with no perceptible latency. Full 5 bars for 5G and 4G despite being on the fringe on Vodafone's 5G coverage map.

So a usable service is thankfully resumed, the only downside being the cost - £50 unlimited with Vodafone vs the £35 I was paying with Relish - but worth every penny after the abysmal Three service over the last few days.

Must find a way to remember - never, ever use Three again!
 

MrDave

Top Member
Vodafone 5G GigaCube arrived - 22 hours from ordering! - and currently hitting c270Mb down and 15Mb up with no perceptible latency. Full 5 bars for 5G and 4G despite being on the fringe on Vodafone's 5G coverage map.

So a usable service is thankfully resumed, the only downside being the cost - £50 unlimited with Vodafone vs the £35 I was paying with Relish - but worth every penny after the abysmal Three service over the last few days.

Must find a way to remember - never, ever use Three again!
You could buy a 5g router and get vodafone 5g unlimited for £14 month after cashback?
 

Threed

Casual Member
Vodafone 5G GigaCube arrived - 22 hours from ordering! - and currently hitting c270Mb down and 15Mb up with no perceptible latency. Full 5 bars for 5G and 4G despite being on the fringe on Vodafone's 5G coverage map.

So a usable service is thankfully resumed, the only downside being the cost - £50 unlimited with Vodafone vs the £35 I was paying with Relish - but worth every penny after the abysmal Three service over the last few days.

Must find a way to remember - never, ever use Three again!
Good to hear, Andy!

How's the latency, back to low 10-20ms?

Unfortunately I'm outside the cooling period (and today it's gone back to horrible low 3Mbps speeds again), but keep us updated if you are still happy after a month of usage!
 

Ahalk

Member
Hi everyone,

I’m still with Three broadband/Relish, still getting amazing speed. They’re calling me beginning of next month to get me on the new contract. At the moment, the sim card seems to be making the difference (tested “new” sim from 3 with someone living 1 min away from me, he is only getting 4g (speeds maxing out at 20mbps and I’m getting 5g (was hitting around 500mbps).
Just want to see if anyone has seen any improvements.

FYI - I only received the the merger email beginning of September.
 
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