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EE 4G+ (LTE-A) keeps dropping

sof006

Regular Member
As title suggests.

I'm looking at my routers cellular stats page and it keeps flipping between LTE and LTE-A over and over, it won't stay connected to LTE-A even though the mast I am connecting to is perfectly capable of LTE-A.

I'm even capable of getting 5G in my area, tested my sim in my phone and got 5G sat by my window.

Router being used is a zyxel lte5388-m804
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
You only get 4G+ when your connection needs the extra data flow. You have a problem only if 4G+ drops during a data intensive download.
 

sof006

Regular Member
You only get 4G+ when your connection needs the extra data flow.
Interesting, because the connection will swap between standard LTE and LTE-A during a file download for example. Is a file download not considered extra data flow?
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
Was editing my answer while you posted, 4G+ should show continuously during a download pulling high data flows
 

sof006

Regular Member
Was editing my answer while you posted, 4G+ should show continuously during a download pulling high data flows
It does appear to be that way... I think. Sometimes it will drop for a moment but it'll go back but for the most part it does appear to swap back to LTE-A upon starting a download
 

sof006

Regular Member
Okay so something else i'd like to now bring up, going to put it here since its sort of related.

My Ul and DL Bandwidth will occasionally drop from 20MHz to 10MHz seemingly overnight and the only way to get it back is to reboot my router
 

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GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
If you still get LTE-A when it does that, it's fine - all that is telling you is that your primary bearer is no longer using EE's 20mhz bearer.
If you look, you'll see the (EA)RFCN changes from 1617 to something else - probably 1761 assuming your aggregating B3+B3. 1761 is EE's secondary B3 bearer for 10mhz.

I say this will be fine, it would depend on the capability of your device. If your device cannot do UL-CA (uplink carrier aggregation) then upload speeds will likely be halved (10mhz gives half of what 20mhz can), but if your device can UL-CA then UL speeds should be no different.
 

sof006

Regular Member
If you still get LTE-A when it does that, it's fine - all that is telling you is that your primary bearer is no longer using EE's 20mhz bearer.
If you look, you'll see the (EA)RFCN changes from 1617 to something else - probably 1761 assuming your aggregating B3+B3. 1761 is EE's secondary B3 bearer for 10mhz.

I say this will be fine, it would depend on the capability of your device. If your device cannot do UL-CA (uplink carrier aggregation) then upload speeds will likely be halved (10mhz gives half of what 20mhz can), but if your device can UL-CA then UL speeds should be no different.
I've noticed that when the bandwidth locks to 10MHz my download speed will no longer exceed 75Mbs and after a reboot it'll easily hit 90+ on the download speed
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Are you still getting LTE-A when that happens? Do you know what other bands are broadcast from your mast - cellmapper reports just B3, but that might not be the case in reality - if cellmapper hasn't got the data?
Does the connected CellID translate back to the same mast when it changes?
 

Seani

Top Member
It does appear to be that way... I think. Sometimes it will drop for a moment but it'll go back but for the most part it does appear to swap back to LTE-A upon starting a download
EE in my experience usually hand off to slow Band 20 where they can. That’s why they don’t show you 4G+ on mobile phones, they want you to believe they have the UKs best network and you are always on that best network, EE apply band control and you aren’t on the best network you are in a way being traffic shaped that gets around Net Neutrality legislation, band control is a loophole.
 

sof006

Regular Member
Are you still getting LTE-A when that happens? Do you know what other bands are broadcast from your mast - cellmapper reports just B3, but that might not be the case in reality - if cellmapper hasn't got the data?
Does the connected CellID translate back to the same mast when it changes?
I'm not sure but I only ever connect to B3 when i'm connected to that mast and yes it does, same CellID.

LTE-A is still connected when this happens, but the speed is reduced when connecting at 10MHz vs 20MHz
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Without knowing what bands your router can actually aggregate (Google search doesn't reveal any documents with the aggregation capability specifics in them) maybe it can't aggregate B3+3 contiguous and what you're seeing is B3+20, and when you get switched to the 10mhz B3 carrier that's why you see a speed drop. However I think it would be a little unusual for B3+3 contiguous to not be supported as it's a very common 4G band, but if it does, I don't have an explanation of why you get less throughput.
 

Seani

Top Member
Without knowing what bands your router can actually aggregate (Google search doesn't reveal any documents with the aggregation capability specifics in them) maybe it can't aggregate B3+3 contiguous and what you're seeing is B3+20, and when you get switched to the 10mhz B3 carrier that's why you see a speed drop. However I think it would be a little unusual for B3+3 contiguous to not be supported as it's a very common 4G band, but if it does, I don't have an explanation of why you get less throughput.

Exactly that, EE prioritise Band 20 per account & sim, payg no band 20, lower price plans seem to default to band 20 as a priority esp when streaming, then add in base station saturation & priority hand offs to lower paying plan customers.

From borrowing a 5G EE Business sim & doing the exact same 4G LTE tests in the same places/devices it was apparent Net Neutrality isn’t programmed at BT/EE quite the opposite if you want priority at EE you pay for it, now per se I don’t have a problem with that IF you are actually declaring this on your price plans ie Vodafone 2/10/FULL(available) Mbps. Doing it on the sly with band control and not disclosing less priority isn’t on, it’s manipulation & miss-selling.

EE micromanage every level what they can, hide 4G+ so you always think you are connected to the UKs best (dysfunctional spectrum*) network.

The OP ontop of all that may have local network issues. Would be interesting to know what EE plan/possible discounts they have.


*if all receiving devices were Mimo 4 Carrier Agg by default it would not matter, they aren’t.
 

jbennett360

Pro Member
Exactly that, EE prioritise Band 20 per account & sim, payg no band 20, lower price plans seem to default to band 20 as a priority esp when streaming, then add in base station saturation & priority hand offs to lower paying plan customers.

From borrowing a 5G EE Business sim & doing the exact same 4G LTE tests in the same places/devices it was apparent Net Neutrality isn’t programmed at BT/EE quite the opposite if you want priority at EE you pay for it, now per se I don’t have a problem with that IF you are actually declaring this on your price plans ie Vodafone 2/10/FULL(available) Mbps. Doing it on the sly with band control and not disclosing less priority isn’t on, it’s manipulation & miss-selling.

EE micromanage every level what they can, hide 4G+ so you always think you are connected to the UKs best (dysfunctional spectrum*) network.

The OP ontop of all that may have local network issues. Would be interesting to know what EE plan/possible discounts they have.


*if all receiving devices were Mimo 4 Carrier Agg by default it would not matter, they aren’t.
Interesting post!
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Exactly that, EE prioritise Band 20 per account & sim, payg no band 20, lower price plans seem to default to band 20 as a priority esp when streaming, then add in base station saturation & priority hand offs to lower paying plan customers.

From borrowing a 5G EE Business sim & doing the exact same 4G LTE tests in the same places/devices it was apparent Net Neutrality isn’t programmed at BT/EE quite the opposite if you want priority at EE you pay for it, now per se I don’t have a problem with that IF you are actually declaring this on your price plans ie Vodafone 2/10/FULL(available) Mbps. Doing it on the sly with band control and not disclosing less priority isn’t on, it’s manipulation & miss-selling.

EE micromanage every level what they can, hide 4G+ so you always think you are connected to the UKs best (dysfunctional spectrum*) network.

The OP ontop of all that may have local network issues. Would be interesting to know what EE plan/possible discounts they have.


*if all receiving devices were Mimo 4 Carrier Agg by default it would not matter, they aren’t.
There is no prioritisation of bands on EE by account and/or SIM (known as CQI).
Band 20 on EE (and Three) is prioritised at the RAN level below all others (including 3G I believe Edit: no its not, it's above 2/3G on EE, but last, below 3G, on Three).
There will always be load balancing in play across both the bands on an individual site as well as cross-site - that's just providers ensuring their network delivers the best it can in an area.

Also, EE allow PAYG on B20 (and VoLTE/VoWiFi) since early June. I don't know if that is only for new PAYG SIMs/accounts, or if it's backwards applied to older ones too.
 
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Seani

Top Member
There is no prioritisation of bands on EE by account and/or SIM (known as CQI).
Band 20 on EE (and Three) is prioritised at the RAN level below all others (including 3G I believe).
There will always be load balancing in play across both the bands on an individual site as well as cross-site - that's just providers ensuring their network delivers the best it can in an area.

Also, EE allow PAYG on B20 (and VoLTE/VoWiFi) since early June. I don't know if that is only for new PAYG SIMs/accounts, or if it's backwards applied to older ones too.
MBNL throws users to 800 B20 when it can on both its (partner
networks.

Vodafone/o2 (Cornerstone partnership) don't display the same behaviour anywhere like MBNL.

Post BT EE purchase Three was as allowed to build outside MBNL as BT had substantial contracts for MBNL backhaul pipes, that also went both ways & EE appointed Nokia Solutions and Networks to build it’s own outside MBNL.

Shared hardware broadcasting on MBNL sites replicate the same on EE & Three, it’s not just simply passing saturation off, as I stated priority is given to the MNO then (even internal) MVNO’s, then add in any internal of Three/EE programming.

Three contract sims in no way hands off to B20 like EE contracts (‘Essentials‘ & now rebranded ‘4G only’ does).

Three remains consistent with even minimal B20 handover even on 4x4 CA device. EE will by default on a non Max/5G to B20 and 8 Mbps on the same, lockdown to high speed 2600MHz and it flies with some minor blips whilst EE tries to force across to B20 that the device says sorry pet not available, I’m sure if EE 4G their 700MHz aswell as 5G it will get worse.

I’ve experienced the exact same behaviours city wide. EE loves band 20, it’s the difference between HD & 4K streaming, saving them money.

Business 5G sim worked flawlessly
Never a issue keeping 4K Three streaming regularly.

Plan/Band control is how to get around Net Neutrality.

T-Mobile had such in place for 3G Web n Walk and that’s the 4G system EE is built on, T-Mobile! People had to get T-Mobile HSDPA switched manually on their alleged HSDPA plan. Also now known at EE (4G/LTE) as the £2 “Go Faster add-on”.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
There's a fair bit of incorrect/misinformation here...
Where are you getting this from?

MBNL throws users to 800 B20 when it can on both its (partner networks.

Vodafone/o2 (Cornerstone partnership) don't display the same behaviour anywhere like MBNL.
MBNL and Cornerstone agreements are not comparable. MBNL is a RAN (effectively just the antenna) share agreement for 4G. Each provider runs their own baseband radios, backhaul (mostly...microwave link might be shared) and power supply.
Cornerstone is an agreement whereby one of the two providers build/install/manage the an entire site for both providers. This is why in their own 'host' areas the providers are generally much better equipped - they can do things more easily/quickly than they can in their non-host areas.

Post BT EE purchase Three was as allowed to build outside MBNL as BT had substantial contracts for MBNL backhaul pipes, that also went both ways & EE appointed Nokia Solutions and Networks to build it’s own outside MBNL.
Three have always been able to build outside of MBNL if they wished - there was nothing stopping them - it was more that they were biding their time with their MBNL 4G sites (which are generally well positioned and dense enough to give adequate coverage as EE and Three both originally used B3 for 4G), adding more 4G only would have made no sense as 5G was just a few years out. BT buying EE has nothing to do with this.

Shared hardware broadcasting on MBNL sites replicate the same on EE & Three, it’s not just simply passing saturation off, as I stated priority is given to the MNO then (even internal) MVNO’s, then add in any internal of Three/EE programming.
As above, each provider run their own network, the configurations applied at every site for each provider will be different to one another. There is no prioritisation (CQI) or band steering based on user/SIM/account type happening in the radio part of the networks (though I cannot comment on things like QOS rules further upstream, in the providers cores (for example, smarty's data goes through a proxy, which may slow things down)).

Three contract sims in no way hands off to B20 like EE contracts (‘Essentials‘ & now rebranded ‘4G only’ does).
Again, as above, each provider has different configurations. Three really don't want you on B20 and have the reselection metrics configured as such (so you'll very very rarely see it - in fact you'll drop to 3G before B20). EE seemingly don't mind so much and have less strict configurations, so you can drop onto it more easily (though it's generally less widely deployed on EE than Three so you may not see it anyway).

Three remains consistent with even minimal B20 handover even on 4x4 CA device. EE will by default on a non Max/5G to B20 and 8 Mbps on the same, lockdown to high speed 2600MHz and it flies with some minor blips whilst EE tries to force across to B20 that the device says sorry pet not available, I’m sure if EE 4G their 700MHz aswell as 5G it will get worse.
Band reselection is doing its thing, either through load balancing due to overloaded higher frequencies, or the metrics of those higher frequencies fall outside of EE's configuration and so you're reselected to a lower frequency where the metrics are within their bounds.

EE aren't going to use 700Mhz for 4G, only 5G.

I’ve experienced the exact same behaviours city wide. EE loves band 20, it’s the difference between HD & 4K streaming, saving them money.

Business 5G sim worked flawlessly
Never a issue keeping 4K Three streaming regularly.

Plan/Band control is how to get around Net Neutrality.

T-Mobile had such in place for 3G Web n Walk and that’s the 4G system EE is built on, T-Mobile! People had to get T-Mobile HSDPA switched manually on their alleged HSDPA plan. Also now known at EE (4G/LTE) as the £2 “Go Faster add-on”.
Why are you comparing 5G to 4G? You could have the weakest of B20 4G signal but if you had good connection from a nearby ENDC enabled 5G site then of cause your throughput will be boosted by the 5G bearer.

Band reselection is not 'getting around' net neutrality - it's literally how radio technologies work with physics to provide the best signal to a given device in a given place with a given set of radio conditions.
It's like saying your 2.4Ghz WiFi is 'getting around' net neutrality because it's giving you lower throughput than your 5Ghz WiFi.
 

Seani

Top Member
There's a fair bit of incorrect/misinformation here...
Where are you getting this from?


MBNL and Cornerstone agreements are not comparable. MBNL is a RAN (effectively just the antenna) share agreement for 4G. Each provider runs their own baseband radios, backhaul (mostly...microwave link might be shared) and power supply.
Cornerstone is an agreement whereby one of the two providers build/install/manage the an entire site for both providers. This is why in their own 'host' areas the providers are generally much better equipped - they can do things more easily/quickly than they can in their non-host areas.


Three have always been able to build outside of MBNL if they wished - there was nothing stopping them - it was more that they were biding their time with their MBNL 4G sites (which are generally well positioned and dense enough to give adequate coverage as EE and Three both originally used B3 for 4G), adding more 4G only would have made no sense as 5G was just a few years out. BT buying EE has nothing to do with this.


As above, each provider run their own network, the configurations applied at every site for each provider will be different to one another. There is no prioritisation (CQI) or band steering based on user/SIM/account type happening in the radio part of the networks (though I cannot comment on things like QOS rules further upstream, in the providers cores (for example, smarty's data goes through a proxy, which may slow things down)).


Again, as above, each provider has different configurations. Three really don't want you on B20 and have the reselection metrics configured as such (so you'll very very rarely see it - in fact you'll drop to 3G before B20). EE seemingly don't mind so much and have less strict configurations, so you can drop onto it more easily (though it's generally less widely deployed on EE than Three so you may not see it anyway).


Band reselection is doing its thing, either through load balancing due to overloaded higher frequencies, or the metrics of those higher frequencies fall outside of EE's configuration and so you're reselected to a lower frequency where the metrics are within their bounds.

EE aren't going to use 700Mhz for 4G, only 5G.


Why are you comparing 5G to 4G? You could have the weakest of B20 4G signal but if you had good connection from a nearby ENDC enabled 5G site then of cause your throughput will be boosted by the 5G bearer.

Band reselection is not 'getting around' net neutrality - it's literally how radio technologies work with physics to provide the best signal to a given device in a given place with a given set of radio conditions.
It's like saying your 2.4Ghz WiFi is 'getting around' net neutrality because it's giving you lower throughput than your 5Ghz WiFi.
Some BT/EE press big wig going on about 4/5G earlier this year said they were sharing broadcasting hardware with Three on sites, & backhaul pipes may or not be shared location dependent (obviously where a alternative to BT is available Three take it).

No all T-Mobile & Three sites were shared, some small Orange numbers were rolled in with the merger, BT buying EE meant BT was the monopoly backhaul provider but rather than dissolve (and argue sites/money) MBNL boh parties were free to fully build outside MBNL, this greatly freed up Three & also buying U.K. Broadband who had its own sites (and Uber 5G ready spectrum -win/win)

EE throw users here on B20, it’s a fact city wide, Premium paying customer do not suffer the same fate, but then they did keep the crappy T-Mobile network not Orange in Scotland which was a massive mistake.

Mercury struggled to build even its London network like U.K. Broadband, Scotland was a oversight and especially when dumping Orange base stations (which France Telecom probably rented more than owned).
 

Seani

Top Member
PS) Comparing a essentials sim and a premium 5G (Max) sim locked down to 4G testing shows the difference. Hardly science to compare each on 4G.

But I can “pay £2 ‘go faster’ a month add-on to have the same high speeds access apparently, it’s just programmed into Max/5G plans as inclusive not extra”

EE’s words not mine, which would back up band control, showing in base app info and speed testing experience. EE are indeed using systems to slow users even on non unlimited plans. It was designed for unlimited data speed boost on T-Mobile, it’s now applied to less important paying non unlimited data customers who won’t pay top dollar, including the now not available 4G Unlimited data plans. Your plan dictates what EE will give you speed wise before anything local, or £2 more.

 
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