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Huawei B535/Three new router set up

SalopianSurfer

Casual Member
Hi,

I've just signed up to the Three Unlimited Mobile Broadband package with the Huawei B535-232 router.

I plugged everything in this morning, found a good location for the router with 5 bars and I was only receiving around 1Mbps speed (significantly less than our copper internet). I read a few posts on the forum about changing various settings so I tried changing the channel of the 2Ghz from Auto to a specific channel (I chose number 3). I've also checked CellMapper to see which post I was connected to and it appears I'm connected to one that is just a couple of streets over.

After switching the channel my speeds finally jumped up to around 20Mbps which I was really happy with but after half an hour or so it dropped back down to the extremely slow speeds again.

I've tried resetting the router but this doesn't seem to have worked.

Does anyone have some simple advice about various things I could try with the settings to get back up to the 20Mbps?

It's extremely frustrating as it's proven that I can get relatively high speeds compared to what I've had with the standard broadband, and Three claim that I am in a good coverage area, but I just can't get the speed consistently! Surely I should be getting speeds higher than 1Mbps?!?

Thanks in advance!
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
You need to find the sweet spot for your router. The signal levels are in the advanced system device information page, ideally you're looking for a SINR of 10+
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Firstly, coverage maps, or number of bars, are not an indicator of the achievable speeds.

When you say you've changed the settings (of the WiFi channel) I doubt that will have actually done much to improve things unless you happen to have a lot of other dwellings in the near vicinity and there is lots of WiFi interference.
Rather, I suspect your router probably connected to a different mast for a period of time. The best thing to do is to perform any testing with a wired connection to the router, then you can be sure WiFi isn't the bottleneck.

The most simple testing you can do is to observe what Cell_ID you are connected to in different places in your house - the windowsills on each side of your house would be the best. If the cell ID changes then it's likely you're connected to a different mast which could provide different speeds.
 

SalopianSurfer

Casual Member
Thanks @Buggerlugz @GavinAshford for the very speedy replies - they're the quickest things I've experienced all day!

Slight breakthrough though. I've been on a tour of the house hunting for a SINR of 10 or more and have come back to a spot upstairs which I think is the closest to the nearest mast according to CellMapper.

@GavinAshford - when I first set up the router this morning it must have been connected to a different mast but seems to have switched to the closer one after I had fiddled with it. Not sure how that happened?!?

So I've now returned to the original position from this morning and I have an SINR of 6, a download speed of 20Mbps and an upload speed of 10Mbps. It's upstairs on a windowsill aimed in the direction of the mast. I'm tempted to stick with this and see if it stabilises.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
The router will continuously scan for and switch to whatever mast can serve the best signal (again, that's not necessarily the best speeds). Equally the network itself can persuade your device to attempt to re-select the mast if the current mast is overwhelmed.
 

SalopianSurfer

Casual Member
The router will continuously scan for and switch to whatever mast can serve the best signal (again, that's not necessarily the best speeds). Equally the network itself can persuade your device to attempt to re-select the mast if the current mast is overwhelmed.
That's frustrating. I suppose there's no way of essentially 'locking' the router on to a specific mast?

Also, I have a WiFi extender in the house that I intend to pair to the router. I don't suppose this would jeopardise speeds in any way?
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Mast locking isn't possible with the B535, or many routers at all (bar some Mikrotik ones). Directional antennas can be used to try persuade a device to choose certain mast over another providing the bearing/angle of between the two is great enough to fall outside of the antennas optimum range.

WiFi extenders aren't great for maintaining speeds for WiFi but it sounds like the 4G connection will be the limiting factor more than those in your case.
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
Whilst all the advice given is good advice - use your returns period carefully to decide whether Three is the right choice for you. The speeds can sometimes get really poor in some areas.

Not saying it will be awful - but many people have issues so it's best to check that you don't have issues whilst your contract can easily be cancelled.
 

SalopianSurfer

Casual Member
Thanks for you help all. @TTJJ - we're on the Three rolling month contract so we're not tied to anything long term.

It does look like we've now found the sweet spot in the house. From last night onwards, the speed has slowly been rising and I've just clocked a download speed of 42 Mbps, which is just incredible compared to where we were yesterday! Praying to the broadband Gods that this stays steady!

UPDATE - Rather annoyingly, and as predicted by you above, my router has suddenly decided to switch to another mast that is further away, thus significantly reducing my speeds. This is driving me insane. Is there no way of controlling this other than trying an external antenna to try and force the connection towards on mast?
 
Last edited:

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Do you know which two masts it is switching between and are they widely spaced (e.g. one is North and the other South-East)? If so then a directional antenna may help as the gain differential would likely prefer the mast you're pointing it at.
If they are closer (e.g. North and North-East) then you'd probably have less luck as the gain differential wouldn't be as big.

As silly as it sounds, if they were widely spaced, you could try with some cardboard and foil to make a parabola to block the signal from the 'bad' mast and potentially enhance the signal from the good one.
As MrDave mentions here
 

MrDave

Top Member
You can see the set-up here - https://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=...COnly=false&showBand=0&showSectorColours=true

Essentially my house is on the D of Cherry Orchard. I was getting great speeds when connected to 12515 and this is the direction my router is pointing. But this morning it has switched to 11814 and has slowed down considerably.
Try the cardboard and foil bent around the back of the router as suggested by @GavinAshford this should help reduce the signal from 11814, it looks like a directional antenna might help in your situation, you can always try one off Amazon and return it if it doesn't help.
 

SalopianSurfer

Casual Member
Try the cardboard and foil bent around the back of the router as suggested by @GavinAshford this should help reduce the signal from 11814, it looks like a directional antenna might help in your situation, you can always try one off Amazon and return it if it doesn't help.
Thanks, @MrDave. I'll give the cardboard/foil a try. Do you have any recommendations on specific directional antennas to try?
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
UPDATE - Rather annoyingly, and as predicted by you above, my router has suddenly decided to switch to another mast that is further away, thus significantly reducing my speeds. This is driving me insane. Is there no way of controlling this other than trying an external antenna to try and force the connection towards on mast?
Try using LTE-H monitor on your pc and disable the radio bands apart from 1 and 3, that way it won't connect to a far off band 20 mast.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Try using LTE-H monitor on your pc and disable the radio bands apart from 1 and 3, that way it won't connect to a far off band 20 mast.
You beat me to it - if it is indeed connecting to B20 from the more distant 11814 then removing that would ensure it only connects to B3 and/or B1.
However, if its connecting to B3/B1 from 11814 then doing this is not going to solve anything.

@SalopianSurfer do you know the Cell IDs (rather than Mast/eNB IDs) that its connecting to in both instances?
 

SalopianSurfer

Casual Member
You beat me to it - if it is indeed connecting to B20 from the more distant 11814 then removing that would ensure it only connects to B3 and/or B1.
However, if its connecting to B3/B1 from 11814 then doing this is not going to solve anything.

@SalopianSurfer do you know the Cell IDs (rather than Mast/eNB IDs) that its connecting to in both instances?
Yes, the Cell_ID of 11814 is 3024384 and the Cell_ID of 12515 is 3203840.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
As both of those are B3 (band 3 - 1800Mhz frequency) forcing/locking your router to not use B20 (band 20 - 800Mhz) as mentioned above won't have any effect in preventing it switching to the 'bad' mast.
 

SalopianSurfer

Casual Member
As both of those are B3 (band 3 - 1800Mhz frequency) forcing/locking your router to not use B20 (band 20 - 800Mhz) as mentioned above won't have any effect in preventing it switching to the 'bad' mast.
So I've been on LTE H-Monitor and tried various combinations of enabling/disabling B1, B3 and B20 and the router just refuses to connect to 12515. It just keeps going to 11814 and sometimes a mast that is even further afield. I really am at my wit's end!!
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Based on cellmapper, if you enabled only B1 that should avoid it using 11814 (it is reported not to have B1), and probably should connect to 12515, however there is also 10297 in the town center with B1, so it may connect to that instead.

What that would do to your speeds I cannot say...
 
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