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Living with 4G Broadband

hunch1969

Member
Hi all, I thought I'd stick this up for anyone else considering moving to a 4G wireless broadband for the home. I'm also writing this as a novice - I use to work with mobile networks but I'm never on the radio side of the fence.

At home, I'm a fairly low user of bandwidth and have been just fine with Skys basic broadband for years which runs about 8mb/s where I live. However the price kept on going up and up and I was fed up with having to moan constantly to get the price brought down. So I took the plunge and went to Three's unlimited 4G wireless and a Huawei 525 router which was a bargain at £18 a month for 2 years. I already had their mobile coverage so was fairly comfortable that the performance would be fine.
Once I had the router up and running I initially had mixed results. My speed varied from over 47mb/s in the middle of the night. down to around 1mb/s during peak hours. I tried to resolve what was going on and complained to 3 but they said I should get better performance. My router had 5 bars on it so I though it was ok. I tried going on the router to see if i could get a real signal reading, but the functionality isn't on the router which is annoying. however in the end I used the QR code you get on the login screen to down load the app. hidden in some of the values I found a signal strength monitor :) to my surprise it showed that my signal was very low in the reds (even with the 5 bars showing). Leaving this simple signal monitor running I moved the router around just a small amount and got the bar way up into the green. My next performance test I got over 16mb/s at peak time. Since then it seems to be consistently over 12mb/s and a lot of time a lot higher. for the amount o time I wasted trying to get to the bottom this, this was the most useful thing I found. Now loving it. - PS if you care about latency (really only online gaming I guess) then 4G may not be right for you. Otherwise I love it. I like the fact I can take it away with me in the UK. I don't know if I can roam with it though.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
You probably can roam with it, but there will be a limit placed on data when in the EU. Meanwhile non-EU countries can attract hefty costs.

You also touched on what I'm calling the "5 bars issue," which has come up a few times on this forum recently. It's important to stress that the 5 bars you see on a mobile phone are almost akin to the lowest common denominator of connection stability (i.e. when you look at the raw stats you'll often find, as you did, that even with 5 bars the signal itself may still be poor).

In your case, seeing as you got such a big improvement from just moving the router around inside your home, then it sounds like you might benefit from screwing an omni directional antenna to a high point outside your house.
 
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