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Mobile Broadband Advice

skysh4rk

Casual Member
Long story, but we are struggling with internet at home just outside Glasgow (max of 25 down and 1 up), which has been a huge pain given all of the working from home. I've mostly been able to survive at all using 4G tethering via my iPhone 11 (which can be very good at times, but it fluctuates).

This has left us looking at 5G options. According to EE and Vodafone, we would get "weak" (EE) or "limited" (Vodafone) coverage outdoors based on their coverage maps. In using the online chat function on Vodafone's website to speak to an advisor, they did say that their Gigacube 5G is available where we live though and customers are only meant to be eligible for the 5G if they can access indoor coverage (or so say the eligibility terms on their site).

Is this worth taking a chance on 5G with either EE or Vodafone based on weak or limited outdoor coverage or are we realistically not going to get much 5G? I would suspect that the masts are probably located across the River Clyde from us, so probably looking at 2–3km away, so this is leading me to believe that the 5G signal might, in fact, be limited, as it is my understanding that 5G doesn't travel very far. We are up on a hill though with very clear sight lines across the river, particularly from upstairs, if this is relevant.

Anyhow, I guess this is a long-winded way of asking for thoughts or advice on pursuing 5G options.

If only one of us in the house had a 5G-capable phone, we might already have some idea where we were with this...
 

Sceptical fox

Regular Member
This is precisely what the 14-day cooling-off period is for 😊

There's really only one way to find out - nobody on here will be able to tell you what speeds you might get. Go ahead, place an order with both providers, see how they perform, and then decide whether to cancel one, or both.

Even if 5G isn't great where you live, there's a good chance that with a decent router, 4G will be stable and give you sufficient speeds, almost certainly better than 25/1.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Long story, but we are struggling with internet at home just outside Glasgow (max of 25 down and 1 up), which has been a huge pain given all of the working from home. I've mostly been able to survive at all using 4G tethering via my iPhone 11 (which can be very good at times, but it fluctuates).

This has left us looking at 5G options. According to EE and Vodafone, we would get "weak" (EE) or "limited" (Vodafone) coverage outdoors based on their coverage maps. In using the online chat function on Vodafone's website to speak to an advisor, they did say that their Gigacube 5G is available where we live though and customers are only meant to be eligible for the 5G if they can access indoor coverage (or so say the eligibility terms on their site).

Is this worth taking a chance on 5G with either EE or Vodafone based on weak or limited outdoor coverage or are we realistically not going to get much 5G? I would suspect that the masts are probably located across the River Clyde from us, so probably looking at 2–3km away, so this is leading me to believe that the 5G signal might, in fact, be limited, as it is my understanding that 5G doesn't travel very far. We are up on a hill though with very clear sight lines across the river, particularly from upstairs, if this is relevant.

Anyhow, I guess this is a long-winded way of asking for thoughts or advice on pursuing 5G options.

If only one of us in the house had a 5G-capable phone, we might already have some idea where we were with this...
Can't you ask a friend with a 5g phone come and test?
 

skysh4rk

Casual Member
This is precisely what the 14-day cooling-off period is for 😊

There's really only one way to find out - nobody on here will be able to tell you what speeds you might get. Go ahead, place an order with both providers, see how they perform, and then decide whether to cancel one, or both.

Yes, I will likely need to go ahead and just do this.

I've been considering it, but I think I've just been paranoid about not being able to cancel for some reason and being stuck with both. You're supposed to be able to cancel within 14 days though, so I guess I shouldn't be worrying about this.
 

skysh4rk

Casual Member
Can't you ask a friend with a 5g phone come and test?
This would make sense for many, but neither my wife nor I is originally from Scotland and our friends and family are spread all over GB, Ireland, the US, etc., so this isn't as simple as it would seem for us.

And amongst our friends and family, we've also had far fewer visitors due to the pandemic, unfortunately.

On top of this, we're also relatively new to the village (moved to the village a few months before pandemic), so don't know that many people yet (especially as most local events/gatherings have been restricted or cancelled over past 20 months) and of those neighbours that I know, they don't have 5G phones.
 

The Wee Bear

ULTIMATE Member
This would make sense for many, but neither my wife nor I is originally from Scotland and our friends and family are spread all over GB, Ireland, the US, etc., so this isn't as simple as it would seem for us.

And amongst our friends and family, we've also had far fewer visitors due to the pandemic, unfortunately.

On top of this, we're also relatively new to the village (moved to the village a few months before pandemic), so don't know that many people yet (especially as most local events/gatherings have been restricted or cancelled over past 20 months) and of those neighbours that I know, they don't have 5G phones.
If your village is anywhere near Kilwinning (North Ayrshire), you're more than welcome to borrow my 5G phone for testing skysh4rk. :)
 

skysh4rk

Casual Member
If your village is anywhere near Kilwinning (North Ayrshire), you're more than welcome to borrow my 5G phone for testing skysh4rk. :)
Wow, thanks so much for the really kind offer.

We're in Langbank so not terribly far in the grand scheme of things. I'm just in the process of switching jobs though (and, as such, have a number of things on the go at the moment), so it would probably be tough to get out there over the next few weeks, unfortunately.
 

The Wee Bear

ULTIMATE Member
Wow, thanks so much for the really kind offer.

We're in Langbank so not terribly far in the grand scheme of things. I'm just in the process of switching jobs though (and, as such, have a number of things on the go at the moment), so it would probably be tough to get out there over the next few weeks, unfortunately.
Aw no worries my friend, hope you get up and running soon, and best of luck with your busy schedule. (y):)
 

johnro

Pro Member
If Amazon is brave enough to deliver in your area, give them a try for either an open box/return/amazon warehouse 5g device (phone or router)

They'll gladly take it back I believe after a few days if you're unhappy

Or just risk it and buy the best router out there h122-373 unlocked and try all local networks
 

TallPaul_S

Regular Member
2-3km isn't out of range, provided you have a direct line of sight to the mast with little to no obstructions.

I was using a mast 2.3km away with just a bush or 2 in the way and was seeing 160-200mbps download and 20ms ping. Just needed the router next to a window looking in the right direction.
 

skysh4rk

Casual Member
If Amazon is brave enough to deliver in your area, give them a try for either an open box/return/amazon warehouse 5g device (phone or router)

They'll gladly take it back I believe after a few days if you're unhappy

Or just risk it and buy the best router out there h122-373 unlocked and try all local networks
A lot of the routers on Amazon don't seem to be sold by Amazon themselves (e.g., this TCL 5G router), so I wasn't as certain about going this route. Many seem to be sold by eFones or other third party via Amazon.

Does anyone have any experience with eFones? You can also purchase from them directly (e.g. see here).

2-3km isn't out of range, provided you have a direct line of sight to the mast with little to no obstructions.

I was using a mast 2.3km away with just a bush or 2 in the way and was seeing 160-200mbps download and 20ms ping. Just needed the router next to a window looking in the right direction.
This is the sort of thing I was hoping to hear in starting this thread. The mast is on the other side of the River Clyde and we are up on a hill with clear views across.

I can get some very fast 4G speeds via tethering with EE at times (best I've recorded was 110 down and 300 up), but it doesn't seem to hold up throughout the entirety of a Zoom/Teams meeting with it sometimes completely stopping.

Is 5G the best way forward or will even a 4G router offer a big improvement over iPhone tethering?
 

The Wee Bear

ULTIMATE Member
Hi skysh4rk, I bought my 5G CPE Pro 2, from eFones when it was called LiveWire. (LiveWire Telecom)

Delivery was very prompt.

I have seen recent reports that they have been very unhelpful with specific enquiries for some customers. (eFones)

When it was called LiveWire I actually had a follow up call to ask if everything was OK with the router, which was really unexpected, so it really had top notch customer care way back then.

It is still the same company, but perhaps not quite as good now, not sure.

I guess my way back purchase doesn't really count though, but hopefully somone will pop in soon who has actually purchased something more recently from the newer named eFones with their thoughts.

My antique CPE Pro 2 is still performing great, the poor thing has never been off since I got it way over 2 years ago now. (y)
 

skysh4rk

Casual Member
Hi skysh4rk, I bought my 5G CPE Pro 2, from eFones when it was called LiveWire. (LiveWire Telecom)

Delivery was very prompt.

I have seen recent reports that they have been very unhelpful with specific enquiries for some customers. (eFones)

When it was called LiveWire I actually had a follow up call to ask if everything was OK with the router, which was really unexpected, so it really had top notch customer care way back then.

It is still the same company, but perhaps not quite as good now, not sure.

I guess my way back purchase doesn't really count though, but hopefully somone will pop in soon who has actually purchased something more recently from the newer named eFones with their thoughts.

My antique CPE Pro 2 is still performing great, the poor thing has never been off since I got it way over 2 years ago now. (y)

Thanks for sharing your experience. I saw on Trustpilot that a number of folks had similar comments about eFones in that they received follow up communications to check on the router, which would seem encouraging.

The other thing that I liked was that when I did a search on Trustpilot for eFones reviews that mentioned "return" there were customers that mentioned that they were able to easily return their router (latest one was dated Mar 2020 though). The exception to this pertained to customers who attempted to return outside of 14 days.
 

The Wee Bear

ULTIMATE Member
Thanks for sharing your experience. I saw on Trustpilot that a number of folks had similar comments about eFones in that they received follow up communications to check on the router, which would seem encouraging.

The other thing that I liked was that when I did a search on Trustpilot for eFones reviews that mentioned "return" there were customers that mentioned that they were able to easily return their router (latest one was dated Mar 2020 though). The exception to this pertained to customers who attempted to return outside of 14 days.
Yeah, I think on the whole they will still be fine skysh4rk, it's not as if they're a new arrival.😊
 
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