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Moving House....a little advice please.

Sip

Regular Member
Hi

After a bit of a battle with 4g and my B525 router, I have now a fairly reasonable connection using Smarty. In a rural area, I get a ping of 35-45 (not brilliant) and an download of 50 -70Mbps and upload of 5-15Mbps from tower eNB11511-LTE.

In the next couple of weeks I will be moving 8 miles nearer the coast (Bridlington) and into a bungalow. On trying the Smarty sim in my phone during a viewing, my phone showed 3g only and fairly low up and downloads. I am not sure which tower it was connecting to, but on looking at Cellmapper, I can see that there are four towers, but only one (eNB4987) shows a footprint that covers my area, which only has bands 3 & 20. Current tower has 1,3 & 20. Could this by why I seem to have a poor connection?

Further to this, I know that I will need to get an outside aerial to connect to the router, as it is a bungalow and will have no direct line of sight to the tower. Could anyone recommend a type that may be suitable for me?
Also....would a B818 router be better than the B525?

Thanks in advance

Pip
 
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GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
3G will never get anywhere near the speeds you've been experiencing with 4G - the technology is too old (and is being phased out as at least some of the spectrum is being refarmed over to 4G instead in the coming years).
At best, expect not more than 20Mbps down and low single digits upload.

Also, be cautious using cellmapper for coverage - the 'coverage' polygons shown on cellmapper of a given mast are just where a user has picked up the signal at. the coverage may well travel much further than the current 'coverage', just that perhaps no-one has travelled at a greater distance while using cellmapper to collect the data.

For your current mast, your B525 might be aggregating bands 3+1 giving you a good amount of throughput, but it's not something I can tell from the info you have provided. I'm ignoring B20, for Three (Smarty) it generally doesn't provide a meaningful uplift in speed when aggregated.
Dropping to B3 alone will almost halve the theoretical maximum speed achievable compared to B3+1, but the level of technology built out on your current mast may also be different to the new one - e.g the level of MIMO may be 4x4 vs 2x2, which would again halve the theoretical speeds.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
What Gavin said plus.. try getting a directional antenna off Amazon, might just give you that edge and get you on 4G.

Before that, worth checking other providers. All of them have fairly accurate coverage checkers online.
 
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GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I should clarify, I've assumed that when you say you see 3G, you're on an iPhone and it's actually connected to HSPA (iOS reports 3G/H/H+ all as 3G), whereas if you're on Android and it's showing 3G, which it reports accurately then that's going to be super slow - 384kbps!
 
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Sip

Regular Member
I should clarify, I've assumed that when you say you see 3G, you're on an iPhone and it's actually connected to HSPA (iOS reports 3G/H/H+ all as 3G), whereas if you're on Android and it's showing 3G, which it reports accurately then that's going to be super slow - 384kbps!
Correct. I am using an iPhone 6s+. If I move across the road from the property, the phone will show 4g, so hopefully the B525 will pick this up once I have it in situ. Many thanks for your reply.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
When you get 4G+ limit it to band 3 and band 1, do not try to add band 20 as Three only have 5mhz bandwidth on band 20, the overhead of 4G+ over 4G effectively cancels it out and you gain nothing.
 

Sip

Regular Member
When you get 4G+ limit it to band 3 and band 1, do not try to add band 20 as Three only have 5mhz bandwidth on band 20, the overhead of 4G+ over 4G effectively cancels it out and you gain nothing.
Thank you for that. Strangely, when I select band 3 & 20, the router will occasionally show 4G+ while downloading, but bands 3 & 1 never show this. I currently have it selected at band 3, which is pretty good.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Which version of the B525 do you have?

The B525-23 cannot aggregate B3+B1 (it can do B20+B3, and B20+B1)
The B525-65 can aggregate B3+B1.

I suspect from what you've said, it's the -23 version...

If you test B1 alone and there is some B1 4G around, then a different router that can aggregate B3+B1 should give you better speeds than B3+20 or B1+20
 

Sip

Regular Member
Which version of the B525 do you have?

The B525-23 cannot aggregate B3+B1 (it can do B20+B3, and B20+B1)
The B525-65 can aggregate B3+B1.

I suspect from what you've said, it's the -23 version...

If you test B1 alone and there is some B1 4G around, then a different router that can aggregate B3+B1 should give you better speeds than B3+20 or B1+20
You are correct. It is the B525-23, which explains why the aggregation does not happen on those bands. I have had this router 12 months now and wonder if I would see much better by going for the B818. Do you think this may be the case?
Thanks.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Get it feom a place you can easily return it, see how it goes. In theory b818 is much better, but then you use Three of which this forum is full of horror stories so.. could go either way.
 
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GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
You are correct. It is the B525-23, which explains why the aggregation does not happen on those bands. I have had this router 12 months now and wonder if I would see much better by going for the B818. Do you think this may be the case?
Thanks.
Lock to B1 only, do a few speed tests, then lock to B3 and do some more. Assuming the signal for both bands is coming from the same mast (they will be different cells!) in theory the aggregated speed should be around both combined, however some do report that's not always the case and a single band performs better (v.strange case).
 
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kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
CA has an overhead of about 5mhz loss of bandwidth, so combining a 20mhz band with a 15mhz band will give you speeds equivalent to 30mhz not 35mhz. Three's band 20 is only 5mhz so using it in a CA setup adds nothing.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Lock to B1 only, do a few speed tests, then lock to B3 and do some more. Assuming the signal for both bands is coming from the same mast (they will be different cells!) in theory the aggregated speed should be around both combined, however some do report that's not always the case and a single band performs better (v.strange case).

I get 10dbm from Band1 compared to 20dbm for band3 but in no way does it combine the two bands to provide double the bandwidth. I find (9am-11am) I can get 40-50Mbps at best using CA, however on Band3 alone I can get up to 70Mbps, even occasionally bouncing to 80Mbps.

Speed tests for Band1 alone (during the same non-contended time of the day) produces 30-40Mbps. Which is strange because you'd expect Band1 to provide the stronger signal.

Its definitely aggregating the bands as its visible in LTEHmonitor and web pages do load quicker when using 4g+ compared to vanilla 4g. So I mostly limit it to band 3 only.

Then from 11am I lose approx 7-8Mbps every hour ending up between 5-20Mbps from 6pm onwards.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I get 10dbm from Band1 compared to 20dbm for band3 but in no way does it combine the two bands to provide double the bandwidth. I find (9am-11am) I can get 40-50Mbps at best using CA, however on Band3 alone I can get up to 70Mbps, even occasionally bouncing to 80Mbps.

Speed tests for Band1 alone (during the same non-contended time of the day) produces 30-40Mbps. Which is strange because you'd expect Band1 to provide the stronger signal.

Its definitely aggregating the bands as its visible in LTEHmonitor and web pages do load quicker when using 4g+ compared to vanilla 4g. So I mostly limit it to band 3 only.

Then from 11am I lose approx 7-8Mbps every hour ending up between 5-20Mbps from 6pm onwards.
Yours is the strange case - I really can't understand what is going on for you...

Edit: then unexplainable bit being the reduction in speed over the day and why aggregation shows a lower speed than Be alone.

All things being equal, B1 would likely show lower signal levels vs B3, since it's a higher frequency and so is more easily blocked.

The speeds you mention on the single bands (70-80 and 30-40) are in line with what I'd expect, at least they're similarly lower than the theoretical maximums of their frequencies and the bandwidths that Three own in those bands (15mhz in B3, 10mhz in B1).
 
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GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
CA has an overhead of about 5mhz loss of bandwidth, so combining a 20mhz band with a 15mhz band will give you speeds equivalent to 30mhz not 35mhz. Three's band 20 is only 5mhz so using it in a CA setup adds nothing.
There will be losses, but it's not going to be close to a full 5mhz of bandwidth (37.5mbps down).
With B20 I always ignore it (for EE/Three) in aggregation because it's not a base layer (unlike VO2) - it's not deployed everywhere so where it is present a given cell covers a large area, meaning the population in the covered area gets a very small slice of it. If that small slice was in aggregation with another band then the CA overhead could be close to being eradicating the uplift given by the aggregation.
 

Sip

Regular Member
Hi All

I have now moved house, and yesterday, did a little bit of testing with the router. I placed the router in the loft, as being a bungalow, I thought that It would no doubt be the best place. I did a number of tests while monitoring the masts and band it was connecting to, however I was disappointed to discover that the fastest connection I could receive was around 4 mbps download - which is the same as when I just have the router in the living room. There are 4 masts in the area, capable of 1,3,& 20 but none gave me anything like the speed I got out in the sticks where I previously lived. If I switch to 3G only, I can get around 15 mbps.
My idea was to get an antenna on the tv mast, but seeing the dismal results from in the loft, it hardly seems worth it.

Any advice appreciated.

Cheers and Happy Christmas
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
If you're getting more speed from 3G than 4G then your local Three's mast is more than likely saturated. It also could be that your local mast hasn't yet had it's B1 refarmed from 3G to 4G (meaning everyone is using B3 alone).

You've got to go back to basics again and determine what bands are being provided to you from what mast - lock to each band individually and try determine the cell/mast and note the metrics (RSRP/SINR) for each. If the metrics are 'good' already then adding an antenna may not give any benefit, the bottleneck won't be on the FR side, rather Three's infrastructure.

If your local mast does actually have B3+B1 then replacing your B525-23 with a router capable of aggregating those could be beneficial, though it does depend on both being transmitted from the same local mast and the bands individually giving reasonable throughputs.
 
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Sip

Regular Member
Thanks everyone for the replies. I have four masts to choose from, all offering the same bands, yet all give the same results. I may just have to stay with 3G for the moment. I looked into Vodafone and they are just band 20, same with O2. There is a sole EE mast just up the road, which I may investigate. However, last time I tried EE, I got good speeds, but could not watch Netflix etc.

thanks.
 

Sip

Regular Member
Hi

Resigned myself to the fact that I am going to have to use 3G in order to get any kind of a reasonable speed out of my B525, in my new location. Moving it around, has lead to me being able to get 20mbps out of it, which is far better than the 4G speeds I’m getting. After reading this forum, I now know that 3G HSPA+ can deliver up to 42mbps. My question is, how do I know which mast of mine supports it, and how could I connect to it? LTE H-Monitor will not let me select anything while in 3G mode and the Network info on the first page, does not enlighten me, and just gives a eNB I.D. which cellmapper does not show.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
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