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New 4g connection - changes over first few days

JTScotland

Regular Member
After a wait of more than 2 years, we finally have a live 4g mast in our remote part of the Highlands

Should we expect any changes to the download speeds over the next week or will it remain the same as day 1 (24mb down / 8 up)

I'm about 1km from the mast with clear line of sight
RSRQ -4.0dB RSRP -77dBm, RSSI -57dBm, SINR 29dB

How do these measures rate?
 

Lucian

Top Member
Hi,

Those are very good values! Not bad speeds, I'd imagine the previous connection was much slower. Who's your 4G provider?

What router do you have? Sometimes it can make a huge difference, higher LTE category devices can aggregate more bands, giving you more speed.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Which provider/providers does the site serve? Is the site entirely new, or 4G has been added to an existing site?

If its added to, then there is a possibility that backhaul is pending upgrade. Though that is just a possibility, never guaranteed to be upgraded, and if so, no telling as to when.
 

JTScotland

Regular Member
we didnt have anything previously - a classic not-spot with no mast available
BT broadband was 0.5mb or less

Only provider is ee so have an unlimited data sim with a Huawei b535

The mast is used for both commercial via ee and the ESN
They've laid a fibre cable specifically for the mast only

It's been built under the Scottish govts S4Gi project but had the complication of dual use with the ESN which delayed the whole project for months
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
It sounds like a big improvement compared to what was available to you previously then!

Personally, I would doubt things would change over time if it's entirely new.
Perhaps there might be remote configuration changes to enable some technology features but realistically I would expect they would be enabled and tested from the get-go, especially if it's an ESN site too.

If you're willing to share the site location I can check someone to see what the site has currently deployed and if anything might be planned.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
Worst case scenario is all your neighbours do the same, but have you enough neighbours to make a difference, I don't ;) .
 

JTScotland

Regular Member
It sounds like a big improvement compared to what was available to you previously then!

Personally, I would doubt things would change over time if it's entirely new.
Perhaps there might be remote configuration changes to enable some technology features but realistically I would expect they would be enabled and tested from the get-go, especially if it's an ESN site too.

If you're willing to share the site location I can check someone to see what the site has currently deployed and if anything might be planned.
Post code is IV6 7QQ (Strathconon)
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
With a SINR of 29dB I'd expect at the very least 50mb+ probably more due to the lack of other people on your mast due to your remote location.
(I've seen 100Mbps with a SINR of 20dB.)
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I'm thinking with it being an ESN site and such high SINR at 1km it might just be B20 giving theoretical max 37down/12.5up that aligns with the tested speeds. I just don't know if that's common or not for ESN in such a remote location. Will see if I can get a confirmation of anything.
 

twocats

Casual Member
My figures are very similar to yours but I'm getting 100Mbps+ down so I suspect as Gavin said you are on B20, I am on B3.
Can they limit each connection to spread the bandwidth out?
 

Whatzisface

Casual Member
Hi JT, I would be interested to know which band you are connecting to.

In our area, EE’s own data SIMs (FWAs) and PAYG SIMs are barred from accessing B20.

EE have told us that it is a nationwide policy to ensure that, in areas where their masts only have B20, mobile phones will always have access.

It has caused a lot of confusion in our area over the last couple of years, with some people being able to connect to the network and others not.

For a mobile phone to connect to EEs B20 it must have a contract SIM – either EE or BT Mobile - and be capable of 4G Calling (VoLTE).

For a mobile router to connect it must have a mobile phone contract SIM – either EE or BT Mobile.

The above is certainly the case on all EEs masts in this area. So if the policy really is nationwide as EE say, and you are able to connect with a data SIM, then that would imply that your S4GI mast has B3 as well as B20.

A new S4GI mast has just been built in our area, but has not gone live yet. It is fibre connected, has the ESN and EE’s commercial network on it, and we expect it to have both B3 and B20.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
If you have a PC or Laptop then download LTE-H-monitor, this will give you access to all the info such as the band eg Band 20 and the bandwidth 5 10 or 15 mhz. With a Voda mast I connect to band 20 only with a bandwidth of 10mhz and at 4km away get max 25mb download, with Three if I select Band 20 only that is only 5mhz and I get 12mbs. EE only has 5mhz bandwidth like 3.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Unfortunately the site is too new to be present on all the systems yet, so there is no information available.

As mentioned by kommando above, you can download LTE-H-monitor (PC) or huaCtrl (Android Google Play Store) to connect to your router and see more of the connection information and even test out disabling bands to see what other frequencies you are able to connect with (assuming your contract allows, as whatzisface says).
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I do have some further info though... apparently it's common for ESN sites (even commercialised ones) to be spec'd low so B20 only is definitely a possibility here.

Checking/isolating bands through band-locking in LTE-H-monitor/huaCtrl would determine for sure what's available frequency wise.
 

Whatzisface

Casual Member
I do have some further info though... apparently it's common for ESN sites (even commercialised ones) to be spec'd low so B20 only is definitely a possibility here.

Checking/isolating bands through band-locking in LTE-H-monitor/huaCtrl would determine for sure what's available frequency wise.
Hi Gavin, many of the ESN masts in the more remote areas are low spec because they are using satellite for backhaul. Some of the ones in our area have both 800Mhz and 1800Mhz transmitters fitted, but are operating on B20 only, until they can be fibre connected.

The S4GI masts have the ESN on them as well as a commercial network usually EE. They are all fibre connected, with satellite just for backup, so we expect them to work on both bands.
 

JTScotland

Regular Member
Hi Gavin, many of the ESN masts in the more remote areas are low spec because they are using satellite for backhaul. Some of the ones in our area have both 800Mhz and 1800Mhz transmitters fitted, but are operating on B20 only, until they can be fibre connected.

The S4GI masts have the ESN on them as well as a commercial network usually EE. They are all fibre connected, with satellite just for backup, so we expect them to work on both bands.

i understand that our mast was expected to have 800 and 1800Mhz but haven’t been able to check what is available to me (I’m Mac based)

Interesting that I’ve had a problem with one of my SIM cards which would not register.
Could that be an issue with the mast in its first few days?
I got a replacement sim today and tested it in the router in town and it registered and worked. Took the router home and can’t get it to work

Two other phones are working ok - one has an ee sim and another. BT mobile sim
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Would it definitely be the same mast covering both your home and town? Perhaps in town it registers on B3 (1800mhz) but at home there isn't any B3 signal so tries to connect to B20 but perhaps it's not a contract SIM so isn't permitted onto B20.

To be honest I'm a bit lost as to how many phones/simsand router you have and what combinations you've tried and where?!
 

JTScotland

Regular Member
Would it definitely be the same mast covering both your home and town? Perhaps in town it registers on B3 (1800mhz) but at home there isn't any B3 signal so tries to connect to B20 but perhaps it's not a contract SIM so isn't permitted onto B20.

To be honest I'm a bit lost as to how many phones/simsand router you have and what combinations you've tried and where?!
ill try to be clearer 🤓

local mast has only been live since Tuesday
I can only connect to one mast at home as it’s so remote

I have numerous devices (3 phones and 2 x Huawei b535 routers) with ee or BT Mobile sims.

the 2 routers have ee sims that I got over the last 2 weeks; one works ok and the other had a problem registering so ee advised getting a new sim to replace a potentially faulty one

I got my replacment sim from an ee store in Inverness which is 30 miles away and therefore not connected to my local mast

I tested my new sim in my router in the store in Inverness to make sure that I knew it wasnt another faulty sim

When I took it home, the new sim no longer works in the router (error message is ‘registration failed’)
Could the reason be due to an issue with the mast? interesting comment you’ve made about the different bands

one of my phones also doesn’t connect with my mast. This phone has a BT mobile sim that works in Inverness but not on my local mast
Could the failure to work locally be due to the mast?

the issue has been escalated to 2nd line technical support at ee
So far ee have asked me to swap sims across my routers which has shown that the router isn’t the issue
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
What make and model are the phones? It does sound like your home mast is B20 alone and there are SIM/device combinations restrictions coming into play here
 

Whatzisface

Casual Member
ill try to be clearer 🤓

local mast has only been live since Tuesday
I can only connect to one mast at home as it’s so remote

I have numerous devices (3 phones and 2 x Huawei b535 routers) with ee or BT Mobile sims.

the 2 routers have ee sims that I got over the last 2 weeks; one works ok and the other had a problem registering so ee advised getting a new sim to replace a potentially faulty one

I got my replacment sim from an ee store in Inverness which is 30 miles away and therefore not connected to my local mast

I tested my new sim in my router in the store in Inverness to make sure that I knew it wasnt another faulty sim

When I took it home, the new sim no longer works in the router (error message is ‘registration failed’)
Could the reason be due to an issue with the mast? interesting comment you’ve made about the different bands

one of my phones also doesn’t connect with my mast. This phone has a BT mobile sim that works in Inverness but not on my local mast
Could the failure to work locally be due to the mast?

the issue has been escalated to 2nd line technical support at ee
So far ee have asked me to swap sims across my routers which has shown that the router isn’t the issue
Hi JT, I’m sure the issue you are having is the one that I described above.

The Inverness store would have put a data SIM in your router, because that is what is supposed to be in it. It would have connected to the network on B3 in the store, as there will be plenty B3 signals in Inverness.

Back at home though it will only be seeing a B20 signal, and it is barred from connecting to it.

If you take one of the mobile SIMs that is working in your phone, at home, and put it in the router, I’m sure that you will find that it works, and the router will connect to the network. There is nothing actually wrong with the data SIM, it’s just not permitted to connect on B20.

As for the mobile phone that doesn’t work at home. It’s not enough just to have mobile with a contract SIM. The phone itself must be capable of 4G Calling (VoLTE – Voice over LTE), and the VoLTE must be enabled in the settings. Otherwise the phone is barred from connecting to B20.

The reason is that, even while working on 4G, when a voice call is made or received most mobiles revert to 3G to take the call. 4G is only used for sending and receiving data. If there is no 3G signal for the mobile to revert to, it is unable to make or receive voice calls.

Mobiles with 4G Calling enabled (EE’s version of VoLTE) are able to make voice calls on the 4G data network, in a similar way that VOIP works over the internet, so they are permitted to connect to B20.

The store and call centre staff are generally not aware of the problems caused by B20 only masts, because the vast majority of mobile users will not encounter it. It only becomes an issue when the only signal that a device can connect to is on EE’s B20. That is usually out in the more remote areas where EE use it because it travels better and gives greater coverage.

N.B. PAYG SIMs don't work on B20 either. Must be contract - EE or BT Mobile.
 
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