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New 4g connection - changes over first few days

Whatzisface

Casual Member
If the mast is 4g only then yes it makes sense, all depends on the mast setup. As its really only been put in place for emergency services then 4G only is a possibility.


based on that site 3G is probably not on the mast.
Possibly a small but important point. JT’s new mast was not built under the ESN programme, it is part of the Scottish Government’s 4G Infill programme.

S4GI is designed to bring 4G connectivity to not-spots. They are open access sites available to all the main MNOs and also to local WISPs.

EE is the anchor commercial network on most of them. It is expected that EE will use 4G from those masts to fulfill BT’s Universal Service Obligation for broadband in those areas, and to do that they will need to use B3 1800Mhz.

The ESN will be on most, if not all, of the S4GI masts also.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
You have more knowledge regarding S4GI than I do (I'm pretty much the other end of the country!) but it feels to me that EE have done the bare minimum to fulfil the ESN requirements at this stage (while also enabling B20 for non-ESN/comercial use too).

Given what you're both saying, it does feel like they may revisit/build-out the site further over time (EE add 1800mhz, and perhaps other providers adding their own hardware too), but I don't think you'd be able to find out when that might be.
 

JTScotland

Regular Member
You have more knowledge regarding S4GI than I do (I'm pretty much the other end of the country!) but it feels to me that EE have done the bare minimum to fulfil the ESN requirements at this stage (while also enabling B20 for non-ESN/comercial use too).

Given what you're both saying, it does feel like they may revisit/build-out the site further over time (EE add 1800mhz, and perhaps other providers adding their own hardware too), but I don't think you'd be able to find out when that might be.
I've asked the project lead to ask the question about bands (are we only getting B20?) so might get an indication when he responds
Although we've gone from BT broadband with <0.5mb to 24mb down/7up, it is less than I'd have hoped with 4G
Nearby (15 miles away and not accessible from home) I got a 4g connection on my phone in the car and got 60mb down
 

JTScotland

Regular Member
Update: 'sometimes' is the answer - sometimes they're 4G only, sometimes B20 only, sometimes B3(4G) only, sometimes 1800mhz (B3 4G and 2G). So that doesnt help us.

@JTScotland do you have a (zoom) camera?
If you're able to go to the mast and take some photos of the radio units if they're at the base of the mast if they're not housed within a cabinet/hut that would be clear as to what frequencies they've installed (800 radios are separate to 1800 ones).
Failing that getting (zoomed) photos of the undersides of the antennas themselves and or MHAs (mast-head-amplifiers - boxes located somewhere near the top of the mast) could reveal what feeders are in place for what frequencies.

Something like these would be perfect... (credit to Peter at https://pedroc.co.uk/)
Radios:

Antennas:
I'll have a walk around the site an an unsuspicious way over the weekend!
 

Whatzisface

Casual Member
You have more knowledge regarding S4GI than I do (I'm pretty much the other end of the country!) but it feels to me that EE have done the bare minimum to fulfil the ESN requirements at this stage (while also enabling B20 for non-ESN/comercial use too).

Given what you're both saying, it does feel like they may revisit/build-out the site further over time (EE add 1800mhz, and perhaps other providers adding their own hardware too), but I don't think you'd be able to find out when that might be.
Gavin, I’m tempted to agree with you about EE just doing the minimum required, but on the other hand, if it wasn’t for EE and those government funded programmes, areas like ours would still not have any 4G service at all.

All new sites built by EE, or the Home Office, for the ESN, and all the S4GI sites, are open access, but to my knowledge none of the other MNOs have agreed to put their equipment on any of them, and certainly not in the more remote areas.

In my own area, O2 and Vodafone have still not even upgraded their sites to 3G. They are still working on 2G only.
 

Whatzisface

Casual Member
I've asked the project lead to ask the question about bands (are we only getting B20?) so might get an indication when he responds
Although we've gone from BT broadband with <0.5mb to 24mb down/7up, it is less than I'd have hoped with 4G
Nearby (15 miles away and not accessible from home) I got a 4g connection on my phone in the car and got 60mb down
JT, do you know what the latency/ping is on the new mast? Maybe the fibre backhaul is not complete yet and they are just using the satellite backup, which might explain why they are only using B20 at present.

If they are using the satellite backhaul the ping will probably be around 600-700ms, rather than 30ms ish.
 

JTScotland

Regular Member
JT, do you know what the latency/ping is on the new mast? Maybe the fibre backhaul is not complete yet and they are just using the satellite backup, which might explain why they are only using B20 at present.

If they are using the satellite backhaul the ping will probably be around 600-700ms, rather than 30ms ish.
I got an update this evening from the project
They now only expect to be providing b20 800MHz but are asking the Home Office to confirm
We know it’s a fibre backhaul as that was laid over a year ago and we’ve been hoping the fibre could be used for our BTbroadband eventually
Figures from speedtest are ping typically around 30ms
Most of the site was ready last year but delayed because we were the first site in Scotland where S4Gi was sharing a mast with ESN so got caught up in bureaucracy
ESN didn’t want to go live sooner because they would incur cost when they weren’t ready (funny for a project that’s £3bn over budget and likely to be 3 years late!)
 
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