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Strange issue with Three when power fails

clivejo

Top Member
My local area has been experiencing a lot of power cuts recently, to the point were I installed a 24VDC UPS to power my comms equipment as an attempt to keep a stable connection. However, that does not seem to help, for some reason my local Three mast goes offline when there is a power cut. (I thought it was law for them to be battery and generator backed for rural areas, but turns out not to be the case) The mast refuses to let me back on the network (I can't even see a 4G connection) and no amount of Three Tech support turning it off and on again helps. They have to do a network refresh, in order for me to get back online.
The last time it happened, I got to speak to a higher level technical support, who said that this was a common thing to happen and that to resolve the issue I should lock the modem to 3G and use some data on that, then force the modem to 4G. Is this as common as he makes out? It would explain why a few years back I had a solid 4G connection at home and then disappeared for no reason whatsoever.
 

sof006

Regular Member
Be the first time i've heard of that, very strange issue. I wonder if the same issues can occur on other networks?
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
Maybe it's the device itself detecting a faulty cell and remembering not to connect to it?
 

clivejo

Top Member
Maybe it's the device itself detecting a faulty cell and remembering not to connect to it?
Don't think so to be honest. It's very stable 100% of the time when the mast hasn't been disrupted by the power failure. Its like the 4g signal on the mast just disappears. Does it with my fixed mobile internet and also mobile phone. We are expecting thunder storms this weekend so potentially going to play havoc with power lines again.
 
Last edited:

Seani

Top Member
Don't think so to be honest. It's very stable 100% of the time when the mast hasn't been disrupted by the power failure. Its like the 4g signal on the mast just disappears. Does it with my fixed internet only and also mobile phone. We are expecting thunder storms this weekend so potentially going to play havoc with power lines again.
Are you on 4G only mode in the device settings?
 

clivejo

Top Member
Currently using a MikroTik SXT-LTE6 dish powered via a 24VDC UPS.

But I was seeing the same on a Teltonika RUT950 with Poynting 4G-XPOL Antenna.

In addition a number of Pixel devices.
 

clivejo

Top Member
So just a quick update on this and wondering if anyone can explain in more technical explanation.

The local power went off:

14/05/2022 - 22:22
17/05/2022 - 22:09

My usual re-connection procedure of forcing 3G and then 4G failed to work because I can no longer see a 3G connection on this particular mast. No idea what happened to it as it was there previous to the 14th.

Anyways, after banging my head off of the brick wall that is 1st level technical support, it is taking 30-40mins each time to get to speak to someone who can help. I got the guy I spoke to today to please explain to me what they meant by a Network Refresh and he said it was an internal tool (he mumbled it then realized when I asked him to repeat that he shouldn't name the "internal tooling" Three use!) and that he performed a "GPRS Reset". Does anyone know what that is actually doing?
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Depends what level of support you were talking to, perhaps of they were more technical then they either were attempting a remote reset of the 3G hardware on your site, or we're going to request such am action form another team.

With you having lost 3G it sounds like your localised power cut has blown something on your site and if a remote reset couldn't solve things then they will most likely need to get an engineer out to take a look.

Does EEs network status checker mention any issues? Usually the 3Gs from both are associated in some way so they might do
 

clivejo

Top Member
Depends what level of support you were talking to, perhaps of they were more technical then they either were attempting a remote reset of the 3G hardware on your site, or we're going to request such am action form another team.

With you having lost 3G it sounds like your localised power cut has blown something on your site and if a remote reset couldn't solve things then they will most likely need to get an engineer out to take a look.

Does EEs network status checker mention any issues? Usually the 3Gs from both are associated in some way so they might do
It was 2nd line, the next line won't talk to customers apparently and getting info from them is like having teeth pulled.

GPRS is 2G technology? I just don't understand how or why that affects if or if not I can connect to the local site via 4G. But it does work, after they do that, I click on the 3 ITA network and it connects via 4G again.

EE Checker shows nothing/no problems in my area.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Yeah GPRS is 2G but I believe the older tech (2G+3G) is generally run on the same hardware, or will share PSU or backhaul connection etc. While Three obviously don't have 2G, it might just have been given the GPRS name internally
 

clivejo

Top Member
I just can't get my head around what he was telling me, but the same guy kept referring to the LTE signal as Wifi signal, and the router as wifi box :oops: Doesn't fill one with much confidence!

Also, didn't seem to understand my questions about IPv4 and IPv6 or know what Internet Protocol was!

As my local mast doesn't seem to support 3G any more (below is what it used to show)

Scan_Networks_List.png

Can anyone suggest how I could do a network refresh from my end without being able to connect to the 3G network?

Is there engineer codes like you have on the BT network for remotely requesting a "GPRS Reset"?
 

clivejo

Top Member

Here's the r11e-lte6 at command manual, there's resets in there but I think you're looking for a GPRS command.
To be honest I don't think the problem is on my side! It's like the mast totally ignores my CPE, until the GPRS Reset/Network Refresh is issued by Three Tech Support.

I can "see" the 4G signal via network scan(as seen above), but no matter what I do I can't connect to it. I've restarted the CPE over and over every ten minutes after the outage, but no re-connection. I can connect and roam on 3 Ireland, but I'm afraid of leaving it connected too long in case I go over the 15GB quota. Unless I connect on 3G and then try a 4G connection, I can't "fix" it from my end. I also suspect it is also some kind of policy to "deal" with roaming being so close to the RoI/NI border, but Three being Three will never admit to something like that!

It is exactly the same with my Pixel 4a 5G, after the outage I lose the strong Band 20 which I usually get in and outdoors, and the phone starts to roam on 3 IRE. I can not get a connection again until I basically travel past one of the neighbouring masts, as soon as it pings off one of those, I can then return home and get a decent 4G coverage on Band 20.

It's so strange, and so *beeping* annoying and was the reason I invested in the MikroTik and 24VDC battery backed power supply. Three kept saying it was my equipment at fault, well no, it's not. I can see the exact moment in time the network disappears in the logs.

At one point I was injecting 48VDC to a buck converter which was charging a small 12V battery, then a 12V regulator into the Three provided Huawei B535. It is amazing the power that thing draws on boot and in operation!

Old_Setup.png
 

clivejo

Top Member
Weird, if you hacked the modem and made it look like an iPad, does the issue disappear:
It happens on my Pixel handset too, so I doubt it.

I'd like to know where it is getting the operator name as "3 ITA". Mikrotik have said is it provided by the network, and Three say they name it "3 UK".
I have my own view on who is lying, just like the outage today. I couldn't make calls on Smarty SIM and was having intermittent internet disconnects (seemed to stay connected to Band 3 though) but I knew about the outage because EE My Places sent an SMS @ 07:12 informing me of an outage. I then got another @ 15:12 saying the problem was fixed and to reboot/restart my device. I did that and rang Three, they have NO record of any outage or work in my area! *bangs head off a brick wall*
 

meritez

ULTIMATE Member
the mcc mnc is correct for 3 uk, so the 3 ita does not matter, as 3 ita's mcc mnc is 222 99.

Are you using ROS6 or ROS7?
 

clivejo

Top Member
Are you using ROS6 or ROS7?
ROS 6.49.6 I've attempted to upgrade to ROS7 but it will not boot for me. Keep having to take it down and put into netinstall mode to restore it which is not a fun job, especially as I have to borrow a Windows PC to do it *shudders*
 
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