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Three Mobile Broadband and Issue with different APNs

Team,

I really hope someone can shed some light on this issue which I have had for months. The problem is consistently the same.

Due to an awful fixed line broadband speed to an industrial estate in Swindon (yes an industrial estate, can you believe the best speed you can get is 4 Mbs download!?) I decided to purchase a TP-Link MR6400, external aerial and Mobile Broadband SIM from Three. After some hairy escapades up a ladder I am getting a good signal.

Here is the issue
4G connection using APN Three.co.uk I am getting 20Mbs download and 20-30Mbs uploads. I am happy with this. It's miles better than we were getting before.

The person in the office who pays the business bills then couldn't pay any of our suppliers using the Santander business banking website. I talked to Santander technical people eventually and they say it's because we haven't got a fixed IP. What they really mean is that the IP we get at first connection changes and is not fixed for the session. That is, it's a CGNAT issue.

So, I did some digging around and found that if you use the APN "3internet" then this circumvents CGNAT and the IP for the session is fixed. This worked and we could use the Santander business accounting, but the connection was so slow.
When I did some speed tests I was seeing that I was still getting the 20Mbs download but the upload speed was showing 0.00! Yes 0. We run an internet business and using this APN setting we couldn't even upload files via ftp.

So, I put the router into 3G mode using APN "3internet". Santander banking works which means we can pay bills, we can upload files via ftp and all is working... but, download speeds are 4Mbs and upload about 3Mbs, which puts us in a position no better than we were with the awful fixed line speed.

I have tried to talk to Three technical support but they are based in India and some know what CGNAT and APNs are and some don't. One said that the 3G speeds are within there acceptable limits and if I wasn't happy I could cancel the contract. None of them knew why I was getting 0 Mbs upload speeds using the APN 3internet. One said "sounds like a technical issue"

Has anyone come across this issue before? Is there a solution? Is it a geographical issue?

Ad<Thanks>vance

AJ
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Changing the APN shouldn't have an impact on speeds.

Do you happen to know if your router is running in Carrier Aggregation (4G+)?

If so, I suspect that it is aggregating Band 3 + Band 20, but it has selected Band 20 as the primary carrier (FYI the primary carrier is used for upload).

Three have a low amount of spectrum in Band 20, and because of the nature of the frequency it spreads over a large area/population, meaning each user gets a very small slice of that limited resource, resulting in very low speeds.

What you will need to try to do is force the router to select B3 as the primary once again, I'm not sure if the UI of the router has any controls over the bands/frequencies, if not then the pot-luck approach of cutting the connection and reconnecting to try get it to do what you want might be your only option - if there is a control within the UI to disable the mobile connection toggle that, or failing that, take the sim out and put it back in again.
 

teleman6868

Regular Member
I don’t believe you can band fix on the MR6400. There is beta firmware for the MR600 that allows it. Or you can get a Huawei and use H-Monitor.
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
Try disabling IPv6 - someone mentioned in another thread that Santander’s IPv6 website records are misconfigured.
 

mb1

Member
For me, disabling IPv6 has no effect on Santander banking. I use the 3internet APN too and Cloudflare's DNS. Santander lets me log in, then immediately dumps me out if I try to do anything. I am on Smarty, but I think it's the same as Three regardless. I think Disney+ also hates CGNAT as that keeps failing too on our Smart TV.
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
For me, disabling IPv6 has no effect on Santander banking. I use the 3internet APN too and Cloudflare's DNS. Santander lets me log in, then immediately dumps me out if I try to do anything. I am on Smarty, but I think it's the same as Three regardless. I think Disney+ also hates CGNAT as that keeps failing too on our Smart TV.
I don’t think it’s going to be CGNAT that’s the issue because there’s so many people on CGNAT and they won’t have any issues. There is just a bit of a quirky network and has a lot of problems that we’ve all experienced. Read through the other threads it’ll keep you entertained for weeks.
Best bet is another network I suppose.
 
I don’t think it’s going to be CGNAT that’s the issue because there’s so many people on CGNAT and they won’t have any issues. There is just a bit of a quirky network and has a lot of problems that we’ve all experienced. Read through the other threads it’ll keep you entertained for weeks.
Best bet is another network I suppose.
Sorry, I made the initial post on this and haven't got back to anyone. I don't get email updates to my hotmail account for some reason... when I registered I had to get admin on here to verify my account cos couldn't get the verification email through...hotmail issue?
Anyway I digress.

Regarding Santander and their business banking interface, all I can say is that I put the router to use Three.co.uk APN (CGNAT) and the website will let you login and then if you try and do anything which presumably requires authentication then it dumps you out just as Mb1 describes. If I switch to 3G using 3Internet APN it works fine.

@GavinAshford I wouldn't know how to check if Carrier Aggregation is being used. All I can change on the router when making the connection is:-
Network Mode: 3G Only / 4G only / 4G preferred
PDP Type: IPV4 / IPV6 / IPV4 & IPV6 (I am using IPV4)
APN Type: Static / Dynamic (I am using Static)
APN: 3internet / Three.co.uk
Authentication Type: None / PAP / CHAP (I am using None)

Not sure if that gives any clues as to why 4G upload is zero when using 3internet.

Thanks for your continued suggestions.

AJ
 
Okay, I have been playing with this again today and I can confirm if the only change I make on the router is the APN setting then this does affect the upload speed after the change.

For 4G:-
APN: Three.co.uk (CGNAT - no good for Santander Business Banking) Download: 22Mbs Upload: 19Mbs

APN: 3Internet (No CGNAT - would be good for Santander Business Banking except there is no upload!)
Download: 20Mbs Upload: 0.00

I can switch to a 3G connection and use 3Internet APN and all works but Download:~5Mbs Upload: 3Mbs

So now we are left with having to switch to a 3G connection when a Santander transaction needs to be made!

Three technical support are next to useless so we are living with this at the moment, unless there any words of wisdom from this forum.

Thanks

AJ
 

MrDave

Top Member
Okay, I have been playing with this again today and I can confirm if the only change I make on the router is the APN setting then this does affect the upload speed after the change.

For 4G:-
APN: Three.co.uk (CGNAT - no good for Santander Business Banking) Download: 22Mbs Upload: 19Mbs

APN: 3Internet (No CGNAT - would be good for Santander Business Banking except there is no upload!)
Download: 20Mbs Upload: 0.00

I can switch to a 3G connection and use 3Internet APN and all works but Download:~5Mbs Upload: 3Mbs

So now we are left with having to switch to a 3G connection when a Santander transaction needs to be made!

Three technical support are next to useless so we are living with this at the moment, unless there any words of wisdom from this forum.

Thanks

AJ
Can't you use a VPN for the Santander transaction and leave your APN on the best setting for download/uploads?
 

daleski

Pro Member
You could also try a split tunnel VPN to only route certain traffic down the VPN so that would minimise the cost and potentially you could get away with 10gb of data per month from somewhere like Windscribe (using them for years never had any issues]
 
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