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Would an antenna make a difference to my speed?

Bubblesthefish6

Top Member
Hiya, I've got my own question this time. I currently have a Huawei B535-232 I acquired off an old 3 Broadband contract. I'm now on smarty. The router is in my loft and I get an RSSI of -63, an RSRQ of -9.0, an RSRP of -90 and a SINR OF 17 - 25. I get average speeds of 35Mbps down. This is the same as what I used to get when I had 3. I get about 25-30Mbps Upload. Would an antenna Make a difference to download speed? My closest mast is an EE & 3 mast. I wouldn't touch EE with a barge pole though because of how often they go down round here.
Thanks, Bubbles
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
In my opinion, probably not - it doesn't feel like the RF interface is the limitation in your situation. Your metrics are reasonable and your upload speed is pretty much the maximum you'd expect for B3 uplink with Three. I'd guess the network itself is the bottleneck for you (as it is for many). Waiting for Three to deploy more spectrum (or refarm 1800mhz to 4G for B1 to aggregate with) for your mast is likely to be the thing that changes your situation.

Edit: I mean you could try, but any gains, if achievable, would be negligible percentage wise - it depends if the effort/expense is worth it to you.
 

Bubblesthefish6

Top Member
In my opinion, probably not - it doesn't feel like the RF interface is the limitation in your situation. Your metrics are reasonable and your upload speed is pretty much the maximum you'd expect for B3 uplink with Three. I'd guess the network itself is the bottleneck for you (as it is for many). Waiting for Three to deploy more spectrum (or refarm 1800mhz to 4G for B1 to aggregate with) for your mast is likely to be the thing that changes your situation.

Edit: I mean you could try, but any gains, if achievable, would be negligible percentage wise - it depends if that's worth the effort/expense is worth it to you.
I'm already aggregating B1 & B3 for 4G. my mast has B1, B3, B20. The B1 & B3 obviously gave me the best speeds.

Edit 1: In fact, I used huaCtrl to lock it to B1 & B3 To stop it jumping onto B20.

Edit 2: I notice that in the evning mostly, (peak times obviously) i get speeds of up to an astounding 1Mbps down and 15Mbps up. It never used to be like this, i would get 70 - 80 Mbps down during the day and 50Mbps down in the evening.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I'm already aggregating B1 & B3 for 4G. my mast has B1, B3, B20. The B1 & B3 obviously gave me the best speeds.
You might have posted that in another post - sorry if so - my memory isn't good enough to recall everyone's masts/bands...

Out of interest, what are the metrics looking like if you lock to B1 alone? As that's a higher frequency, you'd expect metrics to be lower verus B3 at the same distance and conditions. There might be small potential for improvement of the metrics there (but no guarantees that'd increase speeds)

For 4G capacity upgrades you'll have to wait for Three to deploy B32 (though the B535 only aggregates this with B20).
Or wait for Three them to add 5G (and replace your router with a 5G capable one).
 

Bubblesthefish6

Top Member
You might have posted that in another post - sorry if so - my memory isn't good enough to recall everyone's masts/bands...

Out of interest, what are the metrics looking like if you lock to B1 alone? As that's a higher frequency, you'd expect metrics to be lower verus B3 at the same distance and conditions. There might be small potential for improvement of the metrics there (but no guarantees that'd increase speeds)

For 4G capacity upgrades you'll have to wait for Three to deploy B32 (though the B535 only aggregates this with B20).
Or wait for Three them to add 5G (and replace your router with a 5G capable one).
Haha, if I did I don't remember myself :p. I've attached photos below of locking it to band 1. Stupid me didn't do a speed test, but I'm guessing it wouldn't have been as good as with aggregation. My mast DOES have 5G, and I have posted before that I was using the Three Broadband 5g hub. That worked well for a good few days but I kept easily loosing my 5G signal (Probably because EE made the great decision to put the mast on a hill behind a massive viaduct in my village XD). On the 5G hub, i could get 100 Mbps down consistently, obviously when it is connected to 5g. I sent that back because of unreliability and continued with my 535-232.

Side note, I haven't tried connecting to B32, imma try it now and ill report back if it connects.
 

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Bubblesthefish6

Top Member
Haha, if I did I don't remember myself :p. I've attached photos below of locking it to band 1. Stupid me didn't do a speed test, but I'm guessing it wouldn't have been as good as with aggregation. My mast DOES have 5G, and I have posted before that I was using the Three Broadband 5g hub. That worked well for a good few days but I kept easily loosing my 5G signal (Probably because EE made the great decision to put the mast on a hill behind a massive viaduct in my village XD). On the 5G hub, i could get 100 Mbps down consistently, obviously when it is connected to 5g. I sent that back because of unreliability and continued with my 535-232.

Side note, I haven't tried connecting to B32, imma try it now and ill report back if it connects.
Iv just tried to connect it to B32, no joy. I just kept jumping back on the B20 even though i put B32 only?
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I'm confused, whats EE got do with this? You're on Three right?

For testing B32, you need to enable B20 and B32 - B32 is an SDL (supplementary downlink) and so it has no uplink capability, which without that it will not register on the network - it needs another band in aggregation with it for registering and uplink. The B535 can only aggregate B32 with B20 (of the bands Three uses) so thats what you have to use. It does mean the uplink capacity will be limited to B20 speeds (12.5mbps maximum theoretical).
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Iv just tried to connect it to B32, no joy. I just kept jumping back on the B20 even though i put B32 only?
Jumping back to B20 when only forcing using B32 is likely that it'll actually be failing to connect to Three at all, and instead connecting to a different provider (Vodafone/O2 probably) on 3G, just as your mobile phone would in the event of loss of your current provider to maintain the ability to make emergency calls. If that was the case, there shouldn't be any data throughput.
 

Bubblesthefish6

Top Member
I'm confused, whats EE got do with this? You're on Three right?

For testing B32, you need to enable B20 and B32 - B32 is an SDL (supplementary downlink) and so it has no uplink capability, which without that it will not register on the network - it needs another band in aggregation with it for registering and uplink. The B535 can only aggregate B32 with B20 (of the bands Three uses) so thats what you have to use. It does mean the uplink capacity will be limited to B20 speeds (12.5mbps maximum theoretical).
EE is who initially built the mast in a very bad location is what I was trying to say three later rigged it with their equipment. I tried enabling B32 & B20, same thing.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Ah I see!

AFAIK normally Three enable B32 where they deploy 5G - I'd guess the B20 mast you're connected to isn't the one that also has 5G.
 

Bubblesthefish6

Top Member
Ah I see!

AFAIK normally Three enable B32 where they deploy 5G - I'd guess the B20 mast you're connected to isn't the one that also has 5G.
Yes it is lol. it is the only one in receivable distance of my house. I have to walk down to the other end of the village to get 1 bar of H from the other mast.
 

Bubblesthefish6

Top Member
This is the mast that i am connected to. This is an older photo, it doesn't look like this any more but if you want to you can look into it.

Ive attached some photos i got back in the summer.
 

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Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
I'd guess the network itself is the bottleneck for you (as it is for many). Waiting for Three to deploy more spectrum (or refarm 1800mhz to 4G for B1 to aggregate with) for your mast is likely to be the thing that changes your situation.

Interestingly three seem to have updated their network status page


which is interesting because I've been waiting 12 months for them to upgrade my masts capacity now (they keep just putting the completion date back month after month.), anyway the new status page states "Sorry postcode not in coverage" which is very strange as I'm posting this one three currently.
 

The Wee Bear

Pro Member
Interestingly three seem to have updated their network status page


which is interesting because I've been waiting 12 months for them to upgrade my masts capacity now (they keep just putting the completion date back month after month.), anyway the new status page states "Sorry postcode not in coverage" which is very strange as I'm posting this one three currently.
My postcode is no use either, not loved any more.:(;)
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Three Broadband no-longer exists, that was Relish (aka UK Broadband) being renamed before being incorporated into Three themselves. I doubt that website/page/database is being kept up-to-date, AFAIK there are no Relish sites active anymore, they've either been decommissioned or been migrated over to Three's main network.
 

The Wee Bear

Pro Member
Three Broadband no-longer exists, that was Relish (aka UK Broadband) being renamed before being incorporated into Three themselves. I doubt that website/page/database is being kept up-to-date, AFAIK there are no Relish sites active anymore, they've either been decommissioned or been migrated over to Three's main network.
Oh so it is, I never even thought of checking the link, the normal 3 checker is fine. :rolleyes:
 

Gandi69

Regular Member
Says something though when they can’t either sort the database out so it’s correct or take that part of the site offline. Your average person wouldn’t know that wasn’t their mobile broadband page and wouldn’t sign up due to that it 😂
 

Gandi69

Regular Member
Im using a 535 and I was using a poynting omni 280 on it (only a little SiSo antenna). It made quite a bit of difference. I won a panorama DMM-7-38
from ebay for very little money and ive found that it does actually seem to make a difference. Speeds are high twenties on three at 7pm whereas I would be lucky to see high teens on the poynting at this time.
Vodafone sim gives over 60mbit down where as on the on the poynting it was 30-35 at best.

Quite impressed to be fair as I expected it to be rubbish. I have mounted it externally and had a good fiddle with positioning but then again I did the same with the poynting and that whilst it was good, it wasnt quite as good as this
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
That's interesting, in this case you might get even more speed with a directional antenna I should imagine.. you might be able to sort of simulate one by putting an aluminium covered piece of cardboard behind the DMM-7-38, maybe making a little raised edge all around, too. Or better yet, use one of those big (single-use) aluminium cooking trays.
 
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Gandi69

Regular Member
That's interesting, in this case you might get even more speed with a directional antenna I should imagine.. you might be able to sort of simulate one by putting an aluminium covered piece of cardboard behind the DMM-7-38, maybe making a little raised edge all around, too. Or better yet, use one of those big (single-use) aluminium cooking trays.
At one point i was using a ground plane antenna and that worked quite well but havin a 1.5 ft square piece of steel needed to reflect the signal up on the roof wasnt the best and I had no way to secure it and I didnt want to damage the roofing material so hence switching to the omni type.
When i used that though I found aluminium tape stuck behind the unit on the wall helped the speeds sightly so I might give some sort of reflector a go.
The issues I have (and probably many others do) are a mix of a poor network but also poor signal
 
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