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ZTE MC801A Review

kit132

Member
hi guys, anyone know how to backup the current firmware?
Original firmware is BD_CNHKMC801AV1.0.0B15 and work fine.
And how to fix "no service" after flashed CN firmware and HK firmware?
Thanks.
 

Roguee

Regular Member
This sounds interesting, are there any benefits to using a 3.5 amp psu over the original?
some reported increase in wifi range , I am hoping it will help when hooking an external antenna ( will do that when I have time , I need to mod the 4G outputs )
 

Antec

Casual Member
Hi all

Looking into this router, whats the situation with the 5G external antennae? does it work ok on the 3 branded devices? or does it need to be the Sotel version?
 
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Antec

Casual Member
any pros and cons on buying used 3 branded MC801A? Ive read they are supposed to be send back to 3 after contract term.

Do you think they will get blacklisted? worth the risk?
 

eccles

ULTIMATE Member
Interesting 4G+ band aggregation with MC801A. B28+B32
Huawei B818 won't do it. I'm about 7 miles from this tower but it still manages around 20-30mb/s download. These bands have a lot of reach.

B28+b32 CA MC801A.jpg
 
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Vox

Member
any pros and cons on buying used 3 branded MC801A? Ive read they are supposed to be send back to 3 after contract term.

Do you think they will get blacklisted? worth the risk?
The three home broadband terms state that the 5G equipment is loaned for the duration of the contract. If it is not returned within 28 days of the contract ending the person who took out the contract must pay a non-return charge. It does not say anything about blacklisting them.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Way too tight.. Try the pigtails, something like

 

Antec

Casual Member
Way too tight.. Try the pigtails, something like

Thanks. Ordered!

just a fyi all. The 3 branded mc801a I got from cex is unlocked. Works with ee too. Only thing it’s on firmware B04 and says it’s up to date. Wonder what B09 on the sotel devices have over B04?
 

groenator

Casual Member
I got the new router from Three, I am a bit disappointed because I can't change the password of the router if is more than 8 characters.

Also, when I try to change the wifi password, if I have more than 15 characters it won't let me.

Another weird thing happen after I changed the DNS. I use pihole for my DNS, I logged in, enable the hidden menu as described above, changed the DNS to point to my pihole. The Internet speed dropped to 100Mbs, my usual speed is between 300-500Mbps.

In my old Huwaie router, I was able to change the DNS in the DHCP settings, can I do the same with ZTE? I am interested for DHCP to broadcast the IP settings with the DNS serve too. I use the pihole for internal and external DNS.

I need to play more with the new router, I wish I could have bridge mode, but I am more keen into fixing my DHCP DNS.

Anyone tried to use the pihole as a DHCP server? How does that work? Does the pihole DHCP broadcasts the IPs to all devices?
 

Robert71

Member
HI,why can't i set a port to remotely access the router ?
in the menu REMOTE MANAGEMENT, I can't set a port for remote access to the router ??
 

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Anyroadup

Member


Hi, thought I register to add some very important input here.

I've just got hold of a ZTE MC801A and been playing with and having external antenna issues. As in it makes no difference.

Now I know why....

If you've connected antenna cables like in Antec's picture, or snagged the cable or even let the weight of the cable of a Poynting XPOL exterior aerial (which is pretty hefty) pull on the terminals ... You WILL BREAK the TS9 sockets at the solder joints! The result is an external antenna that makes no difference to the signal, or may give better signal if you hold/support the connectors in a particular position.

I learnt this the hard way, I'm not heavy handed, it's a poor design that has zero tolerance to any force applied to it. So even a tight TS9 connector could break the solder joints merely by trying to plug it in; The way the sockets attaches to the PCB is not braced, like say a SMA connector which is usually threaded through a casing and secured with a nut. This has no such bracing so the PCB and solder joints takes the full brunt of even the slightest strain force on the attached cables. Anyone into circuit board repair will confirm that a SMD solder pad will inevitably fracture and fail if strained in this manner.

Sadly on mine it tore the printed circuit away from the terminal pads on both terminals and being in a tight area it's not easy to fix DIY unless you're good with SMD soldering.

If you're lucky enough to not have broken it -yet, it's very possible you will break it at a later date just by moving the unit or tugging the antenna cables.

So I strongly advise to use lightweight pig tail leads to connect to the MC901A and secure them the body of the MC901A with cable ties or duct tape to relieve any strain on the connectors.

Can't stress how annoyed I am with this as I wasted a day trying to get a improved signal from an antenna that was attached to broken terminals!

It may explain why some of you guys are getting poor results with external antennas: The fractured solder joints are hard to see without a magnifying glass, but if your terminals wobble, even just a little bit it's likely the solder joints have broken. Sorry if anyone has already posted this and I missed it, but it is worth repeating IMO.

TLDR: The antenna terminals on the back of the ZTE MC901A break very easily, if you have external antenna issues they are probably broken.
 

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dandring

Member
Hi,

Hoping someone might be able to help me

Ive had a ZTE MC801A from Three for a month or so. Not in an area they say is supported but my friend bought his around mine to test before I ordered one and I got great speeds 400-600 in multiple window sills in my house and its been great since i've had it.

Since Sunday ive had terrible connection and speeds. It changes from 5G to 4G+ to 4G constantly (every few seconds), flicking between all 3.
CA Status keeps changing from CA Active to NO CA to CA Inactive. Not sure if this is relevant?

Only thing I can see which has changed since Sunday is an automatic firmware update at 02:30 in the morning, and ive had issues since.

Ive tried the device in every window now and its the same throughout.

Any suggestions of things to try? Ive tried factory reset.

Thanks in advance.
 

James7921

Casual Member
Hi,

Hoping someone might be able to help me

Ive had a ZTE MC801A from Three for a month or so. Not in an area they say is supported but my friend bought his around mine to test before I ordered one and I got great speeds 400-600 in multiple window sills in my house and its been great since i've had it.

Since Sunday ive had terrible connection and speeds. It changes from 5G to 4G+ to 4G constantly (every few seconds), flicking between all 3.
CA Status keeps changing from CA Active to NO CA to CA Inactive. Not sure if this is relevant?

Only thing I can see which has changed since Sunday is an automatic firmware update at 02:30 in the morning, and ive had issues since.

Ive tried the device in every window now and its the same throughout.

Any suggestions of things to try? Ive tried factory reset.

Thanks in advance.
Hi @dandring,

I’ve been experiencing exactly the same issue with my ZTE 5G Hub all morning. Switches from the white light (5G) to the blue light (4G) and does not seem to be latching onto 5G at all. 4G speeds in my area are dramatically different than the usual 400-600Mbps I usually receive from 5G. So I phoned 500 earlier this morning and they went through all different types of troubleshooting, such as restart, hard reset, take the SIM card out and back and checking if there was any outages in my area. Once they did all these checks they then passed me to the 2nd line team who in there words ‘would be able to fix the issue right away’.

Long story short nothing was fixed and I was told it’s not a faulty hub and is definitely a network issue. The network support team are giving me a ring in a few days while they run investigations but for the meantime they credited my account for the week because of the inconvenience. Guess that’s better than nothing if you wanted to give it go on the phone. I’d suggest you give them a call, the more people who call about the same issue should help them resolve the problem faster. Might be bigger than there aware of, on the phone they really didn’t understand why it wasn’t working as it should.
 

Barns

Casual Member
Hi @dandring,

I’ve been experiencing exactly the same issue with my ZTE 5G Hub all morning. Switches from the white light (5G) to the blue light (4G) and does not seem to be latching onto 5G at all. 4G speeds in my area are dramatically different than the usual 400-600Mbps I usually receive from 5G. So I phoned 500 earlier this morning and they went through all different types of troubleshooting, such as restart, hard reset, take the SIM card out and back and checking if there was any outages in my area. Once they did all these checks they then passed me to the 2nd line team who in there words ‘would be able to fix the issue right away’.

Long story short nothing was fixed and I was told it’s not a faulty hub and is definitely a network issue. The network support team are giving me a ring in a few days while they run investigations but for the meantime they credited my account for the week because of the inconvenience. Guess that’s better than nothing if you wanted to give it go on the phone. I’d suggest you give them a call, the more people who call about the same issue should help them resolve the problem faster. Might be bigger than there aware of, on the phone they really didn’t understand why it wasn’t working as it should.
Having the same problem here. ZTE 5G Hub connected fine but only getting ~4Mbps downloads. Was 400+Mbps until this morning. Looks like the hub did an update early this morning (3am ish), I suspect the issue started at that point.

Also seeing the "CA Status keeps changing from CA Active to NO CA to CA Inactive" as well, don't know if that's relevant, not sure what it is.

Direct line of sight to the 5G mast a few 100m away so it's not signal issues I don't think (and has always been very fast and stable up until now, couple of months since I got the thing).

Edit: forgot to mention, it has the white 5G connected light fine on the front of the hub - just isn't getting those speeds!

2nd Edit: found the network info on the hub and it doesn't seem to actually have a 5G connection despite the white light, looks like this :

3G/4G Frequency 99
3G/4G Connected Band 1800MHz(B3)
3G/4G Signal Strength -79 dBm
3G/4G ECIO/SINR 0.0 dB
3G/4G PCI 257
3G/4G Cell ID 3295746
5G Frequency — —
5G Connected Band — —
5G Signal Strength — —
5G SINR — —
5G PCI — —
5G Cell ID — —
 

Zygorf

Member
Having the same problem here. ZTE 5G Hub connected fine but only getting ~4Mbps downloads. Was 400+Mbps until this morning. Looks like the hub did an update early this morning (3am ish), I suspect the issue started at that point.

Also seeing the "CA Status keeps changing from CA Active to NO CA to CA Inactive" as well, don't know if that's relevant, not sure what it is.

Direct line of sight to the 5G mast a few 100m away so it's not signal issues I don't think (and has always been very fast and stable up until now, couple of months since I got the thing).

Edit: forgot to mention, it has the white 5G connected light fine on the front of the hub - just isn't getting those speeds!

2nd Edit: found the network info on the hub and it doesn't seem to actually have a 5G connection despite the white light, looks like this :

3G/4G Frequency 99
3G/4G Connected Band 1800MHz(B3)
3G/4G Signal Strength -79 dBm
3G/4G ECIO/SINR 0.0 dB
3G/4G PCI 257
3G/4G Cell ID 3295746
5G Frequency — —
5G Connected Band — —
5G Signal Strength — —
5G SINR — —
5G PCI — —
5G Cell ID — —
Same issue here on a three UK branded version. Not got a fix unfortunately but it does appear to be caused by the firmware update B07

Full firmware version with the bug is BD_UKH3GMC801AV1.0.0B07
 

Jheysl2

Member
Having the same problem here. ZTE 5G Hub connected fine but only getting ~4Mbps downloads. Was 400+Mbps until this morning. Looks like the hub did an update early this morning (3am ish), I suspect the issue started at that point.

Also seeing the "CA Status keeps changing from CA Active to NO CA to CA Inactive" as well, don't know if that's relevant, not sure what it is.

Direct line of sight to the 5G mast a few 100m away so it's not signal issues I don't think (and has always been very fast and stable up until now, couple of months since I got the thing).

Edit: forgot to mention, it has the white 5G connected light fine on the front of the hub - just isn't getting those speeds!

2nd Edit: found the network info on the hub and it doesn't seem to actually have a 5G connection despite the white light, looks like this :

3G/4G Frequency 99
3G/4G Connected Band 1800MHz(B3)
3G/4G Signal Strength -79 dBm
3G/4G ECIO/SINR 0.0 dB
3G/4G PCI 257
3G/4G Cell ID 3295746
5G Frequency — —
5G Connected Band — —
5G Signal Strength — —
5G SINR — —
5G PCI — —
5G Cell ID — —
Exact same issue as me, no signal for 5g just like that, been an issue since firmware updated Saturday morning, don't download over 4mbps. Seems to keep flicking between frequencies and bands.

Phoned up and they said it seems the area is congested, I've only had this a month and it's been fine til the update. Usual speed is around 250mbps, also on three mobile and my 5g speed is perfect.
 

mst121989

Member
Having the same problem here. ZTE 5G Hub connected fine but only getting ~4Mbps downloads. Was 400+Mbps until this morning. Looks like the hub did an update early this morning (3am ish), I suspect the issue started at that point.

Also seeing the "CA Status keeps changing from CA Active to NO CA to CA Inactive" as well, don't know if that's relevant, not sure what it is.

Direct line of sight to the 5G mast a few 100m away so it's not signal issues I don't think (and has always been very fast and stable up until now, couple of months since I got the thing).

Edit: forgot to mention, it has the white 5G connected light fine on the front of the hub - just isn't getting those speeds!

2nd Edit: found the network info on the hub and it doesn't seem to actually have a 5G connection despite the white light, looks like this :

3G/4G Frequency 99
3G/4G Connected Band 1800MHz(B3)
3G/4G Signal Strength -79 dBm
3G/4G ECIO/SINR 0.0 dB
3G/4G PCI 257
3G/4G Cell ID 3295746
5G Frequency — —
5G Connected Band — —
5G Signal Strength — —
5G SINR — —
5G PCI — —
5G Cell ID — —
Same issue, have called the L2 support and was told that the team is aware of the issue and are working on a firmware fix. Wasn't given any timelines for the fix, sadly.

For those who called the support and was told it was a congestion/reception issue, I suggest you call again and insist that the issue stems from the recent firmware update. That might at least force them to spare more resources on firmware fix.
 
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