CrowdSupport®
Level 3: Gumshoe

Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Dear technical Telstra people,

 

I have logged a fault with the Bigpond staff in the Philippines. The call centre staff have been quite helpful however they cannot help me other than to refer the issue on to those that can (I assume in Aus).

 

My issue is as follows:

 

1) My Bigpond WIFi 4G Sierra Wireless unit has been working brilliant for many months. In the past it could be used for Bigpond Movies and one or 2 PC's and iPads cruising the Internet all at the same time.

 

2) At all relevant times in the past the unit remained stable - brilliantly operating on the 3G WCDMA 850MHz band with no issues whatsoever

 

3) Recently however, whilst showing 80% signal strength, the unit failed to operate - i.e. whilst logged onto the WAN, the unit failed to transmit / receive any Internet  / IP traffic.

 

4) After having been advised by Bigpond staff to install an antenna / cradle unit and then having installed such an external antenna / cradle unit (as advised), the Sierra 4G WiFi unit does now operate - however it (now) only does so, my respectful opinion, in a faulty manner or operating improperly.

 

5) Prior to a DC (Dual Cell / Dual Carrier) system being made available in my location; there were never any problems with the device working in the standard 3G mode.

 

6) Now that a DC system has become available, the unit constantly switches between 3G and DC modes and average operating efficacy is reduced by at least 60 to 80% with very poor performance of 0.1 Mbs at the times that the unit constantly switches between 3G and DC.

 

7) Whilst the unit stays on 3G the unit works OK. When locked onto DC the unit performs at 50% of the standard 3G data rate.

 

8) Now with the cradle unit installed I have 100% signal strength (RSCP -68 dBm). Signal strength is therefore, in my opinion, not the issue.

 

9) The unit set-up interface however shows a measure of Ec/No ranging from 2dB to 5dB and variable.

 

10) There is no LTE coverage in my area.

 

11) In my opinion the unit appears to be constantly switching between 3G and DC systems that are now on the same cell tower for reason of apparent measured signal quality rather than the true actual signal quality.

 

12) When there was only 3G to choose from (amongst differing cell towers) switching was not an issue. For reason in my opinion of the strong signal strength, handovers to other cells whilst on 3G were never a problem in the past irrespective of what was the apparent or actual measure of signal quality. The reason for this would have been the marked difference in signal strength between the various cells.

 

13) Now that 3G and DC systems are located on the same cell with the same signal strength, signal quality is an issue that will affect handover - for example from 3G to DC and vice versa.

 

14) Positive values for Ec/No of 2 to 5 dB (i.e Received Signal Code Power - Received Total Bandwidth RSSI etc) or received energy per chip / total noise power density are observed by me in the unit's setup feature.

 

15) In my opinion Ec/No is a poor if not inaccurate indicator of signal strength in a HSDPA system. Reasons are complicated and in my opinion boil down to the EC/No values significantly changing due to HSDPA use and users versus other cell power and bandwith uses and users to the effect that simple use of Ec/No to direct handover could result in incorrect signal strength assessments in circumstances of variable HSDPA power output and use such as to render any EC/No calculation functionally meaningless.

 

16) Hence the problem, if the Sierra Wireless unit or the cell tower is using Ec/No values to determine handovers between 3G and DC on the same tower in circumstances where a good signal quality is falsely read and determined as poor quality (albeit high strength), why is some other channel quality indicator not used. I could not find any other measure in the Sierra setup / log screens.

 

17) I have no current problems using my iPhone 3GS for internet access to my PC. My iPhone which cannot use DC has double the data transfer rate than the Sierra unit now has when stabally operating in DC mode (which is rare however).

 

My questions:

 

A) Is my assumption about Ec/No usage correct or is some other channel quality indicator in fact used?

 

B) How can the problem of constant 3G / DC handover to the same cell tower be fixed - either at the cell tower, the device or both?

 

C) How can I force the device to not use DC mode (hence fixing the problem for me).

 

Thanking you all in advance.

 

P.S - I am a tradie builder and a lawyer and not an electrical engineer - however I appear to perhaps determined the issue with a little effort and research. Please therefore all Telstra technical people, please find a solution because if I have the problem then many others also do - so a quick and effective solution will benefit everybody .

 

Thanks again.

 

 

 

 

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54 REPLIES 54
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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Allan12345,

 

With the 4G WiFi modem you can lock it to the band of your choice. Here's how:

 

- Open a web browser to http://10.0.0.138

- Login with the password of 'admin'

- Click on Disconnect

- Click on the top option from the left hand menu, next the bars of signal

- Change Network Technology to WCDMA 850

- Click on Save

- Click on Connect

 

Let me know how you go.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Dear Shelly

 

Thank you for your prompt attendance and for your suggestion as an initial response to this matter.

 

I have tried locking to various frequency bands and services - for example to LTE which would solve the issue for reason that I have line of sight to the applicable tower (appears to me to be the Telstra site at Round Mountain Road Bogangar NSW 2484). LTE is however unavailable.

 

Locking the unit to the WCDMA 850MHz setting does not appear to me to make any difference to unit operation. The constant shifting between 3G and DC and poor operation in DC mode is observed in the same manner when set to WCDMA 850 as that observed in the Auto setting.

 

Selecting "WCDMA All" setting however appears to me to be a better current option for reason that about half the time the unit log file shows operation in the 2100 band. Operation in the 2100 band results in faster data transfer, better and more stable operation however the 3G / DC shifting still occurs albeit less frequently.

 

There appears to me to be no available option to lock the device to standard 3G or select operation only on the 2100 MHz WCDMA band.

 

Perhaps the solution might be for Telstra to issue a direction to the device provider to either resolve the issue via a firmware update (so as to prevent constant 3G / DC switchover) and also allow DC operation lockout (i.e. standard 3G only) and additionally offer the firmware option of locking the device to the 2100 MHz WCDMA band.

 

Thank you for your attendance to this matter and I look forward to your response.

 

Kind regards,

Allan

 

 

 

 

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Shelly,
I experience exactly the same issues, good signal but keeps switching between 3G and DC and the speed slows down dramatically. A solution would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Allan12345 & rural,

 

If the modem has been locked to WCDMA 850, then it should also stop it from switching to DC as it is locked to the one band. 

 

Once you have applied the change, try restarting the modem by holding in the power button for 5 seconds. I would then suggest double checking the settings within the modem to make sure that they have "stuck".

 

 

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Dear Shelly

 

Your Suggestion

 

Thank you for your suggestion.

 

I have therefore carried out the procedure as you have described.

I then repeated the procedure for the purpose of accuracy.

 

The device operated on both occasions as follows:

 

- Current radio band : WCDMA 800 

- Quality : 63
- PS Service Type : DC_HSPA_PLUS

 

Some searching between 3G and DC did occur on an intermittent basis however the device has been

operating somewhat more stable today (29 October 2013).

 

I do not understand however why DC operation should be excluded in the above frequency band?

Are not all such WCDMA frequency bands software upgraded to provide dual carrier functionality including

the lower range frequencies?

 

In any event the suggested setting appears to make no difference.

 

Service Update

 

I have been advised by the call centre staff yesterday (28 October 2013) (they called me) that:

 

1) The call centre has been advised by technical staff of an issue with the relevant cell tower;

 

2) That the issue was related to voice calls not data; and

 

3) That the issue has been resolved.

 

Perhaps the cell tower issue is connected to the problem or perhaps it is not. I cannot determine such a causal

issue with the information that I have - however there does appear to me to be a correlation between better

cell tower operation and more stable device operation - albeit that the 3G / DC switching does still intermittently

occur - albeit less frequently.

 

The device today (29 October 2013) does work much better.

 

Next Step

 

The above described issues with the device therefore appear to me to still remain (i.e. problems operating in

DC mode and problems in deciding whether or not to operate in SC or DC mode).

 

For reason that offering untested and unverified suggestions has now failed to identify and resolve the issue, perhaps the issue should now be referred to the appropriate technical or engineering staff, the

issue replicated in a test environment and a verified solution determined and then communicated.

 

I look forward to your response including your proposed methodology of resolution.

 

Thanking you kindly,

Allan

 

Highlighted
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I am having the exact same problem with the device not locking onto the 3g but instead switching between 3g and DC and once this happens the internet stops working.
Highlighted
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Dwyane, have you tried the above?

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

JesseS, yes i have and because it doesnt solve the problem i have to do the process over and over once DC appears between WCMDA all, WCMDA 850 (like suggested) and LTE 1800 WCMDA 850/2100 just to get at max 10mins of good internet connection. Do you have any other ideas that i can try?

Thank you for your help with this matter

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Support Team
Support Team

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

No worries, I will get our tech team to check this out for you when they are available tomorrow.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I agree with Dwayne, I tried the settings suggested and the same thing. The unit gets very warm and slows the connection to be unusable.
Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Does the same issue occur in other locations? It may be a faulty device if its not staying connected when switching to DC. My suggestion would be to test the device in another location and see if it continues to happen. If it does then it could be a faulty device and may need to go through the warranty/repair process.

 

-Matt W

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I am experiencing the same problem as the OP.

I've got the 8GB plan, the Ultimate4G (760S) modem, and it's placed in the AirHub cradle, which has an external antenna attached to it as well.

 

For the first 9 months or so it worked sufficiently fine (never outstanding though), but in the last 3-4 months performance has gone down the gurgler.

I never realised that this switching between DC and 3G might be the cause, as I have had Bigpond technical help on the phone on numerous occasions and they never ever indicated that this might be a problem.

I generally have 3 sometimes 4 bars signal - interestingly/annoyingly enough my external antenna makes absolutely NO difference - but from time to time the performance is ab-so-lu-te-ly woeful. Using speedtest.net and fixing it to Telstra Melbourne, I've had tests where it can't even get through the Upload test. If anything, it's the upload that appears to be the performance killer for me, where in the most extreme case I had a download of ~500kB/s, but just no upload. As I work from home regularly and for that need to connect to my corporate VPN, this just doesn't cut it.

 

I had a look at the suggestion to lock it to a band, but as I have no 4G/LTE available in my area, I would only restrict myself to something that supports 3G and DC, or 3G and DC... i.e. no difference whatsoever (IMO).

As per OP's response, if only I could set the modem to choose either 3G or DC, that might fix it... but if it exists, I haven't found it, nor does the manual seem to mention it.

 

I guess my situation is also aggravated by network congestion, as I often have even worse performance in the evenings and weekends. This is confirmed by my iPhone 4S, also on Telstra, on which I have installed the SpeedTest app and also fixed it to Telstra Melbourne. On numerous occassions it either cannot get to the site, or - after a long wait - it manages to run a test with like >500ms ping, 0 bytes download and 0 bytes upload. Maybe hard to imagine, but yeah, 0 on both accounts. In that sense the iPhone already does a better job (or the app on it), as running the test on the Speedtest website is often unable to even get to the stage where you can click on the "Test" button.

 

Of late I have several working days where during the day the performance was negligable, as in, can't open any website, let alone connect to a VPN. The only 'real' action by Bigpond techhelp so far has been to give me a new modem... and guess what, same result, it's still highly variable - I do occassionally have like 600kB/s download and ~50kB/s upload, but by and large it won't give me more than 200kB/s download and <20kB/s upload, the latter one often being very staggered, as in, during the testing period there will be 2 or 3 bursts of throughput of say 100kB/s, versus literally 0 the rest of the time, then resulting in an average of say 20kB/s.

 

Someone told me that in the scenario where the closest/dominant tower offers both DC and 3G, the modem itself will always struggle, as it is a firmware issue. If one of the Telstra people can confirm that this is or is not the case, that would be helpful.

 

My apologies to the OP if it seems I am hijacking this post; that's certainly not the case, just adding this to the mix.

 

ps I am in East Gippsland, using the Mount Taylor tower (with 'almost' direct line-of-sight, if it wasn't for a ridge that cuts that off)

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Dear Matt

 

Would you kindly arrange for both of your suppliers to attend to what appears in my opinion to be a compatibility issue between the device firmware and Ericsson's current cell tower dual carrier software upgrades. Please refer to paragraphs 14 to 16 of my first post.

 

It seems pointless to use double the carrier bandwith for an end result of less than half the throughput of useful payload data traffic - a 4 fold increase in cell tower capacity usage for any given amount of data. Many millions of dollars of tower capacity per tower simply wasted.

 

My internet runs like a 2 legged dog on DC mode even when stable (i.e. not switching).  Perhaps Telstra might also wish to technically review the representations made in relation to the DC software upgrade as it seems to me to be a pointless waste of time and money.

 

I only upgraded to this new WiFi unit because my trusty Maxon desk mounted unit failed. My iPhone 3GS works heaps better in standard 3G mode (iPhone 3GS does not support DC mode).

 

The simple fix would be the ability to turn DC mode off via the device.

 

Thanking you kindly,

Allan

 

 

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

The previous entries are the same as my experiences. We use smart antenna in the house to boost he signal under the tin roof. We have 2-3 bars outside and need an antenna to boost the 3G signal inside. We have used a yogi antenna in the past with good results.
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I am having exactly the same problem as every one else with my wifi constantly switching. I am paying out good money for a service I cannot use. I have tried locking the device numerous times but it still keeps happening. I am losing downloads all the time and having to redownload over and over. Not a very good service at all! Very frustrating. Are there any other solutions available?

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I just talked today with iinet , I hope I can go with them, maybe you can try too. My contract with Telstra expiring 2 weeks from now, I am fed up with their "service", this is rubbish not service;-(((
good luck!
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

This issue is happening with me as well. Because of our coverage being poor this was our only option when our modem with a car aerial attached stopped working in April. Bigpond issued me with the sierra 760s. In October the unit started to play up, doing all of the above. Contacted bigpond, did all the things they requested, just as others have. The unit ended up overheating so much it died. The battery was all distorted. So, we were issued with a new one. Same thing happening over again. Obviously something was changed at the local Beaudesert tower. Occasionally will flick to 4g then back to either 3G or DC. My neighbour has had the same problem she is on her 3rd hotspot. I am in the process of this too. Bigpond has issued her with a new 782s but no cradle for antennas. So she has been without Internet for 3 weeks. Is telstra trialling 4g lte in my area? Bigpond can't or doesn't know how to answer my question. And someone from the Philippines has no idea!! It's bad enough that we pay $30 a month for 4gb of data. ( because that's our only option). But then to be constantly on the phone trying to fix the stupid thing. Adsl would be great with their large data plans at reasonable prices. But that won't happen here. So I say to Telstra please fix your towers so what limited data I can get. I can actually use.
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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Dear Telstra, this issue with the mobile hotspot not knowing which signal to connect with 3G or H in areas of poor reception using antenna to boost reception occurs at a number of locations. Our original Sierra hotspot overheated so much it stopped working, the replacement Netgear advanced air card has the same issue with trying to decide what to connect too, 3G or H. The display keeps switching and the arrows to show download and upload show no activity while this is happening.
Would it be possible to get the software programmers to update the program to allow the user to lock onto the 3G signal only? I don't know much about mobile signals, logically this should be the solution to the issues.
Thanks
PS Does Telstra look at this blog? There has no response for weeks now. Earlier there were a number of responses from Telstra
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I am having the same issue with this device. It is absolutely rubbish compared to the device Qualcomm 4G device provided on Prepaid plans. I don't understand how Telstra can justify selling it. I think it might be time to go to another supplier.

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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

For those who wish to manually configure the AC760s to a specific network type, please use the following steps:

 

- Open your webpage to http://10.0.0.138 (BigPond) or http://192.168.0.1 (Telstra)

- Log in with the password: admin (unless previously personalised)

- From the left hand menu, select the network at the very top of the list

- choose from one the following options:

  • LTE 1800, WCDMA 850/2100
  • WCDMA 850
  • LTE 1800, LTE 2600

- click save then restart the modem

 

Mjat70,

 

http://www.antennashop.com.au/sierra-wireless/telstra-wifi-4g-advanced-netgear-aircard-782s/782s-eth... is where customers can order a cradle for the new Netgear AC 782s. As this is a new product it is currently out of stock and this cradle is not currently offered as an accessory by Telstra Bigpond.

 

Regarding the operating temperatures of the device, please review the information below from the Netgear.com.au Support page.

 

Battery tips for AirCard Mobile Hotspots

 

 

1. Ensure you're using the Sierra Wireless AC adapter and USB cable that came with the unit.

2. Ensure you are on the correct firmware version. To get the latest firmware, go to http://support.netgear.com

3. Identify the environment the device being used in:

  • In-vehicle. Ambient temperature and lack of airflow can hasten reaching critical temperature.
  • In-house. General ambient temperature of environment.
  • Number of Wi-Fi users. The more users, the higher the temperature during data usage.
  • Distance from PC to Mobile Hotspot (Wi-Fi range being used).
  • Is the device in 3G or 4G coverage ? Low coverage/signal strength can drain the battery faster.
  • Amount and type of data being used. Streaming large amounts of data (for example, through Pandora/Hulu/Netflix) can affect your battery charge.

4. How quickly does the device reach "charging paused" state?

"Charging paused" is a part of normal operation for a device such as this. It all depends on the above circumstances. Per the battery specification, once the device reaches 45°C ( 113°F), it will pause charging; this is intentional, for customer safety. All battery operated devices have a similar behaviour, yet some may not alert the user that it's in a paused state.  If you want to ensure the battery is charged fully :
  • Plug the device into AC power, but keep it turned off until the device displays "Charging Complete".
  • Halt data usage while the device is plugged into AC power or the USB port of the PC. Please note that, depending on the RF or ambient temperature environment of where the device is located, the device may still exceed 45°C (113°F).

5. How quickly does the device reach "Critical Battery Temperature, shutting down" state?

Depending on the above circumstances, if the device is used excessively in a warm environment, or poor RF environment ( low signal strength ), it can reach this state occasionally.  To decrease the likelihood of this state:
  • Move the device to an area with stronger signal strength.
  • Ensure there is proper airflow around the device.
  • Move the device as far away as possible from heat sources (for example, heaters or ovens).
  • If using Wi-Fi, reduce the distance between the device and the connected PCs.
  • Limit the number of Wi-Fi users via the Wi-Fi tab in the Web UI.

 

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

To the TelstraSMT person,
Thank you for replying. I do appreciate your time. Yes I did try with the help of bigpond guiding me through this, changing the network signal. And they did warn me it might revert back. Which it did. Don't know why. And the battery tips are good but this device sits in the cradle and worked like a dream for 6 months, then the problems started. And it wasn't just me. Bigpond told me there was an issue with the tower. Couldn't tell me what it was. But a repairer was there from the 22nd of September to try and fix. Bigpond told me that I would receive a text message via mobile phone when the repairs were finished. Still haven't received the text. So am assuming someone is trialling something somewhere and that's the problem. As the 760s seems to get hot just from an ipad. The only way to shut it down is to remove the battery as it won't switch off. I then leave it for awhile. This second one has not been so bad but am keeping a very close eye on it. As soon as it feels warm I remove from cradle and shut it down. This one still flicks between 3G, DC and 4G and that's when there is no internet. That's not all day just at certain times. So thank you for trying to help me, but obviously it's to hard basket.
Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Mjat70

 

Could you check which firmware version your modem by visiting About your Hotspot within the modems interace? If you still have the SWI9200H2_03.05.09.01 AP then please use the AC760S_BigPond-03.05.14.06 Upgrade Tool

 
**NOTE** Downgrading to earlier firmware versions is not possible after installing the current release. 

 

 

I would suggest trying to reconfigure the Network Technology using the above steps that I previously supplied.

 

The following steps will factory default the device via the device itself:

  1. Press and hold the Power and WPS Buttons together for 10 seconds
  2. The below screen will be displayed - press the Power Button again (before the bottom progress bar times out) to factory default the device
     
    The device will take around 15-30 seconds to reset

 

 

Regarding how to turn the device on and off:

 

Desired result Action
Turn Mobile Wi-Fi on Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds
Turn Mobile Wi-Fi off Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds
Wake up LCD screen Press and quickly release the Power button
Respond to prompts on the LCD screen Press and quickly release the Power button when prompted to do so by the LCD screen. (This is used to confirm an action.)

 

 

Hope this helps.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

 

"then please use the AC760S_BigPond-03.05.14.06 Upgrade Tool"

 

This looks like a solution and maybe it is for some people but the Netgear site contains no instructions about upgrading firmware. It requires 2 downloads, the first of which contains a Sierra Wireless Drivers package and an Uninstall Drivers package. When I install these they disappear completely, but they're supposed to be used before instlling the second download.

 

As to the second, a Netgear Firmware updater, when installed all it does is search endlessly for the device. 

 

I'm about ready to chain myself to the local Telstra tower (not that it's all that local) on a hunger strike. It's taken me from around 11.30 this morniing till now (16.22) to be able even to leave this message. If anyone has any better advie I'd love to hear it.

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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Desperanza,

 

I would suggest connecting the device to your computer via the USB cable before running the upgrade tool.

 

Let me know how you go.

 

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Thanks Shelly, that worked ... at least to upgrade the firmware.

 

It seems to have ensured, though, that the modem spends most of its time on DC, with the usual slowing in speed (for us it's much more frequently stalling). 

 

Does anyone have a solution? Does the general silence on this thread for a while now indicate that using the manual settings actually works to override the arbitrary connecting to DC? It certainly doesn't for us.

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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Desperanza,

 

The manual configuration will help some people, but not all unfortunately.  Have you tried to manually configure the modem after the firmware update?

 

If you take your device to another location, is it able to operate on 3G or 4G networks okay?

 

When at home, do you have the modem connected to an external antenna and if yes, which one do you have? (medium gain, high gain or Yagi)

 

Have you tried the modem in different locations in the house?

 

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Deseranza,

 

Ive struggled with this for 12 months now There are several posts with dc switching problems. If there is a solution.......nobody is saying. You did well to install the firmware udate, I couldnt see it do anything. Youve confirmed that is no help either tho.

It appears if you have one that wont hold settings and stay on 3g its just tough luck. Other than that you will need to move close to one tower and be in full signal and presumably far away enough from others that it wont want to go to DC.

What I have had a lot of success with in the last few days, is to tape the unit to the end of a very long stick with power lead running along it and stick it out the window....weather permitting......and you cant let the sun on it. When they are in 100% signal with a good tower they really work well.....anything less and they are hopeless and seem to overheat to death. Im sure your battery will be bulging too.

Mine and my friends with the same problems are the sierra/netgear 760s.

Hope you have better luck than ive had

 

Regards

Al

 

 

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Thanks for the note of sympathy, Al. It seems to be about all we can offer each other on this thread at least. We already have a version of your modem-on-a-stick because we have to use an external antenna. The nearest tower is over 12km away, with several hills in between.

 

We also use a Sierra Wireless cradle (the only way to connect the modem to the antenna), which is also a charger, so after one battery overheated and blew itself up we don't even bother with batteries anymore.

 

Will this ever get sorted out? I suppose since there's only a limited number of people affected, Telstra's got better things to do with its time. The real sting in the tail for us is that they've built another tower, only 4km from where we are, and it's been sitting there for months. Apparently it takes up to six months or so for someone to connect the thing to the power supply 10 metres away.

 

That's what passes for modern high-tech telecommunications around here.

 

 

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I doubt it is a small number affected judging by the amound of effort they seem to be taking to avoid me on the issue. 

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

You can be hopeful that the new tower upgrade wll help tho i guess. They have me on the map in full signal 20mbs area. We got a map upgrade but they didnt get around to changing the tower from 3mbs.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

You have given me a great tip there with not using the battery...i didnt realise it would power up with out the battery. Takes that heat source away and increases airflow to the rest.... great stuff despo, many thanks.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Shelly,

 

Answers as follows:

 

(i) yes, I configured the modem manually after the firmware update;

(ii) I haven't taken it anywhere but perhaps I might have to (and accidentally drop it in the creek on the way back);

(iii) the modem is housed in a Sierra Wireless cradle which in connected to a Yagi antenna;

(iv) (not really an answer) I didn't think the modem would connect to the cradle wirelessly, at least it didn't seem to on the one occasion I separated it. Are you suggesting that it can operate that way?

 

Still we press on.

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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Desperanza,

 

You can use the 4G WiFi in another location in the house, with or without the dock, but the device will not connect to it via WiFi. You can however configure the hub to allow WiFi networking even without the 4G WiFi being docked. As you require a Yagi antenna for connection though, this will most likely not be an option for you.

 

I did notice that there was a firmware update for the hub itself which can be downloaded here as well as the user guide.

 

http://support.netgear.com/product/aircard%2bhub

 

Did you purchase your Yagi through Telstra BigPond?

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I am also having the same problem. We are in a caravan travelling around Oz and ever since campinbg near small towns, I have constant switching to DC which kills the internet. I have a yagi type antennae which gives me 100% signal strength.

 

My son who is also travelling has the same netgear 4g modem and has the same problem.

 

My call to tech support was a joke. I was told DC stands for "Disconnecting" and I would have to move closer to the tower!

 

I havce spoken to an upgraded response who offered to send me a new modem. But how can this work if my already new modem and my son's 2 month old modem has the same problem?

 

It is obviously a change at these Telstra towers which has NOT been properly tested to work with all Telstra gear. 

 

I have tried all the suggested changes here with no satisfactory result. I am tired of logging on and off to download files, having to start over and over again. My 15gig limit is 40% used up after only 7 daya because of this problem.

 

Unless Telstra can come back with some fix or better offer, i will take this to the ombudsman, as it seems this is all Telstra understands or even listens too. I am very disappointed with your response to this problem..."Disconnect" indeed!

Get some staff who have a inkling of technical problems and how to fix them. 

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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

 

Hey pelbo1,

Really sorry to hear about the issues you've been having with your mobile broadband wi-fi device not picking up enough coverage for it to be usable.

pelbo1, based on what you said here I don't think it's device related as your son is suffering from the same issue.

Please go to the manufacturer's website download page and find your correct product model. From our issues register we found below:

 

So please try and upgrade the firmware as instructed and see how you go. Thanks pelbo1.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi joe, 


You obviously haven't read any of these threads, I also have a friend travelling that cannot use her internet. They simply don't work in less than 5 bars of service from one tower. In full service they are great.

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Runningbare

 

Do not waste your time on this forum.

 

Here is a better one:

 

http://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint

 

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

That depends on what runningbare might be wanting to achieve.

 

We’ve had a case going with the TIO since October last year about our wireless internet connection, which got worse and worse after about May. Telstra’s view was that it was caused by congestion on the local tower. Everything proceeded on that basis and eventually we were offered a rebate as compensation, but: (a) Telstra refused to give any undertaking about technical fixes; (b) the TIO refused to consider technical issues because these were subject to Telstra’s ‘commercial decisions’. The TIO was, in any case, more interested in the quick-fix path provided by something like a rebate, no doubt because that gets their success figures up; and (c) what we actually wanted was something vaguely approaching a reasonable internet connection for a reasonable part of the day. The compensation makes no difference to whether we can do our jobs properly or to whether we can do all those things that most of the rest of the population seem to be able to do on the internet without losing patience/sleep/sanity.

 

It was only towards the end of the complaint process that we discovered the problem about 3G/DC Connected switching. I tried to persuade Telstra’s senior complaints person to look at this and whether there were any solutions. He refused because it was another technical matter. I’m still trying to work out what part of our situation isn’t a technical matter, but of course since Telstra had already been excused from giving any undertakings about technical issues they obviously thought they could throw this one in as well and in any case with a rebate having been offered they were looking for the nearest exit. The TIO also refused to oblige Telstra to do anything about the question, presumably for much the same reason.

 

That left us with this thread as about the only place that seemed to offer a solution. As others have discovered, it doesn’t. All of the advice offered here by Telstra’s technicians is tinkering at the margins. Upgrades and manual modem settings and so on don’t do a thing. Our modem just keeps on switching to DC Connected and we just have to sit for longer and longer periods waiting for the 3G connection to reappear.

 

The last advice/tinkering I had was in a PM from Shelly suggesting that I contact the Telstra section responsible for Yagi antennas so I could be given the proper bearing to the tower. I’d already plotted this on Google Earth, but I phoned anyway. The person I spoke to also came up with the ridiculous ‘DC Connected means disconnected’ line and then refused to provide me with any information because, according to his Yagi map, we weren’t in an area that allowed contact with any tower. I pointed out that this was somewhat at odds with the map Bigpond used to encourage us to sign a contract for wireless internet, but there wasn’t much to be gained from pursuing this little anomaly with someone who obviously didn’t have a clue even about the job he was supposed to be doing, so I hung up.

 

There is clearly some kind of issue with these modems, but just as clearly Telstra’s not going to admit to anything or spend any time working out what to do about it.

 

So if what runningbare is after is an effective and consistent wireless internet connection, I’m not sure that there’s anyone who’s capable of guaranteeing it, and that includes the TIO. If, on the other hand, he wants to chase the return of at least some of his money because of the next-to-useless service he’s paying a ridiculously inappropriate amount for, your link is certainly the one to follow.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Desperanza

 

You sound desperate.

 

Welcome to the new world order - where the corporate social contract is worthless, where problems and issues are swept under the carpet by the executives, the corporate PR managers, contract management people, the corporate lawyers and their insurers.

 

Look at the current Victorian mine fire as an issue typical of the above.

 

My view is that Telstra in time will simply end up like Qantas.

 

From a social point of view, the consequence is that there is now no more brand loyalty given in return by the consumer - that value was cashed in a long time ago in return for short term financial gain.

 

Service gets worse and worse as the jobs are offshored and the cash cow and any left over brand loyalty is milked to death.

 

Read my thread posts - that is what I believe to be the technical problem (as a non technical person). I got the new box for reason that my old Maxon unit failed. I miss that old Maxon box - it worked a treat.

 

The cradle/hub unit has appeared to fix the problem for me as my unit needs full bars signal strength to work properly in DC mode.

 

In my opinion, the Swedish appear to be the smart ones in all of this 3G/DC issue. Telstra and the customers lose, the Telstra employees remain silent - and they, like the Qantas employees get picked off one by one and their jobs offshored.

 

Which then leaves us, the customer - the powerless taxpaying working clowns that are treated like social garbage by the collective corporate rent seekers and their retiree shareholders.

 

In life, if you want a problem fixed, fit it yourself.

 

You might wish to investigate my backup technical solution which was my next option in the event that I ended up in your shoes.

 

1) Pick your nearest desired either Telstra or Optus tower (Vodafone in my view daisy chain their cell towers too much); and

 

2) Hire one of a multitude of RF engineering and contracting companies to design and install a bespoke antenna and RF transmission and reception facility for your premises. There are heaps - here is one picked at random from the Net: http://www.vasp.com.au/

 

3) Enjoy brilliant wireless internet are seriously super speeds (albeit you will have to pay some serious money for RF design, antennas and RF filtering and amplification equipment).

 

And unlike the telcos, your RF design will be done by a competent locally based engineer and done in a manner to correct the often shoddy cell tower RF design that is often done on the quick in some off shore third world location.

 

I might do this when 4G becomes available in my area (either Telstra or Optus). 4G has a different setup for reason of the rotating waveform hence my putting up with what I have now - as any 3G system will then be redundant.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Thank god I found this thread! I thought it was just me suffering through this pain! I'm also on my second modem, pathetic speed and poor help. Actually one service rep was good, he told me not to bother purchasing the external antennae as they don't work that well on the whole! I also think that having to purchase an external antennae for a product sold to me to be best for my area (rural south western WA) to get it to work is quite plainly ridiculous. I have so little faith in Telstra right now that the only seemingly workable option is to go with another provider. At the moment I'll even take one with as bad coverage/speeds/products so long as their customer service is better than Telstra's. Then again a cricket bat to the head would be better customer service than what we all seem to be receiving at present. Good luck people, if anyone has joy with a better provider please, please let me know!!!
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Oh yeah and what is with those batteries??? Almost hot enough to burn! Good pocket hand warmer during winter maybe?
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I'm having the same problem although have had my sim now blocked and asking me for a puk code
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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Karrie, 

Just to confirm, is this a Pre-Paid service or a Telstra Mobile Broadband service, or a BigPond Mobile Broadband service that you have?

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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

The advice to manually swithch to 850MHz WCDMA is incorrect.

DC-HSPA+ is using the 850 WCDMA Band, with the decision to switch to "DC" is made by the Tower , not the modem. This is a firmware bug with the sierra  760S (assuming this is the modem in use)
If you take a quick look around this and other forums, youll see this problem posted many many times.

Installing the modem in a Cradle might help, but most often has no effect at all.

Using an external antenna may help, but only if you use a directional Yagi antenna pointed at a tower that does not have both the the newer DC and the older WCDMA services on it. Which is not always possible for those customers already experincing low signal levels from the only tower available.

 

The way to fix this problem is to use a different modem.

Or If you think your going toi need better signal strength anyway you might try installige an External antenna anyway.

Antenna specific to the 760S can be found at remoteone.com.au

 

 

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

If the finger of blame is to be pointed it is, perhaps in my view, in the following order (or perhaps not - as I am not in possession of the full facts in relation to what is going on behind the scenes):

 

1) Telstra for breach of contract and breach of the ACL and statutory warranties (to me); then

 

2) For Telstra to then blame their DC provider (i.e. the slick sales representations made), and then

 

3) For the Swedish to perhaps apportion blame somewhere else.

 

In my view however, pointing the finger of blame serves no purpose - just fix the problem.

 

Perhaps the modem manufacturer / supplier has their backside well covered - hence the problem remaining.

 

Given the silence by Telstra on this forum, in my view therefore, there has perhaps been plenty of letters and meetings on the issue. Perhaps the 457's working for the Swedish (5 contracts down the Telco contractural food chain and paid peanuts) are going around and readjusting their RF design and equipment calibrations. Who knows, as we are all mushrooms when it comes to dealing with the big business rent seeking end of town.

 

I however blame the retirees that own Telstra shares - they are the real cause of the problem - taking their exorbitant dividends whilst screwing over the younger generations with expensive and underperforming Internet services.

 

Just look at the NBN issue - oldies voting in the Tories and then screwing over the younger generations in so many respects.

 

The solution, sack more Telstra workers and off shore it all to India and the Phillipines - it will pay for even bigger fully franked dividends so as to fund the next overseas holiday.

 

Gotta love the older generation.

 

End of my rant.

 

Cheers.

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

I am having very slow internet on Barrow Island and it is virtually unusable.

In 3.5 hours i have used 11mb!!!

I can't even do my banking.

I have the 4g sierra wireless.

Is this a problem with the towers here?

I seem to be on DC quite a lot

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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

Hi Linga, 

 

Having a look I can't see any issues at the moment for Barrow Island. Have you spoken with our technical support team to have this investigated? 

 

You can do so for a post paid service on 133 933 (open 24x7) or on 13 22 00 for a prepaid service. 

 

-Patrice

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

3 bars of signal on these devices is on a boarder line to work properly at a worth while speed.

Anything less of a signal, forget it. If this is the case, with 4 bars of signal or better you will need to, use your Telstra mobile phone to test signal, on the Mobile Tower side closest to your house, . 

A Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna (TMSA) will boost (a 3G repeater) the signal to 5 bars or better in the middle of your house and if there is any less than 4 bars of signal then that at the window, you will need a Yagi Antenna as well. This will make all the difference, Call Telstra on 1800305307 Opt 4 to start with, talking to an Australian and with a Telstra Guaranteed Warranty on the equipment and installation.

4G Yagi Antennas are available as well.

 

The Yagi Antenna will pull in the signal and the TMSA will boost it.

Good luck

I'm not a Telstra employee.
I'm a Wireless 3G/4G LTE/4GX Antenna Sub-contractor and these are my opinions and not of Telstra.
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Faulty Sierra Wireless Bigpond Mobile WiFi 4G Unit / 3G vs DC / Constant Switching

hardly a rant....

 

the issue is still plaguing the AirCard782S.

 

what i loath most about this crowdsupport crap is that it is a void.

 

carfeully constructed beer and circus.

 

telstra core business is 'service and customer supprt' but no longer actually delivering data

Set it & forget it

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