Elsker
Level 2: Rookie

Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

I have had Telstra 4G mobile Broadband using a Nighthawk M2 for about 8 months, I am in a remote area and my only other access is via Skymuster satellite. I have to ue an external aerial to get a signal but with that I get 4 bars and the signal is rated as "good"

 

For the last 6 months of 2020 the service was really great. Speeds anywhere from 6-8Mbps in the evenings to 18-25Mbps after midnight and during daytime. 

 

In January the service started to play up in the evenings, speeds dropping to about 0.4 to 0.6 Mbps maybe once or twice a week during peak times. Annoying but usable. I mostly use this service for online gaming and the satellite for everything else.

 

In February I started getting several random nights a week where the speed would drop to 0.1Mbps where it was unusable, you could load the speed test or a plain web page like google homepage but nothing else. This generally would last from 5pm to about midnight. Then it would come good and I'd be back at 18Mbps. At all times the signal strength remained at 4 bars and rated as "good"

 

Some things I have attempted to fix this to see if it was on my end: New ethernet cable, rebooting modem, using a backup aerial. Switching the device manually to 3G. Speedtesting via wifi with phone with PC shutdown. I have disconnected the aerial and taken it outside, there are spots outside where I can get 3 bars without an aerial, same issue. None of these have any impact at all.

 

In the last 10 days the problem has escalated. Its not happening almost every night. Although Tuesday this week it did not occur, I had a minimum of 6 Mbps the entire evening. But it was unusable Monday and Wednesday nights. Today it has taken a new twist and the speed has been between 0.1Mbps and 0.2 Mbps since about midday. When I used it this morning between 10am and 11am it was running at about 12 Mbps. Again at all times  I have 4 bars and "good" signal strength.

 

So my current situation is the service is unusable more often than not. Smiley Sad

 

I have tried to speak with Telstra directly, but the only way I can seem to find to contact them for tech support is through the messaging app. I have spent about 7.5 hours on that app this week and I don't think I have even managed to convince  them I have a problem.

 

The first time I spent 4 hours and had contacted them when the service was working, after 4 hours they decided since there was actually no current problem I should contact them again when it happened. That night of course it was dead again so I contacted them on the satellite connection and spent 2 hours waiting for a response, I didn't get any response after the initial we're busy please wait for a response. I had to go to bed so I gave up.

 

Then last night I tried again and did get a response. After about an hour the person gave up and said he couldn't see anything wrong but would make some notes and send them to the first person I spoke to. This was despite the service not working at all at the time. Still with 4 bars of service of course. 

 

I'm really at wits end as to what to do about this, paying for a service that I can't use anymore for the reason I pay for it. If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated. Whether that be towards solutions or just a way to actually have a real conversation with a person at Telstra about this issue. 

 

The one thing that the anonymous people in the messaging app have confirmed is that there is no maintenance in my area. 

 

I do wonder if its congestion, which I imagine they would never admit to. Which is a shame because if that is the case and they would just admit it, at least I'd know to cancel the service. But of course I am hoping it can be corrected, as options here are very limited. 

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22 REPLIES 22
Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

It sounds like congestion. Most likely somebody (or a group of people) running a very data intensive process (most likely uploads - which causes restrictions on downloads as the request packets can't get through. The Telstra tech would be looking at Download throughput as an indicator and it would appear fine. I'd bet if they look at Uploads, they would probably see that the tower is approaching capacity).

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Elsker
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Thank you for that response, I actually had a call from someone at telstra today after lodging a complaint, was so much easier talking to someone in real time, rather than the 30min delayed responses in their app. I hadn't paid much attention to the upload speeds, but I had recorded hundreds of speedtests both the upload and download speeds, and realised the upload speed is often at best 0.4Mbps lately even when I get 18Mbps download. 

 

The person on the phone was very interested in that and recorded all my tests and times, and we realisid it wasn't just peak time, I just tend to use it more then, but also happens during the day. I don't know if anything can be done but they have escalated it to some team to look into and seemed to think that a large piggery across the road may be part of the issue. I have also noticed I can detect their wifi network the last few weeks, despite them being almost 1 km away. So they are going to check if they have an illegal booster. 

 

I still have unusable internet but at least it feels like they finally acknowledged it and will try to do something Smiley Happy

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

The wifi signal shouldn't cause a problem as such, but it would indicate that they've done some IT works and probably installed a lot of monitoring devices, which if they feed back through the mobile network could be the root cause of the problem even if they don't have a booster. Just the sheer volume of data could be swamping the network.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
RyanH
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Glad to hear your case manager has made contact and are on the case Elsker, keep us posted how this develops. Would love to hear this has been resolved for you.

- Ryan

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Elsker
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Had another call today form a different Telstra staff member, ran through the exact same trouble shooting as the previous caller on Friday. Exact same results. Factory resets, reboots etc. Took the device outside.

 

Got a new sim card on Friday as well which also had no impact.

 

Problem has gotten worse, pretty much only useable between 2am and 10am.

He decided to blame my external aerial, but when I disconnect the device from the aerial and take it outside I get even worse results, whereas previously I could sit on on the windowsill with the window open and use it without an aerial just fine. So I don't see how it can be the aerial. 

 

Apparently the network people returned a report that there are no issues with the network here. 

Have also run tests on mobile phone data, outside for signal, always similar results but slightly worse than the mobile broadband test results, and pretty much always get 0 Mbps upload on the phone. The guy who called today said that was irrelevant as the phone is on a different network to the broadband. I did try to point out that they both aren't working and both come from same tower, but fell on deaf ears.

 

Tried to sell me on the idea of a smart aerial, I agreed eventually to let them test to see if it would help but as I understand it that only brings the signal from outside to inside, and the signal outside despite being 3-4 bars is still around the 0.1 - 0.4 Mbps. And would cost $1000, if it works, to fix a problem that didn't exist until a few weeks ago. Doesn't seem very fair. I'll probably cancel if that ends up being the only solution, as I can't justuify that expense. I've used telstra 3g before this and 4g for 8 months without any issues, I don't feel they really understand its not an ongoing problem its just happened all of a sudden. Something has changed. 

Guess I'll just have to wait until they contact me about the smart aerial now. Then decide what to do after that. 

 

Ironiclaly now its working great for the first time in two days at 8pm. It hasn't worked at this time of night for 2 weeks. So random. 4.4Mbps download, 0.45Mbps upload. With the NBN today it sounds slow but its quite usable for a change. 

JayVee1
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Hey Elsker,

 

It sounds like they are working through as many resolutions as possible. Please let us know how the Smart Antenna goes, we'd like to hear that your service is back up and running as it should be.

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Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Hi - are you a substantial distance from your local cell tower - the site will show you where it is located and also indicate which frequencies are being used by the local Telstra tower.  https://www.rfnsa.com.au/?first=1 

 

Assuming your M2 is connecting to 4GX B28/700 Mhz (not 3G). 4G LTE-A can operate with up to 20 Mhz of carrier component bandwidth - unaware if Telstra dynamically assign 5MHz (low speed), 10 Mhz or 15 Mhz (higher speed) to regional customers in  your area subject to bandwidth demand and capacity. 

 

Apart from an Access Point Name (APN) in Settings/Cellular , does your Netgear M2 have a web screen that shows you the band, bandwidth allocated for the current Downlink and Uplink and any Signal Strength metrics with the M2 connected to your external antennae arrangement. The DL/UL assignment may be a 80:20 ratio e.g. 4 Mbps DL/ 0.8 Mbps UL.

 

I am wondering why your mobile cell phone data was dismissed by Telstra as an indication of signal strength at your home - was there any discussion about changing your APN details - assume currently on 'telstra.internet', my iPhone is on 'telstra.wap' and I have seen 'telstra.iph' as well on line. This is an example of what an iPhone 6 in Field Test Mode (with Wi-Fi OFF, dial *3001#12345#*) shows for my local tower in Brisbane - Band 7 is 2600 Mhz and the phone is assigned 20Mhz for Downlink and Uplink. Other statistics are also available for viewing include Quality of connection metrics. Broadband Modems have similar detailed statistics but I am not sure what data a Hotspot like the Netgear M2 shows.

 

In regards to investing in a Smart 4G Booster and Aerial arrangement, suggest you speak to companies like Powertec and Telco Antennas who may give you some helpful information and advice before purchasing a solution for your needs. This is also a helpful resource centre with practical examples and case studies. 

https://birrraus.com/ 

 

 

Guide on Signal Strength - the -83.25 dBm RSRP correlates to Good Signal Strength in this example. 

The picture below depicts a Qualcomm Chip Apple iPhone. Mine has an Intel chip.

 

   Intel Chip Apple [-----------Excellent------------][---Good-----][---Fair to Poor-----][----No Signal <120 dBm]

 

Elsker
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Thank you for all of that information, a lot to absorb. I've some background in IT, but no expertise in telecommunications.

 

Interestingly the nearest tower is 17kms and about 90 degrees off the direction I have the antenna pointed for the best signal, I tried turning it towards that tower and I lose connectivity. That said its probably not the best day to test it as its barely working today. Yesterday however it worked perfectly all day and night. Check out these random speed tests for yesterday and then today. How it can change so dramatically overnight perplexes me.

 

The first half of that graph is what it used to always be like. I was amazed to get it to work perfectly for my needs all day as that has not happened since early February. 

 

The only thing that I noticed difference is that this phantom wifi signal from the piggery across the road (about 700m away at least where they'd likely have the router), was completely absent yesterday, but today its back. I don't know if that could theoretically be related, one staff member at telstra said that its not possible for a wifi signal to be interfering, another said its possible. 

 

The signal strength seems to have dropped to 3 bars today, which is actually fairly unusual. 

 

These are the current readings form the webpage on the device, I don't understand most of them, but I see the RSRP is sitting at about -100 with 3 bars, today I will have to check it when I get 4 bars back. I don't see any mention of upload or download. And its definitely connecting to 4G LTE.

I ran the network test on my mobile, and android, and getting about -101dB as well. The signal really is bad today though. Usually get 3 bars outside on mobile phone only 1 bar today. The app in the android phone a fairly old note 4, doesn't have upload and download listed either.

 

To answer some of your other questions, the gentleman who dismissed the cell phone results stated that the phone 4G network and the broadband 4GX network were separate and one had no bearing on the other. I have since had a call from the original case manager who said the second guy wasn't meant to call me and apologised. She was more interested in the cell phone data.

 

The APN has never been mentioned but is set to 'telstra.internet'

 

I have also had a call from the smart antenna people, who decided that it really wouldn't be worth trying as it wasn't appropriate for the issues I am having. There was some talk of an omni high gain antenna, but after asking me a bunch of questions about the signal strengths and speeds the antenna guy said that he didn't believe it was an antenna issue, that it was a network issue and that they were passing the buck. Which unfortunately didn't help me a bit. I could see his point though since I most have 4 bars signal, he didn't feel a new antenna would have any affect on that, he also pointed out telstra only guarantees signal strength not speed, I explained I didn't mind if it was at the slow end of the spectrum for speed but, I'm pretty sure speed so low its unusable falls outside of some service guarantee. Anyways that went nowhere.

 

I also asked some questions about my old antenna which I really know very little about except its about 5-6 years old. He felt that age would have zero impact on it. I still wonder if maybe something has gone wrong with the antenna or cable. Its a big expense to get a new one to test the theory though.

 

Now I am just waiting for the case manager to call me again at some point. 

 

I am definitely going to take advantage of the resources you mentioned, https://birrraus.com/ and the talk to those aerial companies. I'm guessing the people on the phone at telstra probably do the best they can with the knowledge they have but they are probably not experts in some of these matters anymore than I am. 

Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Thanks for posting your results. Purely for interest sake, what type of Antennae arrangement do you have? I tend to agree with @Jupiter  in regards to the many factors that could contribute to varying 4G data speeds. I don't have an insight into why speeds vary so much with 4G - it's a very dynamic environment however there are a few pointers I have picked up in my research and testing along the way.

 

1. Firstly, the Netgear M2 is on Band 28 which operates at 700 Mhz - without knowing what other possible radio comms gear is operating at that site, it is unlikely to receive interference from a 2.4Ghz/5Ghz Wifi router 700 metres away. 

 

2. The Cellmapper.net web site has a handy LTE Throughput Calculator which gives you a good understanding of the relationship between Band, Carrier Component (CC) Bandwidth, Downlink Modulation, Uplink Modulation and SISO/MIMO options. Your M2 is a leading class CAT20 4x4 MIMO device however in your area and home, it doesn't get to use its full credentials. This calculator doesn't include a distance factor which is a shame - it can be used to reverse engineer a data transmission speed result to understand possible combinations that would lead to such a result. The further away you are from a cell tower the more likely you will be using an older style of modulation which eventuates in slow speeds. You can experiment with inputting different combinations to see theoretical or indicative only transmission throughput speed results. 

 

The nearest I got to your best results was, say 8 Mbps/<0.5 Mbps on B28, 3 Mhz CC Bandwidth, 16 QAM DL Mod, QPSK UL Mod and SISO (Single In/Single Out - 1 Stream) to provide an estimated 7.5Mbps DL / 3.75 Mbps UL. The these factors are similar to those used in WiFi networking and use the same terminology. https://www.cellmapper.net/4G-speed 

 

3. In Brisbane, one of my test results from 4G Huawei B525s-65a CAT 6 modem on B28 (700Mhz) shows the lowest Component Carrier Bandwidth of 10 Mhz DL and 10 Mhz UL. All other higher frequency bands connect with 15/15 or 20/20 but non of my tests on any Band have yet to connect using multiple Carrier Aggregation e.g 40 Mhz/40Mhz (max  CAT 6) and I am 1200 metres from a cell tower.

 

My Results              Your M2 (Not sure what the M2 Quality of -51 DB refers to)

RSRQ  -10dB          -13dB

RSRP   -91dBm       -100dBm

RSSI    -63 dBm

SINR    -3dB             -3dB

DL     27.34 Mbps      8 Mbps

UL     3.83 Mbps        <0.5 Mbps (Est)

 

In theory, Carrier Component Bandwidth can be structured to operate below 10 Mhz e.g. 5Mhz, 3 Mhz and 1.34 Mhz. Unaware of how Telstra slice up their frequency bandwidth in remote areas - there may be an allotment ratio that is related to the cell capacity and how many mobiles in the cell area use VOLTE and Data vs Mobile Hotspots and Modems. Distance from cell tower is also another differing factor in the results above. 

 

Another possibility is that there may be an issue with the cell tower - next time when speeds are miserable, take another snapshot of the M2 transmission stats and compare the cell data Equipment IDs to see if that connection was using the same equipment IDs when you enjoyed the higher speeds. The M2 shows a lot of equipment codes that don't show up in my Huawei, so unaware of what the abbreviations mean. You may be connected to different equipment during the day or night. I don't know if Telstra can also 're-build' your account in their network - like a Reset to get a fresh configuration in case it removes any disfunction in your current configuration. 

 

I am on a steep learning curve with 4g and 5G and find these matters very interesting. Hope you get some traction on improving matters from you speaking to the antennae experts. I think BIRRAUS has also started a Helpline, Representation and Referral Service, so it may pay to contact them as well. 

 

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

In regional/rural areas where there can be substantial distance between towers, ambient atmospheric conditions can also play a major part in the transmissibility of mobile phone signals (especially the lower frequency ranges).

 

When I drive the kids to school (about 30km from home), we pass through the Haunted Hills between Morwell and Moe. On a fine day, there are two spots where the reception disappears completely (700MHz LTE & 850MHz 5G), but if there is fog or mist then we get almost perfect signal. Conversely, if there is drizzle, the blackspots more than double in size. Water droplets in the air play a large part in RF transmission characteristics. It is possible that this also plays a part in the story here.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

The intermittent issues that you describe indicate the real possibility of a background "intermodulation product".

That happens when 2 frequencies, not necessarily Telstra, combine and a 3rd rogue "frequency" is produced that is called an intermodulation product.   Classically, this can occur when background frequencies bounce off a hill or building and produce this invisible background frequency that is almost impossible to detect.

In the past A.C.M.A.  and it's antecedents would attempt to isolate the offending interference, but I am unsure if that still occurs.

A "smart antenna" which is a proprietary  term for a repeater can assist in increasing the signal, but is not always a resolution as "rubbish in becomes rubbish out" is the result.

I urge you to persevere with Telstra coverage department than a 3rd party supplier, as the Telstra branded CelFi has additional software and has to be licensed and known in the Telstra network structure

The software package for the current Telstra stationary Go repeater is called Wave and within the advanced section in the menu it shows the inward signal quality quite separate to strength and other necessary parameters.

This type of product is absolutely definitely not "plug and play" and the installation and set up is equally if not more critical than the hardware.

In metropolitan area but hilly, I use a current Go repeater in one part of my apartment and the older Smart Antenna in another.

Both products will assist in mobile phones, but both my Nighthawk M2. and older (3) Netgear advanced 111 modems with base stations, are not recognised by either repeater.

Telstra have highly trained and experienced contractors who can set up these devices, and I repeat that neither is plug and play.    Please do not buy a "deal" but buy a solution, and Telstra coverage department provide the possible solution if appropriate.   There is a real possibility that even the best installation possibly will not be a solution for an intermodulation product cause

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge it.

I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Thanks to both of you for contributing with this good information from the two individual directions - so many things can impact transmissions.

 

@ProfessorPhone I find Telstra's web pages somewhat in need of attention (understatement). I had gained the impression some time ago that the Smart Antenna was a retired product - there is no 'Submit a Product Request' button (which I assume is for a custom quote?) on its location in the link below. To the uninitiated (me), it appears you can buy the Go Mobile  Smart Signal Vehicle Repeater off the shelf and get someone to install it in a car (also only version shown in the Telstra Plus Store) and that is it. I like the idea of the Go Mobile version which I thought was identical to the Go Stationary model but has an additional 12v option connector  - handy if car is pre-wired as well to make it portable in case of an evacuation necessitated by a fire in regional areas. 

 

I also didn't realise until I read your post that Telstra's versions of these units had special software (of course, the penny dropped,  like all other equipment branded with the big T) . I thought the Cel-Fi equipment sold by retailers was specific to the Carrier and didn't know additional software was included in Telstra only supplied units. They are very impressive products.

 

@RyanH - given the complexity of installation outlined and for the benefit of other potential readers, would you be able to confirm the process which applies for customers to purchase these products and if all three products are still active products for sale.  I acknowledge that there maybe a FAQ somewhere which covers this? 

 

https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-networks/network-coverage-extension-devices 

Dowser
Level 18: Intelligence Chief
Level 18: Intelligence Chief

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband


@Elsker wrote:

... and seemed to think that a large piggery across the road may be part of the issue.


I wonder if you could approach the piggery  and discuss the possibility of them shutting down their Wifi for a limited period for you to run your tests again.

Most  people are cooperative if approached diplomatically with a rational discussion.

ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

The old smart antenna may in fact be discontinued but I have had mine for almost 5 years. The Go is about 2 years old. As they both work on Channel 11, there is no handoff between rooms. Telstra traditionally number their 3 tower sectors 1, 2 & 3, but micro cells may be differently numbered. For instance my Telstra signal is Channel 1 before the repeaters retransmit on Channel 11. Telstra has used the sector numbers from GSM until 4G.  I don’t know about 5G numbering. Thank you

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge it.

I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Just a short note - I looked up what those mysterious codes relate to. Apart from the Signal statistics which dynamically change throughout the day, the majority of codes appearing below them in your screen will be static - they are Internationally defined codes for the Telstra Cell Transceiver which connects to the M2. Generally, if deployed in your specific case, one of the three sectors each has an approximate 120 degree coverage with overlap. 

 

MMC = Australia , MNC = Carrier - Code for Telstra, LAC = Local Area code, RAC = Router Area Code. The two factors that may change during the day are

 

1. Channel Number 9410 is a reference to the channel being used within in the B28 700 Mhz (758Mhz shown in M2) for the Downlink frequency and 

2. Cell ID number is the Transceiver

 

It would be interesting to note if these two factors change when you obtain reasonably high speeds vs miserly low speeds. It is possible that your home is in an overlapping area of two sectors ( weak area ) and you are shifting from one sector to another during different times of day or you are stuck with that Cell ID for all connections because of your location. Homes that are located at long distances from the cell tower, more so within the centre area of reach of the signal beam,  may receive a more consistent and stable link.  

Elsker
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

I will definitely checkout if they Cell ID and Channel numbers vary, I have only just seen your message regarding that.

 

I do find it interesting that directionally the best signal I receive is not showing up for me as a tower at https://www.rfnsa.com.au/?first=1  and I have tried rotating my antenna more than once and the best signal is at about 90 degrees to the closest tower, but that tower is also listed as a small cell. I think that means it will not have the range of a normal tower?

 

Speeds have been interesting this last week. I had maybe 3 weeks of pretty much unusable then randomly had a great full day on the Wednesday which I previously posted, then unusable on the Thursday and then great again for all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but then unusable today all day. The graph is a bit distorted as I took a lot of readings on Thursday and not so many over Fri-Sun but it shows the idea.

 

I thought of weather too but it was overcast all day Thursday through to Saturday and some of Sunday, then cleared up about midday Sunday and today so that doesn't correspond well.

 

I think Telstra gave up. The antenna department said they couldn't help and my case managers supervisor rang today and said they were out of ideas. They offered me a credit on my account to buy a new external antenna. Which I accepted and was grateful for. I can at least try that out now without throwing away the money if it doesn't work. Just need to work out what sort of antenna.

 

One company has recommended a MIMO antenna with two cables and a dual patch lead as the nighthawk m2 has two antenna ports, and they have apparently tested it with the m2 and it works well. Someone else recommended an Omni directional antenna as the MIMO is directional then there is a Dipole array antenna. The antenna I have is directional and I think likely a single antenna. I did manage to find a name on it, but any other details have long since weathered off. Its a Smoothtalker. And after some googling I found a picture very similar to it, though the edges on mine are rounded plastic, part of the front cover, and mine looks cheaper quality. Could be the weathering though. 

 

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

A directional antenna will usually give the best performance overall if there is only a single tower in range.

If you can get signals from multiple towers, then an Omni directional antenna will help reduce the periods of time that the signal disappears.

 

Having the two antenna inputs will benefit.

 

If you had multiple towers to work off, then 2 separate antenna would be worth playing around with as you could point each at a different tower to see if it makes much of a difference.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

That Smoothtalker Panel Antenna looks like a budget entry level unit at under $60 with no listed gain ratings e.g. 7 to 12 dBi but it seems to be showing reasonable transmission connections. I don't know what is inside the panel - whether it is one antenna with two cables soldered to it or two separate antennae. At the budget end of the market, sometimes when 4G Antenna specifications say they cover from 698 Mhz to 2700 Mhz, depending on its engineering credentials, it sweet spot may be in the 1800-2200 Mhz range when near to cell with not so impressive connection capability at 700 Mhz.

 

Both our SINR results are not flash, however other ratings are reasonably close. You indicated the Panel is at 90 degrees to the local cell tower 17 kms away. Is the Panel facing the small cell then - if so it may indicate that you are actually being serviced by it rather than the cell tower. If it is installed in an area that is viewable from a road and it is a long way from the cell tower, you may wish to have a look at it to see if it has a microwave dish co-mounted to a pole pointing back to the main cell tower. If so, that may contribute to a slow speed outcome as that cell could be acting as a repeater/amplifier. If no microwave dish evident, then one can assume the back haul is cabled somehow. 

 

For general interest, there is also another web site https://web.acma.gov.au/rrl/register_search.main_page  which shows you a map and more detail regarding the specific site and licence. This is an example of a small cell tower mounted on a power pole in Brisbane - it is using a Omni directional transmitting pattern. 

https://web.acma.gov.au/rrl/assignment_search.lookup?pDEVICE_REGISTRATION_ID=10630783 

 

On the map if you click a blue dot, a window presents with a site ID and other data, select the Site ID, in the next screen Table, select the ID link of the transmitter to see the page with the pattern. A good source of all types of 4G  antennae reviews is YouTube - andrew mcnell is UK based and does lab tests on variety of units. May be difficult for you view in current circumstances. 

Elsker
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Just thought I would follow up. Powertec did some reports for me, with some tower analysys for line of sight which was interesting, There were two towers they believed I could utilise, this would be the one I am currently using. 

 

Site Analysis 

 

And they recommended this antenna:

 

https://powertec.com.au/buy/poynting-lpda-mimo-kit-w-%c2%b145-polarization-bracket/ 

 

Its kind of expensive but guessing it would be a good investment.

 

That said... I am now wondering if a faulty TV Tower amplifier could have been causing the interference. Probably too early to be sure, but we have been having some pixelation on some TV channels for about the same time the internet has been playing up. We completely lost the signal on Saturday night, and have a technician coming to look at it maybe this afternoon, but the 4G has been beyond perfect for the same period. averaging between 10-24 Mbps. It was unusable on saturday. May be coincidence. The 4g antenna is not on the same tower as the tv antenna.

Veezy
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Hi Elsker, thanks for the post. have you had a chat to our mobile tech team to see what they reckon?

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Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Unfortunately we can't see the site analysis report, but that is a good antenna that they've recommended. It should be fairly immune to interference (unless it is in the same line of sight as the tower).

 

It sounds like someone has a fairly high powered transmitter that is causing interference (old analogue radios that Taxis used would cause a similar problem, the modern digital ones are friendlier). Could be a faulty TV transmitter, or someone might be using an old high power analogue device.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Isntermittently slow 4G Mobile Broadband

Thanks for your update. I have watched many videos on YouTube over the past four months by Dr Andre Fourie, the Inventor and CEO of the South African company, Poynting, along with presentations and field test reviews of their various antennae product lines. Impressive company and kit for the target market.

 

I noticed that I had omitted to show the actual pictures of the 4G LTE Small Cell and Equipment Cabinet. This is what it looks like - in this case, it has an Omni Directional antenna with some serious coax cabling. Apparently, the quality and distance run of the coax cabling also plays a role in signal performance. 

 

It may also pay to communicate with the ACMA in case they have any ability to investigate or track any possible interference caused by unlicensed equipment operating in your area or granted temporary permission to a certain government department for an exercise - you may not get verification of the latter. (vivid imagination kicking in Smiley Happy).

 

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