Desperanza
Level 3: Gumshoe

Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

Answered

We recently had a Telstra Go Repeater installed, which has provided a serious boost in signal strength and allowed us to use mobiles inside for the first time. Buoyed by (what may prove to be illusory) optimism we decided to sign up to a mobile broadband plan since this now considerably cheaper than the service we abandoned a few years ago in the (definitely illusory) hope that things might be better and cheaper on the nbn satellite.

I've dusted off a Telstra Wi-Fi Advanced III to test the effectiveness of the mobile broadband service, with the intention of buying a Nighthawk M2 a bit later. Things went well for 24 hours or so, but last night we kept losing the internet connection and the only solution seemed to be to turn the Advanced III off and restart.

With each dropout the signal strength shown on the Advanced III fell from four bars to 3G (temporarily) and then to 'H'.

I have no idea what 'H' means. Strangely, though, there was no change in the signal strength registered on either of our mobiles at the time, so the repeater was still doing its job. But I'm also now concerned that the same sort of thing might happen even if we go ahead and buy a Nighthawk modem.

Can anybody tell me whether this issue has to do with: (a) the Advanced III itself; (b) signal variations from the local tower (it is, after all, hidden from us by hills and trees, though that's not affecting the phones); or (c) bandwidth or other problems in the Telstra mobile broadband service?

I'm assuming it's probably the first of these since the Advanced III isn't so advanced any more, and I should just go and buy a new modem, but I'd at least like to start with knowing what a signal strength of 'H' is.

Thanks for any help.

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented
Accepted Solution

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

Hi - the only thing I can think of is that your Telstra Netgear Aircard 810S shows you signal strength and the data cellular service it is using at the time depending on what is available to it. If the limited resources in the cell tower are occupied or assigned to other users, it may descend from the highest speed 4G to 3G and then to the slowest speed H setting. The H may stand for HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access 21-42 Mbps max ) or its earlier version HSPA or HSPA+ speeds that range from 3.5-14 Mbps max. Originally when non smart mobile phones came out, they used HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) for Internet Access with a special WAP protocol for web browser which was later replaced by a HTML based browser. Over time mobile broadband was upgraded to higher speed standards which required occupied more bandwidth to obtain the higher speeds and when that was not available in the location, it downscaled backwards to lower speeds, so not related to signal strength. 

 

Given you haven't used your 4GX Advanced III for some time, it may pay you to take it into town or nearer to a cell tower and try to update its firmware in case that improves reception settings and also check that its APN settings show 'telstra.internet' and PDP settings that allow both IPV4 and IPV6; PDP = IPV4V6. 

View solution in original post

hyppolyte
Level 8: Inspector
Accepted Solution

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

I got the Go Repeater too after seeing how bad the satellite path was for others in our small regional town, when they devolved the ADSL.

Don't give up on the 810s, they are a good device. I wish I had one, I have the 790s as a backup for my Nighthawk M1.

The advice about the PDP change is spot on.

If you are unfamiliar with the device and its settings, changing things can be a bit daunting.

There is also a setting to choose LTE instead of automatic as your 810s may be shifting through the bandwiths, away from your repeater

You probably have your Go Repeater set to LTE?

@Desperanza reply back if you need more help with the settings. Once you get those setting going, a firmware update should occur.

 

Education by osmosis is my preferred option

View solution in original post

Was this helpful?

  • Yes it was, thank you
  • No, I still need help
6 REPLIES 6
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented
Accepted Solution

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

Hi - the only thing I can think of is that your Telstra Netgear Aircard 810S shows you signal strength and the data cellular service it is using at the time depending on what is available to it. If the limited resources in the cell tower are occupied or assigned to other users, it may descend from the highest speed 4G to 3G and then to the slowest speed H setting. The H may stand for HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access 21-42 Mbps max ) or its earlier version HSPA or HSPA+ speeds that range from 3.5-14 Mbps max. Originally when non smart mobile phones came out, they used HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) for Internet Access with a special WAP protocol for web browser which was later replaced by a HTML based browser. Over time mobile broadband was upgraded to higher speed standards which required occupied more bandwidth to obtain the higher speeds and when that was not available in the location, it downscaled backwards to lower speeds, so not related to signal strength. 

 

Given you haven't used your 4GX Advanced III for some time, it may pay you to take it into town or nearer to a cell tower and try to update its firmware in case that improves reception settings and also check that its APN settings show 'telstra.internet' and PDP settings that allow both IPV4 and IPV6; PDP = IPV4V6. 

View solution in original post

hyppolyte
Level 8: Inspector
Accepted Solution

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

I got the Go Repeater too after seeing how bad the satellite path was for others in our small regional town, when they devolved the ADSL.

Don't give up on the 810s, they are a good device. I wish I had one, I have the 790s as a backup for my Nighthawk M1.

The advice about the PDP change is spot on.

If you are unfamiliar with the device and its settings, changing things can be a bit daunting.

There is also a setting to choose LTE instead of automatic as your 810s may be shifting through the bandwiths, away from your repeater

You probably have your Go Repeater set to LTE?

@Desperanza reply back if you need more help with the settings. Once you get those setting going, a firmware update should occur.

 

Education by osmosis is my preferred option

View solution in original post

Desperanza
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

Thanks for this, some very useful information and I appreciate the detail that you've gone into to answer my problem. I've checked the ADP and PDP settings and they are set as you describe.

 

The only thing that worries me about your response is this:  'If the limited resources in the cell tower are occupied or assigned to other users, it may descend from the highest speed ...' No doubt that's right but since the dropouts were occurring between about 11pm and 1.30 am I would have assumed that it was a low demand period and if there are limits cutting in at that time I fear for what might happen during peak hours. Maybe there were a lot of sports fans still awake and streaming too much stuff.

 

Still, I've updated the software and haven't had any dropouts since, so perhaps there was just a localised event of some sort. But I'm far better informed now thanks to your response, and know my way around the device a lot more. Thanks for the time you put in.

 

Cheers 

Desperanza
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

Thanks for this as well, very useful supplementary information.

 

The Go Repeater might be an expensive option but it's been well worth it. My partner has been trying to run her job as a university lecturer from home with mobile phone access only on the side verandah (and only in one or two spots) or using the landline. The latter has been putting a dent in the budget since her students are scattered all over the country and there's no such thing as a local call for her (and no such thing as a brief conversation).

 

So mobile broadband access is only an incidental benefit but given our frustrations with the nbn satellite service (yes it works, but trying to stream anything is hit and miss, as is downloading large files) the opportunity was too good not to explore, especially with the changes in plan costs. As I mentioned first up, I dug out the Aircard mainly to try out the connection before committing to the cost of a Nighthawk M2, which is probably the best option in the long run because of ethernet capability.

 

I've changed the Aircard setting to LTE as suggested (yes, that's how the Go Repeater was set), which seems like an entirely sensible thing to do and something I knew nothing about, so I appreciate that.

 

I did get a screen message (I can't remember exactly when this occurred, but I think it was after the dropouts) about an update to firmware and I hit 'yes' or whatever the command was. Nothing seemed to happen so I assumed that the firmware was still an older iteration but I've checked the number and I can't find any evidence on the web of a later version.

 

Hopefully things will potter along from here without too many incidents or frustrations. I've got a couple of weeks to see how it goes before any decision on renewing the plan becomes an issue.

 

I'm grateful for your contribution as well and if I run into any further roadblocks I'll certainly take up your suggestion of coming back to this thread to raise them.

 

Cheers

 

Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

I should have elaborated on the term 'cell tower' as there may be more than one involved depending on your location. Cellular Mobile Networks are laid out in an overlapping honeycomb pattern for area coverage which provides a greater range of traffic handling capabilities and path redundancy, so depending on your location and topology surrounding your local area, your home could be under the cross signal coverage of multiple cell towers. In theory, if your nearest tower is at capacity, your device will attempt be connected to an adjacent tower which may be a great distance away - weaker signal, slower speed and possible drop out due to packet loss if that cell tower is at the margin of viable operating distance. I put it into one of the miracle classes of science! 

Desperanza
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III connection issue

Thanks for the clarification. I just assumed a single tower from what the technician told me. He picked up a tower (not identified on the ACMA map or any others at the moment)* and oriented the external antenna towards it so I assumed functionality was limited to contact with that tower. There aren't too many other towers around us (three according to the maps) and none of these is in line of sight  ... but then neither is the tower that the antenna points towards although it's much closer than the others. It's also in a rural area with a scattered population so its capacity and how often it reaches that are a bit difficult to guess at. Maybe I should ask Telstra but I'm not sure I feel like half an hour or more waiting on the phone to enquire about a tower that isn't officially recognised (on the published maps anyway).

 

* I should add that I did trace it on one tower location facility but when I located the spot on Google Earth and drove past it yesterday there's no tower, only a Telstra shed with an antenna, which makes the line of sight thing even more limited (perhaps this also influences the capacity question). Maybe it's just a relay and the word tower isn't really accurate ... maybe there's another one of those miracles at work allowing us to get a signal where we shouldn't. I'd better not ask too many questions about it, just in case.

Set it & forget it

With direct debit there’s no need to give paying your bill another thought.

Avoid queuing up and never worry about late fees again.

Setup direct debit