Changed_Daily
Level 1: Cadet

Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

I have a serious issue with the Smart Modem Gen 2.

 

It comes with band steering switched on.  This is where a single wi-fi network (e.g. TelstraXXXXXX) is advertised and the modem tries to “encourage” devices to use 5GHz instead of 2.4GHz.

 

This is great in theory.  Devices such as Macs, iPhones etc are quite happy with switching onto 5GHz.  Unfortunately other lesser devices - Netatmo weather station, Fetch TV, Daikin A/C, Envoy Solar - can’t cope.  They either fail to connect at all, or connect & drop out on a regular basis.

 

There is an option to switch off band steering but unfortunately it results only the 5GHz network being available (e.g. TelstraXXXXXX-5G).  What should happen is that two networks are advertised - TelstraXXXXXX and TelstraXXXXXX-5G.  I believe this is a software bug. 

 

Tried switching off the 5GHz interface, but that results in no wi-fi at all.  The same happens if the 5GHz access point is switched off.  The 2.4GHz interface/access point is definitely enabled.  Have tried factory reset as well.

 

Product Vendor - Technicolor

Product Name - Technicolor DJA0231

Software Version - 18.1.c

Firmware Version - 18.1.c.0347-950-RC

Hardware Version - VCNT-A

DSL Version - A2pvfbH043k.d26t

 

Software updates are only done once in a blue moon & I can’t put up with a crappy service … so I reinstalled my old Telstra Gateway (SAGEMCOM F@ST 5355) and everything is well with the world again.

 

My question is: has anyone disabled band steering successfully on a later version of software/firmware without losing the 2.4GHz wi-fi network?

 

Thanks

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Vitara
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

Current firmware version for the Technicolor DJA0231 is 18.1.c.0585-MR7.1-RA.

Also it is recommended that you disable the Protected Management Frames (PMF)as well as Band steering.

These actions have been covered frequently on this site.

 

Older WiFi devices on 2.4 GHz can be affected when the the PMF is active.

Dowser
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

It could be the case that the 2.4GHz section of that modem is faulty.

You could check this by reinstalling the modem and then doing a scan for the 2.4GHz signal with a Wifi scanner (obviously with Band Steering turned off)

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

It sounds like the 2.4GHz WiFi radio is faulty (a fairly common problem).

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

From the symptoms it appears that your modem is faulty.

 

  1. The 2.4 GHz WiFi is faulty. This is a common fault with the DJA0231 and can only be fixed by the replacing the modem and fault is a hardware fault and not a firmware fault.

  2. The modem is not updating its software. The modem's firmware should have been updated to 18.1.c.0384-950-RB approximately  20th August 2019. Current firmware is 18.1.c.0585-MR7.1-RA. Telstra support isable to manually update modem but this will not fix WiFi as it is a hardware fault.
Changed_Daily
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

Thanks Vitara.

 

I think the first thing to do is get the gateway onto the latest software before mucking around with it again.  And to do that I'll have to hang an Apple Airport off it to provide reliable wi-fi while I wait.

 

Just for the record the PMF issue is detailed in post "WiFi issues due to Protected Management Frames" - https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/broadband-nbn/wifi-issues-due-to-protected-management-frames/...

Changed_Daily
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

Thanks Dowser (& others).

 

I don't think there's a hardware issue with 2.4GHz on the gateway - some of my non-Apple devices did connect intermittently.  I'll see what happens after the software upgrade and will report back.

Dowser
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug


@Changed_Daily wrote:

Thanks Dowser (& others).

 

I don't think there's a hardware issue with 2.4GHz on the gateway - some of my non-Apple devices did connect intermittently.  I'll see what happens after the software upgrade and will report back.


That is no guarantee that the 2.4GHz radio on the modem is operational. Those devices could be connecting using the 5Ghz frequency, just as My iPhone connects to Wifi at a Cafè which only has a 5Ghz signal.

 

You mentioned Apple Airport in your previous post. There is an Apple app called Airport Utility which has a handy Wifi scanner built in. You can use that to test if your modem is emitting a 2.4Ghz signal.

In the app click Wifi Scan at top right. Drag the bar to set the scan duration, click Scan

Once finished scanning. you can then click on each signal found, or on the “i” in the bottom right for a summary of the signals found on each channel, and it displays the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz sections separately.

cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

I think you will find it is a hardware.

 

Band steering does work on earlier versions of the firmware. I had one of these modems that work ok for several months and then suddenly the 2.4 GHz WiFi stopped transmitting. The only solution was a replacement modem.

Changed_Daily
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

Just out of interest, how did you persuade the call centre to send you a replacement?  In my experience they have no real technical intelligence and are only capable of running through a checklist - check LEDs, check Google access, reboot router, reboot computer, factory reset ... blah blah.

cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Smart Modem Gen 2 Band Steering bug

 You have to keep trying. Eventually you get one who is understands the problem and is willing to send out a new modem. Be prepared to do some test but when the problem is not fixed insist they send a new modem. Point out all the facts that indicate the 2.4 GHz WiFi is faulty.

 

1. Only devices that support 5GHz will connect to modem's WiFi.

 

2. When you disable band steering only the modem's SSID with -5G is visible on the devices that can connect. If the 2.4 GHz was working then the normal SSID without -5G would also be visible.

 

3. In the list of connected device (Advanced > Devices) all WiFi devices are connected to 5 GHz WiFi there are non connected to the 2.4 GHz WiFi.

 

4. When you turn off the 5GHz WiFi non of your devices can see the modem's WiFi. If 2.4 GHz WiFi was working devices should still see the modem's 2.4 GHz WiFi.

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