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  NBI to provide mast backhaul
Posted by: xtensa - 12/06/2022, 05:33 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (1)

I noticed recently that NBI are providing a "Mast Backhaul product" with a number of masts due to be passed with fibre by Aug 2022 according to a "Interim Mast Backhaul Deployment file" that is available on NBI site.  There are maybe 175 masts listed...... unfortunately for myself, none north of Sligo. Apart from reducing contention for any existing 4g users of these masts , I would guess that this measure will speed up 5g rollout at those locations. I'm unaware if NBI intend to, (or are contracted to ), eventually supply fibre to most or all masts. 

NBI are offering  10Gbit/s, 5Gbit/s and 2Gbit/s links. The annual rent for the 10Gbit link ranges from €21000 to €10752 depending on length of contract. I dont know how these rents compare with costs of microwave point to point links.

Also as a user who depends heavily on Band 28, I was a bit concerned to read the following document from the Comreg site:

ComReg 22/22

Comreg are indicating to the MNOs that the temporary Covid licencing will end in Sept of this year.  Some of this doc is redacted but it shows that there was substantial growth in mobile data volumes over 2020 and 2021.  The annual data growth rate has now dropped back to about 33% !!. I think they need to sort out the MBSA2 asap.

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  ISKRA-P-40_L700900
Posted by: xtensa - 10/06/2022, 05:30 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (4)

Hello

I use a Chateau12 with GOMO/EIR sim and a pair of cheap, externally-mounted LPDAs  to receive either b20 or b28, and they deliver about 20 to 30 Mbps DL and 4 Mbps UL. My connection speed has fallen in recent months ( probably due to leaf growth on trees etc) and I was interested in improving it.The mast I use is only about 2.7 km to the east of me but I dont have perfect LOS :-

Mast Location

Typical B28@10Mhz readings:
  rssi: -76dBm
  rsrp: -100dBm
  rsrq: -7dB
  sinr: 18dB

The connection is not too bad contention-wise,  and I would guess that any contention is down to backhaul rather than the mast itself.Is it usual that a rural Eir mast like this would only have bands 20 and 28 operating ? I have never been able to get any of the other bands from the mast. So no carrier aggregation unless I invest €500 in a Chateau5G.

A cheaper option for me is to upgrade the antennas , so I have been considering a pair of these:-

https://www.iskra.eu/f/docs/82664/ISKRA_...700900.pdf


Is there any point in targetting the higher freq bands by opting instead for a more wideband antenna ?  I suspect that the higher freq bands are not in use on this Eir mast , whatever about the  other masts, such as 3, at this location. I presume that when, or if, the mast is eventually 5G-enabled ( which I dont expect anytime soon ), it will be using 700Mhz.
When these P-40_L700900 are used with  45 degree mounting brackets does the "rain droplet problem between bars" still persist ?  In my situation I would also be tilting the antennas upwards (about 1 in 10).
I have also looked at the LAT22 but the gain-curve rolloff under 780Mhz is a lot more pronounced. Going by images on web the Iskra seems to me to be more flimsy than Wittenberg , so I may end up mounting the Iskras inside my attic.

Are the Iskra a good choice ?

Many thanks to Seán and all who contribute to this forum, its been an essential source of tech info for me when I needed a broadband connection.

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Photo For sale
Posted by: cocotcocot - 06/06/2022, 10:57 AM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - No Replies

Quote:I have just had FTTH installed and no longer need the following equipment.

Two items for sale as follows:

1# Huawei 525-23a (Telekom branded) 

Software Version (modified): 11.236.01.00.00        Hardware Version: WL1B520FM

The unit is capable of 2CA.

Full access to UI and Band Selection

PSTN port active

Condition: Used, 2yrs old. Perfect working order

Price: €55 +€10 post & packing within the Republic of Ireland


1# China Unicom 5GN VN007+

Condition: New, unused.

Price: €200 +€15 post & packing within the Republic of Ireland


The units are available on a first come, first served basis.

No negotiation on price.

Can be purchased together or separately.

       

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  How to access Patreon's hidden custom pledge button
Posted by: Seán - 29/05/2022, 05:20 PM - Forum: General - No Replies

Patreon is a great way to support creators such as on YouTube, especially as you can choose which creators to support and that most of your contribution goes straight to the creators, unlike YouTube Premium for example.  Personally I pledge $1/month to the YouTube creators I regularly watch, such as Big Clive, Techmoan, etc.  While this seems small, I'd rather support many rather than higher pledges to just a few. 

In the past, this was as simple as clicking the "Custom pledge" option.  However, Patreon has since hidden this option on its website.  According to this "Help Article", custom pledges start at $1 minimum and creators cannot disable them or change the minimum value.  So where is this option?

After some searching, I finally found one answer buried in a Reddit post and another myself concealed in other ways.

Custom Pledge Method 1:

Open the creator's Patreon page.  I chose AvE in the examples below as his minimum membership tier is $5, yet here's how to join from $1, €1, etc. 

Scroll down to the first locked post.  Do not click the post or "Join now" button! After a second or two, a "Become a patron" button appears at the top-right.  Click it:

   

Scroll down to the bottom of the membership tiers and the custom pledge button should appear.  Click it:

   

Change the pledge amount to what you wish to pay.  Unlike clicking a post or membership tier, you can enter any amount from '1' up, such as $1, €1, £1, etc. (+VAT such as here in Ireland):

   

Custom Pledge Method 2:

Open the creator's Patreon page.  In the URL bar, insert '/join' after '.com', then press Enter:

   

Scroll down to the bottom of the membership tiers and the custom pledge button should appear as shown in method 1 above.

Custom Pledge Method 3:

In the Patreon phone App, open the creator's Patreon feed by searching for the creator: 

       

Touch the "Become a Patron" button and the custom option should be there on the next screen:

       

Custom membership limitations:

A custom pledge provides access to any posts that just say "Join now" in the bottom, such as the following example:

   

It does not provide access to posts that specify a value such as the following example:

   

Custom pledges do not provide access to any other tier related benefits, such as Discord access, etc.

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  Eir 4G band 20 + 28 CA speed test and IPv6 on MikroTik routers
Posted by: Seán - 26/05/2022, 06:37 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - No Replies

As some may be aware, Eir supports carrier aggregation between the low frequency bands 20 and 28.  This is particularly useful in rural areas where they do not yet operate on the higher capacity bands such as 1 or 3, let alone 5G.  

I am not currently aware of any 4G routers capable of aggregating band 20 with 28.  However, some 5G routers such as the MikroTik Chateau 5G and the Netgear MR5200 are capable of aggregating these two bands.

To demonstrate what this carrier aggregation is capable of, I drove to an area near Kilcar with clear line of sight of the Eir 4G mast recently put up.  My router initially connected on band 28 and surprisingly had trouble getting a stable signal on this band.  After a reboot, it reconnected on band 20, aggregated with band 28 and the signal readings were stable at least for band 20.  

   

After multiple speed tests, the following are the highest readings I  got with Ookla and Google:

       

For comparison, connecting to either band alone (as what most 4G-only routers are limited to) gives about half the download speed.  As with aggregating higher frequency bands, the upload speed does not aggregate, at least not with the Eir network.


IPv6 test run

Eir also supports IPv6 on its 4G network, at least with the masts I've tested with.  MikroTik routers support IPv6, however, I recommend leaving IPv6 disabled when making configuration changes to the router due to an issue with IPv6 prefix stickiness as discussed below.

To enable IPv6 on the MikroTik's LTE interface:

  1. In Winbox, go into the Interfaces menu, then into the LTE tab.
  2. Click the LTE APNs button.
  3. Double-click the APN you are using, in this case 'Eir'.
  4. Set the "IPv6 Interface" drop-down to 'Bridge' (or Ether1 with PoE / CPE routers.)
  5. Ensure the "IP Type" field is set to "Auto".

   

After the LTE connection reconnects, the router will advertise the IPv6 prefix to the network and any IPv6 capable devices should now be able to connect via IPv6:

   

Resetting Windows PC network adapter after an LTE IPv6 renewal

One issue with IPv6 is when the LTE connection reconnects, the MikroTik router advertises a new IPv6 without expiring the old prefix.  This results in Windows picking up multiple IPv6 prefixes.  The following is an example after I disabled and re-enabled the LTE modem a few times:

   

When this happens, IPv6 connections break until the old IPv6 prefixes are dropped.  The easiest way to drop the old IPv6 prefixes is by restarting the network connection on the PC.  To do this in Windows:
  1. Right-click the network icon in the bottom-right task tray, then click "Open Network & Internet Settings".
  2. Click "Change adapter options".
  3. Right-click the active network connection (e.g. Ethernet), then click 'Disable'.
  4. Right-click this connection again, then click 'Enable'.

IPv6 connectivity should resume, such as in the following example:

   

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  MikroTik LHG 4G vs Chateau + XPOL-2-5G vs Phone on band 20
Posted by: Seán - 17/05/2022, 10:53 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (4)

When Eir's 4G mast went live in Kilcar, I was surprised that I was unable to connect to it from my house.  Instead my phone and routers kept connecting to Eir's mast over 50km away across Donegal bay!  Three's 4G mast in roughly the same location in Kilcar is not visible in the area, yet I have a 4G router connected to it for our VoIP landline.  In an attempt to pick up Eir's mast, I tried walking down to a nearby field where the Donegal coast is less visible and my phone finally picked up cell ID 225 while set to LTE-only mode, but with a very weak signal.

With such a weak signal, this made an ideal test spot to see how the MikroTik LHG R11e-LTE dish antenna compares with a Chateau LTE12 with a Poynting XPOL-2-5G antenna. 

Samsung A51 5G phone signal and speed test

To start with, this the band 20 (800MHz) signal reading and a speed test from my phone:

       

MikroTik LHG R11e-LTE signal and speed test

I swapped the Eir SIM to the LHG R11e-LTE, mounted it on a camera tripod and aimed it the direction of the mast.  Despite at least 10 minutes of tweaking the antenna direction and rerunning speed tests, the following were the best signal readings and speed I got during that time:

   

Due to the longer wave length of <1GHz frequencies, the dish is unable to concentrate the signal from a specific direction.  So while the signal strength is several dB stronger, the SINR and RSRQ readings were poor to the point that it only delivered about 1/5th the speed of the phone.

Chateau LTE12 + Poynting XPOL-2-5G signal and speed test

I then swapped the Eir SIM to the Chateau LTE12, mounted the Poynting antenna on the camera tripod in the same location.  As with the LHG antenna, I spent about 10 minutes tweaking the direction until I got the best signal and speed test readings.  Due to changing weather, I ran the tests from my phone:

       

Unlike the LHG, the XPOL-2-5G was able to get roughly 12dB additional RSRP over what the phone picked up in the same spot, reasonable SINR and three times the speed in the same location.  While I no longer have the 700-900MHz narrow band LOG antennae, these likely would have provided a few dB additional gain and higher throughput due to their very tight beam.

MikroTik LHG vs Poynting XPOL-2-5G on band 1 & 3

Where the MikroTik LHG really performs is on the high frequency bands above 1700MHz.  Unfortunately, I am outside the maximum distance limit that devices can connect to the distant Eir mast I pick up across Donegal bay on bands 1 & 3 as the primary band, so am only able to provide signal readings from the LHG.  As with most LTE modems without an active LTE connection, the cell readings are from random cells it scans at the time.  As a result, the readings are spread across two screenshots from when it happened to scan the corresponding Eir cells.

To start with, these are the best signal readings I managed to get with the Chateau LTE12 connected to the Poynting antenna:

   

The arrows indicate the primary cell (Band 20 PCI# 179) and cells it aggregates with (Band 1 PCI 320 + Band 3 PCI 320).  With this set up, the Chateau LTE12 just aggregated band 3 with 20 as band 1 was below the -103dBm minimum RSRP threshold Eir appears to allow for carrier aggregation.  

Now for the MikroTik LHG readings:

   

Compared to the Poynting antenna, the LHG was about -6dB weaker on band 20 and much worse RSRQ just like the earlier test.  However, on bands 1 & 3, the LHG was 4dB stronger with the RSRQ steadily within -8dB.  Had the LHG been capable of 3CA (like the new MikroTik LHG LTE18), it would have aggregated all three bands as all are within -103dBm RSRP.  

To summarise, MikroTik's LHG LTE dish routers are super sensitive on bands with frequencies above 1700MHz, in fact about 2dB stronger than what I pick up with the pair of Iskra P-58's I have from past testing. However, for bands under 1GHz (e.g. bands 8, 20 & 28), I suggest choosing another option.  In fact, neither the LHG LTE4 / 6 models support 4G band 28.  So where high frequency bands such as 1 and 3 are unavailable, the best option here is with a 4G router and a directional 4G antenna that covers the lower 4G band frequencies.

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  trying to tweak a new connection for stability and performance
Posted by: arrbee - 05/05/2022, 09:18 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (15)

Hi.

1st of all let me say that this forum and Sean's blogs are a wealth of info.  
I've read the blogs in the past years to help steer my choices around mobile broadband for the home but only recently found the forum side of things.

I have to admit some of the info is a bit over my head (interpreting the raw values for the signal properties) while I do understand the concepts Smile

I've been operating a Huawei B315 (unlocked) for ages but recently got fed up with the evening performance of my three PAYG solution.  I am pretty confident that network congestion is the cause of it so figured there wasn't anything to be done on the antenna side of things to fix it.

Testing vodafone was pretty bad, but Eir showed massive promise.  the only issue was their FUP.
So I swallowed my pride and signed up to their postpay 5G plan with a CPE pro3 modem.


Now I'm wondering what tweaks I should be making to stabalise and maximise the connection??
So far I have noted some things that I didn't expect.

1. initial connection in the H138 seemed the same d/l as the B315 but massively worse u/l (back to back testing with same SIM)
2. moving the router outside the velux onto the roof didn't really make a difference with the H138 but did with the B315
3. B315 performance seems a lot more consistent.   The H138 has had a few wild fluctuations and even full dropouts requiring reboot (Although I might have been logged in with LTE H Monitor at the time.... could that cause an issue?)
4. enabling bridge mode on the H138 reduced performance somehow....!  (I've a separate router that I've had to double NAT through when using the B315.)


There are times when the U/L seems to perform on par with the D/L and other times if is completely out of wack.
eg. 40Mb up and down, vs 60Mb down + 7Mb up.
Having seen close to 70Mb on the B315 with an Eir SIM, it's as if the 5G modem is using 4G to give the good numbers and sometimes switching to 5G and falling down...

I am between 2 and 3 km from the cell site.

Here is some signal stats from a few mins ago...

Code:
<response>
<script/>
<pci>184</pci>
<sc/>
<cell_id>11317516</cell_id>
<rsrq>-10.0dB</rsrq>
<rsrp>-100dBm</rsrp>
<rssi>-75dBm</rssi>
<sinr>9dB</sinr>
<rscp/>
<ecio/>
<mode>7</mode>
<ulbandwidth>75KHz</ulbandwidth>
<dlbandwidth>75KHz</dlbandwidth>
<txpower>PPusch:110dBm PPucch:30dBm PSrs:190dBm PPrach:18dBm</txpower>
<tdd/>
<ul_mcs/>
<dl_mcs/>
<earfcn>DL:1875 UL:19875</earfcn>
<rrc_status>1</rrc_status>
<rac/>
<lac/>
<tac>40113</tac>
<band>3</band>
<nei_cellid/>
<plmn>27203</plmn>
<ims>0</ims>
<wdlfreq/>
<lteulfreq>19875</lteulfreq>
<ltedlfreq>1875</ltedlfreq>
<transmode/>
<enodeb_id>0044209</enodeb_id>
<cqi0/>
<cqi1/>
<ulfrequency>0kHz</ulfrequency>
<dlfrequency>0kHz</dlfrequency>
<nrulbandwidth>0KHz</nrulbandwidth>
<nrdlbandwidth>0KHz</nrdlbandwidth>
<nrulmcs/>
<nrdlmcs/>
<nrtxpower/>
<nrearfcn>DL:0 UL:0</nrearfcn>
<nrulfreq>0kHz</nrulfreq>
<nrdlfreq>0kHz</nrdlfreq>
<nrsinr/>
<nrrsrp/>
<nrrsrq/>
<nrbler/>
<nrrank/>
<nrcqi0/>
<nrcqi1/>
<scc_pci>0</scc_pci>
<arfcn/>
<bsic/>
<rxlev/>
</response>

Ideally I am hopping to make the connection stable primarily.
I am already considering that an antenna for the B315 might be the solution (and selling the H138)

Has anyone a few pointers?

Cheers,
RB

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  Mikrotik LHG LTE18 kit (outdoor 4G router / dish antenna)
Posted by: Seán - 27/04/2022, 10:53 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (2)

Mikrotik has announced a new model of its LHG kit, which now features an LTE Cat18 modem.  Like the LHGG LTE6, it also features a heat sink and a Gigabit Ethernet port.  Although pricey (around €262), it may work out cheaper than the combined cost of a Chateau LTE12 and high end LPDA antennas.  Plus there is the advantage of the dish offering higher gain on the higher bands (up to 17dBi) and no coaxial cable loss either. 



Although LTE Cat18 capable, it does have a few points to note.  As with other LHG models, the SIM goes in the outdoor unit, which will make it awkward for testing or swapping between different mobile provider SIMs.  It only supports 2x2 MIMO, which appears to be the case for all dish based antennas.  As with any PoE device, it requires running an outdoor rated Ethernet cable and crimping on RJ45 plugs. Finally for indoor Wi-Fi connectivity, it requires an indoor cable Wi-Fi router or mesh kit with a Gigabit WAN Ethernet port.

Mikrotik LHG LTE18 kit product page:
https://mikrotik.com/product/lhg_lte18

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  Progress with QoS on LTE/Starlink Connections
Posted by: Lynx - 26/04/2022, 01:03 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - No Replies

I just want to inform readers of this forum that over on OpenWrt we have come up a way to apply QoS using the highly successful CAKE algorithm for controlling bufferbloat to control latency on variable rate connections. In short, the CAKE bandwidth is set based on load on the connection and active ICMP measurements sent to a number of reflectors in a manner that facilitates high responsiveness to changes in the line conditions.

Lengthy discussion on OpenWrt here:

https://forum.openwrt.org/t/cake-w-adapt...dth/108848

Bash implementation for applying CAKE and automatically adjusting the bandwidth:

https://github.com/lynxthecat/CAKE-autorate

It is now used by several individuals (including one of the original CAKE developers) with LTE or Starlink connections. I personally now use the bash implementation 24/7 for controlling bufferbloat without having to set a compromise bandwidth. It generally seems to work well, and several challenges associated with working with poor quality / low speed connections have been addressed. It is highly configurable to help deal with various different line conditions. More testing is welcome to help make it better. 

This can be run on almost any router running OpenWrt paired up to an LTE modem.

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  need help getting phone reception
Posted by: nickfox - 14/04/2022, 08:41 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (2)

Hi

I live in southern France and I use my samsung phone on the Orange network. My house is down in a small valley out of sight from the cell tower and I get no cell phone reception in my house. If I walk to the top of my property, about 40 meters, I start to get reception there. Next to my front gate is a small concrete light post and I want to put an antenna up there (I think) and then run a 40 meter line back down to my house and put something in my house so that I get phone reception there.

Can you please help me figure out what I need to buy.

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