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  Manufacturers of MiFi Modems
Posted by: Feedonomy - 27/01/2024, 09:13 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (1)

In the past, or the last time I checked, modems were predominantly manufactured by Huawei. Mi-Fi modems from various networks, including MTN and Vodacom—I cannot recall if CellC even had one—but Vodacom’s were branded ‘Vodafone’ as they may still control Vodacom but obviously manufactured by Huawei. Plus they were locked no wonder MTN and other providers would have been winners when it came to the highest voice and data rates globally.

I vividly recall this period as I was involved in importing a few modems myself. Recently, I sought a 5G modem. However, aside from the high costs, I encountered challenges in finding genuine options. In Killarney Shopping Centre, two out of three non-branded brands attempted to sell me LTE/4G modems as 5G, priced around R900.00. Regrettably, some months ago, I impulsively spent R650 or R855.00 on a 4G LTE modem from the same no-name mobile store just past Clicks in Killarney. The exact same model was being marketed as a 5G device by the proprietor today. It had 4G LTE on the box with a well-placed sticker with a 5 scratched on.
My point is, in my search for a genuine, quality, entry-level 5G Wi-Fi modem today, unlocked would have been great. Unfortunately, MTN has one coming, but it's locked, no surprises, and only available on contract. I am certain they have their minds set on winning the Guinness Book this year. If anyone has information about a decent brand, I would only trust two.  I would greatly appreciate your assistance. Whatever you do even if you see 5G mentioned on the box or insert I suggest you stay clear of all no name and brands except for the two I mentioned. Or maybe I only mentioned one.

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  Automatically enable Ethernet port on MikroTik LHG, SXT, ATL, etc.
Posted by: Seán - 26/01/2024, 09:35 PM - Forum: Equipment and Software - No Replies

Whenever the modem in any MikroTik router loses internet connectivity, I usually disable and re-enable the modem just to rule out the modem being in a crashed state, an issue I occasionally had with the Chateau LTE12 modem.  

One day when I lost the Internet connection on a MikroTik LHG at work, I tried doing this only to realise I clicked the ether1 interface by mistake and sure enough I realised my mistake when Winbox dropped out . . . Confused  With just one Ethernet interface on the LHG, I was left with no choice but to do a factory reset as the Ethernet port just remained disabled after a power cycle.  Resetting an LHG or any other outdoor MikroTik router / CPE involves pushing the reset button on the actual unit.  Luckily the LHG was setup pointing out an upstairs window and not high up on the roof!

To avoid a similar situation in future, here is a guide on how to have RouterOS automatically enable the Ehternet port on start-up.  This way if someone or something disables the Ethernet port, it is just a matter of power cycling the router to re-enable the Ethernet port:

  1. In Winbox, go into System -> Scheduler
  2. Click the '+' to add a new schedule.
  3. Give it a name like "STARTUP".
  4. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Start Time field and choose "startup".
  5. Enter the following code into the "On event" field:
    Code:
    delay 30
    /interface ether enable ether1
  6. Click 'OK'
The "delay 30" line waits 30 seconds to make sure the router hardware has fully initialised after booting up and the following line enables the ether1 Interface, which is the first or only Ethernet port on MikroTik routers.

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Photo Chateau 5G ax 4G internal antenna
Posted by: nsmith1979 - 25/01/2024, 01:11 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (9)

Hi all,

I've recently purchased a Mikrotik Chateau 5G ax, to replace my Zyxel NR5101, as my home 5G router. I've got an external antenna already setup (Poynting v3 5G) and get a good 5G signal but the 4G is not so good. 

With the Zyxel router it would connect to my local mast (350m away) on band 20 (Vodafone) and give a reasonable signal but the Chateau does not provide ENDC when it connects to the same mast / band so I don't get a 5G, which seems a bit strange. The other 'best' option is connecting to band 1 from a tower that's about 850m away (which is also the 5G mast in my area) but the signal isn't great. 

5G Signal:
RSRP: -84dBM / SINR: 23dB / RSRQ: 11dB

4G Signal (band 1):
RSSI: -69dBm / RSRP: -111dBm / SINR: 2dB / RSRQ: -16 dB

I want to try and improve the 4G signal so was thinking of putting 2x SMA ports in the spare openings on the back of the Chateau and connecting them to A0 A1 on the modem, then using the 'bunny ear" antennas (the ones that come with it) to see if it improves the signal (moving the router would mean not having the 5G antenna connection).

I'm after some advice on whether this would be worth doing or not (would the internal antenna be better).

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  Three neighbour cells before vs after storm Isha
Posted by: Seán - 23/01/2024, 09:58 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (1)

Back when we had a copper phone line which was about 3.5km to the exchange, I cannot recall one instance where we lost service after a major storm, including storms that knocked out our power for 2 to 3 days, however, I do know a few people that had outages due to falling trees or lightning damage.  With most people on mobile now, I thought the days of losing service due to wind would be a thing of the past here, until storm Isha . . .  Big Grin

This is what the neighbour cell list typically looks like across bands 20, 28 and 3 when things are normal:

   

Most of the cells are from a small view I have across Donegal Bay, mainly the Sligo coast.  Band 20/28 cells 399+56 are sectors on one mast and likewise for 127+195 on another.  The rest of the B20 cells are separate masts / sites. 

The cells are sorted by RSRP signal strength.  Notice where cell 231 is above, which is the Kilcar Three mast behind a nearby hill.

With the storm approaching its peak Sunday evening, I first lost the main mast I connect to (cells 399+56 and its band 3 cell 30), after which my router switched to cell 127.  A short while later, several others including that one went and my router connected to the local Three mast on cell 231.  The power went out in most of Kilcar (we only lost power for about 30 minutes Sunday evening) and I suspect the Kilcar mast was operating on battery backup as it dropped out at 6:25am:

   

With our Internet down and our VoIP "landline" also out, I checked the neighbour cell list and this was all that was left.  The remaining band 20 cell 0 cell would not connect and no surprise with the other at -140dBm.

   

Usually there are many additional band 20 and 28 cells with RSRPs under -110dBm that randomly appear, but not visible due to the stronger cells swamping out the weaker signals.  However, this is the first time I've seen the cell monitor this quiet!

Towards Monday evening, some weaker band 20 and 28 cells started appearing, so I finally had a reasonably good connection once band 20 cell 127 along with its upper bands band 3 and the rare band 1 (both cell 115) came online.  That didn't last long as Storm Jocelyn took out most of the sites around 9pm on Tuesday leaving just the Kilcar mast and two other neighbours at this time of post:

   

There was no usable Eir signal either on Monday, however, I was able to get online through the day with my Vodafone SIM with its Kilcar 3G mast which stayed online throughout the storm, along with a very weak 4G band 28 signal across the bay.  Once the Three Kilcar mast came online, I transferred the Vodafone SIM to my phone, which came to the rescue again when I needed to collect someone in Donegal town today (Tuesday around 5pm).  I had no signal on 48 (Three), so switched over to the Vodafone SIM to use WhatsApp.  This was Net Monster near Aldi in Donegal town, the unusable Three -138dBm RSRP signal was from outside Mountcharles:

   

Then again least with mobile, if one mobile network goes down, there is a good chance another is still operating, whereas one cannot overcome a snapped telephone line by changing landline provider. Tongue

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  Identify 4G network bands and 3.6GHz 5G sites on ComReg SiteViewer
Posted by: Seán - 20/01/2024, 09:16 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - No Replies

Since posting an earlier thread on identifying the 3.6GHz 5G sites on ComReg SiteViewer, they have made several changes to the map. A few improvements include showing the last update date on each site and a Google street view of many sites. However, one major change they made was combining the separate 3.6GHz NR and former O2 Ireland drop-ins into the main operator site pins. This unfortunately broke the previous method I posted on quickly identifying which 5G sites were operating the high capacity 3.6GHz n78 band. Most 5G enabled sites operate 5G on either band n1 or n3, see this first few paragraphs in this earlier thread which explain why knowing the 5G band is so important when choosing or troubleshooting a 5G router or antenna.

ComReg recently published updated spreadsheets listing the site locations operating on MBSA1 Liberalised Use Licences (800MHz band 20, 900MHz band 8 and 1800MHz band 3), MBSA2 Liberalised Use Licences (700MHz band 28, 2100MHz band 1, 2300MHz band 38 and 2600MHz bands 40 & 38) and the 3.6GHz band n78. These spreadsheet list the network bands each site ID is operating, making it possible to look up the majority of site IDs on SiteViewer:

https://www.comreg.ie/industry/radio-spe...icences-2/

They mention that the information gets updated annually, which means they may not contain newly deployed sites, such as Vodafone’s recent 5G band n78 deployment in Letterkenny. They also currently lack any 2600MHz band 7 sites on Three at this time of posting, but do contain some 2600MHz sites on Vodafone.


Three Mobile network bands

Click the site drop-pin to check and copy or take note of the site ID shown after the ‘THR_’ prefix as underlined below:

[Image: Three_Site.png]

On the ComReg Mobile Sites page, open the latest links for each of the following and search for that site ID:

MBSA1 – Three Ireland Hutchison Limited (No. 1) - Contains:

  • 900MHz – 3G band 8
  • 1800MHz – 4G band 3 (EARFCN 1700)

Example from above Three mast outside SeaQuest in Killybegs:

[Image: Three_1800_900_Site.png]

MBSA1 – Three Ireland Hutchison Limited (No. 2) - Contains:
  • 800MHz – 4G band 20
  • 900MHz – 2G & 3G band 8
  • 1800MHz – 5G band n3 or second 4G band 3 (EARFCN 1275)

Example from above Three mast outside SeaQuest in Killybegs:

[Image: Three_1800_800_900_Site.png]

MBSA2 - Three Ireland Hutchison Limited – Contains:
  • 700MHz – 4G band 28
  • 2100MHz – 4G band 1
  • 2600MHz – 4G band 7 (No sites listed at time of post)

Example from above Three mast outside SeaQuest in Killybegs:

[Image: Three_2100_700_Site.png]

While Three now has some active 2600MHz 4G band 7 sites, there is not a single 2600MHz band recorded in the spreadsheet. For example, the following band 7 site in Letterkenny that pedroc posted photos of here just lists bands 1 and 28 in the spreadsheet:

[Image: Three_missing_2600_Site.png]

3.6GHz Band - Three Ireland Hutchison Limited – Contains:
  • 3600MHz – 5G band n78

Example from a Three mast in Barnesmore:

[Image: Three_3600_Site.png]

Note: If SiteViewer shows NR in the services list for the site and the site ID is not in the 3600MHz spreadsheet, that site is likely operating 5G on the low capacity 15MHz band n3.


Eir Mobile network bands

Click the site drop-pin to check and copy or take note of the site ID shown after the ‘EIR_’ prefix as underlined below including that second ‘_’ underscore:

[Image: Eir_Site.png]

On the ComReg Mobile Sites page, open the latest links for each of the following and search for that site ID:

MBSA1 – Meteor Mobile Communications Limited – Contains:
  • 800MHz – 4G band 20
  • 900MHz – 2G & 3G band 8
  • 1800MHz – 4G band 3, many sites operating 5G DSS

Example from above Eir mast in Letterkenny:

[Image: Eir_800_900_1800_Site.png]

MBSA2 – Meteor Mobile Communications Limited – Contains:
  • 700MHz – 4G band 28
  • 2100MHz – 4G band 1
  • 2300MHz – 4G TDD band 40 (Just Eir RurTel 2300MHz sites at time of post, see RurTel section below)

Example from above Eir mast in Letterkenny:

[Image: Eir_700_2100_Site.png]

3.6GHz Band – Meteor Mobile Communications – Contains:
  • 3600MHz – 5G band n78

Example from above Eir mast in Letterkenny:

[Image: Eir_n78_Site.png]

Note: If SiteViewer shows NR in the services list for the site and the site ID is not in the 3600MHz band, that site is likely operating 5G as DSS on 4G band 3. This is where the cell dynamically shares spectrum between 4G and 5G devices to provide both 4G and 5G access from the same band. 5G devices generally get little to no improvement in speed due to sharing the bandwidth with 4G devices. From my last testing 5G DSS on band n3, the performance was much worse than 4G-only due to the network not aggregating 4G bands 1 or 28 while connected using 5G DSS on band 3.


Note on Eir RurTel sites

Eir’s wireless RurTel network does not provide mobile phone access, however ComReg Site viewer currently lists the RurTel sites as GSM sites. These sites are currently in the process of decommissioning and operate on the 2300MHz band. The MBSA2 Meteor spreadsheet lists these sites as 2300MHz with only GSM in the SiteViewer Services column. The following shows an example of a RurTel site on SiteViewer and the corresponding row in the spreadsheet:

[Image: Eir_RurTel_Site.png]

[Image: Eir_2300_RurTel_Site.png]


Vodafone Mobile network bands

Click the site drop-pin to check and copy or take note of the site ID shown after the ‘VOD_’ prefix as underlined below including that second ‘_’ underscore:

[Image: Vodafone_Site.png]

On the ComReg Mobile Sites page, open the latest links for each of the following and search for that site ID:

MBSA1 – Vodafone Ireland Limited – Contains:
  • 800MHz – 4G band 20
  • 900MHz – 2G and any remaining 3G band 8
  • 1800MHz – 4G band 3

Example from above Vodafone mast in Killybegs:

[Image: Vodafone_800_900_1800_Site.png]

Note: Vodafone has been operating 2G on 1800MHz in a few areas, so it’s possible a site may show 1800MHz but not operate 4G on this band. The spreadsheet does not distinguish between a 2G or 4G 1800MHz band. Likewise the spreadsheet does not distinguish between a 3G or 4G 900MHz band, such as where a former 3G site now operates 4G on band 900MHz.

MBSA2 – Vodafone Ireland Limited – Contains:
  • 700MHz – 4G band 28
  • 2100MHz – 4G band 1, many sites operating 5G DSS
  • 2600MHz – 4G band 7 (or TDD band 38, spreadsheet does not distinguish)

Example from above Vodafone mast in Killybegs:

[Image: Vodafone_700_2100_Site.png]

Another example, but with 2600MHz band operating on a site in Galway:

[Image: Vodafone_700_2100_2600_Site.png]

3.6GHz Band – Vodafone Ireland Limited – Contains:
  • 3600MHz – 5G band n78

Example from a Vodafone 5G band n78 enabled mast in Galway:

[Image: Vodafone_3600_Site.png]

Note: If SiteViewer shows NR in the services list for the site and the site ID is not in the 3600MHz band, that site is likely operating 5G as DSS on 4G band 1. This is where the cell dynamically shares spectrum between 4G and 5G devices to provide both 4G and 5G access from the same band. However, 5G devices generally get little to no improvement in speed due to sharing the bandwidth with 4G devices. 


Tip for searching the spreadsheets: (Based on LibreOffice Calc)
  1. Press CTRL + F to bring up the search box.
  2. Enter the site ID noted in the relevant “How to” section below.
  3. Click the down arrow or press enter.
  4. Click “Find All” and close the pop-up to highlight all the radio bands operating on this site ID.

[Image: Find_Cells_in_LibreOffice_Calc.png]

If the search box turns red, the site ID is not in this spreadsheet:

[Image: Search_not_found_in_LibreOffice_Calc.png]

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  Vodafone X 5G vs Data Unlimited 5G
Posted by: Pheasant - 20/01/2024, 05:13 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (5)

Hi Sean,

Thanks for your previous help. I haven't posted in a while but I read every other day. I remember reading your post on the new Vodafone 20e 5g deal. 

Did you notice any difference the two plans?

Thanks

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  View X / Twitter feeds without an account - Nitter
Posted by: Seán - 18/01/2024, 08:25 PM - Forum: General - No Replies

There are a few people that I like to read their X / Twitter feeds, especially where they share pictures or video clips only on X.  However, ever since Elon Musk took over Twitter, the site blocks access to user feeds when not logged in.  I do not have a Twitter (or Facebook) account. 

I recently came upon Nitter, an open source front-end to Twitter (now X), which provides access to user's feeds including threads, pictures and videos without ever presenting a log-in page.  It is also Ad-free, privacy focused and does not depend on Twitter/X's JavaScript, so loads pages quickly, great for those on slow mobile data connections.

For example, I really enjoy reading Peter's mobile network / site discussions and videos, many of which only on his Twitter feed.  However, just try accessing his feed via the official Twitter link while logged out:

https://nitter.unixfox.eu/PedroClarke1

Change "twitter.com" to "nitter.net" (or another Nitter instance domain, see update below) . . .  

https://nitter.unixfox.eu/PedroClarke1

This can also be useful for browsing certain Linked-In posts without an account either where the person shares links to their posts on their Twitter feed, such those by Luke Kehoe:

https://nitter.unixfox.eu/luke_kehoe

Update 13 Feb '24: Nitter has been discontinued and its official website has gone offline. There are some other sites hosting Nitter that still work (full list here), which I replaced the domain in the above links with one online at this time.

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  Vodafone Ireland Net Perform prepay data metering test
Posted by: Seán - 17/01/2024, 12:17 AM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (2)

Several years ago Vodafone had its own Speed Test App called Net Perform which worked much like the Ookla Speedtest App.  In addition to the test results, it also mentioned about the possibilities such as how well it should stream video, music, etc. Below are screenshots showing the speed test in action and the test result page, in this case with a very week 4G cell I pick up across Donegal Bay:

       

Back when Vodafone had very limited data plans here in Ireland, this App had one very useful feature - its speed tests were unmetered, in that the test data did not consume towards the user's data allowance.  A speed test typically uses around 1MB of data per Mb of throughput in each direction.  Although the Net Perform App is no longer available on Google Play, I still kept it on my phone including a few phone upgrades since the App was last available.  The version I have is Net Perform 2.5

For curiosity to see whether Vodafone still zero rates its data usage, I took a screenshot of my phone's Vodafone SIM Data usage and my remaining data allowance in the My Vodafone App of what's left of my 5GB bundle:

   

I ran a few speed tests in Net Perform (screenshot of one test above), which used about 18MB of data.  When I checked My Vodafone, the remaining usage dropped by 19MB, so unfortunately they are metering the data, at least on prepay here in Ireland:

   

I also tested the speed checker inside the My Vodafone App and it is also metered.  I do remember the My Vodafone Speed Checker also being unmetered in the past.  So while Vodafone now has unlimited 4G and 5G data plans, gone are the days of buying the cheap €5 for 5GB data plan to get unlimited speed tests with its Net Perform App or My Vodafone Speed Checker utility.

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  NR5301E [Three] Antenna
Posted by: Dante - 07/01/2024, 02:16 PM - Forum: Mobile Broadband - Replies (3)

Hello everyone, I'm currently using the NR5103E router, and it has 4 external antennas, In my country, we have 4G+ (LTE-A), and 5G is not yet available, so if I bring this antenna https://kroksw.com/shop/antennas-gsm-3g-...lite-dish/
which it has only 2 connecters would it be suitable? also using RG316 cables (20 meters). and thanks.

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  Tenda MW5 - forcing 5GHz connections?
Posted by: Midnorth_Mongerer - 06/01/2024, 01:39 AM - Forum: Equipment and Software - Replies (3)

Hi

Thanks to some inspiration found here I now have the Tenda MW5 mesh in our house working on backhaul.

Next problem:

Four rooms in the house use Google TV with Chromecast (4K) to facilitate multimedia and multi room audio. All are near MW5 nodes, and all report excellent signal. Internet speeds are 100Mbps or better on all nodes when a 5GHz connection is made. On 2.4GHz it's ~30Mbps.

The load on each secondary node is usually no more than 2 devices. The primary node reports between 6 and 10, mostly cabled ethernet devices.

Based on information found here and elsewhere, the Tenda primary node is configured as

  • Fast Roaming = ON
  • Capacity oriented mode = OFF (typically there are 10 to 15 devices connected at any time)
  • Smart Assistant = DISABLED

However, whether the GoogleTV's connect on 5Ghz or 2.4GHz is hit or miss. Most times they connect on 5Ghz, but after 10 or so minutes drop back to the 2.4Ghz band. Makes the watching of HD/4K content a miserable experience.

Analysing the wifi signal & internet connection speeds there seems no reason for this behaviour. 

Does anyone know if there is a way to force a persistent 5Ghz connection, on the GoogleTv units at least, all of the time?

Thanks

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