Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
MBSA2 new spectrum in use / Three's new Band 7 EARFCNs
First time I’ve seen any of the new MBSA spectrum in use mentioned by a user on boards. Looks like they were able to lock to b7. Three were awarded 35mhz so I assume since it’s LTE it’ll be 20mhz and 15mhz in use.
I wonder what EARFCN it's using as this would confirm the actual band. I previously owned the older Huawei B525 router which had an unusual quirk with its band lock - If I selected a band that is not in use, it would show "No signal" briefly and then would automatically re-enable all its bands and connect. Without checking the signal status for the band # or EARFCN, it would give the impression that that it's connected on the chosen band. I remember the former LTEInspecteur Windows utility had a bug where the "Auto" band toggle did not work, so as a workaround I would pick band 7 as the router would re-enable all its bands after a moment of getting no signal.

The APN that person was using is for an older 3 data SIM, which may explain the intermittent connection using it. From what I'm aware of, current 3 broadband contract SIMs use either "internet" or "" as the APN. My 3 broadband SIM uses a different old APN "3internet" which provides a public IP address. I tested "" for curiosity a moment ago and it connected fine with the mast I'm on. No change in the speed tests, however, the ping is about 4ms worse and it gives a CGNAT 10.x.x.x IP address.
(11/06/2023, 03:19 PM)Seán Wrote: ...
This does make me doubt Three will be adding band 7 carriers anytime soon in rural areas with them reducing the transmission power and turning off band 1 carriers...

Any idea on the roll out plan for this B7 ?
I was in Dublin on the 31th August and the 1st September.  As usual I checked NetMonster in a few locations and to my surprise on the second evening it was on a Three band 7 cell just before crossing the River Liffey on the N1.  In this case a 15MHz band, EARFCN 3025 as shown below, eNodeB 5936. 


The site is operating two blocks on band 7 with the larger 20MHz cell on EARFCN 2850, which appeared as a neighbour cell as shown above.  The signal was at its strongest crossing the River Liffery heading south when I opened NetMonster (-83dBm RSRP / 25dB SINR) and held on the cell until near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.   I left my phone on NetMonster until it switched cell and during this time it did not aggregate any other cell other than the band n78 5G cell, even when I ran a speed test in the background.  I was surprised it did not aggregate the second 2600MHz block, which it just showed as a neighbour cell. 

Going by a search in NetMonster, the only other Band 7 site it found was eNodeB 5934 the day before which was likely when I had NetMonster running in the background.  It did not collect any further Band 7 site on the way home to Donegal. 


It appears to be new site as CellMapper shows the first seen as 1st September and I doubt I’m only one recently down that street or area with CellMapper running. 

The following shows the estimated cell location on the CellMapper map, which you can find by going into Search -> Tower Search field -> 5936. 

What kind of speeds are coming out of those new B7 cells? It's nice to finally see it's being used. I really hope they bring it here . I enabled B7 and N7 just incase it happens to get turned on here too Big Grin

Do you think it'll improve the speeds we already get?

In terms of primary bands  , they've changed it from being locked to specifically B1 like it used to be... now it will use B1/B3/B20/B28 basically any of them as the primary depending on what I select. This is what I use now it seems to work better than any other combo. I wonder will it aggregate say B1+B3+B7+N78 , if that's possible.

[Image: RUxSq4W.png]
The speed was nothing special despite being also connected over 5G on band n78, but then again this was with my 48 SIM which is capped at 400Mbps even if there was ample bandwidth and this was also a Friday evening just after 8pm:

[Image: 9526328504.png]

I thought I would see further band 7 cells to carry out further tests such as running speed tests with my phone set to 4G only, however, that was the only time I saw my phone on band 7 before leaving Dublin.

Like band 1 with good backhaul, I reckon band 7 will perform very well particularly with devices capable of aggregating it with bands 1 and 3. Unlike band 3, the two band 7 blocks are contiguous which more modems support than non-contiguous blocks. For example, 7C+3+3+1 CA would deliver 90MHz of bandwidth if Three eventually enables this CA.

The next time I'm in Dublin I'll bring my Three SIM with and hopefully there will be more band 7 sites operating. Just a shame that Three cares more about its urban customers than rural areas where they are reducing bandwidth / turning off band 1 cells to save a few quid on power consumption, so I don't have high hopes of seeing a band 7 cell come online around here before the NBI eventually connects us.
Came across a Vodafone site n7 (2600mhz) site today in Cork City.

I had 3CA 20+20+20mhz (n1+n3+n7) I didn’t get to do a Speedtest as I passing in the car.


That's great seeing them using the new spectrum for 4G. This means if they are operating the second 15MHz block on band 7, its 4G EARFCN is 3175. Plus they still have 30MHz of spectrum on the 2.6GHz TDD band 38 to utilise.

I miss being able to see the aggregated carrier signal readings like above since upgrading to the OnePlus Nord 2T. It only shows the primary 4G (and 5G) carrier and just the MHz figures of the aggregated carriers and the neighbouring cells briefly whenever it hands over between cells.
B3+7+7 CA At the ploughing championships

Attached Files Image(s)
Still no sign of the new spectrum in use around here. Wonder what their plan is for it. Will end up having fiber by the time they do Big Grin
While visiting family in Letterkenny, I saw both Band 7 EARFCNs 3025 and 2850 appear in NetMonster.  As I was travelling with my parents, I was not able to try finding the site and I also had no luck trying to connect on Band 7 as the primary band like I was able to in Dublin.  However, it did appear to aggregate both carriers for 4CA while driving past the Tesco shopping mall area on our way home:


I really wish this OnePlus Nord 2T phone would not hide the secondary and neighbour carriers whenever it operates carrier aggregation as it would have been nice to see all the signal readings.  It's something I really miss with my previous Samsung A51 5G besides Samsung's *#0011# service menu.  Now that second hand 5G phones are becoming reasonably priced, I'm tempted to get one just to root for Network Signal Guru.

I also noticed there was no sign of the 15MHz EARFCN 1275 (their second band 3 carrier) this time while in Letterkenny, so I'm not sure whether they converted that back to a 5G band. From what I've heard and also my own testing, the 48 network no longer gets 5G access, so I will need to top-up my Three SIM to do any 5G testing again.
It's nice to see it being used fairly local hopefully it's just a matter of time before they bring it to other masts. I think they still have that 1275 used for the N3 band here.
I wonder if there's any more devices released that would have the same /similar mtk modem I could try. The only downside of this one is the inability to consistently change/connect to 5G without that silly process or powering off for 15 mins Big Grin

I see a NR5103E with cell locking capability like in this video

I found just one in stock  ,it's the swedish version I think...
I wonder is it worth getting it over the one I have to potentially resolve this issue.
My next Co. Donegal trip is going to be quite extensive it looks like!
-B7 MBSA (surveying)
-Imagine sites (surveying some more)
-Mysterious Eir sites (surveying)
-Vodafone 2G/3G omnis (video possibly)
Three Ireland B7 (2600MHz) LTE in Letterkenny. Some notes:
  • It is possible to access the 2600MHz carriers without other LTE bands as seen on right screenshot. 
  • The 2600MHz carriers are on eNB 4259 while the other LTE carriers are on eNB 3511
  • The use of eNB 4259 for 2600MHz carriers is interesting because it was used for the temporary B1 LTE EARFCN 75.
  • Throughput was attained using a UK SIM roaming on Three Ireland
[Image: haD1m8J.png]
Letterkenny Three site with Band 7 (2600MHz)

Upper RRU visible on right sector is triple band Ericsson B1+B3+B7 while the lower looks like is a B8+B20+B28 model. 

Closeups to follow.
That is also the first time I have seen an example of 5CA on 4G here in Ireland. Cool Thank you very much for all the close-ups and the Network Signal Guru read-outs.

I also like that Three UK does not have a 50Mbps speed cap when roaming in Ireland based on the >80Mbps throughput. The last few times I roamed in the UK with my Irish Prepay Three SIM, speed tests would max out at 50Mbps down and 10Mbps up even in 5G band n78 areas.

Note: The replies about whether the roaming speed cap breaks EU law on "Roam like at home" have been moved into this thread.
During a work trip to Dublin this week I decided to monitor the Eir network.  I recently came across a free 1GB roaming eSIM, so figured I'll use that rather than buy a €20 bundle.  Just meant I couldn't do any speed testing.  From what I have seen in Dublin and most of the route to Donegal, they have similar if not better 4G coverage than Three.  I ended up switching to the SIM a few times to look up stuff in 3G only areas on Three where I had 4G on Eir. 

While heading north to O'Connell Street I noticed NetMonster show the 2300MHz band 40 on Eir for the first time I've here in Ireland.  I was also surprised to see Eir using it for 4G as I thought they would use it as a second 5G band with the 60MHz of contiguous spectrum. Eir's 4G band 40 EARFCN numbers are 38750, 38950 and 39150, each 20MHz wide.  I never thought of disabling 5G mode to check whether my phone would aggregate the 3 as it just connected to EARFCN 38750 as its 4G anchor with 5G on band n78 when I switched to the SIM:


Surprisingly despite how seldom I'm in Dublin, like my first time encountering 4G band 7 on Three in Dublin, it looks like I am the first to log an Eir 4G band 40 cell on CellMapper in Dublin based on the "First Seen" date: Cool

That’s great to hear they’ve finally started to use new spectrum. No sign of it down here in Cork city yet anyway.

Eir have very limited NR site deployments outside of very busy urban areas so it makes sense to use it for 4G.

I’d agree Eir have much more consistent coverage than Three and Vodafone at the moment. They’ve completed the rollout of 700mhz to all sites which is more than 2550 now I believe. I rarely ever drop to 3G these days on Eir.
I see Starlink really got competitive with it dropping its hardware to €225, including at Currys, which saves on delivery cost if there's a store nearby. Three's band 1 cells have all come online again around here today, which were mostly offline since resuming their power saving measures on the 7th February, so it will be interesting to see whether they keep them online going forward this time or at least in the evenings when people need the bandwidth.

This should help put pressure on the mobile networks to upgrade their rural sites and start making use of their MBSA2 spectrum outside of urban areas. Wink
During my recent trips to / from Dublin, I have noticed Three using band 7 in a few areas outside Dublin such as Cavan (eNB ID 6224) and Dunshaughlin (eNB ID 4740).

To update on Three's band 1 situation, several Three band 1 cells around here including the main one I was connected to have gone offline. They were all online including through the night from the 11th March (post above) up until sometime in the afternoon on the 7th May.

Assuming this was Three's nationwide switching off and back on of their energy saving policy, it will be interesting to see how this affects Ireland's mobile ranking on Ookla's Country Speeds charts when it adds April when the band 1 cells from all the sites I've observed were online throughout the month. Ireland ranked in the 74th position in March, remaining the lowest in the EU, 13 spots below Span, the second lowest ranking EU country in March.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)