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Locking the primary (upload) frequency band on a debranded Huawei B525
#1
I recently came across this YouTube video showing how to lock the primary frequency band (EARFCN) on a Huawei pocket modem and found that these commands work on my Huawei B525. 

Update: This requires debranded firmware that enables Telnet connectivity.  With my Three branded Huawei B525, I flashed it with jhowel22's firmware a while back to unlock additional capabilities. Three's firmware blocks Telnet.

Unlike locking to a band #, locking the primary frequency band has the advantage of allowing the router to continue operating in 4G+ mode.  

Windows Telnet needs to be installed (if not already):
  1. Click Start and type "Windows Features".
  2. Click "Turn Windows Features on or off"
  3. Tick "Telnet Client"
  4. Click 'OK' and give it a minute to install Telnet.
To connect to the Huawei's Telnet console:
  1. Press the Windows key + 'R'
  2. In the 'Open:' field, enter: telnet 192.168.8.1
  3. Click 'OK'.
The following commands are for controlling the primary band lock:

Check the frequency lock status. (^FREQLOCK: 0 = Not locked, ^FREQLOCK: 1 = Lock enabled)
atc AT^FREQLOCK?

Check the current frequency (EARFCN), which is the forth value in the sequence.
atc AT^HFREQINFO?

Lock the primary frequency to the ### EARFCN.
atc 'AT^FREQLOCK=1,"03",###'

Remove the frequency lock
atc AT^FREQLOCK=0


Examples for the Irish Three network:
atc 'AT^FREQLOCK=1,"03",6300' - Lock primary to band 20.  
atc 'AT^FREQLOCK=1,"03",1700' - Lock primary to band 3 (main Three 20MHz spectrum). 
atc 'AT^FREQLOCK=1,"03",1275' - Lock primary to band 3 (former O2 15MHz spectrum).
atc 'AT^FREQLOCK=1,"03",525' - Lock primary to band 1 (temporary reallocation of 3G band 1 for 4G during Covid 19)

Notes:
  • If you try to lock to a primary frequency that is not in use in the area, the router will lose Internet connectivity showing "No Service" until the frequency lock is removed.
  • The Huawei B525 loses the frequency locking after a reboot. 
  • If the router loses connectivity, 4G+ may not work until frequency locking is temporarily disabled.
My usage scenario:
One issue I've been having with Three is random latency spikes with a distant 4G+ mast.  I am outside the range limit of being able to connect to band 3 as the primary band, but can use it for carrier aggregation when connected on band 20.  The problem here is that the B525 intermittently tries switching to band 3 (and failing), causing latency spikes.  While this does not affect most Internet usage such as browsing, downloading or streaming, it is certainly noticeable on latency sensitive connections such as VoIP where the voice intermittently drops out for a second.

   

By locking my B525 to EARFCN 6300 (band 20), these latency spikes disappear and VoIP calls are no longer interrupted every 20 to 30 seconds.  The only issue I have now doing this is that whenever Three turns the mast off for maintenance (during the night), I need to temporarily turn off and on the frequency lock to re-enable 4G+, otherwise the router operates on band 20 only.
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#2
Take 2 - Previous version deleted!

Hello Sean,

Please could you share which Software and Web UI versions you have in your B525 router?

I have the following:
- Model: B525s-23a
- Hardware Version: WL1B520FM
- Software Version: 11.190.65.00.00
- Web UI Version: 21.100.31.00.03(11.236.01.00.00)_Mod1.5

which supports:
- Band Selection
- Manual DNS
- Bridge Mode
- VoLTE & VoIP

I'd like to have Cell ID Locking and wondered if you could try the following using your frequency & PCI as my B525 won't let me use the atc AT^FREQLOCK command as far as I can tell.

AT^FREQLOCK=1,"03",1392,,,325 

This is an example using the EARFCN freq & PCI on my nearest Three UK Band 3, 15MHz tower.

If it doesn't work you might try reducing the number of commas after 1392 by one then two as the Huawei ME909s modem has four modes; GSM, WCDMA, TD-SDMA & LTE.

Does that make sense?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Many thanks,
Steve
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#3
My B525s-23a reports the following:
  • Hardware version: WL1B520FM
  • Software version: 11.236.01.00.00
  • Web UI version: Huawei RELOADED 2020 by jhowel22

I am using jhowel22's modded firmware on this page:
https://www.mobilarian.com/showthread.php?t=1499880

Although it mentions B525s-65a, it is also compatible with the B525s-23a.

From what I'm aware of, cell ID locking does not work with this router and I've not managed to lock it to a specific cell no matter which combination of commas and figures I tried, in this case trying with EARFCN 6300 and PCI 6 that I'm currently connected to:

   

The only issue I've run into so far with EARFCN locking is that the router intermittently loses carrier aggregation (4G+) capability, i.e. connects on the primary EARFCN only.  This typically happens around 24 hours after enabling EARFCN locking.  So if it does not go into 4G+ mode while downloading a large file, I remove the lock for a minute and then reapply it and 4G+ usually works again for roughly another 24 hour period.

My other more capable router (MikroTik Chateau LTE12) can lock to one or more specified PCI Cell IDs.
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#4
Thanks for replying Seán, much appreciated.

I also have a MikroTik LHG dish antenna with R11e-LTE6 modem that I can lock to a Cell ID.

I have seen on YouTube videos showing Cell Selection / Locking options on the Band Selection page so I might see if I can get a sacrificial B525 if it doesn't work.

Thanks again,
Regards, Steve
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#5
Hi dear Seán
my modem is huawei b612s-25D and it supports both telnet and adb.
both      atc AT^HFREQINFO?    and    atc AT^FREQLOCK?          commands are working, but I'm not able to use these commands to lock, and I get +CME ERROR: 50

as you can see in the screenshot that I attached, I want to lock modem on the frequency that I highlighted. how should I put these values in the code to successfully lock?

[Image: telnet.jpg]

I tried this but no luck :
atc 'AT^FREQLOCK=1,"03",43092'
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#6
As your AT^FREQLOCK? result returns just a single line (my B525 returns 3 lines), try using "01" instead, i.e.:

atc 'ATC^FREQLOCK=1,"01",43002'
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#7
(15/01/2022, 05:29 PM)Seán Wrote: As your AT^FREQLOCK? result returns just a single line (my B525 returns 3 lines), try using "01" instead, i.e.:

atc 'ATC^FREQLOCK=1,"01",43002'

thans for your help. actually I figured out that for B612 the command should be like this :

Code:
atc AT^FREQLOCK=1,43092,\"03\"

this gives me OK response, but it seems that it does not have any locking effect at all. even-though I locked the modem to 43092 frequency, it connects to 43488

as shown in the screenshot bellow :

   

any ideas?
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