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How to check which 4G band your Huawei B315/B525/B528 router is using
#21
The 15MHz and 20MHz bands are quite possible run from the same mast. However, as these two operate on different frequencies (1855MHz for that 20MHz band and 1812.5MHz for that 15MHz band), they do not interfere with each other. In fact, if you pick up both, your router will likely operate in 4G+ between using these two frequencies for carrier aggregation.

The interference comes from other masts that operate on the same frequency. For example, all Three's 20MHz band 3 masts operate on the same 1855MHz frequency, so when your antenna picks up two or more masts on the same frequency, it is like listening to an FM radio station with interference from distant FM stations operating on the same frequency.

If you are able to get the interference level down (i.e. higher SINR value), you should get faster speed. The maximum speed will depend on the backhaul capacity to that mast, however, I reckon you should still see a significant increase based on how poor the SINR values currently are.
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#22
Hi Sean,

Just want to start off by saying thank you for all this info, its been a massive help. I was wondering if you might be able to help me with my specific setup as we're still struggling to find a solution.

Currently there are 6 of us living in a shared accomodation in London, and recently bought a B535 Huawei router on Three's Unlimited plan. Off the bat we were getting 1 - 3mb/s download and less than 1mb/s upload. Being university students we need a lot more, and at the moment the only way to get a stable enough signal to use Zoom/Online Multiplayer/Course related software/General browsing, is to place the router in the room with you. Except this weakens the signal for others in the flat. Here's the info from following your instructions at the top of the thread:
                                        
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<response>
<pci>421</pci>
<sc></sc>
<cell_id>264775</cell_id>
<rsrq>-11.0dB</rsrq>
<rsrp>-91dBm</rsrp>
<rssi>-63dBm</rssi>
<sinr>4dB</sinr>
<rscp></rscp>
<ecio></ecio>
<mode>7</mode>
<ulbandwidth>10MHz</ulbandwidth>
<dlbandwidth>10MHz</dlbandwidth>
<txpower>PPusch:8dBm PPucch:1dBm PSrs:15dBm PPrach:0dBm</txpower>
<tdd></tdd>
<ul_mcs>mcsUpCarrier1:22</ul_mcs>
<dl_mcs>mcsDownCarrier1Code0:7 mcsDownCarrier1Code1:8</dl_mcs>
<earfcn>DL:99 UL:18099</earfcn>
<rrc_status></rrc_status>
<rac></rac>
<lac></lac>
<tac>61007</tac>
<band>1</band>
<nei_cellid></nei_cellid>
<plmn>23420</plmn>
<ims>0</ims>
<wdlfreq></wdlfreq>
<lteulfreq>19299</lteulfreq>
<ltedlfreq>21199</ltedlfreq>
<transmode>TM[3]</transmode>
<enodeb_id>0001034</enodeb_id>
<cqi0>7</cqi0>
<cqi1>7</cqi1>
<ulfrequency>1929900kHz</ulfrequency>
<dlfrequency>2119900kHz</dlfrequency>
<arfcn></arfcn>
<bsic></bsic>
<rxlev></rxlev>
</response>


When I checked this earlier it said band 3, but has since changed to band 1, I'm not sure whatt his means though.
I'm wondering whether or not getting an external antenna will be worth while?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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#23
Your signal reading is reasonably good, however, it looks like network contention is your main issue. Unfortunately, an antenna may not offer any improvement here particularly with a flat. You would need a directional antenna on the roof and even this may not offer much improvement given how severe the contention is.

The first suggestion I have is to try setting your router to 3G mode. As most people have 4G capable handsets, modems and routers, the 3G network tends to perform better in congested areas as it has less network traffic.

For positioning the router, I suggest try placing it against each outer wall to see which gives the highest SINR value (Signal to Interference/Noise Ratio) or ECIO (3G's equivalent to SINR), ensuring the RSRP or RSCP remains within -100dBm.

The next suggestion is to try the huaCtrl App (or LTEInspecteur for Windows) and try selecting these 4G bands one at a time: 1, 3, 20 and 32 Run a speed test, then try the next band #. If there's no signal, then Three is not operating on this band there.

For sharing the Wi-Fi throughout the flat, I suggest getting a Wi-Fi mesh kit such as the Tenda MW6-3 (which I use). These perform like night vs day over mobile repeaters, i.e. handle connections over 100+Mbps and don't randomly drop out like many repeaters often do. This way you can keep the router where it gets the strongest signal quality reading, while distributing the Wi-Fi signal throughout the flat.
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#24
Hi Sean,

A question if I may on congested cells. What identifiers do you use to identify a congested cell?

Also, whilst testing my dad's house yesterday, I noticed the SINR value was almost static on "1". LHG LTE dish. I aimed at 2 different towers which were quiet close by. I haven't seen that before. It was close to a busy main road with commuter traffic buzzing past.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
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#25
That SINR reading seems to indicate a fair amount of interference being picked up. If that's on band 20, this is likely the issue as the dish is incapable of concentrating the 800MHz signal, i.e. it picks up signals from all directions across the front of the dish, not just where it's aimed at. The dish is only effective at concentrating the 1800+Mhz signals such as bands 1 and 3.

From my experience, when the SINR is around 0, about 1/3 of the usable bandwidth is achievable, e.g. if a cell gives a 60Mbps speed test with a perfect SINR of 30, you can expect around 20Mbps with an SINR of 0. Based on SamH204's SINR of 4, his speed tests of 1-3Mbps seems exceptionally low of the SINR, a very clear indication of high contention. If the SINR however was negative such as -10dBm, then interference would be the prime suspect for causing the low speed.

With a good stable SINR reading such as 10dB or higher, the RSRQ reading gives a very good indication of contention level when watched in real time. The RSRQ is a calculated from a combination of signal quality, interference and traffic load. So if the signal is good, the interference is low, the RSRQ will clearly fluctuate up and down according to the traffic load, mainly between -3dB for a totally quiet cell and -12dB for a fully loaded cell. Figures more negative than -12dB include noise/interference, so could for example vary between -8dB when quiet and -16dB when fully loaded.
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#26
(05/11/2020, 08:51 PM)Seán Wrote: Your signal reading is reasonably good, however, it looks like network contention is your main issue.  Unfortunately, an antenna may not offer any improvement here particularly with a flat.  You would need a directional antenna on the roof and even this may not offer much improvement given how severe the contention is. 

The first suggestion I have is to try setting your router to 3G mode.  As most people have 4G capable handsets, modems and routers, the 3G network tends to perform better in congested areas as it has less network traffic. 

For positioning the router, I suggest try placing it against each outer wall to see which gives the highest SINR value (Signal to Interference/Noise Ratio) or ECIO (3G's equivalent to SINR), ensuring the RSRP or RSCP remains within -100dBm.

The next suggestion is to try the huaCtrl App (or LTEInspecteur for Windows) and try selecting these 4G bands one at a time: 1, 3, 20 and 32  Run a speed test, then try the next band #.  If there's no signal, then Three is not operating on this band there. 

For sharing the Wi-Fi throughout the flat, I suggest getting a Wi-Fi mesh kit such as the Tenda MW6-3 (which I use).  These perform like night vs day over mobile repeaters, i.e. handle connections over 100+Mbps and don't randomly drop out like many repeaters often do.  This way you can keep the router where it gets the strongest signal quality reading, while distributing the Wi-Fi signal throughout the flat.

I switched the router to 3g last night and was able to run online multiplayer fairly smoothly. Every now and then it would drop out for around 10 secs, but come back eventually. I've checked the 3g RSCP and ECIO today, having now moved the router to the outer kitchen wall with a window (RSCP -64dbm) (ECIO 12dbm). I also tested the 2.4ghz and 5ghz 4g too just to see how much better it was compared to the bedroom windowsill. (2.4ghz / RSRP -72dbm / SINR 10db) (5ghz / RSRP -72dbm / SINR 9db). Download/Upload speeds for these also increased slightly, getting 6.2mb/s down and 3.9mb/s up.

Im having a little trouble using the LTE Inspecteur though, and I cant seem to find any guides for it.

Cheers!
Cheers!
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#27
I don't think there is any user guide for the LTE Inspecteur utility, however, there are just a few controls to use it.

When you first launch it, give it the router's username and password (usually admin/admin by default) and its IP address, which is usually 192.168.8.1.

The main readings to watch are the RSRP and SINR in 4G mode or RSCP and ECIO in 3G mode. I think this utility was unable to show the ECIO figure with my Huawei B525, but shows all the readouts fine in 4G mode.

On the left, select a frequency band to lock the router to that frequency, i.e. 800MHz (band 20), 1500MHz (band 32), 1800MHz (band 3), 2100MHz (band 1). I think you need to click 'Aggregation' to select the 1500MHz band. If it gives an error, then that band is not in use in your area. To chance the router back to default, select the 'Automatic' option. Alternatively, you can change the network mode to 'Automatic' in the router's web interface.
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