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5G routers, antennae and testing
I saw a post on Boards about Luke Kehoe mentioning that Three is reprovisioning the 15MHz band #3 for 5G. From looking at a few more of Kuke Khoe's recent posts, he mentions that Eir is also reprovisioning band 3 for 5G in some areas. Three is reprovisioning bands n3 and n8 for 5G, although he didn't mention how much bandwidth on the 900MHz band.

This plausibly explains why I'm not picking up 5G in much of Three's purple coverage areas as my Samsung A51 5G only supports the n78 band for 5G. That's a bummer I was unaware of this before purchasing my phone. I also recently noticed that the distant mast I pick up my home Internet on no longer provides 4G on the 15MHz band (i.e. no more band 20+3+3 aggregation), so this explains its disappearance, i.e. Three likely reprovisioned it for 5G.

Luke Kehoe's post on Three's 5G masts:
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn...5132032000

Luke Kehoe's post on Eir's 5G masts:
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn...6554324992
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I see that Three has reduced the price of its Huawei CPE Pro 2 to €99. With it priced at £402.60 (~€457) on Amazon, it effectively offsets the additional 5G cost on their broadband plan compared to buying it upfront.

If Three eventually allows its prepay phone SIMs to work in a 5G router, the cost would work out as follows over a 2 year period:
  • 2 years = 104 weeks. There are 4 weeks in a 28 day top-up interval, so 104 / 4 = 26 top-up intervals.
  • A €20 top-up gives AYCE data for 28 days. A €5 additional top-up is required to pay for the 5G booster every 28 days.
  • €26 x 25 = €650 over 2 years.
  • Add the Huawei CPE Pro 2 router cost of €457 and this gives a total 2 year cost of €1,107.
With bill pay 5G broadband, the router costs €99 and then €45/month over the 2 year contract.
  • €45 x 24 = €1,080 over 2 years.
  • Add the Huawei CPE Pro 2 router cost of €99 and this gives a total 2 year cost of €1,179.
The Prepay AYCE method does have the advantage in that you'll only be paying €25 every 28 days (about €27/month) after the 2 year period, although technically you could cancel your broadband plan and go the prepay route. Big Grin The upfront purchase would also give the benefit of having an unlocked router, which would have better resale value whenever fibre reaches your area.

From checking the Huawei CPE Pro Win 5G bands on the cacombos website, I see that it only supports the upper 5G bands, mainly band 38 (2.6GHz) and 78 (3.6GHz). This means that like the Samsung A51 5G phone, it will not work on the n3 (1800MHz) 5G band.
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For curiosity, I put my Three broadband SIM into my phone to see whether it allows 5G connectivity.  Whenever my 5G plan expires on my prepay SIM, I noticed that RestrictDCNR shows '1' in the phone's status when the phone connects to a 5G capable mast, whether or not the 5G cell is within range for connectivity.  

Sure enough, the Three broadband SIM is also restricted, i.e. no 5G access:
   

This rules out using Three's SIM only broadband plan with a 5G router. 

I saw another post on Boards where a user tried testing a Huawei E6878-870 (battery operated 5G router) in a 5G area.  Unlike the Huawei CPE Pro where the connection failure is only visible through an App, the E6878-870 displays a message in the web interface that 5G access is restricted.
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Been off for a while over xmas but some nice new information to catch up on Tongue , so now that three are going to reprovision n3 / band 3 does that also mean the range limit is the same as n78? or is the propagation different? I also wonder is there anything better than the MR5200 , I'm kind of waiting to see what is happening with 5G but I still have both band 3 cells atm. Has anything really changed on what the best setup will be for whats coming?

My current 4G speeds are really good on triple CA especially in the middle of the night, consistent 250-300 Mbps Big Grin  

[Image: dD3gPVF.png]
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As n3 uses FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) instead of TDD (Time Division Duplexing), it does not have the same range limit issue. As the distant mast I connect to no longer uses EARFCN 1275 (the 15MHz band 3) for 4G, I really wish I had a 5G capable phone to see if it became a 5G cell and whether it would connect from my distance. At least your Samsung S20 FE phone is capable of n3, so if it disappears from your router, you'll be able to check on your phone. Smile

So far I haven't come across any other newer 5G routers since the Netgear MR5200 launch. Despite the crazy price costing more than Starlink's dishy, Amazon UK has already sold out! The European Amazon's still have some stock for around €775 to €800. On eBay, there are a few chancers charging around €1,000.

That's great still getting those 200-300Mbps speeds. Since the 15MHz band 3 went off from the mast I pick up, the peak time speeds have dropped way down at my end, often 15-20Mbps with the fastest hosts and 1-4Mbps with non-prioritised hosts (e.g. TestMy London) around 9pm.
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Since it's using n3 , Does that also mean the current LPDA-92's would work on N3 5G? Or would something like the n78 5G antenna I have be better off for something like that?
I will go and re activate my 5G add on and do some additional testing to see if anything has changed since on my phone , I havent tested it for a few months actually.

I wonder how 4G and 5G will all change in the upcoming months then, what do you think is going to happen to band 1, 3 , 28 etc? when the temporary licence expires in a few months time
I also wonder what kind of plans they have 5G+4G in terms of what bands and stuff like that and also roughly when they are going to make it happen.

Probably people scalping those routers as well just like they were when I was trying to buy new CPU+GPU, saw 3090's being sold for 2,500 or more on ebay, and alot of them getting away with it Big Grin
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That is correct - Whether it's 4G, 5G or some other technology the antenna will pick up the same frequency range (1710-1880MHz for band 3) equally well.  I reckon your n78 5G antenna will also work on n3 as it needs to handle the lower bands for NSA (mixed 4G+5G) anyway.  However, your LPDA-92's will likely have much higher gain on band 3.

Assuming ComReg does not allow any further use of the temporary spectrum until the auction completes, band 1 will likely revert back to 3G on the 1st of April and band 28 will switch off. 

From what I'm aware of, the mobile operators will be able to use whatever spectrum they purchase for either 4G, 5G or wireless broadband. 

The following are my rough predictions, which also takes into account reading bits & pieces of the 914 page document: Big Grin
  • 700MHz FDD (Band 28 / n28) - Boost 4G coverage and bandwidth in rural areas, refarm to 5G at a later time.
  • 2100MHz FDD (Band 1 / n1) - Reprovision 3G band 1 for additional 4G bandwidth.
  • 2300MHz TDD (Band 40 / n40) - Possibly a dedicated band for fixed wireless broadband (due to TDD).
  • 2600MHz FDD (Band 7 / n7) - Boost 4G bandwidth in urban areas.
  • 2600MHz TDD (Band 38 / n38 / n41) - Boost 5G coverage in densely populated areas.
The following is a brief summary of the upcoming multi spectrum auction:
https://www.comreg.ie/comreg-to-hold-mul...rum-award/

The good news is that regardless of which technology they use on these bands, your LPDA-92's will work on them all. Wink

The document also mentions that the networks could potentially refarm existing 3G band 900 for 4G, such as to provide band 20+28+8 (700+800+900MHz) carrier aggregation in rural areas.
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It would be nice if they'd refarm all of the current spectrum too, there's no chance of any fiber so any improvement on this front would be nice. 

Had a quick read over it too, came across this  https://www.irishtimes.com/business/tech...-1.4465347

And : "some industry insiders say the legal action could set the process to award new licences back by between six and 12 months"  That would be typical  Confused , I hope it doesn't end up setting it back, from my understanding I thought they'd begin rolling out other 4G/5G bands sooner than another year away. Says something about Three being unhappy about the spectrum cap comreg put on the auction. I dont understand what they're bothered about?

I tried my phone again last night, all the usual band 1,3,28,20 cells are still in use, the flickering issue was still happening when I got it to the window but it's maintaining the "5G_STATE" as connected for far longer in the cell mapper app compared to before.  When I selected LTE B1 preferred, the phone became a bit unresponsive but the solid 5G background stayed for much longer , at least a minute or so but i'm not sure if it was genuinely staying connected or if it was a UI glitch that came from newer firmware updates to the phone because it would also go back a an outlined 5G background when I'd try some speedtests. It showed as 5G NSA in Nperf the majority of the time though, unlike before where it would flicker very fast. It also still appears to be using B1 for 5G. I wonder what will happen when band 1 licence expires, if they have to change it to another band for 5G maybe the range will increase slightly? I am right on the edge of the range limit  after all according to the Three support.  At least from my understanding, the band 3 version of 5G they plan to use should mean I am in range of that at least?

Would those lower frequency TDD 5G Bands tend to have a bit more range ? Or is it still going to be around the same range limit imposed by the N78 band? I hope it increases range a little bit

I tried to find that Netgear MR 5200 as well and I couldn't seem to find it in stock anywhere  Dodgy I'm tempted to buy it anyway since I doubt there will be any newer version of it for a while considering it was just released Big Grin and the fact it has the option to connect SMA antennas which for whatever reason doesn't seem to be a thing on a lot of the new 5G routers. The idea of 5 band carrier aggregation sounds nice as well , I assume that means it could do something like n3+1+28+20 (+3)if that band would still exist on 4G if they happen to make it 5G? They could probably use their spectrum they own from o2 to have band 3 4G as well as n3 on 5G  with their own additional band 3 spectrum I suppose?

One more thing, how does one actually get 5G to work in something like a netgear MR 5200? Has anything changed in that regard at all? Or do I need to purchase something like the broadband 5G sim for it to work in other devices? From what I understand it's still blocked in routers but will  work on the supported phones?
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I didn't realise ComReg was facing legal action from Three over the spectrum cap. Sad Three currently has 280MHz of spectrum, so it still has the ability to purchase an additional 95MHz, about as much as what they purchased on the 3.6GHz band. Currently, Vodafone has 225MHz and Eir has 185MHz, so Three already has 55MHz more than its nearest competitor.

Once Three has 5G on band 3 (or any other band) in Aranmore, you should have no problem picking it up. It will be FDD just like 4G, so will not face the strict range limit that TDD requires to synchronise uploads within the allocated time slots.

If you really want to purchase the Netgear MR5200 right now, both Amazon Germany and France has it in stock:
https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B08HWRYVH5
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08HWRYVH5/

Amazon Germany charges around €9 for shipping to Ireland as I've to use them a few times due to Amazon UK no longer shipping certain items to Ireland. I'm not sure about Amazon France.

I'm not sure what 5G carrier combinations it supports, but going by the datasheet, it supports all the current and upcoming bands in both 4G and 5G. For 5G, it looks like we will need to wait until Three removes their device whitelist restriction. My guess is that their broadband SIM is likely limited to the two Huawei 5G routers they sell, especially since their 5G broadband plan is not available SIM only.
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Hi all. Apologies I only just round to modding my cpe pro. I initially ordered leads that were too short. Anyhow it wasnt too hard in fairness. It was a bit tricky clicking on the new connections but got there eventually! See pic The smaller your fingers the better!

Good news is that it worked. bad news is it hasn't really improved my situation as my antenna which i can't change is pointing in the wrong direction.

It has picked up a usable 700mhz band from 3 which is giving 20dl, 5ul but it won't aggregate with any other bands.

I might leave it for the evening to see if it helps with congestion.

Here's a pic of it!

Readings


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