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2019-02-14 02:43 PM
I have recently upgraded to a 500gb mobile broadband plan and with that received an huawei b525 wifi modem. I only had a chance to set it up yesterday and am getting woeful internet speeds.
To provide context, I live in a rural marginal signal area of nsw and for some years have been operating on various mobile broadband plans using a huawei E5786 wifi modem connected to a high gain external antenna on a 9m mast. The last of these was the 140GB $70 per month plan. I have consistently achieved speedtest results of around 20mbps both upload and download with highs of 40mbps. Our local tower is supposed to have both 700mhz and 2600kHz lte, although I'm probably too far away to get useful 2600mhz signal.
Before connecting the b525 I ran speedtest on my e5786 and got 15mbps upload and 26mbps download. I then connected the b525, set it to run on external antennas, had 5 bar signal strength, ran speedtest and got 3mbps download and .02mbps upload. I reset it to factory settings, set to external antenna and set it to 4g network rather than "auto" and ran further speed tests. The best I achieved was around 8mbps download and 4mbps upload, but most were less than half that speed, with many upload speed readings less than 0.1mbps. I then swapped back to the E5786 and got speeds of 15.6mbps download and 19.4mbps upload. The b525 continues to show aqua light, 5 bar signal strength and I'm mystified as to what is happening.
I went to the local optus shop this morning and they gave me a new SIM and told me they'd changed a network setting. When I got home both devices were worse than before. The E5786 is now getting download speed of between 1 and 2mbps best upload speed is still around 20mbps. The b525 is generally below 4mbps download and 0.1mbps upload.
I then contacted tech support via live chat and, after a convoluted conversation they told me that the problem is that the b525 is not suited to my location as it was designed primarily for 2600 and 1800mHz lte and doesn't suit 700mhz lte. This is not what I have read and I certainly would have expected it to equal the performance of the old E5786. I now doubt whether the support person knows what they are talking about.
To add further information, as I understand it the E5786 is using 2.4gms wifi band so max speed in that mode is 50mbps, and does support carrier aggregation (cat 6). I did briefly try it on 5ghz band, but didn't make much difference to speed and couldn't connect to some of my wifi devices that only use 2.4ghz The b525 supports dual band wifi Wi-Fi and is also cat 6. The reason I wanted to get the b525 was to allow me to set up a mesh wifi system at home, for which I apparently need a lan connection from the modem to the router to allow internet distribution over the mesh system.
I now have no clue what to do. At the speeds I'm getting I doubt whether I could use 500GB a month if I stayed online 24/7 for the whole month. Streaming has become a disaster and the internet regularly just grinds to a halt. I asked the live chat person if I could just reverse everything back to my 140GB plan, but apparently not possible. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
2019-02-14 03:00 PM - edited 2019-02-14 03:03 PM
Unfortuantely staff can occasionally provide information that sounds sort of right but is totally unverifiable (i.e. the unit is optimised for X spectrum). You have to take such info with a grain of salt.
FWIW with these big plans Optus makes less and less representations of what speeds you can expect. 4G with 500Gb sounds great on paper but how much Optus prioritise your connection might be the issue. The previous plan might have allocated more bandwidth to you? I say this as the usual problem would be too many people downloading at once on your tower but that doesn't seem to be an issue in your area?
You could ask Optus to check the tower involved. perhaps it has just had an issue? Have you checked the Optus Outage page for scheduled repairs / issues? (Do both mobile and landline pages)
Reading through again, the lower frequency is able to travel further. So it might just be that's your issue?
Any reason you can't plug the new modem into the old one? As a slave?
But ultimately you'll have to decide if the service is enough. Optus understand areas may not pewrform adequately and should be happy enough to cancel the deal on request.
2019-02-14 03:18 PM
Thanks for your reply, Peter. I have checked the outages page, and nothing is reported (although both my wifi modem and cel-fi have been going offline this afternoon with unusual frequency. Both use different antennas, so it is unlikely to me be a problem here and more likely to be a problem with the tower). The E5786 wifi modem has no connection ports to allow me to connect to another device, otherwise I would certainly have used that. And yes, the 700mHz frequency is the predominant one here because of the distances from the tower. I think I'm going to double check all my antenna cabling and connectors, and if that fails to reveals problem I'll be going to optus to cancel.
2019-02-17 05:06 PM
I reckon you have a dodgey modem, or there is some backend setting Optus needs to dail in.
If you're getting 5 bars, you should be getting much faster.
I have 5 bars, live rural and get 80 down, 30 up.
And because you and I are both rural, I highly doubt it has anything to do with provisioning etc - after all, we're rural, how many people are out here to compete with for bandwidth?
2019-02-17 11:43 PM
Thanks for your reply. I took both my E5786 and B525 to the local Optus store yesterday where they ran speedtests on both. They got similar results in town to those I reported in the first post and I think they have concluded that the B525 is faulty. They didn't have a spare one to test my SIM in, so I'm going back on Tuesday to do that. Hopefully that is the answer and I'll be very happy if I can get speeds similar to yours.
2019-02-18 06:36 AM
Sounds like a promising development.
Hope it is soon sorted.