****The Official 5G Home Broadband Thread**** (Three/EE/Vodafone/etc)

Associate
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After reviewing all kind of alternatives of an 5G capable router I found this thread via a nice Google search. A very interesting thread with a lot of useful information. As I currently have NSA capabilities in an area where I live (Verified and concluded via my phone in a good spot inside the house) with very nice speeds.

I tried to review all available 5G routers and came to the conclusion that this 5G router (ZTE MC801A 5G) which a friend of mine as well bought here in Sweden and he have gotten some very good 5G speeds w/ NSA without an external antenna at the moment.

https://www.sotel.de/en/Handy-Tablet/Surfsticks-MiFi/Telekom-ZTE-HyperBox-5G-white.html - Both I and him got hold of it for 250 EURO (Around 208 GBP) which to me is a bargain when looking at all other alternatives landing at around 420GBP in Sweden. Still waiting to get it.

My question to you guys who seems to be experienced in testing different type of 5G routers is connected to the External Antenna capabilities. As I already have read and concluded that the TS9 ports to be used with external antennas on the ZTE MC801A only improves the 5G reception.

1. Will the reception and bandwidth speeds of NSA become better if I buy and connect an external antenna to the TS9 ports that only improves 5G reception?

2. If yes to above - Any tip for me on what kind of antenna I shall buy to benefit of better speeds/reception?

Below is a coverage map from the operator I can use. The pointer shows where my house is and I guess due to the square seen close to it (5G coverage according to the map) is why I get the reception. The yellow markers I laid out is a medium sized mountain, behind my house. As you see behind it it has great 5G coverage as stated in the map.

jgsro1zw8q5hmtotkisi8iuv


Any hints to improve my installation would be good.
 
Caporegime
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I bought my Huawei 5g modem from that company. Much cheaper than Swedish prices yes.
Who is you Mobil leverantör? I'm with Tele2 but the price is 549kr. Im trying to find one cheaper but they all have 24 month bindningstid.

You will want a unidirectional antenna and direct it towards the 5g tower.
There are some much better skilled guys on here that will explain it all.

I don't use an antenna on mine. I live right in the middle of town and can almost see the attena that I connect too.

800Mbit on a good day... Crazy

I'll gladly swap it for villafiber, hoppas dem kan fixa under sommaren. .... :p
 
Associate
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I bought my Huawei 5g modem from that company. Much cheaper than Swedish prices yes.
Who is you Mobil leverantör? I'm with Tele2 but the price is 549kr. Im trying to find one cheaper but they all have 24 month bindningstid.

You will want a unidirectional antenna and direct it towards the 5g tower.
There are some much better skilled guys on here that will explain it all.

I don't use an antenna on mine. I live right in the middle of town and can almost see the attena that I connect too.

800Mbit on a good day... Crazy

I'll gladly swap it for villafiber, hoppas dem kan fixa under sommaren. .... :p

I use Telenor. With all included, inclusive unlimited data where I pay 299kr/month and I have the free data SIM included. It is via my company I get it like this. The cheapest private alternative is as you say Telenor 399kr + 89kr for the data card but you have a contract for 24 months then.

- Will it work for me to direct an unidirectional antenna towards the tower even though I do not have free sight towards it (mountain/trees in the way)

Yeah Fiber is the better option. But have waited 4+ years now for “Telenor Villafiber” to hook up my house. I have a fiber optic tube right outside my lot. I’m paying for the miserable choices of previous house owner….
 
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
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Location
Newcastle, UK
After reviewing all kind of alternatives of an 5G capable router I found this thread via a nice Google search. A very interesting thread with a lot of useful information. As I currently have NSA capabilities in an area where I live (Verified and concluded via my phone in a good spot inside the house) with very nice speeds.

I tried to review all available 5G routers and came to the conclusion that this 5G router (ZTE MC801A 5G) which a friend of mine as well bought here in Sweden and he have gotten some very good 5G speeds w/ NSA without an external antenna at the moment.

https://www.sotel.de/en/Handy-Tablet/Surfsticks-MiFi/Telekom-ZTE-HyperBox-5G-white.html - Both I and him got hold of it for 250 EURO (Around 208 GBP) which to me is a bargain when looking at all other alternatives landing at around 420GBP in Sweden. Still waiting to get it.

My question to you guys who seems to be experienced in testing different type of 5G routers is connected to the External Antenna capabilities. As I already have read and concluded that the TS9 ports to be used with external antennas on the ZTE MC801A only improves the 5G reception.

1. Will the reception and bandwidth speeds of NSA become better if I buy and connect an external antenna to the TS9 ports that only improves 5G reception?

2. If yes to above - Any tip for me on what kind of antenna I shall buy to benefit of better speeds/reception?

Below is a coverage map from the operator I can use. The pointer shows where my house is and I guess due to the square seen close to it (5G coverage according to the map) is why I get the reception. The yellow markers I laid out is a medium sized mountain, behind my house. As you see behind it it has great 5G coverage as stated in the map.

jgsro1zw8q5hmtotkisi8iuv


Any hints to improve my installation would be good.

I don't know much about the ZTE router I must admit. If your friend is getting good results, it may be prudent just to try the ZTE indoors and see how it performs initially. :) As you say, the documentation seems limited but the TS9 connections for the external 5G antenna would suggest that it only improves the 5G freq. band signal. That is quite similar to my Zyxel NR5101. The Zyxel has a switch to toggle between internal or external antenna. When set external, what that really does is to only enable the external antenna for frequencies higher than 3500Mhz. Internal is still used for all other frequencies below that. If the switch is left on internal then all antennas are used for all frequencies. So my external antenna covers the full frequency spectrum and if I were to set the Router to 4G, it wouldn't use the external antenna. It would revert to internal, even though I have it set to external. So it is a bit misleading but not an issue as I use 5G so the antenna works fine.

If you were to choose an antenna you have two choices really. An omnidirectional which will radiate a 360 donught pattern to try and pickup a signal or a directional antenna which needs to be aimed for best results (so a bit of trial and error is involved). Directional will usually give a higher gain (dB) over an omni antenna. So if you have some idea where the signal is coming from or where there is coverage (which you do) it may be best to go directional. I connect to a mast that is 3.5Km away (as the crow flies) via the directional antenna as I don't get 5G where I live (according to the coverage maps).

Here are my speeds (I can only imagine what it must be like to live closer to a 5G signal):

Speedtest.jpg


I use this antenna https://www.solwise.co.uk/5g-XPOL-A0002 but you would need to get SMA to TS9 adapters with that one, and then obviously a pole to mount it external.

Hope that helps.
 
Caporegime
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Co Durham
Help. I have decided to give 4g a try for my home internet needs.

Landline FTTC broadband is atrocious where I live. On a good day we get 25Mbps, on a poor day less than 1. Lots of outages and times when its not even available. My other half works from half and some days she just cant get her work done and zoom meetings freeze. In fact it was better on the old line broadband. We only got 12-12Mbps but it was a rock solid consistent 12-13Mbps. Unluckily when they put the cabinets in for fibre, we are right at the end and the furthest away from the cabinet. My friend who lives opposite enjoys his 7oMbps as he likes to remind me often. :(

Village has old wiring, mainly aluminium and lines "break" often. BT openreach wont spend the money replacing all the wiring in the village, presumably on the basis at some point in the future we will all get fibre so it would be a waste of money.

EE has the best signal in the village and the mask is line of sight from my house, less than a half a mile away but no 5g, only 4g.

EE estimate at least 31Mbps is achievable.

But here is my dilemma.

I can get a good deal on the new 5g EE router which is just a rebranded Zyxel NR5103 router (their newest router). This has really decent wifi mesh and features and 4 external ts9 for external aerials.

However i would be just using as a 4g router and from reading around, with 5g routers, the external aerials only seem to be for 5g reception, not 4g so if it isnt satisfactory internally, i cant increase/improve the reception by using the external connectors. Certainly with the Zyxel NR5101 router with 2 connectors they were only for 5g. But I cant find any detailed specs on the aerials for the NR5103. I hope one pair is 5g and the other is 4g?

So I thought about getting the EE 4g router but it seems poor for wifi and features and definitely comes with no external aerial connectors and the price is only £3 per month less than the 5g router. I would then be forced to add a decent wifi router to the mix so any savings would be wiped out.

So perhaps i should buy a top spec 4g router with mesh wifi(any recommendations please?) which can use external aerials if needed but i hate the fact that the sim only price is only £4 per month less than the 4g router included price and only £7 per month less than the 5g router. Plus If I try that way and it doesnt work then I will have a router to sell whereas if I get either of the ones free on the home broadband tariff then I can send them back under the 14 day cooling off period.

I am just trying to achieve a stable consistent connection. Not bothered about top speed although anything above 25Mbps would be nice and desirable.
 
Soldato
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I am just trying to achieve a stable consistent connection. Not bothered about top speed although anything above 25Mbps would be nice and desirable.

The best thing to do first is to see what speeds you can actually achieve just using a handset, both inside and outside your property, and preferably on more than one network, that may mean getting a couple of PAYG SIM's. Check your actual coverage with Cellmapper as that will tell you which masts have the most options in terms of bands on offer and indeed bandwidth in MHz, and an approximate location and coverage based on real gathered data from users.

No point in buying anything until you can actually see what you'll achieve, however getting a good 5G router is beneficial as it will future proof you somewhat and you can get some good deals with Vodafone, Three and EE, but I'd add to that you can also work out more flexible/better to get your own hardware and allows you to move providers when you like. Also don't forget you don't need to actually buy a DATA only plan, you can happily get a normal SIM deal and use the data from that without any restrictions, although you do need to check the FUP's with various providers, EE for example used to have a 600GB for personal use on their unlimited plans, and that was raised to 1TB on business plan, I am unsure if they have removed those as yet.
 
Caporegime
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I had noticed the data limits, shouldnt be a problem as we dont use anything like that atm.

Three has no 4g signal and I am on vodafone and even on my phone, the best i can get in the house is only 18Mbps with 12Mbps upload. But it futurates a lot and sometimes is less than 10Mbps download (not full bars) so hence I am trying to stay away from vodafone.

Which also makes me think an external aerial on a pole might become a necessity whichever network I go on.

EE is meant to offer the best data speeds where I live as I can see the mast. But will get a payg sim and try it on my mobile. I assume mobiles will give better speed than I can expect from a 4g router so it would be the absolute best case on mobile?

Its a shame that EE charge so much for their sims. Unlimited mobile sim is £36.10 per month. Unlimited data only sim is £30 per month. With the 4g EE router its actually only £36 per month, with the new NR5301 5g router its £42 per month.

Thats a £400+ router so actually is a good deal for the extra per month. EE price their data and even mobile sims way too high compared to the opposition IMO. Shame we dont get 3.

I like the flexibility of getting my own kit but the cost soon adds up and would be nice to think I could just get the 5gee router, plug it in and not have to spend a penny more. I could always look at spending money and improving the setup later.

I should get decent money for the 5g router if I choose to replace it later.
 
Soldato
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I assume mobiles will give better speed than I can expect from a 4g router so it would be the absolute best case on mobile?
Not necessarily, if your mobile is old they will have a slower transfer rating (just like the CAT ratings on the mobile routers. i.e. a CAT4 or CAT6 will be slower than a CAT20). If you have a modern phone it will give a good representation though. :)
 
Soldato
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Just for info Router wise @Greebo if you did just want a 4G router, Overclockers sell the Asus 4G-AX56 which is a CAT6 modem but with WiFi6 as well. I think on my older TP-Link Archer MR600 (which is CAT6 but WiFi5) I was seeing ~90Mbps. The Asus router is priced at £199.99. Certainly cheaper to buy outright than pay the monthly EE price (albeit it isn't a 5G model). As well, only the middle aerial is the external LTE. The outer two are the WiFi antenna. It then has a built in additional LTE aerial. Not sure how a 2x2 external antenna would connect up to that with it only having the one external LTE antenna in the middle. But as @Journey says, pop in a SIM in your phone and see how it goes. :)
 
Soldato
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EE is meant to offer the best data speeds where I live as I can see the mast. But will get a payg sim and try it on my mobile. I assume mobiles will give better speed than I can expect from a 4g router so it would be the absolute best case on mobile?

Depends on the mobile, and depends on if you are getting a boost from having one or more bands bands aggregated and indeed if your hardware supports that as well from a modem/router perspective

You need to look at the best CAT (Category) router you can get, and generally these will use many internal antennas with MIMO connections in 4x4 or even 8x8 configurations. If you look at 4G only then something like the Huawei 818-263 is a CAT19 device and supports 4x4 MIMO, and external connections, when going with external antennas though you do lose the 4x4 and end up 2x2 which is fine if you want stability and not speed.

As for external antenna, you say you can see the mast this will mean you can point a decent omni direction antenna in the general direct and get a much stronger signal , on Cell Mapper website what does the mast say it is capable of, which bands and how many MHz per band?
 
Caporegime
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Not necessarily, if your mobile is old they will have a slower transfer rating (just like the CAT ratings on the mobile routers. i.e. a CAT4 or CAT6 will be slower than a CAT20). If you have a modern phone it will give a good representation though. :)

Sony xperia 1 III so should be as new as they come :)
 
Caporegime
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Depends on the mobile, and depends on if you are getting a boost from having one or more bands bands aggregated and indeed if your hardware supports that as well from a modem/router perspective

You need to look at the best CAT (Category) router you can get, and generally these will use many internal antennas with MIMO connections in 4x4 or even 8x8 configurations. If you look at 4G only then something like the Huawei 818-263 is a CAT19 device and supports 4x4 MIMO, and external connections, when going with external antennas though you do lose the 4x4 and end up 2x2 which is fine if you want stability and not speed.

As for external antenna, you say you can see the mast this will mean you can point a decent omni direction antenna in the general direct and get a much stronger signal , on Cell Mapper website what does the mast say it is capable of, which bands and how many MHz per band?

Its this mast 16534

https://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=...Band=0&showSectorColours=true&mapType=roadmap

I am North of the mast. The mast is on the hill overlooking the village.

Shows that there is band 3 and band 20.
No idea what the rest of the details it gives means?

Thanks for your help
 
Soldato
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Its this mast 16534

https://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=...Band=0&showSectorColours=true&mapType=roadmap

I am North of the mast. The mast is on the hill overlooking the village.

Shows that there is band 3 and band 20.
No idea what the rest of the details it gives means?

Thanks for your help

The rest of the data tells you chat cell are facing which direction, so you have a cell (No. 2) facing NE (49 degrees) with on Band 3 (1800MHz) with 20MHz of bandwidth available and you also have 5MHz on Band 20, although none facing directly north. On a 4x4 MIMO connection 64QAM downlink modulation to the B20 you could achieve a maximum speed of 300Mb/s down and 50Mb/s up (16QAM)

If you get your maps skills out and draw a rough line to where the mast is from your house, then measure your speeds on the phone from both inside and outside, at different heights if possible, and also at various times of the day, you can also install Cellmapper on the phone and record the data for analysis later on, instead of having to write it down. I'd run some speed tests using Nperf, and Ookla (not as good IMO).

I'll add more later, making dinner right now.
 
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Caporegime
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The rest of the data tells you chat cell are facing which direction, so you have a cell (No. 2) facing NE (49 degrees) with on Band 3 (1800MHz) with 20MHz of bandwidth available and you also have 5MHz on Band 20, although none facing directly north. On a 4x4 MIMO connection 64QAM downlink modulation to the B20 you could achieve a maximum speed of 300Mb/s down and 50Mb/s up (16QAM)

If you get your maps skills out and draw a rough line to where the mast is from your house, then measure your speeds on the phone from both inside and outside, at different heights if possible, and also at various times of the day, you can also install Cellmapper on the phone and record the data for analysis later on, instead of having to write it down. I'd run some speed tests using Nperf, and Ookla (not as good IMO).

I'll add more later, making dinner right now.

Many, many thanks. Will try and grab a sim on the way home and run some tests tonight :)

Its cell 0 and cell 12 which covers my property if I am to go on areas marked on the map?
 
Soldato
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Many, many thanks. Will try and grab a sim on the way home and run some tests tonight :)

Its cell 0 and cell 12 which covers my property.

Well Cell 0 is the same 20MHz, and the 5MHz on the B20 should be a stronger signal as it is 800MHz so in theory you should be able to achieve some form of CA.

If you are getting a SIM, might be worth forking over for a 30 day SIM only deal with Unlimited data, so you can gather as much data as possible, you could also grab a cheap Huawei B535 4G modem for ~£60 from eBay, as you'll lose noting if you need to sell it on.
 
Caporegime
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Well Cell 0 is the same 20MHz, and the 5MHz on the B20 should be a stronger signal as it is 800MHz so in theory you should be able to achieve some form of CA.

If you are getting a SIM, might be worth forking over for a 30 day SIM only deal with Unlimited data, so you can gather as much data as possible, you could also grab a cheap Huawei B535 4G modem for ~£60 from eBay, as you'll lose noting if you need to sell it on.

good idea, may well do that. Didn’t think you could get 300mb with 4g?
 
Soldato
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good idea, may well do that. Didn’t think you could get 300mb with 4g?

Best I have achieved is 207Mb/s on a 4G+ CA connection, but theoretically you can get upwards of that, it all depends on the number of bands and their bandwidth that you an aggregate, and the quality of the signal.

Not sure how much capacity there is on that local mast near to you, do you live in a heavily populated area, it doesn't look like it?
 
Caporegime
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Best I have achieved is 207Mb/s on a 4G+ CA connection, but theoretically you can get upwards of that, it all depends on the number of bands and their bandwidth that you an aggregate, and the quality of the signal.

Not sure how much capacity there is on that local mast near to you, do you live in a heavily populated area, it doesn't look like it?

300 properties is what that mask covers :)
 
Soldato
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300 properties is what that mask covers :)

Pfft, well not that bad then. Get some signal stats from your phone when you do the test and look at the RSRP, RSRQ, and SINR values, if you are at >-80dB, >-10dB and >20dB respectively then you should get a great stable signal with maximum achievable speeds based on what ever capacity isn't being used by others on the mast/cell. Those are ideals btw, not what I expect you to get.

My stats are RSRP -77dB, RSRQ -10.0dB and my SINR is 17dB and I achieve excellent throughput both directions, that is on a Huawei CPE Pro (112-370)in 5G mode.
 
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