Mobile Broadband Modem

aardvaakaardvaak Forumite
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Can someone please explain this?
All day my Mobile Broadband Modem sits on a desk in a room at my house the speed is not good but at least it is at 4G all day.
Then in early evening I move it to a window sill to get faster speeds in the evening (which it gets super speeds from midnight) but at first in early evening it goes down to 3G despite constant restarting of the modem.
Any ideas why?

Replies

  • Roger.WilcoRoger.Wilco Forumite
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    aardvaak said:
    ...
    Then in early evening I move it to a window sill to get faster speeds in the evening (which it gets super speeds from midnight) but at first in early evening it goes down to 3G ...
    Any ideas why?
    Three words:      "Netflix"    and   "Cell Breathing" ...
    aardvaak said:
    ... despite constant restarting of the modem. ...
    It has nothing to do with your modem... it is all to do with the Mobile Network and how the coverage of the cell behaves when the cell usage increases past a particular limit defined by physics.  The only thing the Mobile Operator can do to fix this is to add more cell sites (although, this is not very popular with residents these days).

    The only thing you can personally do - is get closer to the cell site.  You can do this by:
    1. Getting physically closer to the actual cell site.
    2. Changing the cell site your modem connects to one that may not suffer the same level of usage.
    3. Try to make your modem signal ever-so-slightly-(better/stronger/cleaner) than your neighbors.
    • I don't know if your modem is physically attached to your computer?  If not - there are a few websites and Mobile Apps which plot on maps the cell sites around you and which operators are located on which towers.  Find where the actual cell site is located and move your modem closer towards it.  Moving the modem to the closest window may not work - as it may actually be a further distance away from the tower.  You might need to move the modem to another part of the house.
    • Like above - if you can move your modem - get it as high in your house as possible.  The higher the better. Even high in your loft might bring some benefit by getting it above all the typical obstacles which may cause signal issues.
    • If you have more than one cell tower near you for your Mobile operator - then move the modem to be closer to the other tower.  As it may not suffer from the same level of signal congestion that the tower your currently connected suffers.
    • Depending on what modem you have? (does it have an external antenna port?)  If so - see if an external antenna from amazon would help to undertake the above points.  I can personally say that I have not had a lot of luck with purchasing good quality antennas from amazon - the few times I've tried the electrical characteristics are very very poor and are a waste of money.  Good antennas from specialist shops are good - but expensive.
    Hope this helps.
  • aardvaakaardvaak Forumite
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    Thank you - the cell tower I connect to is in a very rural area near a small village (ie not a town location)
  • Roger.WilcoRoger.Wilco Forumite
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    Living in a rural area doesn't change anything I've written above... it is still all valid.

    I doubt that a Mobile Operator would over-provision the mobile tower infrastructure for a small village and have large amounts of spare capacity.  So the mid-evening "netflix" generated congestion would I expect be worse than in a town or city - compounded as you may be limited to only one suitable cell tower in your area.

    For a rural location the topology of the ground and obstacles between you (the modem) and the cell tower may also have a greater effect on signal quality.  Obstacles like trees, hills etc...  So trying to get the modem (or antennas connected to the modem) as high as possible above any such obstacles for a direct "line-of-sight" could have a disproportionate affect on improving the connection.

    But the basic concept of getting the modem closer to the cell site should still be your primary concern.
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