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How good is 4G home broadband, really?

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How good is 4G home broadband, really?

edited 19 May 2019 at 8:26AM in Broadband & Internet Access
22 replies 2.7K views
pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
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edited 19 May 2019 at 8:26AM in Broadband & Internet Access
We've seen a house to buy that's perfect for us in every way except one. Broadband speed is 1-3Mbps :eek: Estate agent said his office has a 4G business service as that's all they could get, and they run 10 computers off it. He claims to get 40 Mbps.

I'm really unsure. We use internet for the following currently (we have 300Mb Virgin!!):
  • Netflix/Amazon Prime
  • Working from home one day every 1-2 weeks
  • Facetime - we relocated so it's nice to Facetime family
  • Open University study - I study and it includes a lot of web use, online tutorials (think online conference call with a presentation) and watching videos

I'm just not convinced 4G internet will be quick enough or reliable enough for this kind of usage. EE and O2 both claim to have a good 4G signal in the area but hubby's mobile is on EE and he had no service downstairs in the house! (I know we could get a signal booster)

I'm aware it's really expensive - we're prob looking at £100/month for the usage we need. Setting that aside though, will it even work?!

Any experiences to share?
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  • pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
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    And just to add - I don't know why this house doesn't have fibre. The exchange is enabled and and other houses in the postcode, including its neighbours, get fibre at 50-60Mbps. I don't know why this one house isn't connected but it suggests to me there was a problem when the fibre roll-out came through so the situation isn't likely to change?

    Also - I've checked and non-4G-wireless services aren't available in the area, so it does seem 4G would be our only option.
  • Croft12Croft12 Forumite
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    pinkteapot wrote: »
    And just to add - I don't know why this house doesn't have fibre. The exchange is enabled and and other houses in the postcode, including its neighbours, get fibre at 50-60Mbps. I don't know why this one house isn't connected but it suggests to me there was a problem when the fibre roll-out came through so the situation isn't likely to change?

    Also - I've checked and non-4G-wireless services aren't available in the area, so it does seem 4G would be our only option.


    What do the checkers say about broadband?


    https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/




    Have you checkd the 'where and when' for future plans.


    4G if you can get the signal is fine speed is good (esp with external ariel)


    You can get unlimited data deals


    https://3g.co.uk/three-home-fi unlimited data 22pcm


    http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Network/Coverage


    If you can get a signal anywhere they put the router there and wifi in the house will do the rest. An external ariel is better than a booster.
  • edited 19 May 2019 at 11:33AM
    AndyPKAndyPK Forumite
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    edited 19 May 2019 at 11:33AM
    If you can't get a signal inside the house, then that not worth looking at.

    It could just be a database error. you can go onto open reach website and get it fixed within 28 days.
    I would have a go, even if you don't own the place. see what happens.
    You can then put an offer in it is still available


    ASDL speed estimates: I notice now fibre is more common, certain providers (plusnet, sky) are offering really low guaranteed ASDL speeds. Where in reality you would get quite a bit more. Amazingly talktalk seem to give more honest figures, so see what minimum guaranteed speed TT will offer, by going part way thru the sign up process.

    As an example I get about 6-7Mbps with EE

    Plusnet will only guarantee 1.7
    Nowtv will only guarantee 2.9
    TalkTalk will guarantee 5.2
  • pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
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    Croft12 wrote: »
    What do the checkers say about broadband?


    https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/

    I hadn't used that site - I'd looked at the availability checker for ordering BT broadband (and others). Anyway, I used the house address as I didn't have the other details asked for on the above, and the results are a bit confusing:

    FTTP on demand: 330 down / 30 up
    WBC ADSL 2+: up to 1 down / -- up / 1 to 3.5 range
    Then some other ADSL options with the same figures

    All of the above are listed as 'Available' in the table. Then underneath it says:
    FTTP is not available.

    For all ADSL and WBC Fibre to the Cabinet (VDSL or G.fast) services, the stable line rate will be determined during the first 10 days of service usage.

    This line is on a Market A Exchange.

    Soooo... FTTP isn't available but FTTP on demand is? I don't understand the difference - will do some googling. Though if none of the broadband providers will sell me more than 1-3Mbps I'm not sure if it helps...

    After we mentioned we had concerns about the broadband the EA asked the vendor to do a few speed tests and they're getting 1.8-3.8Mbps - in line with what the checkers said we could get.

    If we go for another look we'll look more closely at just how good our 4G phone signal was upstairs. You're right - they could put the router up there if need be.

    I'll have a look into antennae and learn a bit more on that too.

    Thanks for the pointers all. :D
  • Carrot007Carrot007 Forumite
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    pinkteapot wrote: »
    Soooo... FTTP isn't available but FTTP on demand is? I don't understand the difference - will do some googling.


    It means they will fit it if you pay, expect aroun 10K if you go that route.


    As for is 4G there anygood, go and test it on your mobile. No other way will do.
  • In my area my phone receives super fast 4G+ services. (Three)

    I use a hotspot off my phone, and speed is very good. I use it to work from home and its fine. Ive streamed video and its fine.

    I haven't tried streaming HD movies or TV shows however.
  • pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
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    Carrot007 wrote: »
    It means they will fit it if you pay, expect aroun 10K if you go that route.

    This is interesting actually... If 4G annoyed us we'd probably be tempted (depending on the exact quote). It's a ~£400k house so in relative terms that's not a completely insane investment, especially if we want to sell in years to come when even more people will be put off by terrible internet... It's interesting in the sense that it is at least physically possible to get fibre - at a cost!

    I would hope for a 5G rollout in a few years but this is in a rural area so I'm not holding my breath. :rotfl:

    Re 4G being any good - appreciate it largely depends on signal in the area. What I was getting at originally was whether anyone here is in a good signal area, uses 4G home broadband and finds it OK for the sorts of usages I mentioned.
  • BananaRepublicBananaRepublic Forumite
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    I use Vodaphone 4G with my iPhone as a wifi hotspot. I checked and we have 4G and 3G indoors. I pay £20 a month for 100GB data. I got 4G for a week. It was very very fast. Now I only get 3G, anywhere. It’s about 7 Gbps, fast enough, but not instant. They seem to be blocking my access to 4G and are no help.

    And even with 3G I can watch NHL hockey games and films no issues there.
  • Croft12Croft12 Forumite
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    pinkteapot wrote: »
    This is interesting actually... If 4G annoyed us we'd probably be tempted (depending on the exact quote). It's a ~£400k house so in relative terms that's not a completely insane investment, especially if we want to sell in years to come when even more people will be put off by terrible internet... It's interesting in the sense that it is at least physically possible to get fibre - at a cost!

    I would hope for a 5G rollout in a few years but this is in a rural area so I'm not holding my breath. :rotfl:

    Re 4G being any good - appreciate it largely depends on signal in the area. What I was getting at originally was whether anyone here is in a good signal area, uses 4G home broadband and finds it OK for the sorts of usages I mentioned.


    The cost of Fttpod is whatever it costs. So it can be from low thousands to very high figures. You can get a desktop quote to find out roughly. You can usually get a rough idea if you know where the nearest fibre joint is.



    Remember that USO starts next year so if you were getting 1-3Mb the gov will pay >3k to get you a faster connection (and you can top that up if it costs more) So I've no doubt you will be able to get something better. they may give you 4G if its an option or they may do fttp. All depends on the costs
  • TakmonTakmon Forumite
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    I use Vodaphone 4G with my iPhone as a wifi hotspot. I checked and we have 4G and 3G indoors. I pay £20 a month for 100GB data. I got 4G for a week. It was very very fast. Now I only get 3G, anywhere. It’s about 7 Gbps, fast enough, but not instant. They seem to be blocking my access to 4G and are no help.

    And even with 3G I can watch NHL hockey games and films no issues there.

    7 Gbps would be incredibly fast so i'm assuming you mean 7 Mbps :rotfl:
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