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Cell-C / IS "fixed" LTE

Kenny Strydom

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
70
Is there a preferred router to use with the SIM? I believe it can work on any hardware
I would say anything LTE enabled and not blocked when issued by a certain service provider to work on their network only.

Searching around can get the firmware for almost anything anyway to flash that out as well.
 

fogeshan

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
78
Is there a preferred router to use with the SIM? I believe it can work on any hardware
Probably, but it's barely working at the moment anyway.

I'm sure Axxess had a list of supported routers on their website, or might have been one of the other ISPs.

On a related note, Axxess confirmed that their routers aren't network locked
 

chubster

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
819
My service has been "stable" for the past 3 days now. During peak periods I get about 5Mbps D || 16Mbps U. Other times it goes to about 12Mbps D || 22 Mbps U. The router is not placed in the most optimal spot, so I could probably get more speed.

Latency has stabilized at 33ms again. I'm based in Bellville, Cape Town. My B315 settings are (if it matters):

APN Name: INTERNET
User: null
Password: null
IPV4
APN: null (yes, null and not lte.broadband.is... was given this advice by a call agent from axxess)

Manually set to 4G only.
Manually selected Cell C 4G.
I tried this too, and I am able to connect successfully. I called the name of the profile "mybroadband" and left the APN empty like specified. Thanks for sharing this.

low latency, great.

But this time, doing a speed test, cape town is now 2mbps and johannesburg is ~5mbps. Opposite of yesterday.

Screenshot_2018-03-14_11-51-17.png
 

Kenny Strydom

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
70
With the same connection, I will consider the service fixed when I am back to the top test @ 19:00 in the evening.

I always got 47mbs, but I will let it slide....

Opera Snapshot_2018-03-14_121331_mybroadband.co.za.png
 

chubster

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
819
Restarted my huawei B618s-22d router, and this happened:

Huawei Band Tool before restart:
Code:
[LTE] [RSRP: -91, RSRQ: -10, RSSI: -65, SINR: 2] [1800 MHz, 10 MHz, 11F904]
from 5mbps down

Huawei Band Tool after restart:
Code:
[LTE] [RSRP: -80, RSRQ: -6, RSSI: -61, SINR: 14] [2100 MHz, 5 MHz, 1CF502]
to 25mbps down

2100MHz seems better to me.
 

fogeshan

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
78
Restarted my huawei B618s-22d router, and this happened:

Huawei Band Tool before restart:
Code:
[LTE] [RSRP: -91, RSRQ: -10, RSSI: -65, SINR: 2] [1800 MHz, 10 MHz, 11F904]
from 5mbps down

Huawei Band Tool after restart:
Code:
[LTE] [RSRP: -80, RSRQ: -6, RSSI: -61, SINR: 14] [2100 MHz, 5 MHz, 1CF502]
to 25mbps down

2100MHz seems better to me.
Is 1800mhz not 3g and 2100 LTE?
 

chubster

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
819
Is 1800mhz not 3g and 2100 LTE?
When I searched for Cell C's frequency bands, it listed 2100MHz or Band 1 as LTE, but not on 1800MHz. I have to wonder if LTE is also harvested from 1800MHz range.

It did register as LTE on 1800MHz, and the Huawei Band Tool was able to show which frequency was in use.
However, with the same tool, one can force it to register LTE only on 2100MHz. (I didn't)

Code:
# show band
# ./huawei_band_tool --router-ip <router_ip> --router-user admin --router-pass <admin_password> --show-band

Current Network Mode: 00
Current Network Band: 3FFFFFFF
Current LTE Band: 20000800C5 (800+900+1800+2100+2600+2600|TDD)

# show operator
# ./huawei_band_tool --router-ip <router_ip> --router-user admin --router-pass <admin_password> --show-plmn

Current Network Operator: Cell C (Cell C) | PLMN: 65507 | Rat: 7 (LTE)

# force 2100MHz
# ./huawei_band_tool --router-ip <router_ip> --router-user admin --router-pass <admin_password> --network-mode 03 --network-band 3FFFFFFF --lte-band +2100
I didn't force mine yet, but showing an example that I could find.

When I get home, I would like to insert Cell C contract SIM and compare which tower it connects to, because I've seen it register as 4G+ on that particular SIM.

Also this:

So here is the stats I got Rain LTE VS Cellc LTE+/4G+

Rain LTE/4G:
Band 3 FDD: 1800MHz has 10MHz bandwidth


Band 38 TDD: 2600MHz has 20MHz bandwidth


Rain does NOT have carrier aggregation between these 2 bands which is sad really because combined bandwidth of 30MHz is a decent size that would provide some very decent speeds when aggregated.

Cellc LTE and LTE+/4G and 4G+:
Band 3 FDD: 1800MHz has 10MHz bandwidth Secondary servicing cell usually.


Band 1 FDD: 2100MHz has 5MHz bandwidth :( Primary servicing cell usually


So when forcing the B618 to each specific band on Cellc you can see it stays on 4G only but Once you combined them either by allowing all LTE bands or by forcing only band 1 and 3 you can see the 4G+ sign coming up and cellc activates 2ca on the B618. Upload can be set to either 2100Mhz or 1800Mhz respectively.

So Cellc has 2CA on their 1800Mhz and 2100Mhz LTE bands giving a combined bandwidth of 15Mhz explains the slow speeds on Cellc LTE+/4G+ compared to Rain 2600Mhz LTE only.



Damn I love playing with the networks bands and seeing how the networks work with LTE :) On a different note. Shame on you Rain for misleading the public. Get CA right and then we will talk.
I thought this post might also be useful and related to this thread:

The thing is with LTE-A there does not seem to be a SET standard where this needs to happen to be LTE advanced.... So currently service providers with 20MHz bandwidth claim they have LTE-A when they don't.

Samsung considers anything with 20MHz or higher and cat 6 LTE as LTE-A[4G+/LTE+]

Huawei and most Chinese phones and devices consider any LTE that allows carrier aggregation irrespective of bandwidth capabilities LTE-A.

So here is a good example.

Rain band 38 - 2600MHz TDD has 20Mhz bandwidth. So they are calling this LTE-A
Cellc band 1 - 2100MHz FDD has 5MHz bandwidth and Band 3 - 1800MHz FDD has 10Mhz bandwidth. Both of these are just normal LTE but Cellc aggregate these two giving a total of 15Mhz bandwidth and so devices like Huawei show them as Having LTE-A or 4G+

Very interesting to not that both Rain and Telkom has 20MHz in the 2600MHz and 2300Mhz frequencies respectively so they would in most cases provide better speeds than Cellc but Cellc has carrier aggregation so even if they are slower they have LTE-a while Telkom and Rain only have LTE.

This is also the main reason why NO ONE on Cellc with any Samsung smartphone will see 4G+ because their total aggregated bandwidth is just 15MHz while Samsung require the network to have atleast 20Mhz and that is why I say there is no SET standard for what LTE-A really is.

IMO carrier aggregation + minimum 20Mhz bandwidth should LTE-A not either of those two.


IF Rain can get the carrier aggregation right between their two bands band 3 and 38 then they would probably have the best LTE-A network in SA as far as I know MTN and Vodacom does not own that much spectrum and even with refarming other bands the total will not come close to iBurts/WBS/Rain's 30Mhz total. People on Rain - congestion dependent obviously - will see speeds of over 100Mbps in most cases.
 
Last edited:

linkinpark

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Messages
978
I've played around with the bands when I first started having time out issues and the only band that worked for me was 1800mhz.
And if I leave it on ALL bands, it also connects to 1800mhz.
The Cell C Fixed LTE service is not advertised as LTE-A anywhere except for MWEB (which have admitted it's not LTE-A), so i'm not 100% sure if it will ever aggregate bands to LTE-A.
 

chubster

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
819
I've played around with the bands when I first started having time out issues and the only band that worked for me was 1800mhz.
And if I leave it on ALL bands, it also connects to 1800mhz.
The Cell C Fixed LTE service is not advertised as LTE-A anywhere except for MWEB (which have admitted it's not LTE-A), so i'm not 100% sure if it will ever aggregate bands to LTE-A.
Understood, forcing mine to Band 1 (2100MHz) definitely helps me. I had to do it now, after the modem switched back to 1800MHz (Band 3) and my internet grinded to a halt.

Perhaps this is dependent on my area.
 

Dwayno

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
42
I see Axxess is now charging the full price for the routers on this Cell C deal. Imagine paying the full R2000+ and still having to go through all these issues.
 

linkinpark

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Messages
978
Understood, forcing mine to Band 1 (2100MHz) definitely helps me. I had to do it now, after the modem switched back to 1800MHz (Band 3) and my internet grinded to a halt.

Perhaps this is dependent on my area.
Do you fall inside the LTE-A coverage on Cell C's map (https://www.cellc.co.za/cellc/coverage-map), I don't but I do fall inside the Fixed LTE coverage, so that might explain why I only get 1800mhz while you have both available.
 

chubster

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
819
Do you fall inside the LTE-A coverage on Cell C's map (https://www.cellc.co.za/cellc/coverage-map), I don't but I do fall inside the Fixed LTE coverage, so that might explain why I only get 1800mhz while you have both available.
Thanks, according to that map, Cell C Fixed is limited in my area, I barely inside the coverage area, while LTE and LTE-A covered almost everywhere.

I have to wonder what Cell C LTE Fixed means in this context. Does it perhaps imply that these SIMs are provisioned only for certain towers?
 

cavedog

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
10,636
Ideally one would want to leave it on LTE_ALL with the B618 as it will always use LTE-A.

Now it seem that the Cellc Fixed LTE-A does not actually allow LTE-A/4G+ which again IS has it's hand in. I find it shocking that Rain and IS simply fail with their LTE-A offerings.

Now with Cellc band 1 is usually the slow one due to the limited spectrum (5MHz) compared to band 3 with 10MHz spectrum. Band 3 is very popular and any LTE device sold in SA supports band 3 but they don't always support band 1.

That said if you make use of Cellc LTE-A it will aggregate band 1 and 3 to give "LTE-A/4G+" and should one band be slower than the other it would not matter because they are aggregated and that is nice because it eliminates the hassle of having to force one band to get better speed and the advantage of having both bands speed in one connection.

Works as it should on a Cellc prepaid and contract simcard so IS stuffed this one up too. Just like the Rain deal...
 

chubster

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
819
On the Band 3 1800MHz I get: Screenshot_2018-03-14_18-04-23.png

And on Band 1 2100MHz I get: Screenshot_2018-03-14_18-08-34.png

slight improvement but, for the frequency range that has less (5MHz), I get better bandwidth throughput. Also better signal.

I'm using internal antenna.
 

Kenny Strydom

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
70
Seems that before this whole problem started (I still think they do not have the capacity to carry these offerings) I had 47mbs on 1800mhz, sometimes 2600mhz would show. All full signal. I aligned an external antenna and have line of sight to the tower.

Now with the same signal I am stuck on 1800mhz and forcing to 2600 has no connectivity. Seems 'shut down'. Now sitting with a 10th of speed in the connection. I know is possible! It is very frustrating. These bastards are throttling us to hide their unethical selling practice. Opera Snapshot_2018-03-14_194119_www.speedtest.net.png
 
Last edited:

brabham

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
187
My service has been "stable" for the past 3 days now. During peak periods I get about 5Mbps D || 16Mbps U. Other times it goes to about 12Mbps D || 22 Mbps U. The router is not placed in the most optimal spot, so I could probably get more speed.

Latency has stabilized at 33ms again. I'm based in Bellville, Cape Town. My B315 settings are (if it matters):

APN Name: INTERNET
User: null
Password: null
IPV4
APN: null (yes, null and not lte.broadband.is... was given this advice by a call agent from axxess)

Manually set to 4G only.
Manually selected Cell C 4G.
Well so much for that. Absolutely nothing changed. Still 0 bars and no connection. Thanks for posting though. I have decided to cancel if I don't get proper feedback from Axxess with a resolution by tomorrow.
 

cavedog

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
10,636
Seems that before this whole problem started (I still think they do not have the capacity to carry these offerings) I had 47mbs on 1800mhz, sometimes 2600mhz would show. All full signal. I aligned an external antenna and have line of sight to the tower.

Now with the same signal I am stuck on 1800mhz and forcing to 2600 has no connectivity. Seems 'shut down'. Now sitting with a 10th of speed in the connection. I know is possible! It is very frustrating. These bastards are throttling us to hide their unethical selling practice. View attachment 506997
Remember that the 2100MHz signal could come from another tower. Carrier aggregation would allow 2 or more bands to be aggregated even if they are not from the same tower. Cellc did not roll out both band 1 and 3 on all the LTE towers.
 

brabham

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
187
So last night I took the Cell C Fixed LTE sim out of the supplied B618 router and fitted it into my spare B615 router. For about an hour still no connection and then I went to sleep. Woke up at 02h45 roughly and saw that somehow the B615 router had connected to the network. I connected my cellphone to the wifi and did a speedtest and got 40ms ping, 23.78mbps down and 18.80mbps up. I then went back to sleep excited that my rant on email last night had somehow done the trick.

I wake up this morning and it's still connected. I then decide I need to put the sim back into the B618 router because it's my preferred router (due to superior wifi penetration) and I want to make sure it will connect. Long story short; I have the router with me at work today and it's been on for like an hour and no connection.

Coincidentally, the B615 router has been connected to the Cell C 4G network since before I left home this morning.
 

chubster

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
819
So last night I took the Cell C Fixed LTE sim out of the supplied B618 router and fitted it into my spare B615 router. For about an hour still no connection and then I went to sleep. Woke up at 02h45 roughly and saw that somehow the B615 router had connected to the network. I connected my cellphone to the wifi and did a speedtest and got 40ms ping, 23.78mbps down and 18.80mbps up. I then went back to sleep excited that my rant on email last night had somehow done the trick.

I wake up this morning and it's still connected. I then decide I need to put the sim back into the B618 router because it's my preferred router (due to superior wifi penetration) and I want to make sure it will connect. Long story short; I have the router with me at work today and it's been on for like an hour and no connection.

Coincidentally, the B615 router has been connected to the Cell C 4G network since before I left home this morning.
I had much better speeds at work, but only on 2100MHz, at home surprisingly 1800MHz was the better one, but still horrible speeds. Try using the Huawei Band Tool and see if you can get more specific information related to how you connect. I would be really interested to see which Cell ID your B615 connected to and which frequency was in play. Maybe the difference because of the internal antenna?
 
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