Huawei B525 LTE router - some queries, especially re VOIP calling on Rain.

I O U

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
835
#1
Posted this earlier on in Forums > Latest News and Announcements > Broadband and IT News, in an article which dealt with the B525, but no answers (yet) ; therefore, providing the link now in a new thread in the Rain LTE forum & pasting the content below it .. maybe someone or some of you can provide some answers :-

https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/thr...-south-african-networks.963811/#post-22082705

I'm thinking of ditching Telkom's slow ADSL (I have "fast", which is the slowest), but want to test Rain first using this newish router. Went into a local Telkom store recently and they have the better spec'd B525s-65a available :

Band 1/3/4/5/7/8/20/19/26/28/32/38/40/41

(compared to the B525s-23a, which has fewer bands listed)
Have any of you bought & used the B525-65a with a Rain SIM ?

First concern is if Rain will continue with this unlimited for R250pm (between 11pm to 6pm next day), indefinitely, or at least an extended period of time ? They're in the process of ditching fixed LTE through other ISPs (if I understood a recent article correctly), so this could also be replaced soon ... and Telkom did away with that R50 for 500GB (which became R59 for 450GB for a short time at the end of the promo.)

Do you think - or any of you know - if this will be around for a long time to come, at the very least ?

Then, another uncertainty is if this B525-65a comes with a VOIP interface (?) (to put SIP settings in) so I can plug in a normal phone & use it for VOIP calls (saw a B315 thread that had firmware for VOIP on some of them that was only introduced later on, on others).

One thing which is of concern, is that in their user manual I downloaded to have a look through, under :

3. Connecting multiple devices (states) :
You can connect a computer or landline phone to the router to access the internet, make telephone calls, and more.
.. then, in the data-sheet for the exact same model, under Tech Specs. --> External port, one of the 'features' is that it has

One phone port (RJ11) it says "Not Functional".
Which is it then ? Will it still be possible to connect a phone to make calls, and does the Rain SIM (yet) allow for this, as in one of the MyBB threads, sure I saw someone wrote you can't make VOIP calls using a Rain SIM, yet others were doing so from posts I saw.

The only other possible negative (compared to the B618, I think it is) - is that this has MIMO 2x2 whereas the 618 has MIMO 4x4

MIMO (multiple input/multiple output). ... (2x2 MIMO is essentially two streams of data for transmit and receive pathways; 4x4 MIMO is four streams)
Will that make such a difference, that it's worth spending many hundreds more Rand on the B618 for ?

Other than these points raised above, it seems like a fantastic router to go for - a no. of positive comments in the UK I saw (cannot find the review now) , but even there, the ISPs seem to block VOIP calling (if that's the case with Rain ?).

Have a final question from the Rain website :

Join online. Get up to 3 SIMs delivered to your door for R120 once-off.
SIM and VAT included
They use plural "up to 3 SIMs" for a R120 once-off fee, with singular "SIM and VAT ..."
Does each SIM cost R120 ? , or ,
do they charge a max of R120 even if you order 2 or 3 SIMs ?

Would appreciate feedback on as much of this above as possible, as hoping to buy one from Telkom as soon as tomorrow.
.
Thanks.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
550
#2
I have fixed Rain (don't know for how long I'll be able to keep it) but I'm pretty happy.

I have the B618 but I don't know if it's worth the extra money. It's fine. Firmware recently updated and it now claims to be able to do VOIP but I haven't tested. Others on this forum seem to prefer to use something like Zoiper on an Android phone anyway. The Rain sim doesn't need to allow for VOIP, it's just an IP connection to a SIP provider somewhere on the Internet.

I had an Asus ADSL router which I donated to a relative before the B618 and if anything the wifi is a bit weaker. Fortunately my flat is small. I can't say I've noticed a difference in Internet speeds compared with a B315, don't know about the model you're talking about specifically.
 

I O U

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
835
#3
Thanks @newby_investor for your input.
Was aware of the option in using an app on Android, and it's also a consideration.

There are a number of things to still consider, the main ones to me being whether I can trust Rain not only now but 6 months to a year & more down the line, when compared to a reliable (if slow) ADSL connection I've used since 2010.

Very tempted to at least get an LTE mobile router, to test things out.
Got a 4G SIM card from Telkom today (didn't pull the trigger on a router), but I have a 3G Telkom SIM I used in a smartphone for a few months on that 450GB for R59 deal, and checked today that it's still available on that SIM. From what I've read, 3G SIM cards can be used in 4G/LTE routers (?). For now, would be happy with 3G speeds between approx 10 - 20Mbps (which is what I was getting in my Android phone).
Obviously, could use the 4G SIM but other prepaid rates on it are considerably more, as the 450GB isn't showing up. And for testing out, want to do it as economically as possible.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
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#4
As to whether you can trust Rain - no clue. They have been good to me up to now, but how long they will continue to be good is something I'm not sure of. I'm fortunate in that I'm covered by Octotel fibre so worst coming to worst I can switch to fibre if Rain becomes insufficient for my needs. It would cost a bit more but the service is much more reliable.

Fixed Rain won't work in a mobile LTE router, just bear that in mind. Mobile Rain will, but if you want the R250 unlimited option, that's mobile only.

You'd have to check the specific mobile router - 3G sim cards can indeed be used, if the router supports the right 3G bands. You can usually expect speeds of between 5 and 8 Mbps on 3G in my experience, on Telkom or CellC anyway is what I've tried. Voda or MTN may be a bit faster but I haven't used those because of the price per megabyte. (Historically anyway).
 

I O U

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
835
#5
Thanks again @newby_investor.

They've recently laid fibre cable (that blue cable?) in our area, so that might be an option for me as well ; though I think it's quite a lot more expensive for slower speeds, but as you wrote, more reliable (and stable).

It is the R250 unlimited option from Rain I'm interested in, not their fixed LTE.

I was consistently getting around 10 - 11Mbps on Telkom 3G earlier on this year, and it was spiking sometimes at 16 and 20Mbps (could I have been dreaming :unsure::giggle:). Hope to test it again this weekend, as for now, going to get the 450GB on that SIM for 30 days, and in that time look at a mobile router as well.
 
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