Long time Telkom LTE user - Time to change (?)

Doug_Dread

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I started my LTE journey with Telkom several years ago with speeds around 70Mbps. A couple of years ago, my speeds dropped to around 15Mbps overnight and despite complaining and them installing an outside aerial, have never improved. My contract will soon be up and I intend to stay with LTE but could really use more speed. Also, I see MTN is currently offering the most attractive packages. The speed varies a lot with area; so for this consideration, I stay in Horison, Roodepoort.

I would appreciate some thoughts from those who know about these things. :)
 

Jake45

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Cell C have just launched some very cheap prepaid LTE packages which might be of interest. You could purchase a prepaid SIM card and try to load the smallest 5+5GB bundle to evaluate the performance.

Alternatively you could consider one of the Fixed LTE bundles from Afrihost/MTN which are month to month or take out a contract directly with MTN. You may need to purchase a new/secondhand router for some of these packages unless you currently have one of these supported devices - Huawei B525 B535 B612 B618 B818 or ZTE MF286 etc.
 

Doug_Dread

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Thanks :)

Isn't Cell-C on the skids?

I have a Huawei B525 router supplied by Telkom. Don't they lock their routers to their network so they don't work on other networks?

I find a lot of praise for Afrihost elsewhere on this forum and mention of speeds that far outstrip my current speeds. On the other hand, the direct MTN deals are quite a bit cheaper; who is the ISP in this case?
 

netstrider

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On average, MTN is superior. No way for us to say in your location though.

I suggest you test with orfinary MTN sim in modern-ish phone first.

B525 does not give thr best results, unfortunately.
 

Jake45

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Thanks :)

Isn't Cell-C on the skids?

I have a Huawei B525 router supplied by Telkom. Don't they lock their routers to their network so they don't work on other networks?

I find a lot of praise for Afrihost elsewhere on this forum and mention of speeds that far outstrip my current speeds. On the other hand, the direct MTN deals are quite a bit cheaper; who is the ISP in this case?
Yes Cell C are on the skids but this shouldn't be much of a problem as the packages are prepaid and you can move to another provider at any time. You must first evaluate the performance with a prepaid SIM before spending too much money.

If you already have a Huawei B525 then you are in luck! I don't think that Telkom has ever locked their LTE routers.

MTN currently offer cheaper pricing than the ISPs but you need to sign up for a 24 month contract or buy another router if you take the month to month option. Some of the packages directly from MTN are proper mobile packages so you can use the data anywhere (you need to confirm this with MTN as they sell both types) while the Fixed LTE packages from the ISPs such as Afrihost are locked to one tower and cannot be used in different locations which could be a big disadvantage if you have been using your Telkom package as a mobile service. I think the MTN packages that I linked to above are Fixed LTE packages but they do also have specials on mobile packages for similar amounts.

I am currently using the 30+30GB Afrihost Pure LTE bundle for R199pm but am now considering the 50+50GB Cell C bundle for R199 but I still need to test the service before I decide to migrate. The Afrihost Pure LTE service has worked very reliably for me over the past year but I often need to purchase additional data which is why I am considering the new cheaper Cell C packages.
 
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Ernest Himself

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Thanks :)

Isn't Cell-C on the skids?

I have a Huawei B525 router supplied by Telkom. Don't they lock their routers to their network so they don't work on other networks?

I find a lot of praise for Afrihost elsewhere on this forum and mention of speeds that far outstrip my current speeds. On the other hand, the direct MTN deals are quite a bit cheaper; who is the ISP in this case?
Did you try change the frequency or band on the router? :) Most times that sorts out the problem.
 

Doug_Dread

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@Jake45: Not often, but I do take my Telkom router on holiday, much better than the usual destination wi-fi.

@netstrider: WRT testing: Will any phone (iPhone), allow the swop of a sim and test without any disruption of it's setup and function? (Never tried it.)

@ernest: Telkom techs tried everything to restore my speed, including frequency changes and the free erection of an outside aerial. The speed was simply gone forever, could only be attributed to something major that was done to/on my nearest Telkom tower.
 

netstrider

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@Jake45: Not often, but I do take my Telkom router on holiday, much better than the usual destination wi-fi.

@netstrider: WRT testing: Will any phone (iPhone), allow the swop of a sim and test without any disruption of it's setup and function? (Never tried it.)

@ernest: Telkom techs tried everything to restore my speed, including frequency changes and the free erection of an outside aerial. The speed was simply gone forever, could only be attributed to something major that was done to/on my nearest Telkom tower.
Yes. It will work.
 

Jake45

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@Doug_Dread If you are looking for a mobile product then I think you need to look at one of the My MTN Choice packages. I think you can also share the data across several SIM cards so you can use the same bundle in your phone as well as your router etc. You can't share the data with the Fixed LTE products as it can only be used in an approved router.

You should be able to find the most recent offers in the latest Yello Trader. You could also ask for suggestions in the MTN subforum.
 

Doug_Dread

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Easter Sunday family braai, round the table speed testing ;)

My Iphone SE (older model):
Vodacom 4G (Router off): 14; 15Mbps
Telkom LTE (Router on): 10; 13; 16Mbps

Daughter 1, 3 year old Huawei (unknown model):
MTN: 6; 8Mbps

Daughter 2, 4 year old Samsung S8? (not sure):
Set to Afrihost-MTN: 33Mbps
Set direct to MTN: 46; 71Mbps

WOW, but not sure how to interpret the difference between the 2 phones on MTN?
 

Doug_Dread

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Easter Sunday family braai, round the table speed testing ;)

My Iphone SE (older model):
Vodacom 4G (Router off): 14; 15Mbps
Telkom LTE (Router on): 10; 13; 16Mbps

Daughter 1, 3 year old Huawei (unknown model):
MTN: 6; 8Mbps

Daughter 2, 4 year old Samsung S8? (not sure):
Set to Afrihost-MTN: 33Mbps
Set direct to MTN: 46; 71Mbps

WOW, but not sure how to interpret the difference between the 2 phones on MTN?
My ignorance and confusion grow.

I ran a test yesterday, using my daughters MTN sim in my Huawei B525s router (supplied by Telkom as well as an outside aerial supplied by Telkom), expecting, or at least hoping for a dramatic increase in performance. The test results however, yielded the same ballpark speeds as with my Telkom sim, around 20mbps download. Upload was however, quite a bit faster than Telkom. BUT, when returned to her phone the test results jumped up into the 50+ mbps range!

What is going on?! Could my router be a bottleneck? It seems to recognise the sim and everything seems normal, but no increase in speed? My Telkom contract expires soon and I don't know which way to go. :(

Advice please?!
 

BCR

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No, to be honest I don't know my way around the router settings.

@Doug_Dread - what you need to do is have your internet connected, with PC / laptop on, then open a web browser (like Google Chrome or Firefox etc.).

At the top where you'd normally type your web searches, put the following in :
192.168.8.1 (that should be the default IP address, as listed on the bottom of your B525 router - if it's a different range of nos., put those in, instead).

If your router has auto updated in the last few months, a new page you should pop-up requiring only a password - the default is "admin" ; if you're required to put in a username, then put "admin" in as well, into the appropriate block.

You should then have access to the router's settings.

To change between the different bands in the router -
click on "Network Settings" (at the top), then in the left margin, "Mobile Network Searching".
On the right, there is a drop down for "Preferred network mode" ; the default is likely set to "Auto".
However, if you have a Telkom SIM in the router, you can switch to others, like "4G only", "B3 only" (which is Telkom's 1800 Mhz spectrum), and "B40 only" (Telkom's 2300 Mhz frequency).

Remember to save each change, then do a speedtest & see what results you get.
B3 usually gives a somewhat equal amount of upload / download speed (for eg 40 Mbps down & 40 Mbps up)
B40 usually the fastest download for your area, and significantly lower upload speed (for eg. I can get up to 100+ Mbps down, and around 10 - 20 Mbps up on that setting)

I invariably keep mine set to "Auto" when using Telkom, as that is what keeps your connection going especially with power cuts (ie. can happen that you'll only have a 3G connection after power outage, but at least you'll have something).

Notwithstandling all the above, you should concentrate on what the ping reading is, when doing speedtests - you can use this to find that out, along with your up & down speeds :


The lower the number, the better it is (eg. good fibre connections usually get around 1 or 2ms - milli-seconds) ; LTE anything from around 10 or 20ms to into the 40's are accptable ; I'm currently using Cell C as my main LTE provider, and get around 46ms, which last night was still good enough for 2 simultaneous WhatsApp voice only calls ; if you have an upload speed of around 10 Mbps, then even with a relatively bad ping of 46ms, your internet experience should still be very usable.
My Telkom pings usually get between 23 - 27 ms.

Hope the above helps.
 
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BCR

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My ignorance and confusion grow.

I ran a test yesterday, using my daughters MTN sim in my Huawei B525s router (supplied by Telkom as well as an outside aerial supplied by Telkom), expecting, or at least hoping for a dramatic increase in performance. The test results however, yielded the same ballpark speeds as with my Telkom sim, around 20mbps download. Upload was however, quite a bit faster than Telkom. BUT, when returned to her phone the test results jumped up into the 50+ mbps range!

What is going on?! Could my router be a bottleneck? It seems to recognise the sim and everything seems normal, but no increase in speed? My Telkom contract expires soon and I don't know which way to go. :(

Advice please?!

I wouldn't be fixated on the speeds, but rather the stability.

Maybe playing around with the bands will help, and testing a Cell C SIM might buy you some more time in finding a more permanent solution, because their data is cheap when you convert a SIM to Home Connecta Flexi (refer to the thread in Cell C's sub-forum), and I find my speeds are acceptable - at last test I had almost 30 down & almost 10 up.

Do you require faster internet speeds for any reason : doing lots of downloads ? , because I download quite a bit (YT tech & other tech related things), and find speeds I get to be sufficiently fast enough, whether on Cell C or Telkom.
 

Doug_Dread

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Sep 16, 2008
Messages
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@Doug_Dread - what you need to do is have your internet connected, with PC / laptop on, then open a web browser (like Google Chrome or Firefox etc.).

At the top where you'd normally type your web searches, put the following in :
192.168.8.1 (that should be the default IP address, as listed on the bottom of your B525 router - if it's a different range of nos., put those in, instead).

If your router has auto updated in the last few months, a new page you should pop-up requiring only a password - the default is "admin" ; if you're required to put in a username, then put "admin" in as well, into the appropriate block.

You should then have access to the router's settings.


Notwithstandling all the above, you should concentrate on what the ping reading is, when doing speedtests - you can use this to find that out, along with your up & down speeds :


The lower the number, the better it is (eg. good fibre connections usually get around 1 or 2ms - milli-seconds) ; LTE anything from around 10 or 20ms to into the 40's are accptable ; I'm currently using Cell C as my main LTE provider, and get around 46ms, which last night was still good enough for 2 simultaneous WhatsApp voice only calls ; if you have an upload speed of around 10 Mbps, then even with a relatively bad ping of 46ms, your internet experience should still be very usable.
My Telkom pings usually get between 23 - 27 ms.

Hope the above helps.
Tried, but it appears "admin" isn't the password. I never changed it and it's threatening to lock my router if I try again. My ping is 15ms.
 

netstrider

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Tried, but it appears "admin" isn't the password. I never changed it and it's threatening to lock my router if I try again. My ping is 15ms.
Will lock it max 60 mins. Usually only 5 mins.

You could just reset it. LTE will work just fine after.

APN: internet
No password.

Usually router pulls details off sim anyway.

A ping of 15 is perfectly fine for LTE. I got 20ms on mine when I had LTE.
 

Doug_Dread

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Tried joining MTN but they made it so difficult for me that I gave up and re-signed with Telkom.

With screen print of the package I wanted, month-to-month 150GB, I went to a supposed main branch in Clearwater mall; After standing in a queue, I was told they don't offer that there, try Westgate or another branch. Same story at Westgate shop 1 who sent me to the smaller Westgate shop 2, armed with a name to talk to. After standing in another queue, the lady at the counter points me to a guy helping another customer at a desk. First in that queue but still took an hour. Eventually served, I asked one question; "Can I be confident I shall get the same or better performance than my current Telkom package?" His answer (although he had said he could check the area for me with reasonable accuracy as I stayed only a kilometer away from Westgate), he gave me a phone number to call while I was at home and they would check my location. No answer on that number of course and a totally irrelevant choice of options. Having wasted the better part of a morning, I sent an email complaint to MTN and got a standerdised reply a couple of days later. A four letter word or two later I called Telkom and 1, 2, 3 done. Awaiting my new sim and router (B535-932 at a better price than any I found on Google and way cheaper than MTN's B612), delivery.

Maybe I'm missing out on some extra speed and getting a few GB less for my money, but I no longer care.
 

8ta Network Optimist

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Dec 24, 2011
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If you own the property and have multiple users and internet use will increase in future re netflix,games then go fibre. R399 25mbps down and 5mbps up Openserve/telkom. If you decide to stay on mobile internet I recommend a XPol external antenna.
 
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