RoLeLu

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May 2, 2021
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36
Hello everyone, I've bought a Telkom prepaid sim about a year ago and ever since I've had it I've been experiencing poor reception/signal and as a result, unstable internet.

I had planned to use this sim for casual mobile gaming but that is not viable due to said poor reception. I would be experiencing unstable ping and packet loss issues or the internet connection would just randomly stop working.

I've looked at Telkoms coverage map for my area (Western Cape, Southern Suburbs, Lansdowne) and according to that map, Telkom is supposed to have full LTE coverage for my area, yet my connection is at best 2 bars on 4G at home and often switches between 4G and 3.5G or sometimes just drops completely.

It's not my phones antenna as I've tried this sim in two other phones and the issue (bad reception) persists.

I'd like to add also, that I have an MTN prepaid sim and the 4G reception is full almost all the time for that sim and also had a sim for a short time from another mobile network ( maybe Vodacom or Cell-C) previously and full 4G reception for that sim as well, same location (home).

I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced this issue with Telkom mobile and if there's any possible way this could be fixed?

I'm also aware of the Telkom roaming option and I have that already switched off as I'm only using Telkom data bundles as they're supposed to have full coverage in my area and their data prices are more affordable.
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You could put the Telkom sim card in a router that has external antennas.

Or you could purchase MTN (or even Afrihost) data bundles to use on the MTN sim card.

Or you could force "3G only" by changing the Network mode settings in the phone and test those speeds.
 
You could put the Telkom sim card in a router that has external antennas.

Or you could purchase MTN (or even Afrihost) data bundles to use on the MTN sim card.

Or you could force "3G only" by changing the Network mode settings in the phone and test those speeds.
Tried switching to 3G mode only, it's really slow...... seems more like EDGE speed than 3G......

The MTN network have blocked ports isp side for prepaid users as far as i'm aware. Due to this I wouldn't be able to host any online multiplayer games on MTN.

I might have to purchase a router with external antennae as you suggested. This bad signal seems really strange since one of the cellphone towers in my area is literally just down the road. Anyways, thanks for the suggestions.
 
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What router are you using? I am also using prepaid right now.
 
I am currently not using a router although I shouldn't have to just to get decent reception. What area are you in if you dont mind sharing?

Was going to take an internet speed test but reception is even worse during load shedding. Will post my results here when i'm able to.

Forgot to add that other parts in my area the reception is good, for example 4-5 blocks from my house the reception gets better and by 'better' I mean at least it stays on 4G mode and doesn't hop between 3.5G and 4G or randomly stop working.
 
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I am currently not using a router although I shouldn't have to just to get decent reception. What area are you in if you dont mind sharing?

Was going to take an internet speed test but reception is even worse during load shedding. Will post my results here when i'm able to.

Forgot to add that other parts in my area the reception is good, for example 4-5 blocks from my house the reception gets better and by 'better' I mean at least it stays on 4G mode and doesn't hop between 3.5G and 4G or randomly stop working.
I live in Emalahleni, MTN and CELL C doesn't work here at all so no MTN uncap month to month and Telkom uncap is sht expensive so I am running a prepaid sim
 
Any decent routers that you suggest I should look for? I ask because i'm not very clued up on routers, so best to get information from those more familiar with this, thanks in advance.
Get a used one for a few hundred bucks and enjoy the immediate difference it could make.
 
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Any decent routers that you suggest I should look for? I ask because i'm not very clued up on routers, so best to get information from those more familiar with this, thanks in advance.
I'm still using a Huawei B525s - 65a (to be precise) for Telkom LTE (Axxess ISP supplied SIM, not that it makes any difference).

Some on this forum have written negatively about that model, but speed test results attached show it works fine, for me anyway - in PE.

The only low result of 30 Mbps down was done just after power returned from load shedding.

Don't know if you'll get a good one for "a few hundred bucks", as new, they were around R2k.
 

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Before you buy a different router have you tried putting the sim in another device?

I also agree on getting a Huawei router. Most of the models should work fine. There were a few that had limited bands you could connect on so watch out for that.

What phone are you using?
 
Before you buy a different router have you tried putting the sim in another device?

I also agree on getting a Huawei router. Most of the models should work fine. There were a few that had limited bands you could connect on so watch out for that.

What phone are you using?
I am cureently using a Samsung Galaxy A12 and had the sim in two others phones before (Samsung J3 and Samsung A3 Core) all had the same reception problem with the Telkom sim and none with MTN sim.
 
.... to use this sim for casual mobile gaming
.... I have an MTN prepaid sim and the 4G reception is full almost all the time for that sim and also had a sim for a short time from another mobile network ( maybe Vodacom or Cell-C) previously and full 4G reception for that sim as well, same location (home).
I am cureently using a Samsung Galaxy A12 and had the sim in two others phones before (Samsung J3 and Samsung A3 Core) all had the same reception problem with the Telkom sim and none with MTN sim.
See on your MTN SIM if you have the option of 100 GB for R229 ; not as good a value as you can get with Telkom (for example, they have or certainly had "uncapped" at R249 for around 19 hours / day, even on prepaid).

At least you'll have a better experience for the time you want to spend on casual mobile gaming, and that 100 GB might go further than you think if you can adjust game settings to use less data ?

Either try find it in the MTN app - see screenshot (under Made4U) or through USSD *136# .
 

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Telkom is useless. My internet has been driving me nuts for over a year, especially during loadshedding.

If you buy a bundle that's Telkom-only, you don't have any data whilst on roaming. It just cuts you off.

You need to buy a bundle which has MTN roaming. Apparently that's better, bit i haven't tried it yet.
 
Telkom is useless. My internet has been driving me nuts for over a year, especially during loadshedding.

If you buy a bundle that's Telkom-only, you don't have any data whilst on roaming. It just cuts you off.

You need to buy a bundle which has MTN roaming. Apparently that's better, bit i haven't tried it yet.
Yeah you would probably get the same reception you'd have on a Vodacom and MTN network if you bought an all network bundle from Telkom mobile but it's more expensive than the Telkom only bundles.
 
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UPDATE: So for some reason, after having had the above mentioned bad reception since I bought this sim 2 or 3 years back, I've noticed the reception on full 4G for the first time.

Sometimes it still drops to about 2 bars on 4G but hardly drops to HSDPA mode now. Also I can finally stream videos without any buffering pretty much and internet doesn't stop working randomly, so far at least. Its the 2nd day and reception is full for the most part. Anyays just thought i'd give an update. Still, I wonder what was causing the poor reception initially :unsure:

Regards all

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UPDATE: So for some reason, after having had the above mentioned bad reception since I bought this sim 2 or 3 years back, I've noticed the reception on full 4G for the first time.

Sometimes it still drops to about 2 bars on 4G but hardly drops to HSDPA mode now. Also I can finally stream videos without any buffering pretty much and internet doesn't stop working randomly, so far at least. Its the 2nd day and reception is full for the most part. Anyays just thought i'd give an update. Still, I wonder what was causing the poor reception initially :unsure:

Regards all

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Could it be that people using the same tower, rest of the year, have gone away where you live ? Resulting in less congestion.

You had low ping (latency) in early September, and it's remained exactly the same - better than mine is, around the 27ms mark.

At least you persisted, and are now reaping the rewards !
Though your current speeds don't leave you with much leeway if it falls over again.
Hopefully it lasts as is, as long as you need it / want to use it (being Telkom).
 
Could it be that people using the same tower, rest of the year, have gone away where you live ? Resulting in less congestion
I believe not as its been consistently bad throughout the whole year for the past +2 years. And the poor reception seems to have returned again. This is really weird.
 
@RoLeLu

Some more suggestions, some of them for the future, but you might've already tried ?

Test a Vodacom prepaid SIM ; wouldn't know if they block ports as you noted MTN did in the past. You've missed out this year but if testing works well, then next November you might consider a dreaded contract - "Black Friday month" I'd term it, whereby you'd get hundreds of GB's day + night, heavily discounted.

Presume you've had ADSL before ?
Aware it's going backwards, but check your address using Afrihost's website, though for gaming your upload speed will be heavily restricted to around 1 Mbps, and VDSL to about 5 (I think), on a 20 or 40 Mbps download line.

Try contact Herotel to see if they might be considering fibre in your part of CPT.
They seem to concentrate on areas other FNO's don't, so maybe you'll get fortunate if it's considered somewhat out the way by Openserve, Frogfoot, Octotel, Vumatel etc.

You'd be set with a 50 / 50 Mbps line for about R500, if willing to spend that per month ; that at least was their pricing last I read.

Telkom seems extremely bad / unreliable where you are, so I'd look at the other alternatives.
I'd go back to ADSL - if you can for the next year - if workable / until the copper is stolen !

Then seriously consider a Vodacom contract next November, if testing work out & no fibre is installed in the interim.
Fibre cost might already be a factor, in which case I agree with you (ie. you could have it available, but don't want to spend that much ?).
 
@RoLeLu

Some more suggestions, some of them for the future, but you might've already tried ?

Test a Vodacom prepaid SIM ; wouldn't know if they block ports as you noted MTN did in the past. You've missed out this year but if testing works well, then next November you might consider a dreaded contract - "Black Friday month" I'd term it, whereby you'd get hundreds of GB's day + night, heavily discounted.

Presume you've had ADSL before ?
Aware it's going backwards, but check your address using Afrihost's website, though for gaming your upload speed will be heavily restricted to around 1 Mbps, and VDSL to about 5 (I think), on a 20 or 40 Mbps download line.

Try contact Herotel to see if they might be considering fibre in your part of CPT.
They seem to concentrate on areas other FNO's don't, so maybe you'll get fortunate if it's considered somewhat out the way by Openserve, Frogfoot, Octotel, Vumatel etc.

You'd be set with a 50 / 50 Mbps line for about R500, if willing to spend that per month ; that at least was their pricing last I read.

Telkom seems extremely bad / unreliable where you are, so I'd look at the other alternatives.
I'd go back to ADSL - if you can for the next year - if workable / until the copper is stolen !

Then seriously consider a Vodacom contract next November, if testing work out & no fibre is installed in the interim.
Fibre cost might already be a factor, in which case I agree with you (ie. you could have it available, but don't want to spend that much ?).
Thanks for the tips they're much appreciated. I know so far that at least both Vodacom and MTN have no to very little signal problems where I'm at, so might go with one of those for data. This poor connection is really strange with Telkom as I've looked at coverage maps and it clearly shows that Telkom has full LTE coverage in our area including even 5G in some parts.

I might look into the ADSL thing too in the near future as you mentioned above. For now i'll just have to use reverse tunneling methods to bypass the blocked ports issue I suppose. Thanks again for the info :cool:
 
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