Struggling with speeds on Telkom LTE

carstensdj

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Hey Forumites,

Firstly, if this has been covered somewhere, please feel free to point me in the right direction. There's just too many posts to read through in a work day to sift and find the answers I'm looking for.

My parents moved into a new place and were struggling to get Fibre in their area (Marina Da Gama, CPT) and so they opted for the Telkom Uncapped LTE option as they rely on internet for work. (They work from home). At the previous house they only had a 2mbps ADSL line but in all honesty, it just felt more reliable and quicker than what this Telkom LTE does. When watching Netflix, it often buffers on them. Even more shocking to me was that my step father is very into genealogy and on his 2mbps adsl line he could sift through scans and images of various family tree's and what not quite easily but with the LTE, he has to wait about 15-25secs for each image to load up.

I've called BS on all this and started blaming their Internal Wifi etc but the more I've gone to test, the more I'm realizing that it IS literally as bad as he makes it out to be.

Their signal reads between -82dB and -89dB which equates to roughly 4/5 bars of signal on the router so it's not like their signal is that bad either.

I'm also using a Ubiquiti LR AP for their wifi just FYI.

Does anyone know of any settings that I might be able to look at or change to get better performance for them? I'm not all that clued up on LTE and what settings to tinker for better results. Thanks in advance, I really do appreciate any help that you can provide.
 

carstensdj

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Came across this article and will try these settings when I'm next at my parents but would appreciate any other advice that you might have, thanks.
 

BayCityRoller

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@carstensdj - I'm no expert on this either, but have been using a Huawei B525 router on & off since last year, and currently have Telkom off-peak data in use.

Apart from the Ubiquiti, you don't state what router they're using the SIM in.

Things I'd try :
1.) Disconnect the Ubiquiti, and see if the pages load faster / buffering goes away, because it may be leading to the interference (especially seeing as you're unsure of the exact settings) ;

2.) Even if there's an improvement (in page loading / streaming) once it's disconnected, do a few speedtests in conjunction with carrying out my suggestions in 3.) below - either from the MyBB Speed Test checker or from
3.) Go into the router settings, and see what the default Network Settings are set to ; working on the assumption they have something similar to a B525, the options to change & test should be some or all of :
Auto (I get anywhere between 30 - 100Mbps on this setting, and upload of around 8Mbps)
4G & 3G Auto
1800Mhz (4G only)
- should invariably give faster upload speeds (I get up to 24Mbps UPLOAD on this setting, but download drops to around 20Mbps) - this might be an ideal setting to test for streaming ? ;
2300Mhz (4G only) - this should provide for 4G+ : faster download speeds

I think "Auto" should be good enough, and also select "Auto" to scan for networks , then run through that process again ; this should help ensure that setting isn't linked to an incorrect operator.

Is it possible the router they have, has a setting for 2G speed, and that's what it's set to ?
Even on 3G, I can get up to around 26Mbps, so that shouldn't be preventing even pages from loading.

I've quoted the figs. above just to give a ballpark of what they could expect to achieve once you start adjusting settings in the router. If you've setup an Ubiquiti, likelihood is you've done all these checks already ?

4.) Note the ping times, along with download / upload speeds, when you do the speedtests.
Referring back to tests I did in Aug., ping times achieved were in the 20s to 30s (ms), so if a lot higher, that might be their problem. I think my signal is also in the 80's, depending on where in the house I test.

5.) clear the cache / history etc. of the browser your dad's using, and show him how to do so periodically, or for eg., in Firefox you can setup for cache etc. to auto delete every time the browser's closed.

Hope at least some of this helps.
 

carstensdj

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@carstensdj - I'm no expert on this either, but have been using a Huawei B525 router on & off since last year, and currently have Telkom off-peak data in use...
Thanks for this bud, will definitely try all this out and take a look.

Not sure on the Huawei router model off the top of my head but will check and update the thread, next time I'm there.

In point 1 you mentioned the Ubiquiti and me not knowing what the settings were? I set it up from scratch so have a pretty good idea. What settings in particular did you have in mind? Perhaps I can shed some light if it helps at all?

Lastly, with regards to his cache... Good suggestion and I initially suspected his Mac as being the culprit due to it being a bit of a relic and a little out of date, but even trying on my own Windows 10 laptop, I also struggled to load up the Genealogy docs. I literally stood right next to the AP with full Wifi signal and it made no difference. I suppose I should plug in with a LAN cable and test again too, with the Ubiquiti powered down (as you mentioned)...
 

BayCityRoller

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Pleasure.

Re :
In point 1 you mentioned the Ubiquiti and me not knowing what the settings were? I set it up from scratch so have a pretty good idea. What settings in particular did you have in mind? Perhaps I can shed some light if it helps at all?
I know nothing about Ubiquiti, so can't help with that unfortunately.

Earlier on from your orig. thread :
Does anyone know of any settings that I might be able to look at or change to get better performance for them? I'm not all that clued up on LTE and what settings to tinker for better results.
... obviously I didn't read it carefully enough, and it was the LTE router settings you were referring to, not Ubiquiti.
Sorry about that.

After you do any settings changes / re-testing, and if no improvement, then you'd probably have to consider tower congestion (during the day as well?) and/or the fact that it's an "uncapped" plan which Telkom might be interfering with, though that should only be after around 150GB usage / month.

I'm comparing that to what I currently use which is the capped 450GB / month I was fortunate enough to get, so it's not a "like for like" comparison.

Just another thought : there have been threads on the forum to do with the Telkom-R (roaming agreement with Vodacom) which has been problematic for many. When you call up the router settings, check to see if it's showing 4G , 4G+ or maybe Telkom-R, and if so, that could be the simple explanation to the cause of the probs.
 

cavedog

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The new Telkom uncapped deals are speed limited anyways starting at 10Mbps then 4Mbps then 2Mbps for the rest of the month. Considering that they had 2Mbps adsl then this LTE offer should work reasonably well and since speeds are capped you can play around with 4G Only (1800MHz) and 4G Only (2300MHz) won't matter as speeds are capped.

Slow browsing could be a DNS issue. Try forcing Quad 9 or Cloudflare DNS to speed up browsing.

Switch APN to unrestricted. The normal APN is behind a CGN (Carrie grade NAT) setup from Telkom. Can in some instances cause issues.
 

carstensdj

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Thanks @BayCityRoller and @cavedog , I really appreciate the responses.

@cavedog, I considered the DNS and am going to change that to use Google or Cloudflare DNS instead of the Telkom one. I'll also change the APN as suggested.
 

carstensdj

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Just some updates here:
  1. Router Model: Huawei - B525s - 65a
  2. Speed Test 1: 3/5 bars 4G+ signal ; Ping: 25ms ; DL: 0.69Mbps ; UL: 0.42Mbps
  3. Speed Test 2: 4/5 bars 4G+ signal ; Ping: 26ms ; DL: 0.83Mbps ; UL: 1,13Mbps
It's worth mentioning that these tests were conducted after switching from the default APN to the "TelkomInternet" APN.

I should be going there in person over the weekend to conduct more tests but look at those results above. How can 4G+ with 4/5 bars of signal possibly be getting less than 1Mbps speeds??? It just does not make any kind of logical sense! The more I get into this, the more pissed off I'm becoming because it just does not add up?!?!?!
 

BayCityRoller

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Feel very bad for them, as things were stable on ADSL.

I have the same model, so it's the Telkom supplied one (65a), and have very similar stats, except for DL & UP (see recent speedtests below).

Strangely, the bars on mine always show a full 5, but I remember reading a post on this forum that Telkom had forced it in the software to do that - stay on 5 all the time !?
Don't know how true that might be, but when I tried a Rain SIM in it last month, the bars did go up & down (from 0 to about 2), and on the same router, experienced similar DL / UL speeds on Rain, as your dad has with Telkom.

Before you get there, is your dad able to navigate in the router settings (via 192.168.8.1) & try some of the other things suggested - like changing from Auto to 1800 / 2300, even though on the uncapped, one's apparently not supposed to get more than 10Mbps - not to mention, disconnecting that Ubiquiti AP, and testing using the router only ?

I've not touched the APN settings in mine.

Far as I know, this router doesn't allow for changing the DNS, so you have to use the default (mine can't, at least).
Think there is software floating around the net to change it, but as as I've switched predominantly over to Firefox when using the same router, you can change to Cloudflare by going to :

Options - General - Network Settings - Settings

(at the bottom)
Enable DNS over HTTPS - tick this
Use Provider : Cloudflare (Default)

You'd have to pre-d/load a recent Mac version for Firefox beforehand (if available), to load it on - then change the DNS settings, in order to test on that browser at least - as with those d/load speeds, you'll wait for ages, if you even get anywhere.

Here are some speedtests I did on the 4th Sept. around 6h45am on "Auto" settings (not to rub it in, but did them more for myself, to compare to similar router soon getting from Afrihost on a Telkom deal, which I hope hasn't had the firmware ''tampered with'') ; if I d/load tech shows from YT, can reach up to 100 :

Ping: 23ms
Download: 53.84Mbps
Upload: 8.18Mbps

Ping: 24ms
Download: 60.71Mbps
Upload: 7.79Mbps

All the best with sorting it out ....
 

cavedog

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Just some updates here:
  1. Router Model: Huawei - B525s - 65a
  2. Speed Test 1: 3/5 bars 4G+ signal ; Ping: 25ms ; DL: 0.69Mbps ; UL: 0.42Mbps
  3. Speed Test 2: 4/5 bars 4G+ signal ; Ping: 26ms ; DL: 0.83Mbps ; UL: 1,13Mbps
It's worth mentioning that these tests were conducted after switching from the default APN to the "TelkomInternet" APN.

I should be going there in person over the weekend to conduct more tests but look at those results above. How can 4G+ with 4/5 bars of signal possibly be getting less than 1Mbps speeds??? It just does not make any kind of logical sense! The more I get into this, the more pissed off I'm becoming because it just does not add up?!?!?!

Telkom internet apn is exactly the same as just internet.

You need to change the apn to unrestricted.

Also the uncapped is speed capped so send a blank sms in the router to 188 to check the usage and make sure you are not throttled.

Change the frequency to 1800MHz because 4G+ is probably 2300MHz aggregated.
 

carstensdj

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Feel very bad for them, as things were stable on ADSL.

I have the same model, so it's the Telkom supplied one (65a), and have very similar stats, except for DL & UP (see recent speedtests below).

Strangely, the bars on mine always show a full 5, but I remember reading a post on this forum that Telkom had forced it in the software to do that - stay on 5 all the time !?
Don't know how true that might be, but when I tried a Rain SIM in it last month, the bars did go up & down (from 0 to about 2), and on the same router, experienced similar DL / UL speeds on Rain, as your dad has with Telkom.

Before you get there, is your dad able to navigate in the router settings (via 192.168.8.1) & try some of the other things suggested - like changing from Auto to 1800 / 2300, even though on the uncapped, one's apparently not supposed to get more than 10Mbps - not to mention, disconnecting that Ubiquiti AP, and testing using the router only ?

I've not touched the APN settings in mine.

Far as I know, this router doesn't allow for changing the DNS, so you have to use the default (mine can't, at least).
Think there is software floating around the net to change it, but as as I've switched predominantly over to Firefox when using the same router, you can change to Cloudflare by going to :



You'd have to pre-d/load a recent Mac version for Firefox beforehand (if available), to load it on - then change the DNS settings, in order to test on that browser at least - as with those d/load speeds, you'll wait for ages, if you even get anywhere.

Here are some speedtests I did on the 4th Sept. around 6h45am on "Auto" settings (not to rub it in, but did them more for myself, to compare to similar router soon getting from Afrihost on a Telkom deal, which I hope hasn't had the firmware ''tampered with'') ; if I d/load tech shows from YT, can reach up to 100 :





All the best with sorting it out ....
Thanks for your comprehensive replies! I really appreciate it. I'm rather going to get into the nitty gritty myself over the weekend, than leave him trying to do it. I'd rather know for sure that the correct settings are being changed and tested but figured I'd get him to do the basics last night while I had some spare time. I'll provide more feedback on Monday with the test results and what I found. Those speeds that you are getting are great, wow!

Telkom internet apn is exactly the same as just internet.

You need to change the apn to unrestricted.

Also the uncapped is speed capped so send a blank sms in the router to 188 to check the usage and make sure you are not throttled.

Change the frequency to 1800MHz because 4G+ is probably 2300MHz aggregated.
Noted regarding the Unrestricted APN. I will amend that.
In terms of the speed throttling, yes, I am aware of the 10Mbps --> 4Mbps --> 2Mbps story. I checked their usage last night and they've only used 16GB data for the month so far. I believe it only drops to 4Mbps at 150GB of usage so they should DEFINITELY be getting more than 1Mbps speeds. Going to try the 1800MHz frequency too. Thanks for the assistance. As per my other reply, I'll let you guys know on Monday what I found (or didn't find).
 

DiabloDane

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Thanks for your comprehensive replies! I really appreciate it. I'm rather going to get into the nitty gritty myself over the weekend, than leave him trying to do it. I'd rather know for sure that the correct settings are being changed and tested but figured I'd get him to do the basics last night while I had some spare time. I'll provide more feedback on Monday with the test results and what I found. Those speeds that you are getting are great, wow!


Noted regarding the Unrestricted APN. I will amend that.
In terms of the speed throttling, yes, I am aware of the 10Mbps --> 4Mbps --> 2Mbps story. I checked their usage last night and they've only used 16GB data for the month so far. I believe it only drops to 4Mbps at 150GB of usage so they should DEFINITELY be getting more than 1Mbps speeds. Going to try the 1800MHz frequency too. Thanks for the assistance. As per my other reply, I'll let you guys know on Monday what I found (or didn't find).


whatsup all, i have this EXACT package but i am far from suffering like this, we about 8 smartphones, 1x PS4, 1xAndroid tv box AND the odd visitor now and then.... im not to far from your parents place either, about 5km to be exact but geez dude thats pathetic
 

carstensdj

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whatsup all, i have this EXACT package but i am far from suffering like this, we about 8 smartphones, 1x PS4, 1xAndroid tv box AND the odd visitor now and then.... im not to far from your parents place either, about 5km to be exact but geez dude thats pathetic
Sup FPL buddy :p You see I'm top of our MyBB league :p

Ya it's a complete F-UP dude and I feel responsible because I recommended it to them and it's just NOT performing. They can barely stream anything, my younger (laaaaaaaat lammetjie) brother can't game for shiz, my step dad can barely work and I'm trying to explain to them that in theory it should not be performing like it is and that it doesn't make logical or theoretical sense so I'm desperate to get to the bottom of it.

I actually stay down the road too (Capricorn Beach) and I'm half tempted to take the router to my place and see what kind of speeds I get...

Does anyone think there's a chance of a faulty radio in the router that Telkom supplied or is that a long shot, out of curiosity?
 

DiabloDane

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Sup FPL buddy :p You see I'm top of our MyBB league :p

Ya it's a complete F-UP dude and I feel responsible because I recommended it to them and it's just NOT performing. They can barely stream anything, my younger (laaaaaaaat lammetjie) brother can't game for shiz, my step dad can barely work and I'm trying to explain to them that in theory it should not be performing like it is and that it doesn't make logical or theoretical sense so I'm desperate to get to the bottom of it.

I actually stay down the road too (Capricorn Beach) and I'm half tempted to take the router to my place and see what kind of speeds I get...

Does anyone think there's a chance of a faulty radio in the router that Telkom supplied or is that a long shot, out of curiosity?

Im coming for you boet, 8 points between us LOL, dude, i can promise you that the LTE package is decent ( i only have it cause its all i can have where i stay) try taking it home and try from your place yes! maybe a product fault YES!!! maybe some kinda interference YES but ive NEVER gotten like 1mb/s.... even when ive used up all my 150gig at 10mbs and my 50gigs of 4mbs and im down to 2mbs.... im still not getting lower than 1.... even at 2mbs im able to play online
 

Super_Sonic

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ok let me just go ahead and do it this way.

4G LTE is 18.75 Megabytes per Second MAXIMUM
LTE-Advanced 4G+ is 37.5 MB/Second MAXIMUM

RAIN LTE-A is 75 MB/s MAXIMUM "you can only achieve 75 MB/S "with bandwidth sharing" with the Huawei b618 Router :)

now what you are using is A cellphone mast which is picked up by hundreds and hundreds of people
if i get RSRP 55 RSRQ -10 RSSI -55 SINR 30 i might get 12.8 MB/s the next person gets RSRP 80 RSRQ -7 RSSI -67 SINR 6 they might get 8.5 MB/Second that leaves alot less bandwidth for other people so do you understand ??

please watch this you and your step Dad @carstensdj
 
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