Jump to content
North Coast

3G modem from "Three"

Recommended Posts

That's great to see Three UK now offer an unlimited cellular based data service.  ?


If you are using the Huawei E5573bs modem that they advertise on the Three website, I suggest upgrading it to the Huawei B525, which costs around £120.  This has a much more sensitive antenna and provides better Wi-Fi coverage as well as 802.11ac, much like the router offerings of fixed line services.  If the cell you're connected to is not heavily loaded, this could greatly increase the speed further, especially if it is or becomes 4G+ enabled. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was really pleased to find the Unlimited package at such a decent price and the speed I am getting.

 I have had landline, BT for years and it struggles to get more than 2 Mbps.

I have looked at the E5573bs and will probably go for it when the novelty of 30 Mbps wears off :) I dont use the WiFi as I connect my main PC through Ethernet and my tablet, Tv and notebook are still connected to the old BT modem so I get some use out of the £25 a month I am forced to continue paying till the contract ends.

I dont expect to get 4G anytime soon as I live way out in the sticks in Caithness Scotland, I am in the shadow of the current 4g signal. I do get the full 3 bars on 3G.

The speed has actually improved slightly over the week I have had it and is very consistent now.



Correction on my previous comment, I meant to say B525 not E5573bs.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

As you are connected through a network cable to your mobile broadband router, that's probably the better Huawei B525. ;)


That is very impressive for 3G especially on TestMy.  This probably means you have the mast to yourself. ? 


For comparison, the following is what I get a short while ago in 3G mode with a clear view of the cellular mast, followed by the test repeated in 4G mode:

Oa41QpRuR.png lMF6Tfuj2.png


In Multithread mode, I get the same speed in 3G, but in the 30s on 4G:  These results were all much higher in the past (40-60s), but no doubt dropped due to network congestion with all the customers Three signed up around here.

bHV2w-Z1D.png j7eflBwrb.png


4G+ involves multiple band towers (800MHz band 20 and 1800MHz band 3 here) for what's called carrier aggregation.  I ran a few tests from my Three phone in Donegal town earlier today to give an idea what 4G+ could deliver if it Three upgrades your area.  I wish my area 4G+ enabled.

Yu_zkXfBC.png 9xBb9YK4I.png

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are probably right about me having the tower to myself, I doubt any other locals use mobile data, and in any case there are only a few hundred residents within 10 miles.


I had a strange thing this morning, my speed dropped suddenly to less than 3 Mbps and the bars dropped to 2 on the modem. I logged on to the Router and saw that I was receiving 4G not 3G.  This lasted for about 30 minutes before reverting to 31 Mbps and 3g. 

I Ordered a pair of Huawei antennae from Amazon, arriving tomorrow so I will see what effect they have,  

The signal strength meter in the Router software has 5 bars, I have the full 5 bars, but perhaps the low power 4g signal can be improved, I think that the 3g was turned off at the tower for that short period so it reverted to the low 4g signal, If the antennae make a difference I think it will be worth going for the B525,.


While looking at the B525 on Amazon I noticed another higher model with a 600 Mbps capability. 


I wonder if that gives an even stronger signal? A  bit steep at £250 though Maybe the B525 and a good external antennae would be a better alternative and still be a bit cheaper.


Do you have an external antennae or are  your slow speeds just due to network overload?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Going by what I can tell, Three UK has not obtained any additional 4G spectrum and no mention of 4x4 MIMO yet.  So it's likely Three will focus more on 5G when it launches than doing a major overhaul of its 4G network.  They currently have 25MHz of 4G spectrum running in 4G Category 6, which can deliver a maximum of about 188Mbps under ideal conditions.


The Huawei B525 has a category 6 modem, which you will not get any benefit with the Huawei B618.  For Three, I would go with the B525 - It's cheaper, has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports (B618 has 2) and has 2 SMA antenna connectors (B618 requires two SMA to TS-9 adapters.)


I currently have a pair of Wittenberg LAT 22 antennas at home, which work on 4G band 20 only as what Three uses in my area.  I don't pick up any 4G signal without the antennas and also rely on a mobile repeater (StellaDoradus 900MHz) with a large 1.8m 900MHz GSM outdoor antenna to get indoor mobile 2G/3G coverage. 


Based on you getting just 2 bars of 4G reception, a 4G MIMO outdoor antenna would make a significant signal improvement, although I would suggest going for something like this instead of the Wittenberg I have, unless you're sure your area uses the 800MHz 4G band also.  Good outdoor 4G antennas are quite expensive, mainly due to using two leads.  


For a test run, I suggest testing your router outside on a dry day to see what speeds you get on 4G before ordering an antenna.  For example, if your 4G speeds are not much better with the router outside the front or back of the house, it could mean that those in your area who use mobile data are mainly using the 4G network.


The above tests were all run on my phone.  I was on my way home earlier, so pulled in to an area where I still had clear view of the local cell tower.  At home, it's obstructed by a hill, which is why my home reception is so poor. 


These are my speeds at home with the outdoor antenna, regular followed by multithread.  I don't get a 4G signal at all at home without the antennas attached.

k_etnbmJs.png 37Y1IeUaq.png

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your great advice, I will stick with the one I have for the present, add the internal antennae, then get the B525 later in the year.

You must be very frustrated getting such slow speeds even with the better router and antennae. You will be hoping 5g rolls out fairly fast to your area.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...