slow wireless connection

HSPA setup and configuration (for wireless networking, please use the 'Networking issue' forum)
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Kranky
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:51 pm
Location: Taree NSW

slow wireless connection

Post by Kranky » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:02 pm

need some help please
I have struggled along with these poor speeds for a long time now,downloading returns between 3-7 kB/s.
I am using the Huwaei (sp) modem I purchased from exetel along with an aerial I purchased the other
day from Dick Smith electrical which doesnt appear to have helped any.Today I started a download
and was surprised to see the speed of 40kB/s,unfortunately it didnt stay at that speed for long and
has constantly slowed to the current speed of 6kB/s.
Simple tasks such as banking and emailing are frustratingly slow to the point of being almost unusable.
I am using the ubuntu os and have tried wandering around my house and outside hoping to find somewhere
I can get a decent connection.A friend of mine has a bigpond wireless connection and has no trouble
where I live. Im hoping a change of providers is not needed as the exetel setup suits my needs and budget
regards
geoff

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
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Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: slow wireless connection

Post by Dazzled » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:56 pm

Your problem isn't Ubuntu which from network-manager 0.7 handles wireless broadband very well indeed. It's more likely poor radio reception. (For example, do you have a wide metal roof, or is line-of-sight severely blocked, or how do Exetel/Optus/Virgin 3g mobile phones behave?)

The only antenna I spotted in the DSE catalogue was a small plastic one with no specs provided. From the maps, Taree appears to have both 900 MHz and 2100 Mhz areas, so you may need something appropriate, possibly like this dual band affair http://rfshop.com.au/Products/Hardware/ ... fault.aspx There are several suppliers of single band antennae, including this 900 only model from Exetel: https://www.exetel.com.au/modemorder/index.php?p=350 The whole RFShop website is well worth a read for ideas. There are several antenna threads in the forum with illustrated solutions so a search is worthwhile. Some are as simple as a device mounted on the TV antenna bracket. Users have even made effective antenna reflectors from things as simple as deep-fry strainers and woks.

Exetel, Optus and Virgin HSPA is carried at 2100/900, on Optus towers, at different frequencies from Bigpond. Your friend on Bigpond will also be communicating with a different tower from you. You can find the sites of tower licences at http://web.acma.gov.au/pls/radcom/regis ... dispatcher, but there will be an optimum direction to aim the modem. Sometimes all that is needed is a USB cable to place the modem in a better reception spot, like a window frame.

Ubuntu reports the signal strength in the notification area network icon, so if you have a laptop you can wander around and try different "aims". If you have a desktop computer you can try this to a much lesser extent with a long usb extension cable.


PS There are a couple of Exetel agents in Taree - http://www.exetel.com.au/agents_search.php - why don't you have a chat with them about reception?

Kranky
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:51 pm
Location: Taree NSW

Re: slow wireless connection

Post by Kranky » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:55 pm

thanks dazzled

I didnt mean to make it sound like I thought my OS was the problem,was just giving as much info as possible :)
the only wireless signal strength indicator i see is only when I am connected to my wireless lan.
when connected to the exetel connection the only indicator is a small aerial icon without any indication
of strength ?
last night I used my friends telstra pre paid broadband modem and immediately received high stable speeds
to this extent I rang bigpond today and applied for a wireless plan that I can trial for 10 days.
thanks again

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 6003
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: slow wireless connection

Post by Dazzled » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:19 pm

I hope it turns out well for you.

The ACMA reports Telstra sites at several places. Do you have line of sight to one of these? Optus and Telstra are both on Carey's Mtn. And so on, if you click on each of the site numbers on the ACMA site it tells you who broadcasts from that location. Line of sight is essential for decent reception, just like television. (Find sites where any detail matches Taree)

The Ubuntu radio icon can tell you the strength, if you point the device in different directions.
Last edited by Dazzled on Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

phelum
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:37 am
Location: Sydney 2074
Contact:

Re: slow wireless connection

Post by phelum » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:21 pm

Kranky wrote:last night I used my friends telstra pre paid broadband modem and immediately received high stable speeds
to this extent I rang bigpond today and applied for a wireless plan that I can trial for 10 days.
thanks again
I also get speeds of 2kB/s - 5kB/s although I have downloaded a file at over 100kB/s. I'm in Sydney and the modem always connects at 3.6Mb/s. Please reply with the results of your Bigpond trial. It looks like the Optus network is just slow or overloaded.

Cheers,
-- Steven Saunderson

Dazzled
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Re: slow wireless connection

Post by Dazzled » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:34 pm

Phelum, it will be interesting to see the Taree Telstra results. At my home, we have zero reception in the house without an antenna, including Optus GSM mobiles. At the front porch HSPA is unacceptably slow. 30 metres away up at the footpath it runs at high speed - better than my ADSL2 service. I live in a deep North Shore valley with poor sightlines. At the street we have a direct line to another tower. We had no proper TV reception either before digital broadcasts.

phelum
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:37 am
Location: Sydney 2074
Contact:

Re: slow wireless connection

Post by phelum » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:02 pm

Dazzled wrote:At my home, we have zero reception in the house without an antenna, including Optus GSM mobiles.
I've tried my E169 at a few locations in the area and the speed always seems slow especially after 6pm. This is why I assume it's a congestion problem but maybe I'm overlooking a signal quality issue. The reported signal strength is at least 50% but I don't have any other details. My network stats only show bytes received and transmitted but no error rates. Is there any diagnostic software (Win32) available ?

Cheers,
-- Steven Saunderson

phelum
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:37 am
Location: Sydney 2074
Contact:

Re: slow wireless connection

Post by phelum » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:33 pm

phelum wrote:I've tried my E169 at a few locations in the area and the speed always seems slow especially after 6pm.
My modem is an E160E rather than an E169 (oops). Latest testing shows things are better than I reported. I'm seeing download rates of up to 20kB/s and this seems fine to me. The modem control program is reporting peaks of 70kB/s.

The signal strength varies from 17% to 91% for no apparent reason. Moving the modem doesn't seem to have any effect.

In summary, HSPA is working well for me and it's affordable.

Cheers,
-- Steven Saunderson

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 6003
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: slow wireless connection

Post by Dazzled » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:43 pm

Sorry to Kranky for misleading info - the Jaunty installation of network-manager applet 0.7 does not include a wireless broadband signal strength indicator by default. I've been using modified systems so long I'd forgotten. There are Launchpad requests for this information to be always included in the nm icon, and other GUI wireless modem managers already do it, so I'm hopeful.

For interested programmers only: you can read and log the modem by sending an AT command, say CSQ, at init, which will cause RSSI to be logged. You can also directly read the usb port and find the output string commencing 'RSSI' . Camh tried it at http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.ph ... 05#p248025 earlier. The Huawei site isn't helpful.

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