Excessively slow HSPA connection.

HSPA setup and configuration (for wireless networking, please use the 'Networking issue' forum)
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VKPORTABLE
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Victoria

Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by VKPORTABLE » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:00 pm

Over the last two years, more-so in the last twelve months the reliability and speed of the 3G service has taken a downhill dive in a major way.

I have logged fault tickets - some which received absolutely no response from Exetel, and other's saying the issue would be investigated and I would be informed of outcomes in due course. Not quite sure how Exetel defines 'due course', I have never once received any such response in the last two years.

All that aside here is the current situation:
Current location - Corio, VIC 3214.
Nearest Tower - Line of sight to tower less then 500 m, full scale signal -93 dBm.

Can connect fine, although that is about all I can do most times. The prevailing situation is exceptionally slow speeds, or simply unable to even load http://www.google.com.au in most cases. The problem is extremely evident between 6 AM and 12/1 AM daily, the speeds indicated by the modem during these times never exceeds 5 KB/s. After 12/1 AM it improves somewhat and if I am lucky it will relatively functional (read: pages load - still not what would be called high-speed).

This has been an ongoing issue over the last two years as I mentioned previously, why am I posting this here? Sheer frustration and desperation! I have e-mailed, logged faults, phoned and all to no avail, the best I have ever got was that my connection has been 'reset' whatever this means/achieves it has never resolved the issue. I have got the "your modem might be faulty" and 'have you checked your settings' responses, which are probably standard issue I suspect, either way I happy to report both are in a fine state of health.

Honestly I can recall the days of BBS's where the first modem I ever had, a 14.4k was faster and more reliable then what I am getting now with 3G.
I was seriously considering moving to the 4G service, although with the way the 3G service is I can't be confident 4G will serve me better and be of improvement, taking into account also the lack of Exetel's willingness to resolve issues these days.

I know this has been said many times before right here in these very forums, and maybe Exetel should it into consideration a little more.
In the early years Exetel's customer service was simply excellent, so much so I used to recommend Exetel to anyone looking for HSPA solutions.
Over the last two to three years this is sadly no longer the case, customer service is as bad as my Internet access, virtually non-existent most times.
I don't know the cause of this, although it did seem to coincide with the move to the offshore call centre, coincidence maybe?, and progressively got worse as time wore on.

The situation as it stands now is pretty much I am paying for a service which provides me with very limited service, in terms of Internet access. It even took me nine minutes of waiting just for the forum to load - I don't anyone would find this acceptable for a 3G service. If I was out in the sticks (bush) which I sometimes am, then yes I would expect less then acceptable performance where signal levels are -135 dBm or worse, but in a situation as I currently have where the signal is consistently -93 dBm or better I do expect a better standard of performance and speed, god right now I would be happy to have speeds that were twice as fast as a 56k modem (even this falls far short of 3G expectations) it would be better then what I am currently suffering though.

I am at a loss as to how to resolve this problem, save moving to a new ISP which I am not real keen on doing. Yes I may be overly loyal, but even that has limits and I am nearing mine.

Any help right now would be tremendously appreciated.

Stewart.

shoner
Posts: 756
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:50 pm

Re: Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by shoner » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:10 pm

VKPORTABLE wrote:Over the last two years, more-so in the last twelve months the reliability and speed of the 3G service has taken a downhill dive in a major way.

I have logged fault tickets - some which received absolutely no response from Exetel, and other's saying the issue would be investigated and I would be informed of outcomes in due course. Not quite sure how Exetel defines 'due course', I have never once received any such response in the last two years.

All that aside here is the current situation:
Current location - Corio, VIC 3214.
Nearest Tower - Line of sight to tower less then 500 m, full scale signal -93 dBm.

Can connect fine, although that is about all I can do most times. The prevailing situation is exceptionally slow speeds, or simply unable to even load http://www.google.com.au in most cases. The problem is extremely evident between 6 AM and 12/1 AM daily, the speeds indicated by the modem during these times never exceeds 5 KB/s. After 12/1 AM it improves somewhat and if I am lucky it will relatively functional (read: pages load - still not what would be called high-speed).

This has been an ongoing issue over the last two years as I mentioned previously, why am I posting this here? Sheer frustration and desperation! I have e-mailed, logged faults, phoned and all to no avail, the best I have ever got was that my connection has been 'reset' whatever this means/achieves it has never resolved the issue. I have got the "your modem might be faulty" and 'have you checked your settings' responses, which are probably standard issue I suspect, either way I happy to report both are in a fine state of health.

Honestly I can recall the days of BBS's where the first modem I ever had, a 14.4k was faster and more reliable then what I am getting now with 3G.
I was seriously considering moving to the 4G service, although with the way the 3G service is I can't be confident 4G will serve me better and be of improvement, taking into account also the lack of Exetel's willingness to resolve issues these days.

I know this has been said many times before right here in these very forums, and maybe Exetel should it into consideration a little more.
In the early years Exetel's customer service was simply excellent, so much so I used to recommend Exetel to anyone looking for HSPA solutions.
Over the last two to three years this is sadly no longer the case, customer service is as bad as my Internet access, virtually non-existent most times.
I don't know the cause of this, although it did seem to coincide with the move to the offshore call centre, coincidence maybe?, and progressively got worse as time wore on.

The situation as it stands now is pretty much I am paying for a service which provides me with very limited service, in terms of Internet access. It even took me nine minutes of waiting just for the forum to load - I don't anyone would find this acceptable for a 3G service. If I was out in the sticks (bush) which I sometimes am, then yes I would expect less then acceptable performance where signal levels are -135 dBm or worse, but in a situation as I currently have where the signal is consistently -93 dBm or better I do expect a better standard of performance and speed, god right now I would be happy to have speeds that were twice as fast as a 56k modem (even this falls far short of 3G expectations) it would be better then what I am currently suffering though.

I am at a loss as to how to resolve this problem, save moving to a new ISP which I am not real keen on doing. Yes I may be overly loyal, but even that has limits and I am nearing mine.

Any help right now would be tremendously appreciated.

Stewart.
Can you please PM me your service number :?:
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Log a fault ticket Here
or call Exetel VOIP numbers (02) 8030 1000 or 1300 788 141 (log faults 24x7)
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James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1992
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by James » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:38 am

How have you determined hte modem is in a fine state of health?

VKPORTABLE
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Victoria

Re: Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by VKPORTABLE » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:16 pm

James wrote:How have you determined hte modem is in a fine state of health?
Yes, I have used a friends Optus modem with the same result. I am assuming his modem isn't cactus either, although he assures me that he gets markedly better performance then I do.

Short of buying a new modem there isn't a lot more I can do here.
I have monitored the modem on-air and it appears to be putting out a healthy dose of mili-watts.

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

Re: Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by Dazzled » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:45 pm

-113 dBm is in effect no signal (dBm is scaled logarithmically from 0 at 1 mW received signal). dBm = 2.RSSI - 113, so -93 dBm is an RSSI value of 10, which is is shown by only two bars on the display, for a line of sight of 500m. Is there a source of interference?

VKPORTABLE
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Victoria

Re: Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by VKPORTABLE » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:12 pm

Dazzled wrote:-113 dBm is in effect no signal (dBm is scaled logarithmically from 0 at 1 mW received signal). dBm = 2.RSSI - 113, so -93 dBm is an RSSI value of 10, which is is shown by only two bars on the display, for a line of sight of 500m. Is there a source of interference?
I think you might be confusing relative intensity with received power.
-93dBm RP is equal to 0db RL, or alternatively a received voltage of 5.0 uv/14dBuv.
In radio communications terms this would be an S9 signal, above such is represented as S9+10db etc.

An S1 signal would be -141dBm (7.9aw) with a received voltage of 20nv.
-113dBm would equate to a signal between S5 (-117dBm) and s6 (-111dBm), which is still quite an acceptable signal level and should be relatively noise free.

Maybe my spectrum analyser has lost the plot?

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

Re: Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by Dazzled » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:58 pm

Do you have the RSSI value returned by the modem? It just seemed to me to be a bit weak for the distance.

VKPORTABLE
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Victoria

Re: Excessively slow HSPA connection.

Post by VKPORTABLE » Fri May 03, 2013 7:27 pm

First up, thanks to all those who replied and offered suggestions and assistance.

Here is the state of play:

I went out and purchased a new modem (WiFi router - 3/4G modem). I probably didn't require a new modem, as it wasn't actually defective as such.

The old (USB) modem was prone to getting hot, and when hot it's receive sensitivity was degraded - but not enough that it would impact on any signals of 2 bars or more. If there was a marginal signal of 1/2 bars then it would be possible the noise on the signal could be causing receive issues. As I have a full-scale signal this was never a problem.

So with the new modem I have tested it over the last week or so, on both the Exetel and Optus cards, yes I know they are both on the same network, the object of this 'card swap' exercise was to see if was, as unlikely as it may be, a problem with the SIM itself. Not the case.

So basically I am back to square one here, with the original diagnosis - which I or Exetel can't do anything about. The network has just been so over-sold and as a result, overloaded, that it is for all intents and purposes crippled during peak times.

When I first setup the new modem (on a Sunday) I was a little over optimistic and was getting reasonable (I wouldn't say good or fast) speeds. But alas! This was after-all a Sunday, come Monday everything was back to as it was per 'USB modem' era. And what I originally stated re the times when the speeds would actually get better is still evident and correct. Even just now before logging onto the forum it took me three attempts just to load the Exetel home page. Not real good huh?

So it pretty much looks like this is just the way it is going to be and it will probably only get worse over time as more and more clients are connected to the Optus network.

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