Increasing internet access speed with 4G mobile router

Came home from holiday to find a telegraph pole opposite our house had been knocked over somehow, ripped up cable everywhere and of course, no internet access via the Orange broadband router. This happened about 10 days ago and still no sign of a repair guy and no idea when it might get repaired either, colud be weeks/months?!

Anyway, got one of those Airbox 4G mini routers and that’s providing some connectivity, it’s flaky though, needs rebooting a couple of times daily at least and has limited data available, 150gb or 200gb maybe, can’t remember but it won’t last long here. In any event, it’s not ideal. It does get a good download speed of about 20mb (sometimes) so that’s promising. It’s coming from a dedicated Orange cell mast about 6kms away.

There is a second mast in the opposite direction about the sme distance away which handles SFR, Free and Bouygues traffic, I would like to connect to this one if I can as those providers have better mobile data plans available, some unlimited (I suppose that would get shaped at some point but fair enough).

I should point out that we have not been able to use mobiles in the house or outside it since we moved here 11 years ago, there just isn’t enough power I suppose.

I was able to locate these cell towers/masts using thanks @graham for that.

So my plan is to install a mobile router with an external antenna, if I can get the antenna high enough I can hopefully connect to the Bouygues/SFR tower if not I’ll have to go with the Orange one.

This is what I have ordered;

I’ll let you know how I get on…


Thats a lot of money! Huawei router around £65-100 depending on bells and whistles and £20 for a yagi aerial. I actually paid less but had time to order.

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it’s a lot of kit :wink:

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I’m goint to Buoygues this afternoon to get one of their 4g packages so that I can test it. Obviously I don’t need their router but I can’t see from their website that they do the sim card alone. Seems like a good deal to me anyway at 33 a month if it is still unlimited.

Even if you put their router in the cupboard, it will still be a good deal if your new kit works as expected…

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How do you get on with that yagi for boosting 4G router performance?

I ask as everything I learned in 20 years of cellular telecoms would lead me to believe that yagi’s aren’t great as transmitting elements and you’d have to ensure it was mounted to match the vertical polarisation of the base station’s Tx antennae.

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Maybe I’ll try it with the Orange sim too if it’s not locked

Am I correct in thinking that if a mast hosts three providers, the signal strength would be the same for all of them?

You’ll probably need to unlock the SIM with the 4 digit code if using other than their router… usually 0000 or 1111 as you would with a phone in similar circumstances.

I believe so… any contention will be against the same provider and each provider will have their own kit from the cabinet in the ground cupboard to their aerial.

No, as there is no guarantee that the radiated power, or channels in use are the same for the three providers.


Correct. Additionally, each provider will have had different planning and optimisation teams setting up and tweaking their networks, so it’s very unlikely that all them have their transmitting element pointed in exactly the same direction.


30mb straight out of the box!


That the Bouygues one?

Maybe a useful informative reference…
Mobile-Infrastructure-sharing.pdf (1.2 MB)

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Yes, incredible!

I’m only getting one or two bars though so we’ll see what the new router can do with that.

Brilliant! Did you ask at the shop if your intended kit will function with their SIM?

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No, didn’t think of that. I have asked the supplier though

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even so, that’s still 10 x what you were getting.
I’ll be so interested in your results with the new kit. I’m getting ~20Mb consistently but I’m sure I can improve on that with my 4G SIM and the new setup. Fantastic news! So pleased.


Its pretty much the same as what I have. Not much point in going for 600mbps if the local signal is less than 100- 150 mbps.

I can connect a voip phone and a fair few users all at once.

why drive a RR when you can ride a push bike to get from A-B :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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