Review Home Internet - 4G Box from Bouygues Telecom

My first post here! I have Bouygues 4G Box and I get excellent signal strength as the masts are on top of a water tower just over 1km away and in direct line of sight. The best I’ve had is 190Mb down and 55mb up. Sounds great? Well, the problem is that in what I’d call ‘busy’ times (weekends and evenings) it slows to a crawl and can stop working completely. At first I thought it was a fault that was fixed as it then improved for a while. But since Friday (the start of confinement 2) It’s mainly been bad. I’m wondering if I should return it as I’m still within the trial period. Is there an alternative?

Hi @Vitesse, hope you get the advice you need. In the meantime please would you add your first name to your registration as it’s one of the few rules here that we provide our full names. Thank you. @cat

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Happy to, but the forum isn’t very intuitive, sorry - can you point me in the right direction?

Hiya, you can do it via your user page - if not let me have it (your name that is!) and I can do it for you?
Cat x

How do I find my user page? It’s really not clear at all.

Click on your name or your avatar at the top of the page.

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OK, done it.

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Once again last night the Bouygues 4G Box stopped working despite 5/5 signal strength We went to bed early!

This morning it’s back to normal - 160 megabits from my phone over WiFi, probably faster via Ethernet.

I’m guessing this is an over-contention issue?

Using Orange on my phone (UK sim) - less signal strength but no issues with 4G at the same times Bouygues falls over.

What should I do?

Ian, I’m a little surprised at your surprise. Any supplier, using any technology, will design their system with finite capacity. It’s just too expensive to do otherwise. As such, you’re going to suffer reduced performance when the limits of the system are approached. Would you expect your car to be able to achieve it’s published top speed if you’re pulling a caravan with five passengers on board? No, it’ll be much slower.

What you’re experiencing is just that: the Bouygues network being a little overloaded. Every network will have different design criteria and a different load factor at any given time, so it’s also no surprise that another network can offer better performance.

What should you do? Personally, I’d do nothing, but having been a customer of satellite internet access for many years and suffered much worse effects at busy times… and paying a royal fortune for the less than sterling service… I’m a little more tolerant of such things. One day optical fibre will arrive and these issues may be a thing of the past.

Bottom line, I believe there’s nothing wrong with your system.

Cheers… Paul

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We have “issues” from time to time with our Bouygues 4G box speed and pulling the plug for 5 minutes usually does the trick. It’s annoying but whilst Bouygues is not limited officially, (orange is limited to 200 Gb) I can’t help but wonder if they throttle the reseaux under an unofficial “fair use” policy which is reset if unplugged.

I will try that…

Sorry, that doesn’t make any sense. I expect the connection to work. It’s provided as a solution for people unable to get decent fixed line broadband. For it to stop working completely for hours on end without warning is unacceptable. Please note that I said we can use Orange at the same time as the Bouygues Box is U/S. I don’t mind it slowing down at peak times, but to stop working completely is no good.

Having read about the Huawei B528 and knowing how flakey my tplink router was getting I took the plunge and bought one.
Being a canny Scot :yum: I bought one one from eBay and after setting up it worked great, problem was the html router settings page is in Polish, cue having to use Google translate to work out what everything meant as I could not find any way to change the settings page to English :laughing:.
Still not got all the settings how I want them but when I have time with Google translate I will finish setting it up right, at least it does not drop the connection like the tplink one did and gets better reception.
Moral of the story, don’t always be a tight arse.

I invested in a Huawei B535 4G router before coming to France as I’d heard about the Bouygues 4G box and wasn’t sure their hardware was going to be flexible enough to run a VPN (it turns out the Bouygues 4G Box is a Huawei B528 and very happily runs a VPN but doesn’t have extra Ethernet ports). I’ve used the Bouygues sim card in both routers and it works just the same.

What doesn’t make sense Ian? If the network is overloaded, would you expect it to just soldier-on? I agree it’s annoying, but that’s what happens when the load increases massively, such as it has now everyone is locked-down at home. Just ponder that car analogy a little more…

Finally, if you find you get better service from the Orange network, why don’t you jump ship? You’ve no obligation of any sort to Bouygues. Did you not survey the quality services around you before taking the plunge?

You only need one Ethernet port on the B528 if you do as we do, invest in a Netgear 5 or 8 port Data switch and connect you other devices to that. The Netgear switch is not expensive, needs no setting up and works very well.

Given the comments elsewhere on SF about Orange, I can well understand @Vitesse reluctance to do that. Ask @Jane_Williamson what she thinks of them :rofl:

This is very hard work! I’ll persevere… The Bouygues 4G box works very well 90% of the time. I’ve had 190mb download and 50mb upload speeds on Ookla Speed Test. Before we went for the Bouygues solution we went into the local Orange shop and they didn’t mention anything like the Bouygues solution despite me mentioning it. Only now have I discovered that they do something similar, albeit limited to 200GB/month. That might not be enough as my wife and I work from home and do a lot of video conferencing. We’ve used 220GB in three weeks with the Bouygues connection.

Should I jump ship? Isn’t that what I’m trying to decide? I’m looking for experience a) to fix the issues In having and b) if they can’t be fixed to find an alternative if there is one.

I’ve read elsewhere that Bouygues limit the availability of the 4G Box to prevent mast contention issues. The water tower that houses the masts that serve us is on the edge of a small sleepy market town in the Vendée (Benet) - it’s not as if we’re in a high-density metropolitan area.

Seeing as the Orange service didn’t seem to be affected by peak hour congestion it would seem Bouygue’s capacity here in Benet is too low for the number of customers using their network compared to Orange.

I’m looking for shared experiences and positive suggestions, not negativity, thanks.

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Indeed, though I didn’t know what their hardware was (and I suspect it hasn’t always been the B528) before coming over. I have a NAS and a tower PC as well as two laptops to connect up.

As do we, in fact with 2 Linux PCs, A Synology NAS, and a connection to our smart Samsung TV so 5 Ethernet devices connected to an 8 port switch from Amazon

We also have 4 wireless devices connected to the B528 (2x iPad + 2x Android mobiles) and it seems very robust.