Using a router with a SIM card for internet

In case there are others in our situation, We struggled with a very slow erratic internet for years from various providers. We live in a wooded valley so there was no where in our garden for a big satellite dish to pick up uk tv so we went for the very expensive Tooway option. Enough speed to stream TV but limited GBs. Then last week I noticed the little 3G symbol on my phone had become 4g. A few months ago had mentioned using a phone for the home internet. What I hadn’t realised is that you just put a sim in a router and hey presto, 4g speed and unlimited Netflix if you get a sim with unlimited gigabits. You need to check if you have 4g, for us Sfr are now transmitting from a 4g mast on the hill behind our house. They have a 30 Euro per month contract. In time, as 4g has been promised everywhere no one will need either a satellite dish for TV or one of those annoying boxes that needs constant unplugging and resetting

We are just waiting for 4 G.

I’ve been doing this just using my phone as a portable hotspot for a few months.
seems fine but I was using all my 30 Gb allowance every month. However my provider (Prixtel)? Has just increased it to 50 Gb so should be ok in future.
Works well for me as I’m on my own at the moment, the wife is working abroad, and so I don’t need a second contract, but it is only 20€ a month with Prixtel.


Ah, if only Cathy, in our village we get 2G on a good day if you stand in the correct spot. Rumour has it Orange put a mast up in a farmers field and agreed to pay him rent, they reneged on the agreement so he towed the mast down with his tractor and alas since then we are the land (village) that time forgot

wanted that myself but we cant have it here where i am.

Is anyone using this for working from home? Is the connection/bandwidth reliable for conecting to work VPN every day, uploading, downloading and doing video conferencing? Any information would be great thanks.

Using ‘this’ being …the Bouygues 4G Box? If so then maybe take a look at the original review discussion link above. Mine works fine with a VPN / Smart DNS and my current average speeds are 45mbps down and 30mbps up - pretty consistent since March. We have IPTV (HD), surveillance cameras, home alarm system and our phones / pads all connected and working just fine. No probs with Skype / Duos / Hangouts / Messenger video calls. It’s a no brainer for us - we’re just lucky we’re in an eligible area.

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Thanks for the information Simon, I’m looking for a reliable mobile internet package to use during a temporary move. I don’t seem to be eligible for the 4g box though as you say :frowning:

It does seem that 4g is coming to more areas. I noticed even cycling through rural Ariege where there used to be no internet I can get WhatsApp calls from family around the world. You need to keep checking with all providers, it is specific to the mast signal that reaches you. I bought a TP-Link Routeur 4G LTE Wi-Fi AC 750Mbps :from Amazon.
You buy a sim card from the provider providing the best signal, it just slots in and then everyone in gthe house gets high speed wifi. Sfr do an unlimited data contract, I think all the providers do now. Just a few years ago we didn’t even qualify for a fixed phone line!

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Very interesting thread ( or i’m easily pleased)… Was in IT support for over 15 years, and only dealt with routers of really the adsl/broadband type. Mobile technology hadn’t really progressed enough to utilize those networks of general home internet connections as the prime method.
It does make total sense, if the 4G is available, to obtain one of the deals; an eye opener for me that they would be cheap enough as the “go to”.
Also with the costs sometime to get a physical phone line installed to utilize for the bog standard adsl type could be prohibitive in many parts of France…This would definitely be my way of thinking for connectivity.

A bit of “google bashing” , also found quite quickly a deal from LeClerc Mobile, run by the LeClerc supermarket… i presume this is them ??

This seems like a good deal ?? my instant French translation in my head may be incorrect…
The RÉGLO package “24,95 €” is without commitment of duration. A fixed deduction of € 24.95 is made on the first day of each month on your Réglo Mobile account.

This plan allows you to benefit every month from unlimited calls (1) , unlimited SMS and MMS (2) and 50 GB (3) data in 4G + for mobile Internet (reduced throughput). You can subscribe to extensions “Internet 200 MB” and “Internet 2 Go” in addition to your package to restore your Internet speed in 4G +.


I wonder what network Leclerc use. We can only pick up Sfr here,
closer to Toulouse they have Bouygues/ Orange. One needs to see who is
giving the best signal. My neighbour took an Orange contract for his
mobile but can only make/ receive calls in his garden and no 4g. Sfr
offer unlimited data/ calls etc for 30 euros a month. It is weird
these phone companies don’t share the masts.

I think they do share masts Cathy…but maybe not all > or in all areas. Perhaps that is where their inter-carrier contracts come into place. this site gives an example for what looks like major carriers… and the 4G coverage has a pattern of following roads. Just choose the carrier near the top and you will see.
A research found that LeClerc uses the SFR network… if this is 100% true or not i cannot verify.

Also try this SFR coverage site.

There seems a current SFR deal that does 50 Gb… 20 euros for 12 months then 35 a month for 12 months…


If there is a mast Glenn, (see my previous post) in our village only Orange available. I bought an SFR dongle a few years back as they assured me good reception but I walked around the whole village with my laptop in my arms to no avail, just Orange.

Is there a link to any setup showing 4g services in france or areas where it will be arriving shortly?

Hi John,

The link directly below show what should currently be in place

emmm difficult to assess - i mean what you say about walking round village with laptop. AND i do mean this with respect. Is there, or do you have a access to a phone that is on the SFR to try ? I would do this just as a confidence check for yourself.
Beyond that…
I do not know of websites from suppliers that do give expectations of when and where they will augment their services, I think there are valid reasons for this.
The main reasons to be, there are variables on costs to the mobile service suppliers as they want to use the masts from the owners.
Also the may have engineers working area per area…which can change from month to month, week to week.
So many different factors, that it could be corporate suicide to give info , or a website with expected overviews of service enhancements. Can you imagine the complaints… ok yes if you give someone a service early great… but you never hear that, you only hear it when you get bad service… and that is almost any industry.
I would try contacting SFR… or better someone in the area who deals with mobile comms, and see if they have any local knowledge.

It seems that this discussion was started in 2015 and is still going strong.
Our internet went down in June last year and despite dozens of calls to SFR who are absolutely useless in my opinion. The Mairie local newspaper and Prefecture got involved (article 26 Octobre 2017) and yet it is still not resolved.

I’ve ordered a 4G box, unlocked, and a contract with unlimited internet for 20€ per month. I can finally say goodbye to SFR, assuming they release my mobile number!

Just a quick question on this thread to those in the know…
How long does it take for the Bouygues sim/router to register on the network after receiving it?
Friends of ours received one of these devices only this morning and are struggling to get it up and running. They live circa .25Km from the mast (as the crow flies) with a reasonable mobile phone signal and whilst the top light comes on green initially, it soon goes red.

Mine took less than 5 mins Graham. The lights really all need to be blue. They did test the Bouygues 4G network near them first didn’t they? Although with a mast only 250 metres away they should have a perfect signal - so long as it’s a 4G mast of course!

PS: Have they activated the SIM card in their online account?

Thanks Simon.
They got an email yesterday a short time after I posted the request on here to say that the sim was now active et voila!
We have the router here to test it out (we are just over 1k away from the mast in the other direction) and after rebooting the router the top light (SIGNAL) glows blue but the LAN light is out and the WIFI light is green. POWER is also green (see photo)
One quirk we have found is that, whilst there is a RJ45 socket on the back of the device for LAN, connecting this to our data switch turns the SIGNAL light to green (and doesn’t work the PCs connected to the switch) but connecting the LAN socket directly to one PC does provide a connection.
A thread we read elsewhere suggests that there is (was, a year ago)a problem with connecting the router to a data switch to provide a LAN.
When we have finished ‘playing’ with it, they will collect it and try it again at their house this afternoon - hopefully now it will work as expected.
But, there is only one blue light - not as you suggested.
Our wired connection from Orange gives 3 Mb and the 4G router (here) gives anything ranging from 4Mb to 20Mb but usually more in the upper range and is working well wireless with an iPad.
The model number is Huawei B528. Is this perhaps an older model?