I could use some assistance figuring out what tower(s) I'm using

Topics Related to Cell Towers, Frequencies and Bands
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Matte82
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I could use some assistance figuring out what tower(s) I'm using

Post by Matte82 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:58 pm

So my parents and I been using a wisp for years now. Speeds have never been great, especially for the price. Has to do with the amount of trees around us (more later). Found some info on LTE internet and started to experiment. By that I mean I found mobile citizen through connectall. Signed up and got a hotspot. It's not great, but somewhat usable. I've been planning on getting a proper LTE modem and possibly antennas and trying to see if I can improve my situation. I've also found LTEfix, and some other resources. I just haven't had to. Until today.

Somewhere in there I was told about the t-mobile test drive. Did it and probably had a bit better speeds. I was watching one movie and actually got 4k video for most of it. It wasn't consistently that fast, but it was through their little hotspot. I only mention that in case I should maybe just go t-mobile. But I'm also not sure how the tmo/sprint merge will affect all of this. From what I've read I think I'll eventually get swapped over to t-mobile's network????

Also just fwiw, I have a iphone xs through att. I've used them for years, they used to be the best around here, but at this point I'm thinking they're no better than sprint, and a little less than tmobile. Also I don't want satellite internet, unless its starlink. (Come on Elon Musk get it going) :D

Which leads me to the main point here. Today I wasn't getting internet from the WISP. Called and they came out and did a service call. Seems the equipment we have is quite old and "the radio" died. They had a spare, but they couldn't get a signal with it, unless they were 50' up. Apparently the gear we had was the best they had for shooting through trees, and they don't use that gear anymore. So our only option through them is to install a 50 ft pole/antenna. Well dad isn't fond of a 50' pole/antenna, and we have to install it. They don't install poles anymore. So we're checking out other options, and I've gone into a more serious mode of figuring out what I can do with LTE.

I've contacted LTEfix and they can get me a CBA850LP6 by the weekend. I've just seen the Airmaster 4000D on their page. I've inquired about it also. From what I can figure out on cellmapper, I have two towers east of me about 6+ miles. Both having bands 41. I have a couple of poles about 25' up I can attach it to. I know there's no way to know conclusively how well either option works until I've got the gear here and put together. But does one of the two options cba850/4000D have a big advantage over the other? Especially as the merger happens. Will the 4000D be obsolete and not usable? How about the cba850? I mean the price of the 4000D wont kill me if it only works for a while, but by the time I use mobile swap shop, and buy the cba850, I'm at almost double the cost of the 4000D. But if the CBA will keep working after the merger, it would probably be worth it.

Or should I forget sprint/mobile citizen and try to find something with t-mobile for now? US cellular is the only other "cell" option I know of around here. There is another WISP that just started so I'm talking to them. I'm also probably going to call the local cable company. The problem is we live a good ways off the road, and the last time we asked, the install was going to cost a small fortune. But they have been bought out, so I figure it's worth at least asking.

Anyway let me know your thoughts, or if you have any questions. Thanks in advance.

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Didneywhorl
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Re: I could use some assistance figuring out what tower(s) I'm using

Post by Didneywhorl » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:27 pm

I wouldn't worry about device obsolescence on Sprint/Tmobile. The bands are frequencies. If your devices antennae receive that range of frequencies, then all you need is permission to use them via the SIM. I have heard many good things about the CBA850LP6. Im not familiar with the Airmaster, but it seems very turnkey when you get it configured. I'm not sure how upgrade-able the Airmaster is but I'm pretty sure people upgrade the CBA's modems sometimes. Your real focus beyond that needs to be a good antenna pair.

I prefer the dual mimo flat panel antennas. They are a matched pair and they are pretty danged powerful. The CBA850 just comes with some spike antennas/paddles. The airmaster has antennas built in I think. Your likely going to need some upgrades wither way. I don't think the Airmaster is made to be used with externals, but again I'm not familiar.

Matte82
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Re: I could use some assistance figuring out what tower(s) I'm using

Post by Matte82 » Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:57 pm

Wow. Just now seeing this. I ended up going with the Airmaster, and it's worked well until today. So I'm about to start a new thread and see what I can figure out. But I do appreciate your response and apologize mine was so long in coming.

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