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Question for 4G "personal hotspot" users
deloswilbur
Member

I am curious just how prevelent the problem is, in other words is it a few of us on bad towers or is this a network problem.  I don't want to clutter up the post with discussion just simple answers to following:

 

Do you have problems with data/web page communication on 4G regularly (where is seems like a disconnect but you are still connected)?

 

If willing to say, geographic location: for example I am west of St Louis.

 

Device used and signal strength:  Example I have used them all but Samsung and my strength is around 2-3 bars (average -87)

 

Thanks

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Re: Question for 4G "personal hotspot" users
dmc271
Member

I've had the UML290 since January and the Thunderbolt since July.

 

Just to be clear, the symptom you're referring to is the inability to access web pages, e-mail, etc., despite the fact that the device indicates a 4G connection, right?  During this time, activities like tracert and ping might still work.

 

Answers:

  • Location: Central OK (Stillwater), 7 miles from the tower, rolling hills + some trees.
  • Signal: I do not have a strong signal: a -90ish RSSI, and I don't remember the SINR.
  • With the UML290: I've only experienced the said problem once. It lasted for about a day. I called CS to report the problem. They tried different things, none of which worked. Eventually, the problem corrected itself. Three weeks later, I finally received a call back from CS saying they didn't find any problems in my area.
  • With the TB's wired or wireless mobile hotspot: Said problem happens all the time.

What seems to work for me for the Thuderbolt:

  • Use a third-party hotspot application (I do pay for the MHS feature), and
  • Turn off Background Data/Sync on the phone, and
  • On some Windows 7 machines, I had to uncheck "Automatically detect proxy settings" in Internet Options.

The first and last workarounds in the above list were the most crucial for me. (I also disabled IPV6 for my wireless card in Windows 7 so that the phone assigns me an IPV4 address--don't know if this is needed, but I thought I'd mention it.)

 

I can't imagine a non-technical person having the patience to deal with all of this hassle.  My experience with 4G has been a bumpy ride, but it's moving nonetheless.

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Re: Question for 4G "personal hotspot" users
deloswilbur
Member

Yes, that is exactly the condition I mean.  Thanks

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Re: Question for 4G "personal hotspot" users
wherder
Member

deloswilbur wrote:

I am curious just how prevelent the problem is, in other words is it a few of us on bad towers or is this a network problem.  I don't want to clutter up the post with discussion just simple answers to following:

 

Do you have problems with data/web page communication on 4G regularly (where is seems like a disconnect but you are still connected)?

 

If willing to say, geographic location: for example I am west of St Louis.

 

Device used and signal strength:  Example I have used them all but Samsung and my strength is around 2-3 bars (average -87)

 

Thanks


Let me provide my feedback with as much data and background as possible.

 

1)  The issue does not affect "just a few of us".  Here are my reasons for this statement.

     a)  We ran a pilot with this technology at my place of business (which is quite large).  Without exception, and across multiple geographic areas, users ALL complained about the "freezing" issue using MiFi hotspots.  Every single one.  This resulted in abandoning this technology at least at this point as the feedback was conclusively that it was simply unreliable, and that Verizon - even with national and global account attention - was incapable of resolving the issues or providing any feeling of confidence that issues would be resolved.

     b)  Let's face it.  People using wireless data devices are used to mediocre at best performance.  Having been a VERY early adopter myself I believe people have grown accustomed to GSM/EVDO type performance inadequacies due to the nature of the technology, and are a bit numb to it.  However, IMHO this is a very different issue and situation and does not deserve the apathy demonstrated by VZ.

     c)  Also, many of these devices are only used relatively infrequently.  I have internal data for example which shows utilization of mobile broadband devices over the years against subscriber density for organizations I've run, and honestly - utilization is often pathetically low.

 

2)  Let me be perfectly clear.  This is not just a "few bad towers".  Period.  End of story.  I have close inroads with the largest tower operator in the US, and have had detailed discussions concerning specific tower configurations, utilization, call density, monitoring, etc.  There is simply no possible way that the issues we're describing here are due to some "bad towers".  Nor are the issues related to poor LTE propagation, poor signal strength, interference by electrical lines, etc.  I have factually, and with data, totally disproved those theories.  Further, these issues are not isolated to just a couple areas.  I have personally experienced the exact same performance from my 4150L regardless of location - period.  Just to name a few locations, the symptoms have been pronounced in San Francisco, San Diego, Philly, Pittsburgh, NYC and Boston.  The device behaves exactly the same, every single time I use it.  Virtually without exception.  Even after firmware updates and replacing the device.  The device/network behavior goes something like this:

 

     a)  Device boots up, if set to "global" (which should mean LTE if it's available, then step down to 3G if necessary) then more than 60% of the time it defaults to a 3G connection and not a 4G LTE connection.

     b)  If left in this configuration, even when it initially starts at a LTE connection, after some period of time it usually drops down to a 3G connection.  Frankly, as it just did as I am typing this post this very second.

     c)  If device is set to "LTE only" it usually boots up and finds the LTE signal, and usually has a strong indication of signal strength.

     d)  Without exception, at some point the device WILL lock up.  The green light will stay solid, my browser will show connectivity to the MiFi but no internet connectivity.  This can happen within seconds, or minutes.  I've never had a solid hour.  Ever.

     e)  Going to the (poorly designed) web console (192.168.1.1) allows you to "disconnect" but almost without exception, you cannot then "connect".  It just doesnt work.  When you click on "connect", the banner again says "disconnecting" rather than "connecting" and it never ever ever ever (get the idea?) connects.  I would estimate that more than 95% of the time, I need to power down and then reboot the device.  Most of the time it comes back.  Sometimes this needs to happen a couple times to get the connection back.  The remaining 5% of the time the device comes back on its own - anywhere from within seconds, to 30 minutes later.

 

This happens everywhere.  In every city I've visited where I've used it.  Both mobile and stationary.  It happens at my home, sitting outside on my patio, with full view of a Verizon LTE cell tower having relatively low utilization and no interference by any external variables.  A tower I could literally walk to within 5 minutes.  To be completely clear - I have rebooted the device TWICE since I started typing this message.  Learning to "save" your data (ie, copying to clipboard) is given a whole new meaning when you are forced to depend on the MiFi 4150L. 

 

These are unemotional facts describing actual symptoms and conditions.  There is not been a shred of improvement of this situation that I can discern over the past 3 months.

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Re: Question for 4G "personal hotspot" users
wherder
Member

BTW, I should also mention that the device (when set to global) has developed a new, endearing trait.  It simply reboots itself at random.

 

Before anyone jumps on the "defective unit" bandwagon, please recall that I've already had VZ replace the device only to observe absolutely not a single whit of difference in behavior.

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