Tuesday, 8 November 2011
This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
Use the Sitefinder site, provided by Ofcom and voluntarily updated by the operators, to locate all masts in your area.
You need to zoom right in to actually see masts on the map, and it may be that in some areas there are far more masts than in ours that the WiBe can see. You are looking for masts in the database operating at 2100MHz range. (Ours is only operating at half power so a message has gone to Three to ask if they might consider turning it up - it would be very interesting to see what sort of connectivity we could get if they did so as I'd be more than happy to ditch my landline in favour of full on WiBe connectivity!)
The WiBe antennas will seek the best signal from the four built-in antennas and lock into that. If the WiBe lights switch from one mast to another continuously, try re-locating the WiBe to get the best signal with least noise.
You can see how many masts the WiBe is finding by logging into the WiBe through a browser (default setting is: 192.168.1.1) and looking at the Admin - Status - 3G antenna test results. This will also tell you the max and min without having to run a Speedtest. So, right now mine is reading Max kbps 3055 and min 1201 with -99dBm.
I know which mast I am coming off as I can only see one here, but the Cell ID doesn't relate to the operator's reference on Sitefinder and I still don't know how to translate Cell IDs, except that I have discovered cellspotting.com in the process, which is a geo-location 'game' I was unaware of!
Just found a Rural Broadband Working Group (RBWG) MiFi in Upper Eden too due to these blog posts so as soon as we get a chance we will do some parallel testing and see how the results stack up.
The RBWG, an alliance between Three, Countryside Alliance, with input from Race Online 2012, is very interesting and there will be a blog post soon with an update on that.
Right, back to testing!