1.10.2020

Globe LTE Pocket Wifi

Globe LTE Pocket Wifi

 


Update 3-16-2020


I tried to use the free 5 GB today before it expires and look at this:


The promised 5 GB of data has been replaced with useless youtube.


I also did not mention below that this unit does not come with an AC adapter like the old Tattoo did. It only comes with a 6" USB cable, which I am sure would last as long as the ones that came with the old thumb adapters.

**************** end update



I finally broke down and bought a new mobile wifi unit. Like the old Huawei, this new unit is also made in China. The manufacturer is Shanghai Notion Information Technology CO.,LTD. and the model is M022. This model has been out for at least two years. The reason I purchased it is to have access to LTE when it is available. As of now, we live in a place that is part of the 5% of the Philippines yet to be upgraded by Globe to LTE capability.

The M022 did cost 1295 PHP, but you get 5 gigs of data with the unit and that would cost you 250 PHP otherwise. Those 5 gigs do need to be burned within 7 days of activation of the SIM that comes with the unit.

I never have liked change. I don't like abandoning things that work. My old wifi worked and worked well:

  
It looks like trash, but it is actually very reliable and I still prefer it to the new unit. It just lacks LTE capability.

M022 web interface:

  • The old unit showed you whether you were connected to 2G or 3G. The "cellular network mode" field above shows "4G/HSPA+" and it does not tell you which one you are actually connected to at the moment. HSPA+ is high end 3G, by the way, and that is what the unit is connected to because that and 2G is all our local tower supports. I  don't know, but maybe the unit thinks that HSPA+ is 4G, which it is not. I doubt that is the case because when I set the unit to 4G only it cannot connect.
  • You cannot use special characters in the M022's wifi password. There are 26 lower-case letters, 26 upper-case letters and 10 numbers so with an eight character password this provides 628 potential combinations. Allowing special characters would make that 728 potential combinations, so if that bothers you then you can just make it longer. If my math is correct, a nine character password that includes capital and lower case letters and numbers but lacks special characters is stronger than an eight character password of the same format that includes capital and lower case letters and numbers and also special characters.
  • The M022 web interface has a contact list within the SMS function. The Huawei did not have that.
  • The M022 also allows you to add users with restricted permissions to the web management interface:


  • You can have rudimentary network storage if you add an SD card:

 
Speed of the new 3G is the same as the old 3G:


That test would be good news if not for the fact that the up/down speed is highly variable. This test just happened to catch the network at at time when it is working fairly well

Now that I have an LTE SIM and an LTE device I just have to wait for Globe to install LTE in the comm shelter near our place. We are always a few years behind for everything in these parts. But since we already have HSPA+ will the difference that LTE makes really make any difference at all? Will the bottlenecks also be fixed?

This is a speed test from a Sunday evening:



The 90s called. They want their Internet speed back.

I have noticed a big degradation in network performance that started on Christmas. Seems like a lot of people got new data devices from Santa.


Update January 18, 2020


After a week with the new LTE pocket wifi I can honestly say I hate it. It is constantly losing connection. The old unit never had this problem and still works better after years of constant (24/7/365) always-on use. 


Update January 22, 2020


After experimenting with all of the settings that are available within the web interface it seems that I may have resolved much of the intermittent disconnection issues. By default the unit is set to automatically configure the WAN APN:



I unchecked the Auto Configure APN box and I also changed the APN from internet.globe.com.ph to http.globe.com.ph, which was the APN from my old Huawei pocket wifi that worked perfectly for years.

I do not know for sure, but I  am guessing that the unit may have been periodically hunting for this information and that caused the sporadic loss of service. At any rate, the changes do seem to have had a positive effect upon performance.

Another detail that I am somewhat certain about is that the transceiver of the M022 is not as robust as the Huawei. The tower signal here fluctuates and the Huawei dealt with it well, but the M022 will just drop the connection. The Huawei never did this, but the M022 does it regularly.

There is still an issue with the LAN side wifi not always reconnecting. It seems to involve the wifi profile generated by the client and also probably involves one or more security settings. Again, I have this set up exactly as the old wifi was set up and which never had any problems. 

It eventually gets to the point where the client cannot connect via the existing profile for the unit, so I have to delete that profile and then reconnect to the mobile wifi unit by entering the ssid and security key again, which regenerates a new profile.

I am not wanting to mess around trying to trouble shoot this issue any time soon. If I get pissed off enough at some time in the future I might decide to get to the bottom of it.

Update January 22, 2020

 

I have trashed the LTE unit.

It is a piece of crap. I hate it. 

I am using the old Huawei and this is the first speed test for it:





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