1.10.2020

Globe LTE Pocket Wifi

Globe LTE Pocket Wifi


Huawei E5576-856 - May 2020



I just bought this unit. It was 2900PHP. That is a little high for this model, but any kind of hotspot has been very hard to find in the province for the last several months.

I had attempted to buy a Huawei 5787 from Lazada, but they were unable to complete the order:


I was sad about that loss so I tried Shopee for the Huawei 5577cs-321:


The 5577cs-321 has a 3000mAh battery and dual TS9 external antenna ports.

That deal fell through when I found out that Shopee only accepts credit cards issued by banks in the Philippines. My card would have doubled the warranty and protected my purchase. 

The 5576 that I ended up with only has a 1500mAh battery and no antenna ports. It is a cat 4 rated LTE devices like the 5577, meaning it is capable of up to 150 Mbit/s per second (under ideal circumstances and when the moon is in Venus). The 5787 is a cat 6 device so it is capable of double that speed.

The 5576 management interface is nothing special:


One new piece of information that this unit did reveal is that we do have 4g in this place:


I just need to get to the bottom of why I cannot register:


The 5576 is not what I wanted, but it is better than the MO22. 

The unit is 802.11n and it operates at 2.4GHz with dual internal antennas and 20MHz channels giving it the claimed 150Mbp/s speed. I would have preferred the ability to switch between 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. This unit may have problems in congested urban areas with lots of microwave ovens and other 802.11 devices operating in the same 2.4GHz range.

Shanghai Notion MO22 - January 2020



Warning: I have seen this unit being marketed online as a Huawei product. This device is NOT made by Huawei. 

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.

I bought the MO22 as a replacement for my ancient Huawei E5220:


The 5220 is old but it is still working good. It just lacks 4g capability and the battery is shot.


That total up time figure is no joke: 39,324 hours. I have had it for about four and a half years and it has been up 24/7/365 since day one. 

The M022 was priced at 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.

When I activated the sim and tried to avail the free 5 GB before it expired I received this message:


The promised 5 GB of data has been replaced with useless youtube. The promised promo had not expired. It was supposed to be good until March 31, but Globe just changed it.

The box the MO22 came in says that it is capable of up the 42 Mbit/s, which would make it about a cat 2 LTE device. Not impressive, but it does have a low price and that combined with sd card slot and 2000 mAh battery might make it a value for some:

 

M022 Web Interface 



  • The old 5220 displayed 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 5220 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:


    The SD card capability only allows you to upload a single file at a time, so multiple files might need to be zipped. It is also very very slow. These issues make this capability just about useless. Sneakernet with a thumb drive is preferable.
     
    By default the unit is set to automatically configure the WAN APN:


    I know of two APNs for Globe:
    • internet.globe.com.ph (used for postpaid)
    • http.globe.com.ph (used for prepaid)
    Even though one is for postpaid and the other is for prepaid they both work for me.

    A lot of people reach this page by searching for "fastest APN," but changing the APN does not effect your speed anymore than changing your password would.

    Connection Is Still Slow


    Even that slow speed 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.

    This is a speed test from a Sunday evening:


    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.

    I am somewhat certain 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.

    The LAN side wifi is constantly losing connection. It seems to involve the wifi profile generated by the client and also probably involves one or more security settings. 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.

    4 comments:

    Unknown said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Philippine Destiny said...

    nope

    Venn said...

    I'm curious, how's the latest Pocket wifi you bought perform so far? I'm talking about the Huawei E5576-856. I'm wanting to buy an LTE pocket wifi for Globe bands, I'm not sure if i should buy E5576-856 or if i should give the Huawei 5587 a try. I'm kinda worried the latter would not support all Globe bands.

    Philippine Destiny said...

    5587 is a typo. Should be 5787.

    I had no choice but to buy the E5576-856.

    I would rather have the 5787. To be certain about bands supported refer to the complete model # - the E5576-856 also comes in E5576-320, E5576-606, E5576-855 etc. and they may each support different bands. You may have trouble finding a 5787, as they are moving to a new model. That unit might be 2-3 times the price as the E5576-856.

    Post a Comment

    Information on this site may or may not be updated/corrected. Use at your own discretion.

    Public comments are no longer accepted.

    Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.