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Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

eLuddite
Aspirant

Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

I live in a rural area and am trying to develop an Internet service backup for extended power outages. My home's location is "terrain challenged" and cellular service is marginal when outside when standing on the highest point of land. Decided to try the AT&T Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router with a Wilson mobile antenna mounted on a jury rigged ground plane at the highest spot in my home. I get steady 2 bars and D/L ~= 2 Mbps, U/L ~= 200 Kbps. I could almost live with that for minimal text and email in emergencies, but before I decide to spend more for a better outside antenna system I did some testing. Drove to the base of two different cell towers where I got steady 5 bar, Excellent connection and the best D/L I could see at the first was 14 Mbps, U/L ~= 1 Mbps. Second tower: about half of that, but it may be that where I was parked (known verizon tower) had good LOS to the first tower. I tried to investigate settings using attwimanager and I note HSPA_PLUS and WCDMA 850. I tried, unsuccessfully, to set the network to Auto but on subsequent inspection, it is always set to WCDMA ALL. So, I'm wondering if perhaps AT&T doesn't offer faster service in this area. I'm in verizon's back yard generally. For comparison, my iPad Pro on verizon reports D/L 60Mbps, U/L 40 Mbps sitting next to the onliest verizon cell tower in my township some 6-7 miles from my home as the crow flies. Looking for guidance: do I have something misconfigured?
Message 1 of 8
JSchnee21
Virtuoso

Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

Unlock your hotspot and put your Verizon SIM in it?
Model: MR1100|Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot Router (US)
Message 2 of 8
eLuddite
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

I was under the impression that the Nighthawk M1 cellular radio was designed around GSM systems, at least from reviewing the marketing information. OTOH, it seems contrary to the Qualcomm cellular radio development of single radios for all bands. Has anyone seen any experience that says it will work on verizon if unlocked? I bought my M1 outright at Best Buy and might return it and take the restocking fee hit if I can't get it to work better. 

 

I was trying to understand why the performance of my Nighthawk M1 was so unremarkable compared to the experience of others and if a better outside antenna would help. The verizon speedtest on my iPad was at the tower, not at my home where minimal to no cellular service is the norm. 

Message 3 of 8
eLuddite
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

Since at this point I am just testing the feasibiity of using the Nighthawk M1, the micro-SIM I used in my Nighthawk M1 was activated on an old iPad 3 which of course does not/did not include any of the faster LTE capabilities. So, when moving the SIM to the M1 I'm guessing that those limitations come with the SIM. Is that the case?

Message 4 of 8
AoC
Guide
Guide

Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?


@eLuddite wrote:

Since at this point I am just testing the feasibiity of using the Nighthawk M1, the micro-SIM I used in my Nighthawk M1 was activated on an old iPad 3 which of course does not/did not include any of the faster LTE capabilities. So, when moving the SIM to the M1 I'm guessing that those limitations come with the SIM. Is that the case?


I would contact the service provider's help desk and ask if that SIM has LTE capability or not and are those cellural towers around you providing LTE coverage. Of course, if that SIM is limited from the telco's side to only 3G,  it won't register to LTE before that limitation is lifted by your service provider.  

Message 5 of 8
JSchnee21
Virtuoso

Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

Hi @eLuddite,

 

I'n not yet seen a post on this board from someone who has tried to use the MR1100 on Verizon, but unless big red blacklists it, there's no technical reason why it should not work.  While legacy Verizon uses CDMA and EVDO for voice and super slow 3G data, their modern LTE network is all GSM.  With VOLTE you don't even need the legacy network for voice any more.  I've seen several posts of folks using the Intel version of the iPhone on Verizon, for example.  That said, given the Qualcomm x16 that's in the MR1100 it definately has the capability to support CMDA/EVDO -- though AT&T's firmware may have disabled it.

 

But I guess my real question is, "if you're iPad works so well on Verizon, what drove you to AT&T for the MR1100?"  Verizon has had a variety of great hotspots for many years.  Did AT&T have a better / cheaper plan?  Aka unlimited?

 

Also, FYI, some carriers do take notice when you swap your iPad SIM into a hotspot.  Since generally iPad's don't use anywhere near as much data.

Model: MR1100|Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot Router (US)
Message 6 of 8
JSchnee21
Virtuoso

Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

Ooops, sorry, I think I misunderstood.  You were saying how well Verizon worked sitting next to the tower.  I assume it's not so good / similar to AT&T at your home?

 

Sounds like you need an directional antenna and a booster from SureCall or Wilson.

 

-Jonathan

Model: MR1100|Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot Router (US)
Message 7 of 8
eLuddite
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk M1 Mobile router works at 3G speeds only in these parts?

That's correct. Works great near the tower, but I get nothing near my home. I've basically had no joy with the Wilson devices I've tried.

Message 8 of 8
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