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Thread: All my hotspot devices prefer a no signal/ low bar band (pics listed) Why?

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    All my hotspot devices prefer a no signal/ low bar band (pics listed) Why?

    I've been using several hotspots for a couple years now with ATT in a rural area. I don't use a terrible amount of data with them, probably between 20-40GB a piece on unlimited. I've never had this issue up until a few months ago, but all of my devices stick to Band 4 after being powered on over 1 hour, which where I'm at has no signal/1 bar. To get them back on a different band/ havemore bars, I have to manually restart the devices and will have service for a while until they go back to Band 4. The devices have very slow internet when connected to this band, and literally will go offline / say no signal, but never toggle back to the other bands which are faster, i.e. Band 12 or Band 2 (2-3 bars each). The devices I have are a nighthawk and Unite Explore; I've tried several explores and all exhibit the same behavior. I've had to resort to turning off LTE to get signal to stay on something usable. Band 2 has 2-3 bars and is 30Mbps+, Band 12 has 2-3 bars and is 6-12Mbps, and Band 4 is fringe and limited no signal, with sub 1Mbps speeds. Pictures attached of the hotspot info when the behaviors are evident. Any ideas why they won't stay on the other bands?
    Name:  B12_.png
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Size:  55.4 KBName:  b4_.png
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Size:  73.6 KBName:  B2_.png
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  2. #2
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    Basically, the device doesn’t have a toggle to stay on one specific band. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to manually select a preferred band, at least not right now.
    --Bentley

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    What's the weather been like in your area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BentleyBeard View Post
    Basically, the device doesn’t have a toggle to stay on one specific band. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to manually select a preferred band, at least not right now.
    I realize this, and know that I am at the mercy of the software. But the question is why does the software prefer a very bad band that has no service, when there are others that are fine? It's bad att coding? A tower problem? Should I/Could I speak with tech support to escalate it, or just deal with it? Also to the above, weather has been fine. I experience this regardless of weather.

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    The mostly likely cause is a change to the tower's provisioning. Carriers exchange spectrum in areas all the time. My cabin was in an area that received 10x10 Band 4, which was traded to T-Mobile for Band 2. My phone at the time didn't support Band 2 LTE, so I lost service over the course of several months. Band 4 went to 5x5 before disappearing completely despite my complaints.

    If your Unite is not aggregating Band 2, 4 and 12, it's your tower and not your device.

    I would measure the bandwidths to stay informed as of changes. Use a simless smartphone to measure them, and use a T-Mobile sim card to isolate T-Mobile's bands.

    For example, my area has AT&T Band 2 at 40 Mhz, and T-Mobile Band 2 at 30 Mhz. It's almost impossible to latch on to the T-Mobile Band 2 unless you do it through RAT, because the tower prefers to connect phones on Band 4 and even 12 before using 2.

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    How do we know if the hotspot is using carrier aggregation, it only ever shows connected to one channel. I have both the Unite Explore and the Nighthawk as well.

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    My thing is, I understand about the changes to bands and provisioning etc. However, the band it latches onto is non existent, while there are other bands in the area. It disregards several 2-3 bar ATT LTE signals (band 2,5,12) it could latch onto in favor of a fringe to no signal ATT LTE signal. It connects to the bands just fine for a small amount of time, sometimes several minutes to an hour, so it's not that the devices are not compatible. I am not understanding this. It's not that my hotspots don't support those certain bands, it's that the software on several of these hotspots are choosing the band 4 in question over the other stronger signals.

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    If that tower has a preference for Band 4, and/or AT&T expanded the bandwidth, your device will target it regardless of signal strength, unless that signal strength is zero.

    A last-ditch solution would be to select the wap.cingular APN, which will force the Unite onto HSPA+. Depending on the bandwidths in that area, it might less congested than Band 4 LTE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedius View Post
    I've been using several hotspots for a couple years now with ATT in a rural area. I don't use a terrible amount of data with them, probably between 20-40GB a piece on unlimited. I've never had this issue up until a few months ago, but all of my devices stick to Band 4 after being powered on over 1 hour, which where I'm at has no signal/1 bar. To get them back on a different band/ havemore bars, I have to manually restart the devices and will have service for a while until they go back to Band 4. The devices have very slow internet when connected to this band, and literally will go offline / say no signal, but never toggle back to the other bands which are faster, i.e. Band 12 or Band 2 (2-3 bars each). The devices I have are a nighthawk and Unite Explore; I've tried several explores and all exhibit the same behavior. I've had to resort to turning off LTE to get signal to stay on something usable. Band 2 has 2-3 bars and is 30Mbps+, Band 12 has 2-3 bars and is 6-12Mbps, and Band 4 is fringe and limited no signal, with sub 1Mbps speeds. Pictures attached of the hotspot info when the behaviors are evident. Any ideas why they won't stay on the other bands?
    Name:  B12_.png
Views: 559
Size:  55.4 KBName:  b4_.png
Views: 561
Size:  73.6 KBName:  B2_.png
Views: 537
Size:  53.2 KB
    Sounds like a problem on the eNb. I'd escalate to tier 2 tech support. It shouldn't hold band 4 past -110 dBm.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using HoFo mobile app

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    I have the Nighthawk as well. When I first got it, about a month ago, I was picking up a few different bands and getting good speeds. For the last two weeks, however, it will not budge off of band 5. My speeds are useless, and I can’t figure out how to fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeybutts View Post
    Sounds like a problem on the eNb. I'd escalate to tier 2 tech support. It shouldn't hold band 4 past -110 dBm.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using HoFo mobile app
    Thanks for the response, and I will do that. It stays on Band 4 with no signal strength (as shown), and only a reboot will force it to others where it will eventually find itself right back on band 4 permanently.

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    My Nighthawk does the same thing. It mostly stays in band 4 with one bar and infrequently goes to band 12 with 3 bars. However, in my case, I’m glad it stays on band 4. During peak times I get 25-30 and slow times I can reach 50-60. With 3 bars on band 12, I get ~10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney Bounds View Post
    If that tower has a preference for Band 4, and/or AT&T expanded the bandwidth, your device will target it regardless of signal strength, unless that signal strength is zero.

    A last-ditch solution would be to select the wap.cingular APN, which will force the Unite onto HSPA+. Depending on the bandwidths in that area, it might less congested than Band 4 LTE.
    If you see the pics I posted, I showed the band 4 signal strength and connection data, and the signal strength IS zero and remains on the band. And yes, as I stated in the OP, I swap LTE off and use HSPA+, which is faster than the Band 4 with zero -1 bar.

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