Bangalore Airtel 4G Speedtest & Review

madhusudhan7

leaguemaddy
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Bought Airtel 4g B593 Indoor CPE today
Had to opt for this because BSNL is the only wired provider in my area & my broadband issues were not resolved even after several calls for almost a week now



Here are my initial thoughts that helped me make the choice after the 4G Demo:
1. 4G of all the wireless technologies is the closest to replace 'Wired Broadband' especially copper - not only because of speed but also because of the low latency(25ms for Bangalore servers). 3G is still not very good, at least for now
2. Speed of about 35 Mbps download & 15 Mbps Upload are now possible in most parts of Bangalore, otherwise most users are at the mercy of BSNL's pathetic tariff FOR HIGH SPEED plans with the worst Customer Service ever
3. Quality of Service is expected to be one of the best - considering Airtel & that the delivery is on Wireless - so not much can go wrong here
4. Cost is still on the higher side for Medium to heavy home users like me, i opted for Rs. 1399 + tax - 9gb FUP then speeds will come down to 128 Kbps *the best plan they have is Rs.2999 with 30gb FUP then 128 Kbps - after this you are at the mercy of Airtel Smartbytes
5. Airtel finally reduced the CPE price to 5k & we can't really except any better price or Tariff plans any time soon now that Reliance Infotel has changed the launch date yet again. I think their service launch will take another year or so then we can probably expect some price wars. So this is indeed a good time to buy a 4G connection

I get Full Signal Strength - 5 Bars & hence the Download speed has been pretty consistent around 25-28 Mbps at most time, with a speed tests varying between 25-35 Mbps for servers across India. Here is a quick snapshot:

I downloaded a 1.93gb you tube video using Orbit in about 10-11 Minutes, the entire videos played without any buffer/lags


Download from Microsoft Servers:





Ubuntu Torrent download:
 
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madhusudhan7

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Airtel 4g is offered in 2 variants as of now:
1. Indoor CPE with Wifi Capabilities
2. USB Dongle for Mobile connectivity
*We need to insert a Airtel 4g SIM to get Mobile Broadband to work on both the devices, they don't work without a SIM

Indoor CPE: Huawei B593
- 100 Mbps DL & 50 Mbps UL on 20Mhz but i guess Airtel currently supports only upto 40 Mbps DL
- Only LTE 4G on this Device, 3G/2G Multimode Support not available(As per Airtel Customer Care, multimode is only available in the USB Dongle)
- '4' Ethernet ports(100 Mbps) & WiFi 'N' Capability(Upto 300 Mbps) - supports upto 32 devices
- Supports VOIP Telephony, fax on the 2 telephone ports - Not available on Airtel because of Government Regulations, for future use if the regulations are changed(i guess they already were)
- Supports USB Storage(Hard drives, Pen Drive etc) or even Printers(future, could not find a way to use this for now) on the 2 USB ports
*This is more of a Wifi Router with inbuilt 4G capabilities

1st image is a Demo B593(without airtel logo) the sales representative had & the second is the actual Huawei B593 i got:




Back of the CPE with Antenna ports at the top(marked in Red), Power Plug, USB Port, 2 Telephone ports & 4 Ethernet Ports:




1st Image: Wifi, Reset & WPS buttons & 2nd Image: Sim Slot(marked in Red), Power button & the second USB port:




USB Dongle: Huawei E392
- Download Speed upto 100Mbps, Upload Speed Upto 50Mbps
- 4G/3G/2G Multi-mode data download capability
- Micro SD Card Slot Support Upto 32gb
*the specs for this USB modem were picked up from the internet

Image of the USB Modem, this is a Demo only ZTE Device but is out of stock & they have a better Huawei E392 Model now:
 

madhusudhan7

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Finally had some time to experiment with the USB Capabilities, my findings:

- This Router does not support 2 TB Hard drives, was able to get 500gb & 1 TB external hard drives to work on the USB ports. Router interface would freeze if a 2 TB Seagate Model # STBV2000300 was connected
- Only LAN FTP share was possible, WAN sharing could not be used nor could we use any other protocol except FTP... *Needs citation
- Router allows us to create upto 5 FTP users with either 'Read Only' or 'Read/Write' Permissions
- Router takes approx 5-10 seconds to respond when we click on "USB Management->Server Settings" to configure the external storage depending on the size of the hard drive connected
- Transfer rates from the USB HDD to the computer via FTP is around 2-3 MBPS only, which is pretty much the average speed of mid range routers with such USB Capabilities

Snapshot of USB Management before connecting the external hard drive:




After connecting a 500gb HDD:




Configuring users:




Speed achieved during large file transfer on FTP:







Also from this screenshot, VOIP is disabled as of now & shows the following message:
 


uberjon

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I think you'll hit the 9GB limit in no time. Going down to 128kbit/sec from 30mbit/sec+ is gonna hurt!
 

madhusudhan7

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I think you'll hit the 9GB limit in no time. Going down to 128kbit/sec from 30mbit/sec+ is gonna hurt!

You said it Pal... gonna hurt a lot i guess
 

Sushubh

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had to remove the screenshots of mmm illegal media downloads. please replace it with ubuntu iso download or something similar...
 


AgentX

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Hi!,Glad to hear that you've finally ditched BSNL. I, on the other hand, still stuck with them as there's no other operator in my area. I guess I'll have to go through with it for now.On the 4G connection you have, could you perhaps post some trace-routes to Google, 8.8.8.8 (Google Public DNS), and some other sites of your interest? Would love to see how much latencies you get in average in this type of a connection.Thanks so much for the review though, much appreciated :)
 

Sushubh

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yeap. latencies are probably more important than top speed. you are not really going to enjoy the peak speeds for longer duration of times :D because of obvious reasons.
 

chin

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Hi!,

Glad to hear that you've finally ditched BSNL. I, on the other hand, still stuck with them as there's no other operator in my area. I guess I'll have to go through with it for now.

On the 4G connection you have, could you perhaps post some trace-routes to Google, 8.8.8.8 (Google Public DNS), and some other sites of your interest? Would love to see how much latencies you get in average in this type of a connection.

Thanks so much for the review though, much appreciated :)

I don think trace route is possible in wireless!!!! only pings!!! I haven't seen BTS switching to int. ofc cables.
 

madhusudhan7

leaguemaddy
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Aug 10, 2008
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Bangalore
Hi!,

Glad to hear that you've finally ditched BSNL. I, on the other hand, still stuck with them as there's no other operator in my area. I guess I'll have to go through with it for now.

On the 4G connection you have, could you perhaps post some trace-routes to Google, 8.8.8.8 (Google Public DNS), and some other sites of your interest? Would love to see how much latencies you get in average in this type of a connection.

Thanks so much for the review though, much appreciated :)

yeap. latencies are probably more important than top speed. you are not really going to enjoy the peak speeds for longer duration of times :D because of obvious reasons.

Sure, will do that sometime today, got busy with work when i was experimenting with the USB capabilities of B593

I don think trace route is possible in wireless!!!! only pings!!! I haven't seen BTS switching to int. ofc cables.

It should be from what i know, shall post about this later today

had to remove the screenshots of mmm illegal media downloads. please replace it with ubuntu iso download or something similar...

Sorry, didn't know. wasn't thinking straight in all the havoc !
Just clicked on download for testing the connection when i saw something in Full HD - was using the demo connection when i did this. Obviosuly wouldn't blow up 2gb of my download allowance on a 9gb FUP :)
Also wanted to point out the Airtel cache in action
 

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