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Why does signal reception change by type

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,216
Thanks: 913
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Why does signal reception change by type

Looking at the Plusnet Mobile coverage I get the following results

4G Excellent

3G None (worse than Low)

2G Low

Perhaps the experts can explain why 4G is so much better - does it use a different transmitter or it purely the effect of the frequency and can one use 4G for normal texts and calls such as in 4G Calling from EE

9 REPLIES
RPMozley
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Why does signal reception change by type

A quick reply, the former and yes Wink
Not much time on my hands these days. Sad
Community Veteran
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Re: Why does signal reception change by type

IIRC it's to do with the number of receptors in the cell, there are many, many more used in a 4G signal thus giving a higher bandwidth.

RJM
Rising Star
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Registered: 28-01-2013

Re: Why does signal reception change by type

4G is so much clearer - speaking from a "layman's " point-of-view in these matters. (that is if you have an 4G ready phone.)

flanzm
Grafter
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Registered: 20-04-2016

Re: Why does signal reception change by type

It's to do with frequencies used to transmit from the base station and where the masts are located relative to you.  Generally the lower the frequency, the further it will travel and also penetrate buildings.

 

EE 2G is 1800MHz,

3G is 2100 MHz

4G is 1800 MHz and occasionally now 800 MHz (which gives the best indoor penetration).

 

My guess is that you have a 4G enabled 800MHz mast very close to where you live.

 

What services you can use on 4G depends on your phone make.  4G was actually designed as a data network and they have recently had to implement fixes such as VoLTE to allow calls/texts etc over 4G.  If your phone doesn't support VoLTE you will need 3G/2G coverage to make calls/send texts. 

southerner
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Why does signal reception change by type

It sounds like you will have trouble making/receiving calls there unless you have a VoLTE compatible handset & plan which can use the 4G signal to make calls rather than just handle data. Non VoLTE handsets will look to use 2 or 3G for calls.

I get 2G, 3G & 4G signals where I am all from different masts with the 2 & 3G signals being slightly stronger than the 4G one. I believe the 4G mast is slightly further away than the others plus it's an 1800Mhz mast that caters for better data speeds over reach & penetration.
flanzm
Grafter
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Registered: 20-04-2016

Re: Why does signal reception change by type

Also be aware that Plusnet mobile don't support VoLTE (there is confirmation on another thread here) - therefore you WILL need 3G/2G coverage for calls.

YorkshirePud82
Newbie
Posts: 5
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Registered: 01-12-2016

Re: Why does signal reception change by type

Howdy, not a plusnet mobile customer. BB only at minute but considering moving. In my workplace it is impossible for EE network users to get a signal (the network plusnet piggyback on). Unfortunately i have been unable to see if swapping from 4g > 3g >2g has any effect as it seems locked on my colleagues iPhones.

I have noted that if i set preferred 4g on my o2 android phone it struggles to get 2 bars. Now you'd think it would logically try to drop to another stronger signal? nope, if i force it to 3g only it improves considerably.

I still find this inconsistent coverage quite silly in the 21st century. I remember the fanfare about 4g. it was amusing since not everywhere could even get 3g!

southerner
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Why does signal reception change by type

Apparently EE are rolling out an 800Mhz 4G network at the moment where although the data rate will be slower than their higher frequency services the reach/penetration will be much better & indoor coverage will be better.
Again though this is restricted to contract customers on a handful of high end handsets.
custos
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Why does signal reception change by type

Problem is though, Plusnet 4G will not support voice or texts.