Mobile internet connection (4G stick): problems after maintenance work at base station

Hi all, :wave:

I’ve been having major download (and upload) speed issues lately. :frowning_face:

My only internet access is the stick (4G). So far the download speed has always been great and I have had no complaints.

But now: poor or partially no connection occurred from last Wednesday onwards (07/13).

I learned that maintenance work was being carried out on the base station (or cell tower?) responsible for my area.
Problems could or should arise until 07/15 they said.

In the meantime I can access the Internet again without any problems; the maintenance work is also reported as completed. :neutral_face:

But: the download speed (upload probably too) has been extremely bad since then. It used to be even better with former 3G. I’m a long way from 4G speed now. :thinking:

A few days ago it took me more than 15 minutes to download a file of around 30 MB in size! :dizzy_face:

Before the maintenance, 4G speed was perfect. Nothing has changed on my hardware. So it must be the maintenance work. :flushed:

Has anyone had similar experiences with AldiTalk (or any other mobile provider for that matter) in connection with “maintenance work”?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Many greetings.


P.S. readings tell me:

  • Download: 2,02 Mbps
  • Upload: 0,13 Mbps
  • Ping: 69,0 ms
  • Jitter: 55,0 ms

It’s been 5 days. You should call the carrier and annoy them, until they do something.

At first, they are going to tell you to wait. They will keep you waiting, until you stop annoying them.

This is why you have to constantly keep annoying them and make them do something. Most of the time this can only be achieved by speaking to the multiplicator (team leader of sorts) there and then he has to actually call technicians to let them know something has to be done.

If the issues started precisely during the maintenance work, then it’s highly likely the two are connected. Either the issue the maintenance work was done for is still not fixed, or the maintenance work itself broke something.

Here are rules as to how behave when talking to customer support:

  • Stay friendly, but be extremely persistent.
  • You have to be extremely persistent, but still stay friendly.
  • Write down every call center agent’s lastname in a document. Whenever you talk to a new call center agent, you have to say that you already talked to Mr. X, Mrs. Y, Miss Z, etc… So they know, you have already waited more than enough and need action!
  • Ideally, you additionally note in the document, which person said what. Call center agents constantly contradict themselves! So, make a list of every major point they say, to point out contradictions and again clarify, that you have waited long enouhg and need action.
  • Note all promises, including dates, times of day and appointments. You have to document everything, to be able to later tell them how they screwed it all up, as always.
  • Be aware, that call center agents have no idea what they are talking about. They just know your customer ID, your name and address. They are not technicians. They literally don’t know anything. They are just there to calm down people and get paid for it. That’s it. They are as educated on the topic as the wet cigarette they throw onto the ground, after smoking break.
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Thanks @Akito so much for your views on the matter and for your suggestions.

Right. In the meantime I sent 3 e-mails to .
I didn´t get an answer to my second one. The first one said there should be no issues.
Well, by that time the maintenace work was completed (but badly it seems :angry:).

I just wrote my third mail, complaining once more.

Customer support via phone seems ineffective, to say the least, and they make me pay for each minute…

But thanks so much for the hints you provided. :heart:

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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this isn’t 3g / 4g related - but - I “recently” was having dramas with my WiFi - some of my devices would point blank refused to connect, like my Kobo e-ink ebook reader… It was so frustrasting, I ended up using WiFi tethering to my smartphone to get a purchased (shiver/horror : with DRM) book onto my device…

Anyway - I ended up MOVING the wifi router up higher (its in the kitchen) and advised everyone else not to put ANYTHING at all in front of the router. And - THAT FIXED all my WiFi issues!!!

I guess what I’m asking, has anything been put between you, and the cell tower, that might be blocking the signal? I (and everyone else in my house) have to use Telstra’s cellphone infrastructure from my house (I use other “providers” who use Telstra), cause the nearest Optus tower has the weakest signal, its almost unusable - e.g. had to move around the house with the phone above head height to get the best signal… Note : Telstra and Optus own most of the telecommunications infrastructure in this country, from the shonky 19th century telegraph-grade “broadband” network, to the cell phone towers, the odd run of fibre for trunk links, and coaxial “cable TV” networks in more affluent suburbs on the East Coast (barely any in Perth, but again, the more affluent suburbs and “northern beaches”).

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That reminds me of another thing I have forgotten to mention.

I remember the good old days, when WiFi was not as “strong” as today, meaning, I had to watch out that it was sending on the emptiest channel available. Most routers sent on either Channel 1 or Channel 6 and I would pick one in between or one above 6.

However, in this case, I found that it shouldn’t be a mere coincidence, that all this started at the time of the maintenance.

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Hi all, :wave:

thanks so much for your latest input.


Thanks for providing some insights into your home setup (WIFI-wise).

I can believe that. I too have had to notice frustration levels can get up high in those situations. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Hmm, not to my knowledge.
Inside the house I haven´t changed anything and my hardware setup is still the same.
What´s happened outside the house between the cell tower and my location I really cannot say.

Well, I strongly believe the change in signal quality must have something to do with the maintenance work. It was exactly then when the situation deteriorated…

Many greetings :slightly_smiling_face:

BTW: I noticed you changed your “signet”-picture. :wink:


Thanks for the interesting info.

Right. That´s my opinion as well.

Many greetings :slightly_smiling_face:


Believe it or not:
The situation has improved since yesterday evening (around 6:30 p.m.) and again today. :smiley:
Here are the measurement results from

  • recently (since July 15.): D: 2,38 Mbps U: 0,23 Mbps

  • yesterday evening: D: 12,3 Mbps U: 2,54 Mbps

  • today: D: 25,9 Mbps U: 2.02 Mbps

After a week it seems to be getting better now. If it stays that way I think I´ll be alright with the situation. :wink:

Many thanks to all of you for your kind help. :heart:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Rosika. ,
The speed of 4G connections depends on how busy the tower is.
It may be that after the outage, the tower was very busy , when everyone came back online at once.

25.9mbps is fabulous. We have an ADSL connection over a copper wire phone line, and we are 10km from the exchange. The best we get when everything is working properly is 4mbps download and 0.5mbps upload. I can live with that but it is only just good enough. The only plus is downloads are unlimited.


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Hi Neville, :wave:

thanks a lot for your input.

I see. But 5 days after finishing maintenance work I would´ve thought everything should be back to normal again.
Well, I´ve never had to put up with maintenance work during many years. In fact this was the first time. So I had no experience in that field whatsoever. :blush:

Had I known there was a silver lining I wouldn´t have been so impatient. :wink:

Thanks for the assessment, Neville. :+1:

Right. But what if you need to download an ISO for a new installation? Wouldn´t that take extremely long? :thinking:

I just checked what I would need for downloading the latest Lubuntu ISO:

firejail wget --spider ""
Spider mode enabled. Check if remote file exists.
--2022-07-21 15:13:06--
Resolving ( 2620:2d:4000:1::1a, 2001:67c:1562::25, 2620:2d:4000:1::17, ...
Connecting to (|2620:2d:4000:1::1a|:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 2606266368 (2,4G) [application/x-iso9660-image]
Remote file exists.

… so it´s 2.4 GB :flushed:

There was a time when Lubuntu was available for an equivalent of 1.8 GB or so…

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

That would explain issues for a single day but not for so many days.

…can only be thought & said by a user living in deep woods. :smiley:

I’d say, in today’s Western civilisations this should be the rough minimum everyone should get. Anything below that is a pain nowadays, where even “small” downloadable or streamable things have a size of hundreds of MiB.

That’s why you read so many books. You can’t even watch a video at your place. :grin:

I doubt that. There have been scandals in the past, where carriers would have “invisible” limits on downloads, that were intransparent to the customer. Later, they had to add that information in really small letters somewhere hidden in the letter jungle of the contract you sign.

I would guess the situation where you live should be similar. Capitalism works more or less the same everywhere, especially in such a globalised world.

Back then, it was a limitation of about 250GB per month worth of downloadable material. If my connection would have had such strict limitations, I wouldn’t even know what to do, because I’d be constantly filling out those GB…

If he has maximum speed available (4mpbs), then the download would take a little less than two and a half hours for a 4GB example size ISO…

4GB could be a longer video, too.

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Hi @Akito, :wave:

thanks so much for the link you provided. I didn´t know about the "download time calculator). :blush:

Well, I´ll be blessed:

I entered the “old” value of 2.38 Mbps (when the connection was bad indeed) and 2.4 GB download.
The calculator gives me “02 Hour 24 Minutes 22 Seconds”. Even that would at least be tolerable (for certain situations).

But why on earth took me a system upgrade
sudo apt update; sudo apt upgrade
around 15 minutes for the download only at the time :question: :astonished:

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, a 4Gb iso is an overnight job

I think you and @Akito are right, 5 days is a bit long for a traffic problem

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Because it has to download many small files, which means it has to re-initiate the download process tons of times. Imagine you are at a supermarket and there are 100 people in the queue, each having a single bottle of water in their hands. Sure, a bottle of water is just a single thing, but the cashier still has to process every customer. So, even if every single customer only has a bottle, it will still take a long time for the 100 people to get processed.

Additionally, the servers are sometimes slow. If the servers are slow, it won’t ever help to have a speedy connection, because the client & the server need to provide that speed. If one of those does not provide it, it will be unavoidably slower.

One method to mitigate this is to use less popular repository mirrors.

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Videos are ok at 4mbps
Yes unlimited is a bit of a misnomer, it is effectively limited by the download rate.
Australian internet outside main cities is primitive. The only alternative we have is fixed wireles. 4G is too expensive. Fixed wireless does up to 20mbps

Its the price we pay for living out in the sticks

I have never achieved a 4Gb iso download in 2hrs. I think the mirror sites throttle the rates.

Never underestimate the baud rate of a station wagon full of books

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Hi @Akito, :wave:

thanks a lot for your detailed description of how things work in the background.

O.K. I guess I was considering things to be a bit simpler. Of course I cannot remember exactly how many packages there were to be updated at the time. I was just taking the total download size into account. :blush:

Thanks for the suggestion and the link. I´ll look into it. :+1:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

The solution to that problem is using Torrent.

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Yes I use torrent. It is reliable.

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Hey Rosika,

Dont know where you are located but my crew has been called out on a record (for us) 14 cell towers in 72 hours from weather related issues. Heat - causes static air overheating, air conditioning to over run, fires close to the base of the towers, long over due maintenance on cables to crack, anchors become soft and wind to push cables lose, etc, … Wind, Lightening, Heavy Rains… all of it can cause problems. Had to repair a fiber line to a tower because someone cut thru it trying to repair a water line. Just on and on… All of that might be called - to them - maintenance.

If you restarted your cell modem - still having issues - call them. Have them run thru trouble shooting with you to see if there are any problems.


Hi Wade, :wave:

thanks a lot for your account of what you´ve been through.

Well, that´s quite something.

You´re right . I certainly cannot tell what exactly was going on under the cloak of “maintenance”.

Pretty much in the middle of the land of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.

Thanks again and many greetings

Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi all once again, :wave:

just want to let you know: it seems everything´s back to normal again.

Today up- and download-rates look pretty good, like they used to be before the maintenance work (see post #6).
I´ll keep my fingers crossed it stays that way. :hand_with_index_finger_and_thumb_crossed:

For better understanding I just want to ask you another question related to the topic:

After the maintenance work (the days when internet connection was poor) I noticed the huawei web-interface for my stick displayed 3 bars out of five.
I guess this denotes signal-strength.

Getting connected didn´t take longer than ususal. Clicking on the respective button still connected me in an instant (it took about a second). It was just the up- and download speed which was affected.

Now, as everything seems good again, I noticed there are 4 bars out of five. :slightly_smiling_face:
So it seems the signal strength has improved (plus: speed is back to normal again).

Basically my question is:

May it be that up- and download speeds are directly or indirectly connected to signal strength :question:

Perhaps it´s a silly question but I thought I´d ask it anyway :blush:

Thanks a lot.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes. Wi-Fi had a huge hype when it became popular and now everyone uses it, thinking it’s the best.

However, the reality is a bit different. Wi-Fi does not replace Ethernet, it just is an alternative method of getting internet on your devices, for the cases where it would be a real chore to lay down really long Ethernet cables.

So, Wi-Fi makes connections wireless, i.e. you don’t need to play around with cables, but it has its downsides, that come with everything wireless. You need proper signal strength and proper technologies under the hood. For example, a great signal strength won’t help, if you are connecting to a b/g capable router instead of n or ac or even ax.
The absolute minimum you need nowadays is n, while ac should be the recommended one.

The other issue is that people don’t understand WiFi. They, for example, have a huge TV and then place their router behind that TV and then they wonder why their signal strength is on basement level. Yes, if a huge TV is blocking the signals, one’s signal strength will be very limited.
Same with walls. The more walls are in-between your device and your router, the worse.

Now, people still don’t understand how it works, getting those Wi-Fi repeaters and then place them somewhere where the signal strength is really low and complain that it “does not work”. Actually, it does work, but you need to place the repeater, where the signal strength is still high and not where it is already low. That’s why they most likely need more than one of those things, again sinking cost into the whole Wi-Fi situation.

Well, I could go on and on about all the downsides of Wi-Fi, many people don’t understand or don’t want to know about.

Wi-Fi does not need cables. That’s its huge plus. There are plenty of negatives coming with that, though.
Ethernet does need cables (at least one). That’s its huge minus. However, you don’t get all the Wi-Fi related crap, when you use Ethernet. You have the most stable and speedy internet you can get with Ethernet. No issues, whatsoever, except you break the cable.

Needless to say, the only devices at my home using Wi-Fi are smartphones and the occassional Raspberry Pi Zero W.
Not even my laptops use Wi-Fi…