Smart Hub

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Resident

I have had a smart hub for a little over a year now. In the beginning it worked wonderfully but recently it has started to lag with no real changes being made. What could be causing the issue? Also, is there a major difference between the new style smart hub and the old? Thanks.

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Connector
Telus is overselling the hubs and most towers don’t have the bandwidth to accommodate the extra load, I’ve heard they’re upgrading towers but I’m right in the middle of two towers so I may try an experiment and see if my booster can connect to the other tower closer to town (and probably get blocked cause they think I’m moving my hub by switching towers).

Best thing I did was add a booster and now I can max out the download speed most of the time, upload is still weak though.
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Friendly Neighbour

I had the same experience, first year of Smart Hub was great, speeds always around 20-25 mbps. slower at nighttime to about 10 - 15 mpbs at the worst.  But then I changed to a new plan for 500 GB for $110 about 6 months ago, from $75 for 250 GB,  and I started to have speed problems immediately, and I was told by the Telus call centre that the Telus network people now restrict each hub to access one tower only, where before on the old plan, the HUB would search out the best tower signal.  So of course, the towers are overloaded and very congested, and the HUB is  restricted from switching towers to get a better signal.  Lots of times we have speeds less than 1 mbps, not even enough to email or go to websites, videos and Netflix are out of the question.   The speed does come back at times and then disappears again.

 

There is no going back to my old original plan of $76 for 250 GB as it does not exist anymore.  Since then, they have moved me to the new plans of $75 for 500 GB, but again, all these new plans have the HUB restricted to one tower, and causing no end of grief to customers.  Worse yet, the Telus Network people are saying there are no immediate plans to resolve this.   Yes, so Hub system was great at the start, but they sold so many and overloaded the towers, and don't seem to want or care to fix it.   Rally crappy Telus customer service. 

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Friendly Neighbour

Can I ask you what kind of booster you used, i.e. brand name or model, etc. and how you installed it?  Thanks.

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Resident

I'm just contemplating switching from the old $75/250 GB plan to the $70/500 GB, since it seems like a no-brainer. But from what you heard from Telus, do the old plans retain the tower-switching capacity? If so, then I might just stay with the old plan.

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Friendly Neighbour

Yes, hard to say what to do. I agree, it is a no brainer to switch, double the data for same price.  But in my experience, and from what the Telus call centre help desk told me, the original $75 for 250 GB plan had inherent tower switching (to the strongest signal) built into it, while the new $75 for 500 GB plan locks you into 1 tower, the Hub is unable to seek out a better signal if the tower gets congested ( which is often).  I was told that Telus sold so many hubs that they have to restrict Hubs to one tower to manage the overall data and cell phone service on that tower.  I was told the old plans retained the tower switching, but the people that told me really did not know for sure, they were speculating,  and their Telus Network people do not communicate with them, so hard to say whether to believe them or not. Welcome to the Telus service world.

 

And talk about Telus craziness, if you switch plans with a Telus rep. over the phone, even for a minute to try the new plan out, you can never go back, because the old plan does not exist anymore, so there is no "coding" for it, so you can't go back to old plan from the instant they switch you.  When our speed started to deteriorate after we left the old plan, and we put in a complaint, we were told the Telus Network people were aware of the congestion problem with these hubs locked into 1 tower, but really had no answers or a time frame to resolve it.  In other words,  suck it up Telus hub customer.

 

I was told to may-be find a new Internet provider by my Telus technical help, as they had no idea when their network people were going to fix the congestion and slow speeds. So I don't know what to tell you or recommend to you, once we switched plans, we had no Internet for almost a week, with speeds of .5 Mbps or less, then we got our 20-25 speeds back for awhile, then it goes back to 1 Mbps again, and on and on.  Lately, it has been getting better, but will it last, who knows and neither does the Telus help people.   That is quite a way of running a business, such great customer service. 

 

One more thing - in our area, the only other Internet provider is Xplornet, I am told they have unlimited data plans and fairly fast download speeds, but their upload speeds are all restricted to 1 Mbps on all of their plans, and I can't live with that. So the only thing I can suggest is to get Telus to put it in writing (email), that if you switch plans, your Hub will not be tower restricted. It may be a setting in the Hub or in their software, I have no idea on how they do it, but only then would I feel confident switching plans. We never had a problem with speeds on our old plan for over 2 years until we switched to a new plan, but Telus does not tell you about the 1 tower restriction when you change to a new plan. Hope this helps.

 

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Friendly Neighbour

Hello LaneN,  can I ask you what kind of booster you bought and do you connect directly to Hub?  Thanks.

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Connector
I bought a Weboost 4G Connect (weboost=Wilson Amplifiers). At the time I think I payed around 800 or so? They have newer models now that apparently have way better boosting capabilities, and I’m almost ready to buy the new one since my upload speed brutal or getting a dual yagi setup. Since I’m surround by trees and I was at one point putting up a 80ft tower (screw piles and base is welded to piles ready to go) but when I priced out lmr-600 cable so I don’t loose dB strength I aborted that idea cause it’s expensive and since I need about 500ft.

Instead I had an old antenna mount on my roof, used 20ft of conduit and put my yagi antenna on that. I used tower locater and OpenSignal apps to find the best 4G signal and pointed it in that general direction. I also used RG11 instead of the RG6 coax as it has less signal lose per foot (also a lot thicker)

Running long runs I’d go for lmr type cable and booster/antenna. Since coax is 75 ohm and lmr is 50 ohm (you can get 75ohm lmr cable but it’s not common). I’d say expect to spend around 500-1500 depending what model you get.

Also what might work is an antenna for the hub itself (usually a MIMO flat panel with 2 small cables with sma connectors). I bought some generic external antennas that kinda worked. Also I have my booster in my basement with the inside panel antenna pointed at my hub about 8 feet away.
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Friendly Neighbour

Ok, thanks LaneN.  All good information, kind of surprised what a good cell signal booster costs, but upon researching more on the Internet, looks like the Wilson models are the best and they range from the $500 to $800 range.   I see Telus also has a new Hub model out now, the ZTE MF 279T as opposed to the old ZTE MF-275R, have no idea if it would work any better on speeds with weak cell phone signals or congested towers, etc.   The Telus reps in the call centre were unsure if would improve things either and did not seem to know what features were better or why Telus moved to this new Hub now and eliminated the old one in their sales. No one seems to know anything about it on their technical help team, typical Telus Service.