fluctuation of download speeds

when downloading a video using my IDM download manager speeds can fluctuate from 40 KB/sec up to 1,400 KB/sec....all within a 5 minute period. I live close to 3 towers. Could anyone explain any valid reason for such fluctuations.....I'm a newbie, previously struggling with ADSL+2 struggling to get above 150 KB/sec consistently due to my distance from telephone exchange....



ozzcaddy-MODERATOR wrote 38 weeks ago

As you are using wireless broadband many things can contribute to slower speeds, including congestion, weather, trees, overhead powerlines, buildings etc.

From what you have provided, as you are near 3 towers, (1) the modem could be switching between towers looking for the best signal, (2) congestion, (3) there could be a problem with one or more of the towers.

1. To check if your modem is switching between towers, you will need to login to the modems interface and monitor the CELL_ID number over a few days, especially when your speeds change. If that number changes then the modem is switching between towers. As you monitor the CELL_ID, look at the stats at the bottom and see if they change to better or worse. That way you will find a tower that has a good signal, which can relate to good speeds.

Have you tried different locations for the modem (if you can) or try micro rotations of the modem in its current position, that can also help to improve the signal and speeds.

2. Congestion, wireless broadband is no different then where there are too many vehicles on the road at one time that cause gridlock. The towers are no different, especially at particular times of the day and week, where users are streaming from the various movie sites and other heavy used sites.

The congestion will cause reduction of speed as the network tries to accommodate everyone, and this can cause the modem to switch to another tower that may have less users but slower speeds due to a poor signal.

3. There could be a problem with one or more of the towers or there is current maintenance being done.

What Suburb & postcode are you in?

Hope that helps you understand about wireless broadband, and provides some information that will assist in obtaining constant speeds.


rayclatworthy wrote 38 weeks ago

1. the cell id is changing constantly (sometimes so quickly that there is no time to monitor and take note of readings)....will try to monitor further....still playing with modem location....house faces north....closest tower is about 1k due west...no windows on this side of house....next tower is about 1.2k southwest...again no window on this direct line....and the 3rd tower is also about 1.2k due south....again no window facing, and possibly many trees on this line....
2. understand congestion problems but download speed can still fluctuate from 500KB/sec to 1500KB/sec and all of a sudden back to 40KB/sec in the busiest times of day 5pm to 9pm....is the modem directional and what part of the modem should aim toward a particular tower....understand we can't lock onto a particular tower but could an external antenna improve the speed, and how could I know what direction to aim it at....
3. Live in Gypsy Rise, Swan View, 6056....and am at present happier with the speeds and connectivity with Vivid compared to my ADSL+2....
Thanks for any help....


ozzcaddy-MODERATOR wrote 38 weeks ago

Thanks for the extra detailed info and Suburb/Postcode.

I have had a look at your area and the surrounding towers using Optus Network Status map, and there are many towers within your area that is currently having work performed on them now or upcoming work. This is the situation where users who normally connect to these towers are pushed over to other nearby towers and this can cause congestion, which I believe is your current problem.

You can check these towers yourself by clicking on this link:

Click on the Outage Tab and Type in your Suburb/Postcode in the search box.

Expand the map and you will see Green and Amber colour icons that represent towers. Green towers represent no problems. The Amber towers are either currently having work done or upcoming work. You can click on the tower icon for more information as of dates and work to be done.

If the tower icon is Red, that means there is a problem that is being investigated. Optus performs all work on the towers whether it be Optus or Vividwireless.

With regards to external aerials, Vividwireless does not provide support when used. If you do want to use an external aerial, ensure the cable is of good quality and not too long.

I would suggest waiting until the work has been completed on the surrounding towers that are currently Amber, before looking at other options.

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