Pepwave MAX: LTE vs. LTE-A; Carrier throttling ~ Question & Feature Request


#1

Feature Request:

On Pepwave MAX devices [BR1 Mini in this case], there is a setting to force LTE only. It would be nice to also have a choice to force LTE-A only., and consider the link down if it drops from LTE-A to LTE.

Question:

Some U.S. carrier plans don’t have a hard monthly data cap, but rather throttle to 2G or 3G speeds once you’ve gone over your soft cap and there is network congestion. I don’t know if this means they drop down to 3G or 2G (unsupported on Pepwave MAX I believe) technology, or (more likely) just cap speed in their network. Is there some way to detect this so that the link can be considered down?


#3

I think typically this means they throttle to 2G or 3G speeds. It’s not clear that they drop your connect down to the different technology specifically. I have never seen this happen from throttling but from network issues not related. Most carriers don’t even have 2G equipment still in the field for their data networks.


#4

Thanks.

So I guess the question becomes another Feature Request… detect bandwidth (already capable of doing this based on the “Least Used” rule that measures “available downlink bandwidth”) and allow a lower bound cutoff.


#5

There is no way to force LTE-A only as this is controlled by the network itself. The “Least Used” algorithm is meant for Ethernet-based connections where you define the actual speeds of the connection.

For now about the only thing you could do is utilize the Bandwidth Monitoring feature and tick the box to kill the connection when it hits the data cap you define. Thanks


#6

re: LTE vs. LTE-A Feature Request

The BR1 Mini “knows” when it has an LTE-A connection vs. an LTE connection. It gets displayed as one or the other. So the system should be able to use that knowledge as a control for the user.

re: Throttling Detection Feature Request

The drawback to killing the connection when the soft cap is hit is that you forego much potential data usage. Throttling is hopefully not a frequent occurrence, but it can be a horrendous outcome to try to run connections on links that are being throttled to as low as 128kbps. “Least Used” must rely on some measure of actual download bandwidth (to be compared to the user-entered link bandwidth), so I’m suggesting using this actual bandwidth measure to allow a user-defined lowest acceptable bound.


#7

Throttling is a huge pain and competition has stated to customers that they can handle it while Peplink can’t, this hurts my heart. Is it under investigation?


#8

We were just in Canada. Verizon plan we have (an older, grandfathered one) is supposed to be same US or Canada for the data use. They throttled us daily after a few hundred Mbits. The MAX BR1 MK2 then didn’t pass data at all, while my iPad, also on the same plan, worked as a hot spot albeit slowly. About ready to fire Verizon, but also concerned about Peplink not handling the throttling.


#10

It is just a claim from competition, I never saw anyone handling properly throttling on mobile.

We use data volume management and latency difference to compensate these issues.