17-05-2012 11:09 AM
I have recently changed phones from a Blackberry 9700 to a Balckberry 9900 both of which are 3G enabled. I route the signal though a Sure Signal (a 9361 Home Cell V2-V). When a call is in progress the correct lights are showing on the Sure Signal with both the power and phone lights both lit. The phone is showing a full signal, and the 3G icon displayed. So according to both devices I should be able to conduct a phone call. However the signal can be clear and then fades on calls or I get various comments that I sound like I am in the bath or that I sound like Norman Collier (I am old enough to know what he sounded like and the comparison is not flattering). I have also put the sim into a Nokia E71 with the same affect.
I am rapidly losing faith in the sure signal can anybody help?
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17-05-2012 01:52 PM - edited 17-05-2012 01:53 PM
... also described as sounding like a dalek.
Normally caused by having insufficient upstream bandwidth available to the SS and/or excessive competition for the available bandwidth when you are making a call.
So to start with, what are the results of a speed test? What else is using your available bandwidth?
17-05-2012 02:23 PM
I have tried 4 speed tests on 3 different sites. The results are:
Dwnload/ Upload 4.1/ 0.3, 5.13/ 0.26, 4.34/ 0.37, 6.0/ 0.276.
The only devices using the bandwith at the moment are the home computer the laptop and my Blackberry.
There is another PC and a netbook but they are not using bandwidth at the moment.
It used to work ok with just these running!
17-05-2012 03:28 PM
The delivery of the data packets that make up and audio stream is time critical - if the data doesn't arrive on-time the audio gets 'chopped'.
That being the case, while the audio stream doesn't require much bandwidth (~64Kbps) dedicated to itself it isn't very tolerant of other data streams sharing and there isn't any bandwidth figure that is guaranteed to be 'enough'. However, with 4 or 5 Mbps downstream you shouldn't have too much difficulty hearing what others are saying to you - is that the case? If you fancied trying to watch a HD iPlayer session at the same time as making a call you might well find that disrupts you conversation!
With only around 300Kbps to play with upstream pretty much any competition for bandwidth has the potential to cause problems. Things such as an on-line backup would be a prime example of competition; similarly someone conducting a conversation or video call using Skype would cause issues. Is it possible that any such applications could be running on the PC, laptop or Blackberry?
17-05-2012 04:17 PM
Skype was running all the time, but i have now switched it off. Livedrive on line backup is running. The settings on this are bandwidth 512kbh, Max download bandwidth 64kb/s, max upload bandwidth 8kb/s. On the slider scale on the bottom of the livedrive window, both the download and upload bandwidth are set to 100%. The livedrive is running on both the PC and the laptop.
Widows update and Norton Anti virus is also running on both machines.
We never run iplayer as it is continually buffering so we dont bother using it. Could this be a further indication that there is not enough bandwidth?
17-05-2012 05:16 PM
My money would be on Livedrive causing the problems. Can you pause it on all machines and leave yourself a voice-mail to hear the resulting audio quality? If that's good, switch Livedrive back on and repeat the experiment.
If Livedrive is the problem, can you then configure it to run only while you sleep (or something like that).
The other approach to try would be to enable Quality of Service (QoS) on your router - if your router supports QoS (not all do) - to give the SS priority over all other upstream traffic. [Which is, incidentally, what I have done to ensure decent upstream quality over my BB connection.]
18-05-2012 10:34 AM
Thank you so much. I have stopped both skype and livedrive and that seems to have done the trick!
I have looked at the router settings and according to the DHCP list, the sure signal is third down the list after the router and another phone, so well up the list really. I must admit I am not that computer literate, so assume this is the same as the QoS, and as turning the 2 programmes off seems to have worked I have decided not to touch it.
Hopefully, there wont be any further problems and it will continue to work ok. If there are, I will get back in touch but for now, once again many thanks for your help, I am really impressed and relieved!
18-05-2012 06:19 PM
Glad that you are sorted ...
The order in the client DHCP list doesn't signify anything in terms of priority. If you want to know whether your router supports QoS, post the make and model and someone will advise ...
22-05-2012 06:57 AM
Thanks for looking into it Philip.
People can now hear me perfectly which was the original problem.
I however, am now getting a problem hearing them. At first I thought it maybe because of them being in a poor area.
I have tried using the Sure Signal for a few days now and am getting it from all calls ans even from calls from land lines. Any ideas?
26-05-2012 07:27 AM
This is likely to be a similar problem, the other way around - namely that some activity on one or more of the devices connected to your network is 'downloading' something sufficient to interrupt you call.
Try switching everything but your SS 'off' so that there is no possibility of anything competing for bandwidth and make a call. If that is still poor the problem would appear to be beyond your control.
If you then get decent audio quality, try switching stuff back on progressively to identify where the culprit is ... other users downloading, watching iPlayer (or similar), automated updates or even frequent email checks could cause issues if your effective bandwidth is close enough to the limit.
As an aside, QoS on your router wouldn't help here since you would need the prioritisation on traffic sent to you. This would need to be provided by your ISP (and almost certainly isn't).
19-11-2012 05:28 PM
As this is a recent change whilst you've been at home, so we can confirm that it is the handset causing the issue rather than anything else, can you please follow our troubleshooting guide. This will help remove everything else out of the equation and we'll be able to get you fully up and running quicker.