Question Help troubleshooting 4g LTE home internet set up

Mar 23, 2022
Hello, I'm looking for assistance with my hotspot internet configuration. I live in a rural community with no broadband, fiber or dsl options in my area. My only options are LTE hotspot internet and Satellite internet. We have both options but both are barely useable.

However my hotspot internet seems like it has the potential to be greatly improved. The signal just doesn't travel well into the house but if I take the router outside I get a really strong signal and pretty fast internet speeds. Definitely enough for me to use it for work and stream some shows and even online gaming. So the past few weeks I've been trying to use an external modem like an outdoor antenna that connects to the indoor router so I can get the signal strength from outside.

Here's some specs on my plan and hardware:

ATT 100gb/month data plan with a ZTE router Model: MF279 however the sim card was taken out and placed into the external modem, an Elsys Amplimax.

On the Elsys device, it says I'm at 99% but here's more details,

Signal Level​
-82 dBm (RSRP)​
signal quality​
-12 dB (RSRQ)​
1700 MHz​
2175.0 MHz​

The way this is all set up is like this - Elsys Amplimax is fixed on the roof and positioned directly at the nearest tower (direct line of sight) and has my ATT sim card placed inside the device, it's powered through an adapter with 3 ports, the power, POE and LAN. The POE goes outside into the Elsys and a LAN cable goes to the hotspot router (ZTE) or directly into the PC. The only way I can get it to work is directly to the PC via ethernet LAN. It doesn't work in the ZTE device.

Although it works to connect to the internet my download speeds are still very bad. A speed test shows on average 2mbps but I've seen as low as .02mbps and once it got to 16mbps. For example, I just downloaded slack for work and it's a 60mb file, it took about 30 minutes to download.

I've also confirmed with ATT that I still have unused data - out of the 100gb/month I have about 45gb left to use and they confirmed it shouldn't be throttled right now.

Support from ATT has been abysmal and that's putting it nicely and support from the manufacture of the Elsys has been fine but very slow.

So far the only thing I configured was setting an APN through the IP address Elsys configuration site and confirmed everything was plugged in properly.

That's pretty much where I'm at right now and just looking for any possible way to get this to work or to at the very least verify that everything that can possibly be done is done and this solution just doesn't work for me.

I don't think this is just how it is for a couple reasons:

1. If I were to put the sim back into the ZTE router and go outside and connect to the internet I'd have pretty decent internet.

2. I found out that some of my neighbors recommendations were rural internet solutions that use LTE internet so the set up is exactly the same as I'm trying to do. And I already confirmed I have a pretty solid signal to the nearest cell tower that they would point their devices to as well.

  • Should I focus more on the service side or the hardware side?
  • Try to use a different ATT data plan? Like I could possibly try the sim on my sons Ipad plan.
  • Or should I try and get a new router?
  • Is there something specific I should ask ATT support for? I found that if I don't know exactly what to say or what I'm talking about they'll go off and do something random and make it worse.
  • What kind of professional can I connect with to come and set this up for me? The DIY experience hasn't been working for me lol.
Thanks, looking forward to replies.
Since the ATT box works that means your signal level is usable and so it must be some issue with the elsys box.

You have to remember the sim card is not the radio it is a security device mostly. Even though you can get so called unlocked cell phones and other devices they may not function on all different providers networks.
This is very messy because even within the same cell provider they run can run of different radio frequencies based on what they licensed in that area of the country for the cell tower you are using.

From what I have seen ATT mostly runs on 1900 and your elsys say it is running on 1700. Normally you see verizon on 1700/2100. Att also has radios on those bands but they tend to not be as fast. This is all changing very quickly as the vendors are dropping 2g and 3g and reusing the bandwidth for lte-advanced which they are calling 5g.

My guess would be is the elsys is not running on the same radio band as the ATT box. Not sure if there are options to change this or not. Sometimes like cell phones you must buy devices that are built to run on a certain providers network. I guess the first thing is to try to see if the ATT box will give you any details about what radio band it is connecting to. It is acting like you are connecting to a 3g network rather than one of the fast lte networks that ATT has on the same tower.

I would be kinda wary of buying anything since as the vendors change the radio frequencies and data encoding methods to support 5g. If you for example had a device that would only run as 3g it will all the sudden stop working.