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Value in load-balancing LTE carriers for a fixed install


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Context: I use a fixed LTE service at home instead of DSL ie. I make use of a LTE CPE and it's the Internet part of my home network. This then feeds into my Ubiquiti ToughSwitch Pro.

 

Would it be feasible to install a load balancing device and use two LTE carriers at the same time? With their own separate backhauls and subscriber base, the larger carrier presumably gets much more overloaded than the smaller carrier. I'm specifically talking about two carriers on the *same* tower.

 

I've just tested and the smaller carrier is running much quicker on downloads during peak times.

 

Larger carrier, off-peak:

 

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Larger carrier during peak time:

 

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Smaller carrier during peak time:

 

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The larger carrier uses FDD-LTE, as can be seen by the upload speed, while the smaller carrier uses TDD-LTE. I could possibly use the one for upload and the other for download, since upload is almost never affected (for the larger carrier the upload speed is significant).

 

I have a friend that employs a Peplink Balance 20 but he uses DSL and LTE.

 

Any thoughts? The Peplink is really pricey which makes the idea more a nice-to-have than anything else.

 

I've read about Self-Organizing Networks (SON), where the overloaded cell offloads to neighbouring cells, but I have no idea if this tech is used in our country hence the idea of load balancing myself. :P

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Nice link, I hadn't come across that one yet. I guess the main disadvantage of that one is no integrated wireless (wifi not lte).

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No WiFi needed! I have multiple Ubiquiti UniFi APs doing those duties.

 

I'd naturally locate the load balancer in my office where my ToughSwitch Pro sits, so getting network cables there isn't a problem.

 

I'm not a huge fan of TP-Link but the price makes everything more affordable. The Peplinks just come so highly recommended ... but do affect the project feasibility.

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yeah if you already have separate AP (or can configure an existing gateway/wifi router to AP mode) this tplink could rock. I have been wanting a peplink for awhile, but can't justify the price, but I just ordered that tplink, the reviews seem to indicate a relatively impressive device.

 

 

What I would really love to have, is a multiwan gateway that also supports multi-wifi-wans and usb-wans.

 

gateway

+ cable 

+ dsl 

+ wifi-wan3 (for example, use neighbors cable/dsl via wifi with permission as extra load or failover)

+ wifi-wan4 (for example, use hotspot phone plan as emergency failover)

+ usb-wan5 (for example, lte usb dongle as failover or extra load) 

 

something that can dynamically use all of these wans with both load balance and automatic failovers.

Edited by dedub
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Configuration-wise I'm not worried. Is my idea sound? Does an "overloaded cell" automatically affect all carriers operating on the tower or, as per my thinking, do separate backhauls for each carrier sort that out?

 

What will be a fiddle is fitting in two LTE CPE's into the current shelving scheme without creating an eyesore. A second outdoor antenna won't be a problem as I can remove the UniFi Outoor+ AP to make space on the mast.

 

Can anyone comment on SON as an aside?

 

P.S. The Peplinks are so damn fine...

 

SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding automatically aggregates all connected 4G LTE/3G/WiMAX links to give you fast data transfers, smooth HD video, and blazing performance wherever you go. Need more speed? Just add cellular connections and let SpeedFusion take care of the details.

SpeedFusion bonds cellular connections from multiple providers, continuously monitoring link connectivity and automatically switching to healthy connections in the event of link failure. Your network stays up and running, and you stay open for business.

Another case for this whole idea is that I will no longer have to switch SIM cards. (20GB pm with the larger carrier, 10GB pm with the smaller carrier)
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If you can get Ethernet out of the LTE access units than check out pfsense. You can think take an old desktop and stick a couple of Ethernet cards in it and it has the capability of running your entire network with multiple wan fail over/balancing.

 

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