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Old December 15th, 2012, 05:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Orange Signal Boost ?

Hi,

Does anyone have any good experiences with Orange Signal Boost ?
I'm having awful trouble with mine. It gives me a green house and will make and receive calls, but, everyone says my voice is breaking up all the time to the point that nobody can understand me. I can always hear them clearly though.

I am dreading the idea of contacting Orange "Support", because I don't think I have the patience to deal with yet another first-line kid reading from a script for hours on end, asking me to do ridiculous things.

I suspect perhaps my (Orange) broadband upload speed may be lacking. Does anyone have Signal Boost working well, particularly on broadband with uploads speeds under 0.3Mbps ?

I've been dying to switch to a Cyanogenmod ROM, but I need something to give me signal at home - so it's either Orange Signal Boost, or Skype.

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Old December 15th, 2012, 05:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The only grief I had with signal boost was that if it was on, but not active (red icon), I wouldn't get any calls through.

I'm in a similar position to yourself, my signal at home is pretty poor. Have you tried switching to a 2G signal when as home as opposed to 3G? That makes a big difference for me and as I'm connected to WiFi at home, I don't really need the speed that 3G gives.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How do I do that ? I'm also connected to WiFi at home and never need the data aspect of the mobile signal. If you switch off 3G, does your signal strength meter show an increase because it's only using 2G then ?
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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Certainly works for me, I get a much better 2G signal at home than I do 3G. The process might differ phone to phone, what handset do you own?
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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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HTC Desire S
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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On ICS? I think it's Settings > More > Mobile Networks > GSM Preferred (or similar). Sorry I can't remember exactly, been a while since I've used a Sense ROM.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No, it's Gingerbread (I think !) - 2.3.5, Sense 3.0.

I've found a 'Preferred Network Mode' in the settings, and it gives me a choice of "WCDMA Only", "GSM Only" and "GSM/WCDMA auto".

What is WCDMA ? Is that 3G ?
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yep, that's 3G. GSM only means it will only connect via 2G, GSM/WCDMA means it will flit between the 2, dependant on what's offering the best signal.

I've found with the latter, it still prefers a 3G signal even if it's weaker, so just switching to GSM only does the job.

It might not make a difference for you, it depends on how strong the 2G signal is. It makes a massive difference for me though (and it helps with battery life too).
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Old December 15th, 2012, 08:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ooh... I'll give that a go when I get home. I had mine set to "WCDMA Only" for some reason. That might have been causing problems ! I didn't realise that GSM and WCDMA are different systems completely. Many thanks for your help !

Cheers !
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Old December 15th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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No problem, let me know how you get on.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 02:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Signal strength is very poor at home for me (usually zero) and I regularly use Orange Signal Boost with excellent results. However, my upload speed is showing 450kb/s - a good amount faster than your 300kb/s, so that may well be the answer.

My house icon shows red for anything up to 30 seconds and then turns green at which point I can use the phone, so I assume the red phase is some sort of handshake rather like Bluetooth pairing.

I have just found a number of interesting comments on the web, particularly this one :-

" None of the above had any effect and after speaking to Orange Support they figured the handset was faulty so arranged a replacement. I also found out a bit more about the App: When the red house is showing the app is on and trying to connect to the servers. When it does so it goes green and your signal indicator drops away to nothing. This indicates that your signal is being boosted. An important point to note is that even if your phone has 'normal' signal, whenever you are connected to your WiFi, the green house will show and Signal Boost will be working (and subsequently showing 0 bars). This is important because if you get a red house that never goes green it means there is a problem.

I also found out that in order to work you need a decent upload speed and low ping - neither of these things are advertised to the prospective customer! They recommend at the very least 0.5Mbit/s. A speed test shows me getting 0.8Mbit/s consistently."
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Old December 19th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, some interesting results ! Though, where I go from here, I don't know !

I tried my SIM in my old Blackberry and rang a mate who regularly complains I'm unintelligible and he said I was clear as a bell... like I was in the room with him. I then left myself a message on my own voicemail - and listened to it and it was crystal clear. I then put the SIM back in my HTC Desire S and left a voicemail message and that, oddly, was clear as well. I rang my own house phone and had one phone to each ear and discovered that if I have the HTC close to my mouth, it breaks up, but if I move it further away, it doesn't break up anywhere near as much. I rang my mate again, from the HTC and he said I was breaking up with the phone close to my mouth (i.e. normal speaking position) but that it did improve when I moved the phone away, but he could hear a lot more background noise and that whilst I was no longer breaking up, the quality was not as good as it was with the Blackberry.

So.... it's not a broadband bandwidth issue, but something to do with the app on the phone / the phone itself / maybe a gain problem on the mic. Trouble is, as far as I know, none of these things are adjustable.

The fact that I was super-clear on the Blackberry is interesting.

I'm wondering if it's possible to use a different codec on the phone for the microphone, or to adjust something ? I'm happy that it's nothing to do with my broadband anyway !
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Old January 1st, 2013, 03:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Interesting topic, I have had exactly the same experience. I used to use UMA on my previous job Blackberry, it worked flawlessly. Signal Boost on my new job Orange/EE Wildfire S shows the same problems as described here. I only get around 300kb/s upload speed on broadband at home.

I think I will buy a second hand Blackberry to replace my work phone because working at home is very difficult without a phone!
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Old March 25th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I may be off topic, but has anybody noticed that there's now only one android phone with signal boost available from Orange uk. Does this mean that signal boost is on the way out? If so is it time to switch to vodafone and get their sure signal system that will work with any 3g phone and so future proof getting a mobile signal in the sticks?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 07:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo757 View Post
I may be off topic, but has anybody noticed that there's now only one android phone with signal boost available from Orange uk. Does this mean that signal boost is on the way out? If so is it time to switch to vodafone and get their sure signal system that will work with any 3g phone and so future proof getting a mobile signal in the sticks?
Could be, I wonder if they're getting rid because they've acquired T-Mobiles signal now and they think that's most of the country covered?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 07:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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They may have most of the population covered, but not most of the country. I can't get either signal here on the Welsh border.
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