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739 posts

Ultimate Geek

# 216661 6-Jul-2017 18:15
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Long story short, I'm helping a friend who is having a bit of trouble with Skinny's fixed 4G Broadband.

I actually created a whole pdf file with all the info, then realized I can't upload that here, then I'd have to link to it, and no one would probably be bothered to read it, so I've basically copied and pasted it here. 






Skinny 4G speed issues


Control test – VDSL connection – line speeds 54.8/11.1


Click to see full size


Ubuntu Zesty Zapus (very zesty) downloaded from UC – graph includes speed test result


Click to see full size


Speedtest on Skinny 4G – this is being tested literally next door (about 150m away) to where the modem is normally used, we probably have a little less signal here.

RSRQ:    -7dB


RSRP:    -105dBm


RSSI:      -79dBm


SINR:     12dB 


Click to see full size


Ubuntu Zesty Zapus (not quite as zesty as before) downloaded from UC – graph includes speed test result


 Click to see full size 


This above graph isn’t quite typical, but still a bit odd. You can see the Ubuntu download start, and then die right off. I re-ran the speedtest while the download was still in progress (see the yellow in the middle, the green to the left of the yellow is the speedtest download), and saw around 15Mbps again, but the download was still very slow – just as the speedtest upload was about to finish, the Ubuntu download sped up again. You can see it dropped off and sped up again once after that, but it was slow for a shorter amount of time.

That’s not typical of the issues the user is seeing – generally a download (say a Steam or Origin update) would slow down, and stay slow until it was paused for a minute or so, and on resuming the download it would start off quick again, then gradually slow down. The user didn’t think they were seeing the speed change quite as aggressively as we are here. 


 Click to see full size


This graph above is a Nvidia driver download – as you can see the download speed has dropped right down part way through, then sped up again. Not really the same as the user is seeing, and I don’t think that kind of drop is anything too unusual for a 4G connection? 




 Click to see full size


This is a much better example – this is back where the modem normally lives – this from the user:

The blue circle is a steam download I started. You can see the download declined pretty much straight away. Within 30 seconds of the download starting.




The orange circle is the same download being resumed after I paused it briefly. Again it dropped pretty quickly.




The green circle is a uTorrent download. It wasn't capped at all for the entirety of the download.


So I guess the question is this. Spark and Skinny both confirm there is no traffic shaping on their network, so how can we explain this behaviour? One very odd thing was the speedtest that was run during the Ubuntu download – the Ubuntu download had slowed to around 100 – 150kbps, but we still saw 15Mbps download on a speedtest while the Ubuntu download was in progress, so I guess this confirms that the connection itself is still solid.

Really interested to hear any thoughts on this. Not accusing Spark or Skinny of anything at all – this just seems like unexpected behaviour and we’d love to see what other’s thoughts are, or if anyone could recommend some better methods of testing, or could compare some of your own results? Perhaps our expectations are unrealistic. 

Thanks heaps!

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962 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1814129 6-Jul-2017 20:42
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I remember seeing something similar when I put our church on a Skinny connection last year.  Bursts of speed at the start of a download, then it would slow down.  Jitter got so bad VoIP was unusable and we sold the modem to someone on Geekzone.


If the person is only 150m away why not just share your VDSL over wifi with them?

739 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1814521 7-Jul-2017 15:56
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I remember seeing something similar when I put our church on a Skinny connection last year.  Bursts of speed at the start of a download, then it would slow down.  Jitter got so bad VoIP was unusable and we sold the modem to someone on Geekzone.


If the person is only 150m away why not just share your VDSL over wifi with them?





Thanks for the reply - it's not my VDSL connection haha otherwise that would definitely be an option. 

Anyone else on Skinny that is having similar issues possibly? Really interested to try and find out why this is happening. 


962 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1815864 8-Jul-2017 13:21
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Based on what I saw I suspect there is some shaping happening somewhere in the network.  It could even be something like the cell towers' bandwidth allocation algorithm.  Even if there's no explicit shaping in the network, there will be congestion at the cell tower level.

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Wannabe Geek

  # 1824073 17-Jul-2017 21:40
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I use Skinny fixed 4g because my only other option is ADSL that gets 1 mbit down on a good day




but yes it always starts off fast then drops off what i do is run all my data through a VPS in NZ that i have setup as a VPN and then i can get a much better connection.


there must be some shaping somewhere along the line

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