• A Weekend with Freedom: Nice LTE (if you can get it)



    Here is Freedom Mobile's LTE network at its very best in downtown Toronto, observed by yours truly in the second SIM slot of his Band 66-compatible OnePlus 5. I've definitely recorded better download speeds on Bell/Koodo/TELUS in the same neighbourhood, but Freedom's speeds—and the low latency in particular—is perfectly acceptable for almost anything you'd ask a modern smartphone to do.

    But here's the thing: in my three days of informal testing across the GTA that LTE signal was pretty hard to come by. More often than not I was stuck on HSPA+, sometimes even on (gasp) 3G!

    Not only that, but I can recall two incidents in particular where Freedom let me down entirely: the first was in the parking lot at IKEA North York, where the latency was so bad that launching Google Maps yielded no traffic data; the second was in the basement of Hudson's Bay Company at Queen and Yonge, where I was surprised to suddenly find myself with no signal at all.

    The rest of the time data on Freedom was slow but serviceable. I did keep an eye on my phone's status bar, and when a rare 4G signal magically appeared I immediately did a speed test, with results similar to what you see above. This may, of course, be an issue unique to my unsupported hardware. But a chat with a rep at my local Freedom outlet gave me the impression that the phones sold by the carrier exhibit similar behaviour.

    I will never fault anyone for choosing Freedom Mobile to vote with their wallet; Canada's Big Three carriers have been ripping us off for far too long. But while I'd definitely recommend an LTE upgrade to an existing user, I also think that any Big Three customer looking to jump ship is in for a disappointing ride.

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: OnePlus 5 3G to LTE switching bug fixed? started by xtachx View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. JackTheMan18's Avatar
      JackTheMan18 -
      Nope. Doesn't work seamlessly.
    1. hellouser's Avatar
      hellouser -
      This is embarrassing for Freedom. How can you launch a network and not have phones work on it with specs that qualify to work on said network?
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      [Sorry, not a definitive answer at all, but I thought it better to put this here than to start a new thread...]

      Attachment 154739

      Here is Freedom Mobile's LTE network at its very best in downtown Toronto, observed by yours truly in the second SIM slot of his Band 66-compatible OnePlus 5. I've definitely recorded better download speeds on Bell/Koodo/TELUS in the same neighbourhood, but Freedom's speeds—and the low latency in particular—is perfectly acceptable for almost anything you'd ask a modern smartphone to do.

      But here's the thing: in my three days of informal testing across the GTA that LTE signal was pretty hard to come by. More often than not I was stuck on HSPA+, sometimes even on (gasp) 3G!

      Not only that, but I can recall two incidents in particular where Freedom let me down entirely: the first was in the parking lot at IKEA North York, where the latency was so bad that launching Google Maps yielded no traffic data; the second was in the basement of Hudson's Bay Company at Queen and Yonge, where I was surprised to suddenly find myself with no signal at all.

      The rest of the time data on Freedom was slow but serviceable. I did keep an eye on my phone's status bar, and when a rare 4G signal magically appeared I immediately did a speed test, with results similar to what you see above. This may, of course, be an issue unique to my unsupported hardware. But a chat with a rep at my local Freedom outlet gave me the impression that the phones sold by the carrier exhibit similar behaviour.

      I will never fault anyone for choosing Freedom Mobile to vote with their wallet; Canada's Big Three carriers have been ripping us off for far too long. But while I'd definitely recommend an LTE upgrade to an existing user, I also think that any Big Three customer looking to jump ship is in for a disappointing ride.
    1. MacMan156's Avatar
      MacMan156 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hellouser View Post
      This is embarrassing for Freedom. How can you launch a network and not have phones work on it with specs that qualify to work on said network?
      This was a problem with Qualcomm and OP not including the 66 radio drivers or something.
    1. zivan56's Avatar
      zivan56 -
      If you can't wait for OnePlus to fix it, you can edit the EFS items yourself if you are comfortable with the QXDM software suite.
    1. Mr.Peppermint's Avatar
      Mr.Peppermint -
      Freedom was not worth it on old pricing.
      With new plans it has become the laughing stock of the Canadian marketplace.
    1. qag01's Avatar
      qag01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Peppermint View Post
      Freedom was not worth it on old pricing.
      With new plans it has become the laughing stock of the Canadian marketplace.
      I beg to differ. 11gb of LTE for $39 if you payed attention around here. The new plans are a separate discussion, however...

      Sent from my Nexus 6P using HoFo mobile app
    1. sirtate's Avatar
      sirtate -
      Quote Originally Posted by MacMan156 View Post
      This was a problem with Qualcomm and OP not including the 66 radio drivers or something.
      Has anyone tried the OP5 in Windsor lately? (Or any of the 5 band 4 plus band66 areas)

      My speculation is; you'll get a rescan after CSFB, camp on LTE band 4 and bump up to band 66.

      But I'm running band 4 only ATM...

      Sent from my XT1563 using HoFo mobile app
    1. emann56's Avatar
      emann56 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MacMan156 View Post
      This was a problem with Qualcomm and OP not including the 66 radio drivers or something.
      Thank goodness Google fixed it in the Pixel 2 xl. I bought mine from the USA Google store, and it was working on band 66 no problem before the AWS 4 refarm and after the AWS 4 refarm in Windsor.

      Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using HoFo mobile app
    1. zivan56's Avatar
      zivan56 -
      Yes, Pixel 2 has the fix pre loaded from the start for both the 2 and 2XL. Qualcomm has still not fixed the bug.

      Sent from my ZTE A2017U using HoFo mobile app
    1. laxplayer19's Avatar
      laxplayer19 -
      OnePlus just pushed an update that specifically says they have fixed the band 66 issue for Freedom Mobile customers.

      Supported Airtel VoLTE in India
      Supported Band 66 of Freedom in Canada
      Fixed Wi-Fi WPA2 security issue
      Optimized battery usage in some cases
      Optimized GPS accuracy
      General bug fixes

      Should say a big thanks to zivan56 as he was the one who found out it was a Qualcomm issue and it looks like they implemented his fix.
    1. guelphandnew's Avatar
      guelphandnew -
      Great news. Now if Apple will just do the same for their iPhone Qualcomm B66 versions A1863/4/5
    1. xtachx's Avatar
      xtachx -
      Quote Originally Posted by guelphandnew View Post
      Great news. Now if Apple will just do the same for their iPhone Qualcomm B66 versions A1863/4/5
      They are ditching qualcomm from the next year.
    1. guelphandnew's Avatar
      guelphandnew -
      They can use any hardware they want but they’ll still be paying for Qualcomm IP.
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      [Front page worthy? I think so...]

      Attachment 154913

      Mobile Syrup has confirmed what I myself tested yesterday, that the upstart Android smartphone-maker OnePlus now has much better support for LTE Band 66 on Canada's upstart carrier, Freedom Mobile.

      Here's the changelog from the official announcement on the OnePlus Forums:

      Supported Airtel VoLTE in India
      Supported Band 66 of Freedom in Canada
      Fixed Wi-Fi WPA2 security issue
      Optimized battery usage in some cases
      Optimized GPS accuracy
      General bug fixes
      After flashing the update I went for an mid-afternoon stroll through several neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto: Baldwin Village, the U of T campus, The Annex, Kensington Market and Chinatown. Everywhere I checked I had a solid 4G signal, and every time I ran a speed test I got the same results that were so elusive to my device just a week before.

      Building penetration is still an issue, of course. In certain places, like the bathrooms at the back of restaurants, the best available data signal is still HSPA+ or worse. But the software update is enough of an improvement that I can now recommend the OnePlus 5 to anyone on the Freedom network—more than any other phone, in fact, since you can test a Freedom SIM in either of the phone's dual SIM slots while keeping your current SIM in the other one!

      Links: OnePlus Forums, Mobile Syrup, XDA
    1. Mr.Peppermint's Avatar
      Mr.Peppermint -
      Quote Originally Posted by qag01 View Post
      I beg to differ. 11gb of LTE for $39 if you payed attention around here.
      If you had the original tether add on (+5 GB) you could get 10GB for $49 then 35% off = $32
      They also had a promo for Public $40 with 10GB with 35% off = $26

      The craptacular network was not worth it then, certainly not worth it now

      Quote Originally Posted by acurrie View Post
      [Front page worthy? I think so...]
      Overhyped hardware on underpowered network?
      If it was a slow news day I suppose