Poor Internet Broadband Speeds?

Why Not Try Using a Sim Card
and a 4G or 5G Mobile Phone Signal?

Many area’s don’t get a very good broadband speed via cables buried in the ground. Or from a cable on the end of a telegraph pole. So is there an alternative?

Can you get a good mobile phone signal, (inside or outside), that is in the same area as where you want your broadband? If you can. You may be able to get better internet data speeds via a mobile phone Sim Card, using 4G or 5G?

Broadband - Poor Internet Speed Test
Broadband – Poor Internet Speed Test.

So What Equipment do I Need?

Here’s a basic list of what you need, to get broadband via a mobile Sim Card. Hopefully, you can get better broadband speeds:

A Sim Card Router (With a Sim Card Slot):

Most broadband comes via a router and a cable. The router is usually supplied by the network you’ve signed up to. The routers from the major networks, don’t tend to have a Sim Card slot. If they do, the router is probably locked to their network. Therefore it’s usually best to buy a Sim Card router from another supplier where the Sim Card slot is ‘Unlocked’. In other words, you can put any Sim Card you want in the router. I.e. The one with the best signal.

Another advantage, is that once you have an ‘unlocked’ Sim Card router, the monthly cost of the Sim can be cheaper than a contract with one of the big broadband providers.

A Sim Card From a Network that has a Good Signal in Your Area:

Finding the Best Signal:

You need to find which mobile provider has the best signal in your area. There are several websites that can provide this information. One of the most recommended is:


Sim Card Broadband – Finding the Best Signal Strength
  • When you first go on Cellmapper.net, you may be presented with a plain blue map, (the sea). Just enter your location and it will take you to dry land, (unless you live on a boat of course)…

How to Find the Best Signal:

  1. Go to the menu and search for your location (it searches worldwide).
Search for Your Location.
  1. A map will be displayed that shows the mobile phone masts and signal strengths for your area.
Sim Card Broadband – Search for Your Location & Display the Map.
  1. Zooming in and out on the map will allow you to see the signal strength and nearest mobile phone masts for 4G & 5G data transmission.
Broadband Signal Strength in Your Location (Via a SIM Card).
  1. There is a legend in the menu that shows the different signal strengths. Compare against the map above:
Identifying Your Signal Strength (Legend).
  1. You then need to search for which provider gives the best signal strength.
Sim Card Broadband – Providers in Your Location.
  1. Compare providers, using the map to find who gives the best signal strength.
  2. You can also search to see which direction and where your nearest 4G or 5G mobile phone mast is located, (by zooming in and out).
Mobile Phone Mast Locations Near You.

Buying a Sim Card:

The advantage with this method of obtaining broadband in a poor signal area, is that you can select the Sim Card you want, (as long as you have an ‘Unlocked’ SIM Card router).

Selecting a SIM Card:

  • Who gives the best signal?
  • What are the different data packages available \ versus cost.
  • The length of contract.
  • The type of Sim. For example, data only.
  • The ability to switch (a 1 month contract), if the signal strength turns out to be poor.

Once you have an ‘unlocked’ Sim Card router, the monthly cost of the Sim can be cheaper than a contract with a broadband provider.

Try before you buy… Do you know anyone nearby who has a Sim Card you can try, (on one of the strong signal networks)?

An External Aerial (for Poor Signal Areas).

  • This item may not be needed, if a strong signal can be obtained without an additional aerial:

If you have a bad mobile phone signal indoors, but a good signal outdoors. You may need to fit an external aerial to your Sim Card router, to get a better connection speed.

Many routers allow you to disconnect the short stubby aerials that come with the router and plug in an external aerial. However, some routers have the aerials hidden inside. This makes it more difficult to connect an external aerial.

When connecting an external aerial, you may have to try many different mounting positions. To try and find the optimum position for the best signal strength and download speed.

Positioning the Router, or an External Aerial:

If you live in a poor mobile signal area, walls and other solid objects can weaken the signal and download speed you get.

  • Try moving the router (and it’s aerials) next to a window. Windows tend to limit the mobile signal the least.
  • Try the router (or aerial) in lots of different positions. Sometimes the last place you’d expect will give you the best signal.
  • Make sure all the connections are in good condition. Connections can be a weak link.
  • Still have a poor signal? Don’t forget you could try an externally mounted aerial.
  • Moving an external aerial around to many different positions outside (testing) may mean you find the optimum position to get a good signal.


The router you have may come with an app, or some kind of software where you can test the download speed and signal strength. Try the router or aerial in lots of different positions to see if the signal strength and download speed can be improved.

If you don’t have an app, Google provides a speed test that you can use to test your equipment:

Internet speed test

If preferred, there is a list of other speed test suppliers found by scrolling down the search results…


There are no guarantees you’re going to get good broadband speeds via 4G or 5G. This is much like getting good speeds down a cable. It comes down to where you live, where the transmitter is and what can be supplied.

However, if you can get a good mobile phone signal (inside or outside), near to where you want your broadband sited. Then there is a chance using a Sim Card broadband router will work. All you can do is try…

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