Outdated LTE data sticks for sale in retail stores

  • 3
  • Problem
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • Acknowledged
Hi, BellMTS currently sells the Huawei E397B-501 as the sole data stick in the retail stores. While the stick works on most of your network, it does not work optimally for people outside of Winnipeg. The reason being, is it only supports LTE Band 4 (1700/2100 AWS).

Your network has LTE Bands 4 and 5 (850) at most rural tower sites. Due to radio propagation characteristics, Band 4 (1700/2100) has extremely limited range. That’s why it’s used for close-in coverage and high bandwidth in urban settings.

Band 5 (850) has smaller LTE channel bandwidth (typically 5 MHz) and slower speeds over Band 4, but it’s still far superior to HSPA+, which is what the E397B-501 stick defaults to in most areas outside of Winnipeg.

In other provinces where Bell has LTE networks, the stick they are carrying in retail stores is the Huawei E8372h-511. This stick supports the following bands:

* LTE FDD: Band 1(2100 MHz)/Band 2(1900 MHz)/Band 4(AWS)/Band 5(850MHz)/Band 17(700 MHz),
* DC-HSPA+/HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS: Band 1(2100 MHz)/Band 2(1900 MHz)/Band 4(AWS)/Band 5(850 MHz)
* EDGE/GPRS/GSM: Band 2(1900 MHz)/Band 3(1800 MHz)/Band 5(850 MHz)/Band 8(900 MHz)

Inclusion of LTE Band 5 is critical to the support of your network outside of Winnipeg. I’m assuming the continuing efforts to sell the 2012-vintage E397B-501 is an oversight. LTE wasn’t being offered (yet) by MTS in 2012, when this card was first offered for sale.

I became aware of this issue after I wasted money on a E397B-501 and time attempting to get one of your rural customers online with LTE at their home, where DSL services are not available. I even errected a dual band yagi on the rooftop, aimed at the tower, about 10km away. I purchased a E8372h-511 elsewhere and unlocked it for your network, and problem is resolved.

Please accept my recommendation to stop selling the E397B-501 and replace it with the modern E8372h-511 as soon as possible.
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Posted 8 months ago

  • 3
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Debbie Dunmall

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good work
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Was someone from MTS going to at least acknowledge this issue? Thank you.
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Tennille, Social Media Coordinator

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We've reached out to our Sales team to help out with an answer! Sorry about the delay, Shaun.