Defeating Visible Mobile LTE Band "Management"

I've had two lines with Visible Mobile for quite some time and have been well satisfied. "On-device" bandwidth never seems to get into double digits but it's more than sufficient for what I use my phones for.

Recently they sent me a notice saying that I could maintain my $25 pricing and still move to their new network that includes roaming, lower ping times, and other improvements. I also hoped that I would see much higher data speeds.

I got my new SIMs and activated them but didn't notice much of a difference in speed.

I thought it was odd that speed tests would often shoot up to a high number and then quickly settle down to something in the 5 Mbps range.

Since my phones allow me to pick specific LTE bands using the MTK Engineering app, I used Network Signal Info Pro to help me watch what was happening during speed tests.

Invariably it starts out on the fastest band (13, for instance) but as soon as the bandwidth goes above 5, or so, it switches to another band. If the speed is still too high then it switches me again until I get "managed" into a lowish single-digit range.

I've seen YouTube videos where Visible Mobile customers get 200Mbps+ but in my rural area that just doesn't happen.

Anyway, using MTK Engineering, I disable all but the fastest LTE band and-- voila!-- a consistent 20Mbps+.

Occasionally there will be days when the fastest band is 4, 5, or 66 (2 doesn't work in my area) so I'll change it to that band. Usually it's 13 for us, though.

So, if you've got a phone that lets you control the LTE bands (like the ZTE Blade A7 Prime or 10 Prime) then you can probably increase your bandwidth by managing it yourself instead of letting Visible do it.

1 Like

I was just about to reply that Chelle had posted something like this before...but then I noticed who the OP was! Lol!

1 Like

You're correct!

I guess I wanted to let folks know that the "new network" has lower ping times (37ms vs 140, for me), doesn't really affect your bandwidth on an LTE phone, and that they actually seem to bounce you around the LTE bands as a way to lower your speed, which I hadn't realized before. I have changed my LTE band to increase my speed but didn't realize that they actually seem to change it to lower your speed-- if you let them.

I just got a Cudy LT500 router and set it up for my parents with Visible. It's very easy to get into the advanced settings and one of the things you can access is an LTE band chooser. I've set the device to access bands 2 and 4 only and I'm consistently getting about 35mbps.

And yes, Visible seems to not recognize that the LT500 is essentially a hotspot, so they're not throttling this down to 5mbps.

1 Like

Keep us posted on the router application over the longer term. I wonder if Visible will catch on.