Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you a
Computer / IT professional?
Join Tek-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Tek-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card

How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card

How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card

I live in a rural area where my only option for Internet access is Satellite or Mobile Broadband. Cell Service is also spotty.

I curently connect all PC's in our house via a Mobile Broadband Wireless Router from my provide - a Zalip Model CDW530AM. The Card is a SCT model.

Watching the statistics when connected to the Internet, there are 2 graphs displayed...Signal Rate and Flow Rate.

My Phone provider gave me an updated ".prl" File for the Card - this increased the signal rate from 60-70% to 90-100%.

However, Flow Rate was not affected, and is usually showing 0-5%.

I notice as the flow rate increases from 1% to 2% to 3%, download speed increases. At 1-2% it is a whopping 2-7KB/Sec - takes 5 minutes to download a 1MB File.

I cannot find information regarding the Flow Rate of a Mobile Broadband card.

Can anyone explain what Flow Rate represents, what a mormal flow rate reading is, and what to do to increase the Flow Rate???  

RE: How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card

   I don't understand...You say that cell service is spotty, yet you use a mobile broadband router that relies on cell coverage for your connection to the internet? You do understand that the broadband router is the same as a cell phone? it just has a router to allow internet connection sharing? btw, signal rate is referring to the signal the card has to the router, flow is throughput of data.  This allows several connections to use the same gateway to the internet, without the cost of having a 3G/4G usb dongle on each one, as they have connection to the router through WiFi.

RE: How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card

Yes - I use a Mobile Broadband Card because the only other options are 1) Satellite Dish, and 2) Modem. Satellite Dish is the same price as a Card, and is more susceptible to weather conditions. Modem is...well what modem is.

The card also allows direct connect to Laptop/Desktop...and portability.

The signal rate is the signal being received from the Cell Tower, not "signal strength" of the wireless signal shown on the PC.

Because signal strength was improved when a new Preferred Roaming List (.prl) file was provided, I was hoping a change to the .prl or the router settings would improve "Flow Rate'.   

RE: How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card

Is this mobile broadband card on a laptop or a desktop?
If it is on a laptop, have you tested the performance outside your house?
If cellular coverage in your area is spotty, there will be little you can do. If the laptop works a little better outside, you might try a bi-directional amplifier for your house.

You would have an outside (donor) antenna pointed to the nearest cell tower, and an indoor antenna to provide coverage inside. The amplifier could be hidden in an attic space or closet.

Even with signal strength improvement, the cellular carrier still must support the higher speeds to provide you higher bandwidth. Is your carrier Verizon/Sprint (CDMA based) or AT&T T-Mobile (GSM based)? It sounds like Verizon with the PRL update you mentioned. If Verizon, can to tell what technology your card is synced up to? Is it 1X, or something higher?

RE: How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card


Most of the time the Mobile Broadband card is connected to a ZALIP, Model CDW530AM Wireless Router. The Card is called a SCT UM300 Data card.

The specifications are...

CDMA 2000 1x EVDO Rev.0 800/1900 MHz and CDMA 2000 1x RTT 800/1900 MHz fallback compatibility
EV-DO RevA data service of up to DL 3.1 Mbps/UL 1.8 Mbps
Plug and Play installation
Receive Diversity
Data Usage Monitor
Supports up to 4 GB microSD

I have the card set to EVDO Only per the providers instructions

The Service Provider is a relatively new "spin-off" of Verizon, called Element Mobile. The Cell Tower closest to my house is theirs.

Again, with the new .prl file, the Signal Strength is showing 90-100% at times, but the "Flow Rate" is 0% - 5%.   

RE: How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card


I believe I have figured out what Flow Rate is...

It appears the Flow Rate is associated with the amount of MB downloaded. It is used for usage purposes. Some plans have a limit on the total download for a month. This lets you know if you are reaching your limit for the month. The flow rate is shown as you download.

Since my plan is unlimited, I am not concerned with it.

So. it has nothing to do with band width or speed.  

RE: How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card

If your signal strength is high, and the data rate is still low, I would try setting the connection to automatic instead of locking it on EVDO. On EVDO you should see connectivty significantly higher than what you are seeing. There may be issues with the carrier's network not supporting EVDO correctly (or at all).

Some of the carrier's smaller partners either do not yet support the higher rates, or have issues passing data off to the carriers. We have seen connectivity speeds improve in areas by going to the lower speed setting. Some carriers just don't support EVDO.

RE: How to Increase the "Flow Rate" of a Mobile Broadband Card


Thanks for the information. I do not remember seeing an option for "Automatic", but will definitely look into that. The setting of EVDO was based on the Providers instructions.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Tek-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Tek-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Tek-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Tek-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login

Close Box

Join Tek-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical computer professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Tek-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close