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Trouble connecting to LTE - which provider?

At my house, I have prefect reception from multiple providers - with a SIM card from another country I can select from 3 providers all of which have strong LTE signal. But my MY connects only via EDGE - it is slow as hell, Summon doesn't work and it takes forever to connect to the car from the app and for the map to find places I enter when I want to add a destination.

I have super fast WiFi in my house, the garage is definitely in range of the WiFi but still, the car sometimes connects to my WiFi (2 or 3 bars) and sometimes it fails to connect and I am stuck on EDGE. Obviously I can add an extra WiFi access point closer to the garage if I have to (even though my phone connects to the existing WiFi without any problems, so it's only an issue with the MY) but shouldn't the car just connect to LTE when there is a choice of 3 perfectly good providers in my location?

The car is connected to LTE most of the time while driving, this only happens at my house.

Is there anything I can do about this? Is there are way to find out which provider Tesla connects to, and, is there a way to select another one?
 

jjrandorin

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There isnt any way I am aware of to select another carrier in the US, but you are not in the US. I doubt (but am not sure) if there is any way to do this, though. In the US, the carrier US wide is AT&T, but no idea what it is where you are. You likely want to ask in the regional forum for your area here vs in the general subform.
 
There isnt any way I am aware of to select another carrier in the US, but you are not in the US. I doubt (but am not sure) if there is any way to do this, though. In the US, the carrier US wide is AT&T, but no idea what it is where you are. You likely want to ask in the regional forum for your area here vs in the general subform.
Thanks! I will ask Tesla here locally.
 

frankvb

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I'm wondering if the LTE modem has limited support for bands used in Europe - that could explain why your phone has great reception but the Tesla doesn't.

As it comes to wifi I had to add an AP in the garage as otherwise connectivity was very poor.

Waiting to see a Model Y in NL on our Christmas trip :)

BTW: almost certainly you will not be able to roam onto another network as the SIM would certainly be a Dutch one issued by a specific network provider (e.g. KPN). You should be able to find out by asking Tesla which operator it is.
 
I'm wondering if the LTE modem has limited support for bands used in Europe - that could explain why your phone has great reception but the Tesla doesn't.

As it comes to wifi I had to add an AP in the garage as otherwise connectivity was very poor.

Waiting to see a Model Y in NL on our Christmas trip :)

BTW: almost certainly you will not be able to roam onto another network as the SIM would certainly be a Dutch one issued by a specific network provider (e.g. KPN). You should be able to find out by asking Tesla which operator it is.
I don't think so, because most of the time mine is connected to LTE. Where I live, there is one provider that has terrible reception, the rest are fine. I suspect that the bad one happens to be the one Tesla has a contract with...

Bands are an all or nothing kind of thing - a if a device has the right hardware, it will connect, if it doesn't, it won't. Bad reception can't be caused by an unsupported bandwidth.

I also noticed that my car often has worse WiFi reception than my phone when both are in the same location. It's possible that the antennas in the car are not the best design, or not positioned well, or they may be behind a sheet of metal that shields them and makes for poor signal pickup.
 

jjrandorin

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I don't think so, because most of the time mine is connected to LTE. Where I live, there is one provider that has terrible reception, the rest are fine. I suspect that the bad one happens to be the one Tesla has a contract with...

Bands are an all or nothing kind of thing - a if a device has the right hardware, it will connect, if it doesn't, it won't. Bad reception can't be caused by an unsupported bandwidth.

I also noticed that my car often has worse WiFi reception than my phone when both are in the same location. It's possible that the antennas in the car are not the best design, or not positioned well, or they may be behind a sheet of metal that shields them and makes for poor signal pickup.

Sort of... but devices can have support for "some" of the bands that a carrier has, but not all, if it doesnt have the appropriate hardware. Its more rare now, with modern phones, but if a phone does not have the appropriate hardware for some of the bands a carrier has, then you can have spotty connection because some of them are longer range / faster than others.
 
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BTW: almost certainly you will not be able to roam onto another network as the SIM would certainly be a Dutch one issued by a specific network provider (e.g. KPN). You should be able to find out by asking Tesla which operator it is.
Regardless of what carrier Tesla has a contract with, roaming is definitely allowed. Compared to the US, things are different in Europe - you drive a few hours and you are in a different country. Roaming in the entire EU is free, so any country SIM card will work in any other EU country. Actually, there is a significant advantage to roaming: in your home country, you are tied to your own provider. In any other EU country, you can pick from multiple providers. It's like having an AT&T SIM card in California, but as soon as you go to a different state, you can freely pick any provider. I do that all the time when traveling - I check which carrier has the best signal where I am and select it manually.
 
Sort of... but devices can have support for "some" of the bands that a carrier has, but not all, if it doesnt have the appropriate hardware. Its more rare now, with modern phones, but if a phone does not have the appropriate hardware for some of the bands a carrier has, then you can have spotty connection because some of them are longer range / faster than others.
Yeah, but that would mostly be the case when different standards are involved, e.g. a carrier has a 3G network and a parallel LTE or 5G network, all operating on different frequencies. Tesla (or any company operating on mobile networks) wouldn't ship US-specific hardware to EU. Either they have a universal module that covers all currently used bands worldwide, or specific modules for specific regions.
 
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jjrandorin

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Yeah, but that would mostly be the case when different standards are involved, e.g. a carrier has a 3G network and a parallel LTE or 5G network, all operating on different frequencies. Tesla (or any company operating on mobile networks) wouldn't ship US-specific hardware to EU. Either the have a universal module that is the same in every car and works on any currently used band worldwide, or specific modules for specific regions.

My "US centric" mindset is showing again (lol), thanks for the primer.
 

frankvb

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Regardless of what carrier Tesla has a contract with, roaming is definitely allowed.
I should have been clearer - roaming is usually not allowed within the country that the SIM's network operator is (perhaps with some rare exceptions e.g. for remote areas where not all networks have coverage). If you go abroad, indeed you can roam on any network that has a roaming agreement with your own network.

I'd agree that Tesla should either ship different HW, or a different band configuration for cars going to different regions, or simply configure it to be able to use all bands as most modern phones will do. Still we don't know for certain if that's the case or not.

Bands are an all or nothing kind of thing - a if a device has the right hardware, it will connect, if it doesn't, it won't. Bad reception can't be caused by an unsupported bandwidth.
It's not quite as black and white as that - network operators use multiple bands, so it is possible that if the modem isn't able to connect to the closest cell tower, it can connect to one further away that does have a band it supports.

BTW: I lived in the Netherlands until 2002 and worked for AT&T and Nokia so I'm quite experienced in how phone networks work in both Europe and USA (though didn't keep up for the last 10 years).
 
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roaming is usually not allowed within the country that the SIM's network operator is (perhaps with some rare exceptions e.g. for remote areas where not all networks have coverage). If you go abroad, indeed you can roam on any network that has a roaming agreement with your own network.
Hm, I wonder if this could be the reason for my problem - just moved to a new house right on the German border and Dutch providers have marginal reception here while there are 3 German providers with full LTE. I wonder if the SIM card installed in the Tesla is from a provider from the country where the car was sold, or they have the same SIM card for all of Europe, or maybe the whole world? Could be an AT&T SIM with global roaming.... Does the car even have a SIM card?
 

frankvb

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Feb 29, 2020
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Hm, I wonder if this could be the reason for my problem - just moved to a new house right on the German border and Dutch providers have marginal reception here while there are 3 German providers with full LTE. I wonder if the SIM card installed in the Tesla is from a provider from the country where the car was sold, or they have the same SIM card for all of Europe, or maybe the whole world? Could be an AT&T SIM with global roaming.... Does the car even have a SIM card?
Ok your location says Amsterdam so did not think of that :) I used to live in Enschede but it was before everyone had a mobile phone.

Excellent questions which only Tesla NL can answer I think. Whether there is a real or some kind of virtual SIM card is involved doesn't really matter IMHO. Usually the phone/modem will prefer its own network over roaming (if I get close to the Mexican border sometimes the phone switches to a Mexican network likely because of poor T-Mobile/Sprint reception right there).
 
Ok your location says Amsterdam so did not think of that :) I used to live in Enschede but it was before everyone had a mobile phone.

Excellent questions which only Tesla NL can answer I think. Whether there is a real or some kind of virtual SIM card is involved doesn't really matter IMHO. Usually the phone/modem will prefer its own network over roaming (if I get close to the Mexican border sometimes the phone switches to a Mexican network likely because of poor T-Mobile/Sprint reception right there).
Yeah, used to live in Amsterdam but just moved to the countryside... I will ask Tesla about this.

Depending on what they use, it could make a difference: e.g. if it's AT&T, then it's roaming in any EU country, so it wouldn't matter where the car was sold. If it's a local (in my case, Dutch) SIM, then only one provider would be available in the Netherlands, and roaming would be limited to other EU countries, with roaming limited near the border because the SIM would prefer its own network even when foreign networks are available with better coverage.
 
Update: I had a service appointment (had some rattles in the car - Tesla fixed everything, no questions asked, problems solved, no charge) and asked them about this issue. They checked the car and they said that despite the fact that it was sold in the Netherlands, it had a German SIM card (Telekom).

The technician also said that they knew about the roaming issue - that the car sometimes clings onto a network with bad reception, even if better options are available - and their engineers are working on it and they are hoping to address the issue in a future software update. He said there was nothing they could do about it physically, they checked the car's wireless connectivity and (as I suspected) everything was in order, it's the same roaming issue that happens with phones.

And that I'm very familiar with as I drive cross border quite often. Roaming between towers is pretty much a non-issue today, but roaming between countries is a different story altogether. When driving on a freeway and crossing a country border, I often see my phone still trying to hang on to the previous country's network, sometimes followed by a few minutes of "No Service" (even though the area is covered by multiple providers) before it switches to a provider in the new country.
 

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