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TelMex: Technicolor vs. Huawei

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Oh, the local TelMex office must hate me. For several years now, I have been sending customers to TelMex in Ajijic to replace their defective Technicolor modems, and ask for only Huawei modems.

Six times in the last week. Six times. Not because I arbitrarily wanted them replaced: because they weren't working properly.

Most of the time, my own customers think I don't know what I'm doing when I can't fix their Internet signal. "But it works on my Mac. Why won't it work on my PC?" "But it gets everything else: why won't it get my HotMail?" "But it works sometimes upstairs and not downstairs, and sometimes the other way around. So you just haven't fixed it right."

There is something intrinsically wrong with the Technicolor hardware. Today I had a unit that was so overheated that it could barely be touched. Sometimes these Technicolor modems work for a couple of weeks, then start behaving as if TelMex has been dropping the Internet signal. Often enough, as with three customers in the last few days, the brand-new, out-of-the-shrinkwrapped-box Technicolor modem, exhibited the same symptoms as the one that was just replaced. That is, doesn't work right.

Case in point: another customer when in to TelMex for the third time today. She of course had no faith in me anymore. I'd just built her a brand new, very powerful PC. Her previous one, apart from many other problems, wasn't getting the Internet very well. But neither would the new one!

She was told by the woman at the front desk at TelMex in Ajijic that the Huawei brand is no longer available, all you can get is Technicolor, but TelMex national is buying a bunch of some new brand. Uh-huh. Personally, I think they're trying to unload the Technicolors. In any case, my lucky customer took a ticket, waited for the desks, and was given a new Huawei. She got home, plugged it in, and voila! Perfect Internet reception of both the PC and the Mac.

Why TelMex continues to use a modem that must be causing them millions of dollars in wasted service calls, support calls, and electrical gear... is beyond me. They've had so many people come in in the last few years, based on my recommendation, asking for the Huawei brand, one would think they'd wake up somewhere along the line.

But no. So... I don't know if this line about new modems arriving is true or not. I unfortunately don't have any friends in high places with TelMex Infinitum; oh, how I wish I did. In any case, continue to ask for the Huawei brand when it's time to replace your modem. Push for it. Maybe the light will come on.

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All blessings, Mike! Hang in there! I think we are caught in a time warp between what CAN be accomplished technically and what we poor fools can actually accomplish, I just rebooted the new refrigerator. It is smarter than me. I do wish to assert that I am uncomfortable with appliances that are smarter than me, But I get the drift. And I am keeping an eye on the frig! It has rebooted and is working fine, but I prudently hugged it and said "I love you" just in case it is a sentient being. One cannot be to careful.

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Imagine my surprise when six weeks ago I had to replace my own modem, and discovered TelMex is now providing a brand new Huawei version. This one is much bigger, outfitted with jacks for Vonage-type services, external storage, and printers (thus the larger size). "Finally getting into the new century", I thought. Of course, there is no information about how to use any of these extras, or even if they are actually functional. Nor does the documentation from the company's website offer much of a clue.

Well, as long as they got rid of those pesky Technicolor jobbies. Then yesterday I set up a customer who had just gotten a new modem, and guess what: brand new bigger Technicolor modems, also with the extra jacks. So my guess is, since there are other models available from both these companies, that TelMex intends to make use of the extra capabilities at some point. These Huawei and Technicolor units are actually "outdated" on their websites,

Meanwhile, the jury is out as to which of these two are more stable. The Technicolor is (ironically) black and the Huawei is white, but for the moment, that's the only difference I can comment on. But the promises from the TelMex office about bringing in new modems were actually true.

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With Telmex service, you favor Huawei modems over Technicolor - very good to know. But for Internet service in general, what's your preference - Telmex or Telecable? Are there any other players?

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Since I have not used Telecable except at client houses, I can't really answer, other than anecdotal. Others here will have a better guess. And not really any other players. LagunaNet is not interested in signing up new customers.

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If Telmex ever comes to our community I still have 3 old 2Wire modems that I used to love. 1 wireless and 2 others

This Huawei Telcel modem is much better than the old ones

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I have been forced to revert to my old Huawei HG530 modem, as the new Huawei is exhibiting the same "drop out" symptoms as the one I replaced. That's two bad Huaweis and two bad [older] Technicolors). There is nothing in my system that can cause this (I have several PCs, a Mac, and an iPhone, by ethernet cable and WiFi) and when attached to this modem, they all suffer the same fate). There must be something intrinsic to the firmware that TelMex specifies when they order up their modems that causes this.

Symptoms of drop-out: can not get webpages, but can use FaceBook chat. Can not get email but can download software. This means the Internet is coming through, but being picky. I have to constantly refresh the IP address of the modem. I've asked my son up at Bell Canada, who is becoming an expert in these things, if he can identify what this means.

I will ask for the new Technicolor modem when I go into the TelMex office, so I can use that as a comparison.

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Here's an interesting note: using my old Huawei HG530 (which is the corduroy white unit) while waiting for a chance to get to the TelMex office to swap the newer one out, I discovered that the WiFi range of the newer modem is twice that of the old one. I've never heard that WiFi "gets weaker with age", so I have to assume there's been an improvement in the hardware. That may be good news for many here who are trying to get better WiFi coverage throughout a house with lots of walls.

I also spent an hour with my expert from Bell Canada taking over my PC, and he could find no unusual settings or screwups in the modem firmware that we are able to access as mere mortals. So again, an assumption: something is causing the normal settings to hiccup on a continuing basis. Therefore, no readily available explanation for this type of problem. I will try to get a new modem today.

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It seems like there are a lot of different modems that Telmex has in circulation around here.

I went through my "inventory" and have 4 different ones than the one mentioned above.

Huawei EchoLife HG520c

Huawei HG532c (I think this is the "newewst" offering from Telmex?)

Technicolor TG582n

Thomson TG585V8

I have had the most luck with lower internet "drop-outs" with the HG520c but the Wi-Fi range isn't great.

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Yes, they've been through many models in the past years, including a number of 2Wire types, which were the best in terms of stability and WiFi range.

Another note. I set up my first new Technicolor about a week ago. Within a few days, according to the client, it has stopped working. He traded it in for last year's Huawei... not it has stopped working. Unfortunately, I have no idea at this point if the problem lies with the modems or the computer. I will find out this morning, at least about the Huawei.

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UPDATE: I could only get last year's Huawei HG532e today. So, I'm sorry to report, I can't offer any more insight into the new models until I've had some hands on with customers. The client this morning had just picked up the same model, and it would not connect. I opened my new box at his place, and it connected fine. Continues to show you how poor these products are.

Why could I not get a new one? I hit the TelMex office at 10 am. Not a customer in sight. Three people talking who would not acknowledge me. Waved at one; she saw me as she left the room. That left a cashier and one of the desk staff chatting at the cash. I finally had to whistle, because no amount of waving would work. That was my mistake, I guess I peed him off. He argued with me that the problem must be my PC, because "this is the newest model", etc, etc, etc. I did everything I could to get a new Technicolor or Huawei, but no go. I've known this guy for 15 years. Even told him "I'll just have to come back." I got "the shrug". Once you get "the shrug", fuggedaboudit.

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I have had many HG532e units and one would work with net talk VOIP module and one wouldn't. Nothing else different between the two units ever showed up. If I plugged a separate router into the non working with VOIP unit VOIP would work. Its Voodoo actually.

For person asking about Telmex and Telecable I have both and all I can say is it depends. All things being equal speed I prefer DSL (Telmex) over cable modems but if you have a long phone wire from your house to Telmex switch you can only get slow speeds. Telecable is much faster BUT goes down a little more often than Telmex. Telmex is not getting better but Telecable is in my opinion. So back to my answer it depends. I have .8 download for my Telmex. I could turn it up to 1.2 but I want the thing to work when the wires get wet which it does now. I leave my VOIP phone on this service. I get 10 download from Telecable but it does slow down more when use in the neighborhood goes up like sunday afternoon. I use this service to feed WIFI in the house. Another difference between the two services is Telmex modem includes WIFI. Telecable modem does not.

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I took my Technicolor back a few weeks ago and received an HG658d in exchange. Is that the new Huawei? I, too, am having drop out problems with this one exactly as CG described. Several times a day and especially evenings and weekends, I have to connect to a neighbor's wifi and then back and forth between the two. Mornings and early afternoons are fine. Seems like the number of users at any given time might be a factor.

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Yes, Al, and it is notable because it is huge compared to the previous models, and has outlets for phones, printers, and VOIP.

Note that number of users on a DSL line has no effect on your service, unless those users are actually on your Internet connection (in your house).

By connecting to your neighbour's and then back, you are forcing the modem to release and renew it's IP address and/or DNS lease. You can do the same by opening a cmd prompt, and typing in ipconfig /release, then ipconfig /renew. I was going nuts doing this with the HG658d until two days ago; now I have no problems, since installing the replacement modem.

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Be warned: Decided to do a speed test this morning. I use http://speedof.me/, because it is accurate and doesn't require Flash animation, or Java.

My "new" Huawei HG532e reports 5 Mbits down. My much older HG530 reports 10.11 Mbits down. I've seen this before: modems that are configured to max out, when first connected to TelMex servers, at 5 mbits. Or less. Even though the internal firmware reports it is capable of beyond 12 Mbits.

So now I have to call tech support in Mexico City and complain. =sigh=

EDIT. The modem is also blocking at least one website. I use a Harmony 650 remote control that requires Internet connection when updating. Once I installed the HG532e, I lost the capability to do that. It didn't even occur to me that the modem could be at fault. However, lightning struck a minute ago: with the HG530 installed, now the Harmony software works fine. So NO CALLS TO TELMEX... just back to the bloody office here to swap it out yet again.

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Can't really say, but it is an accurate test. The reason is this: it picks ever-increasing load sizes to download. Speedtest.net, and almost all the others, have a fixed-size download that doesn't last long enough to really test your connection. The longer the test, the more revealing. That being said, speedtest will always be close. I prefer speedof.me because it does NOT require a Java installation, which is a security risk for a lot people... but mainly because it is a pain if Java is not already installed. You will get a blank page with a message about it.

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