My FP3 doesn't like higher 5Ghz Wifi channels, especially channel 116

I had a Fritzbox 7581. The 5GHz could not connect to the FP3 or the FP2 of my friend.
Now I have a Fritzbox 7590 and the setting for the wifi channels is on automatic.
I get a very good signal on channel 100, so is the FP2. I am in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
I am on /e/. Didn’t have the Fritzbox 7590 when I was on orginal android.

Could reproduce
Fritzbox 7590 in an environment with several 2.4 GHz networks and very few 5 GHz networks.
Fairphone 3 on current patch level randomly lost wifi connection on channel 124 and 116, was being automatically steered to 2.4 GHz by the router. Switched 5 GHz Autochannel to 5 GHz channel 52 enforced and haven’t had a single drop since. I didn’t switch on the 160 MHz channel width though.

4 Likes

I also had this issue and pegged my router to a lower 5 GHz channel and it’s been happy since! Unfortunately it seems higher channels are default on public wifi, since those still get dropped and then “disabled” on 5 GHz.

I also can confirm that my WiFi seems more stable (still not perfect), with my 5GHz configured to use channel 52 on a new AVM FRITZ!Box 7590. Are there now opensource WLAN drivers we could integrate into the FP2/3 LoS builds @chrmhoffmann?

2 posts were split to a new topic: Fairphone 2 Wi-Fi reception drops using channel 120

Hi guys, I wanted to say I was having some issues with my internet connection, which became most apparent during internet calls. The test here may help you to see if your settings have improved your phone’s connection (see the response times).

Just for info. I have a FritzBox 7530
a) you can rename the 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSID so you can connect to either.
b) Eventually I disabled the 5GHz in the FritzBox settings and I have no problems with the 2.4GHz connection,
c) I do have to restart the phone if I switch wifi off on the phone which I imagine is a seperarte issue

I can’t believe I found this thread only now. I was puzzled because my FP3 used to have problems with 5Ghz on some days, but not on others. Obviously, my FritzBox 6490 selecting the channel automatically explains that. Today it was extremely unstable again, and lo and behold, channel 116. I’ve set it to channel 52 now, everything fine so far.

4 Likes

Just in case anyone wondered: Same problem with the new update 8901.3.A.0077.20201221 that was released yesterday. Channel 116 is super flaky/slow, so I’m back on channel 100 (switched from 52 to less crowded 100 a while ago).

PS: I’ve just upgraded from Android 9 to 10.

Does anybody know whether this is being looked into by Fairphone? Do we know if it’s a software issue or an unfixable hardware/design bug?

I’ve switched my phone to 2.4 GHz only for the time being as I’m often connected to routers I have no control over.

I have nothing of inside information or support feedback - but stumbled upon the licensing certificate within the “About Phone” settings category.
I fear we can mark this “wont fix” (or someone checks if a FP3+ has a different wording), I quote:

“The 5GHz wireless LAN frequency band is restricted to indoor use only throughout the EU”

Having looked up what the indoor use bands / frequency areas are, I fear that this is correlated to the observations of connection problems above band 100, as the area of strictly indoor use is in the range below. Compare here i.e.
On that page is written in german the recommendation to use the lower frequency bands at the access point, as was pointed out as a workaround here earlier already.
Considering that there now is a workaround to reliably have the frequency chooser within the WiFi settings menu, I can just recommend to use the 2.4GHz only option if you fail to connect to a network where you don’t have administrative access.
BTW, my wificountrycode reads US too, and reading the licensing I’d expect that to be the least restrictive option already. Deducing it might be an hardware thing which motivated that licensing.

2 Likes

@waldie Interesting find - But I dont think it’s the explanation here. I rather think it’s an (outdated) standard license text. Before DFS was introduced (years/decades ago), 5GHz WAS only allowed indoors in the EU. DFS was introduced to change exactly that. So today (and for years) that ist not an issue anymore. Additionally, We are all talking about indoor use anyway. Even before DFS, channels above 52 we’re allowed in the EU - Limited to Indoor.
So that does not explain the issues.

I would ask if any Fairphone official could give a statement in the situation. Will the bad performance/instability on high 5 GHz channels get fixed eventually?

1 Like

This is only a user forum you can contact support@fairphone.com for their understanding.

The company Sporton Int inc who researched the FCC compliancy for FP approved it for the whole range indeed in 2019 here. So I would say you doubted my finding correctly :wink:
I was quite fascinated by that paper, and just now managed to have a decent connection to my FritzBox 6490 standing in the same room up to a distance of 3m explicitly on channel 116. The FritzBox claim a connection of 300-500Mbit/s depending on distance (and during active usage, so I trust these values). This drops heavily once I have just one wall in between. Combination of wall+distance ~5m makes it impossible for me to even establish a connection on channel 116, which was the sole research I did for my earlier post. I don’t experience that bad quality for every channel above 100, but it is not the only one either.
I think it would be quite interesting to know how other devices with same chipset behave on channel 116 in comparasion to channel 52 or so on the same device.

BTW, as here is mentioned to connect to public 5GHz WiFi it is not so clear, that we are all talking about indoor use only.

Since it’s been a while since somebody mentioned FP support in November 2019 (!) I made a support request (#430922) about this issue. I mentioned this thread but the support person completely ignored what I wrote and sent me a wall of text with general WiFi troubleshooting tips. On the plus side, it only took three days… To be nice I actually went through all the steps and made all the requested screenshots, and then asked again about progress on this issue. Let’s see if it goes anywhere.

2 Likes

This wiki page shows the 5GHz channels and the bandwidth for each. For example you wills see channel 116 and 118 use the same bandwidth with the later using the 20MHz of the 116 and another 20Mhz higher.

So there could be interference.

You will note from the wiki that from channel 50 up the signal strength is only 500mw which means there is likely to be a huge drop off in viability given the inverse square rule over distance.

The 500mw is for indoor use and if there is a local outdoor signal of higher strength that may also interfere.

You support request may turn up something interesting, but I note asking technical questions isn’t something I’ve had a sensible response to.

You may also be interested more on the conditions that would allow channel 116 to be used.

Thanks for the information, but this is not a general problem. We have 7 devices in our house that use 5GHz WiFi. The only ones having trouble with it are the two FP3s.

2 Likes

So all the other device can use channel 116, do use differnt channels if all the devices are being used at the same time or do you rely on automatic channel selection, and if so do you know what channels are being used etc.

Apologies if you’ve already checked all that.

No problem. All the other devices just work with the router set to automatic channel selection. Not a single disconnect ever. The FPs sh*t their pants whenever the router selects a channel with a high number, especially 116, or when I set one manually. I’ve seen exactly the same with other AVM FRITZ!Box routers my phone connected to.

2 Likes

From the FRITZ!OS 7.24-84849 changelog:

  • Fixed - In rare cases, multiple radar wait times occurred in the 5-GHz band followed by lost connections
  • Fixed - In rare cases, the 5-GHz connection to the FRITZ!Box was lost
  • Fixed - When Wi-Fi standard switched from “11a+n” to “11n+ac”, problems with channel assignments occurred in some cases

Source: FRITZ! Lab | Updates & improvements | AVM International

2 Likes