First look at BSNL WiMax Outdoor CPE

After a few visits to BSNL office, we were able to lay our hands on their newly launched WiMax internet CPE. There are 3 types of CPE offered by BSNL, one is the USB dongle which is priced at Rs.2800, second one is somewhat similar to ADSL Wifi modem like and priced at Rs.4000 and the last one which we tested is the outdoor CPE priced at Rs.5000. This outdoor CPE will obviously have the best reception and when we tested, we found that it’s so powerful that it even worked when kept indoor! As advised by BSNL we installed it (we rejected the technical staff of BSNL request to install it for us) at 10 feet height on roof and aligned to the BSNL telephone exchange where it got the best signals. We have cat5 internal wiring in our building so we used that instead of LAN cable provided to avoid wire clutter. Also the LAN cable provided for ODU is only of 5 mtrs length which is insufficient.


wimax_outdoor_cpe.jpgSetting this device is pretty simple, there is a clamp provided which is used to attach the outdoor unit (ODU) to the pole and a long LAN patch cable which is used to connect the ODU to the indoor unit (IDU). A smaller LAN patch cable connects the IDU to PC. The IDU looks almost like a laptop charger but it’s much lighter as if it has nothing inside it. As soon as we power on the IDU, after few seconds we are connected to internet (no dialing nothing) and speed was surprisingly dot accurate 512 kbps (Update: Now speed offered in this plan is 1 Mbps) which is offered in unlimited plan. Sometimes it takes its own sweet time to connect to base station and it can be really frustrating to user. Speed increases to 3.1 mbps at night but drops again to 512 in morning. This is not mentioned at BSNL website so might not be official. (UPDATE: This bounty is no more, how sad!) Talking of plans, there are four plans for home users and three for business. Plans start from Rs.220 per month which offers tiny 400mb download limit. Rs. 350 home plan gives you 1 GB download limit and Rs.750 plan will give you 4GB limit at speed upto 2mbps. speedtest_bsnl_wimax.pngHowever if you are okay with lesser speed of 512kbps, then BSNL gives you pure unlimited plan at Rs.750. Your monthly bill will be Plan cost + CPE rent + Tax. CPE rent will be Rs.40 for USB dongle and Rs.50 for outdoor CPE. At the time of purchase you have to pay 50% of the price of CPE (you can pay full price or buy your own CPE from market to avoid rent) and one month plan charge in advance. For example if someone opts for home unlimited plan and outdoor CPE then total amount is Rs.2500 + 750 = Rs.3250
Here is the screenshot of Wimax admin page accessible from IP address: Default password of which is admin.

While positioning the CPE, notice the CINR value, lowest working value is 15 and one should try to position the CPE where highest value of CINR is achieved for reliable connectivity.


RSSI: Radio Signal Strength Indication

CINR: Carrier Interference Noise Ratio

BSID: Base Station Identifier

TxPwr: This parameter specifies the total uplink transmission power of the SS/MS across all active subcarriers during the most recent frame in which it transmitted uplink burst(s) at the time of reporting. The values are quantized in 0.5dB steps ranging from -64dBm to 63.5dBm. The integer in the field is divided by 2 in order to obtain the value in dBm.


More photos:

Mohd. Hashim Khan

I work as a freelance web designer and developer and enjoys fiddling with machines and electronics stuff. I am also working as a part time computer teacher at Aligarh Muslim University. I share my knowledge on various topics here so that others can make use of it and take benefit from my experiences.

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177 Responses

  1. thenetguruz says:

    Try to check the speed by downloading from any faster server or using torrent which has good number of seeds. You should get between 50 to 70 kbps speed. Also check using website. How is the website browsing experience?

    Regarding your router, place it a little above the floor level and see if its not blocked by metal objects. If your model has antenna then point it straight up. Experiment with different positions. You should be able to get usable signal strength at every corner of your home. Further to increase signal strength you may buy wifi repeaters and install it outside your room.

  2. Aditya Awasthi says:

    My router is a weak router and for this reason i have ordered a double antenna router
    TP-Link 300Mbps Wireless N Router (TL-WR841N). Is it worth the buy according to you ? Will i not face anymore WiFi signal issues ?

  3. thenetguruz says:

    Its a good router and will surely give you more range.

  4. Aditya Awasthi says:

    Thank you so much. 🙂

  5. acesuhail says:

    In the above picture you have clicked on 3rd tab (Software).

    There were about 4 entries, against last entry was”Remove” button. You have clicked on that.

    You dont need the Engineering menu as far as the wimax works fine and does not require programming.

    if you want the menu back you need Software Upgrade Package file (with
    .ipkg extension). You can get that file from maybe from internet or from
    the employee at BSNL concerned with wimax programming or you can call
    customer care regarding the file.

    Do share the fie with your fellow friends


  6. hardeep says:

    hi i want to know how to login to wimax admin page is not assecible by me

  7. thenetguruz says:

    Please check your wimax user manual, admin can be configured at different URL for some models of CPE. Also try checking by connecting to a different computer.

  8. Shyam Chand says:

    Dear Admin,
    Thank you for such detailed blog on BSNL WiMAX.

    Currently I’m using BSNL landline braodband Rs.525/-, 512Kbps unlimited plan. I’m very satisfied with its speed (even in bad weather) but issue is that either landline cable is stolen after every 2-3 months or cable breaks down in bad weather due to storm & broken branches and BSNL takes 15-20 days to restore it. 🙁

    So, I’m planning to switch to prepaid WiMAX.
    Reason for prepaid is – their website is saying prepaid can deliver speeds from 512Kbps to 2Mbps. (I’m expecting to get 2 Mbps)
    and postpaid can deliver only 512Kbps in postpaid plan though unlimited.

    But I’m eager to know whether WiMAX suffers speed breakdown in bad weathers (cloudy sky, hail storms etc.) or is its speed yet surf-able in bad weather?

    Also, I’m in mood to purchase outdoor CPE bcoz of good range coverage (15 kms), but local JTO is disfavoring it by saying that outdoor CPE get filled with rain water. So, I want to know is there really some serious weather related issues with outdoor CPE.

    Also if I install outdoor CPE in inner side of outermost wall of topmost floor of my house, will it be able to catch up WiMAX signal (Base station is about 5~10 km from my house)? I was wondering this bcoz I think if indoor CPE is able to recieve signal inside room, why outdoor CPE directions needs to be faced towards base station ?

    Thanking you in anticipation.

  9. thenetguruz says:

    Hello Shyam! Thanks for reading our blog. Here are my inputs for your query:
    1. Now prepaid wimax is offering 1 Mbps instead of older 512kbps speed.
    2. Wimax does not suffers speed breakdown due to weather, we are getting same speed in all weathers, be it cloudy, windy or extreme hot/cold season.
    3. I would recommend outdoor CPE and install it outside on terrace facing the base station. I have never heard of water entering the unit, its fully sealed. Our office Wimax (2 of them) has seen many heavy rainfalls and its working fine.
    4. If you are able to get good signal from inside then you can try it but its best to install outside as there is not just one base station that works but it switches from one to another from time to time and signal strength you are getting from one base station may not be the same for other one. To get best signal strength it needs to be pointed towards base station. After installing you can rotate it and see which direction gives you best signals.

    However one thing you keep in mind that being this a wireless type broadband, the speed sometimes varies due to network issues (not weather related) and some areas have more wimax related problems in BSNL while others are working good. Sometimes Wimax refuses to connect just like landline broadband, so it does have its own set of problems like landline have. ADSL landline broadband speed is always better than Wimax but as you said you are having cable related problems, you can give Wimax a try.

    Hope this helps.

  10. Shyam Chand says:

    Dear Admin,
    Thanks a lot for such a prompt reply and elaborate explanations. You have responded to all my queries very well. Surely, I’ll try out WiMAX on rental basis to figure out its pros & cons over ADSL.

    As you wrote that outdoor CPE switches from one station to another & needs to be pointed towards base station. So, one question – Is working of indoor CPE/USB dongle different from outdoor CPE? How it is able to get signal without being pointed towards base station or is its speed/signal quality is less than outdoor CPE?


  11. thenetguruz says:

    Basic hardware is same for both indoor and outdoor CPE however indoor CPE has uni-directional antenna (just like our mobile phones and laptop wifi system) which can receive signal from all direction. You are right, indoor CPE gets lesser signal strength/quality. Even in indoor CPE you might need to adjust its antenna direction and location to get better signals.

  12. puhor says:

    how do i upgrade software for bsnl wimax icomm 700

  13. abhishek chaudhary says:

    maine kal ki wimax install karaya 4 light jal rhi hai…kitni hight pe lagana chahiye outdorr?? ar wifi ke liye kun se router lu??

  14. Monish Mohan says:

    By connecting WAN cable to the LAN port and disabling DHCP of ADSL router, you can use it as a “WiFi switch”. Because of the BSNL Wimax device itself a router, it will assign IP to the connected devices. Don’t forget to change IP of ADSL router to the IP range of Wimax router.

  15. Nirmal Prakash says:

    I forgot username and password of my bsnl wimax cpe -pointmax 2500, how can i login to configure cpe?

  16. titu meher says:

    where can i find .ipkg file(upgrade) for Wimax Outdoor CPE. I removed the current package by mistake as a result, CPE constantly shows SCAN or NERWORK_ENTRY mode.

  17. yogesh solanki says:

    any one can solved my problem i have a bsnl outdoor cpe connection . there is a problem from last few days . my connection some time operational and there after aborted in few minutes 2 to 5 min . my service provider suggest me for change the cpe. can anyone suggest me for wright thing what can i do?

  18. yogesh solanki says:

    my bsnl outdoor cpe is operational for 2-5 min. and there after aborted. my service provider suggest me for change the outdoor cpe. can you suggest me what can i do?

  19. Pushpendra says:

    How to tackle the fluctuation speed of BSNL WImax i had opted the plan ULD 750 and many times i only get 10 KBPS.What sould i do to increase this speed

  20. ankush says:

    dear admin,

    I hav purchased wimax outdoor cpe . I want to connect the wi max cpe to my older broadband teracom wireless router.
    Plz tell me how can I do this

  21. amir khan says:

    wimax cpe kharidne par milti hi nhi hai

  22. Suliyaa says:

    I have am indoor CPE but it is not working how to check it. And how to check if my wimax have available balance or not

  23. Sameer says:

    My CPE led are continuously on. What to do?? Tried that reset button but didn’t worked!

  24. Harjeet Kumar says:

    Nicely written blog. I have a query due to severe lightening my BSNL WiMAX, adapter and router are all damaged and not working? What to do to change the same and where to purchase though the entire thing is in guarantee period but BSNL is telling there is no supply?

  25. Adil Bashir says:

    Can you please tell me the exact name of outdoor CPE used by BSNL and from ehere I can purchase online.

  26. DR.GOVIND SHARAN says:

    CAT6 wire connecting outdoor CPE to the BSNL modem often breaks down due to harsh climate conditions.Otherwise it works good.Wish if i could replace CAT6 hash climate
    proof connecting wire, if available in India?

  27. Mohd. Hashim Khan says:

    Good quality Cat6 cables for outdoor use are available in India. Just ask your local electrical shop, he might arrange it for you if he doesn’t have it already in stock.

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