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A photograph of the Dialog Home Broadband Outdoor Unit.

The Dialog Home Broadband Outdoor Unit: Is it Worth the Cost?

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If you’re a Dialog Home Broadband Subscriber living in a rural area where the signal strength is weak, you might have heard about the Dialog Home Broadband Outdoor Unit. Its main purpose is to improve internet speed by increasing exposure to 4G signals emitting from the cell tower. This unit consists of two parts: an external antenna for capturing 4G/LTE signals, that you install outdoors, and an access point that you install indoors. Normally, with a regular Home Broadband connection, you insert your data SIM card into the router. However, when using an outdoor unit, you insert the data SIM card into the outdoor unit itself. An ethernet cable is used for linking the outdoor unit to the access point. Devices connect to this indoor access point via WiFi or Ethernet, just like connecting to a regular WiFi router. Currently, a Dialog HBB Outdoor Unit costs Rs. 15,990.00 (around 60 US Dollars). Today, I aim to answer one question: Is it worth the cost? [In pic: My Dialog HBB Outdoor Unit ]

Before Installing the Dialog HBB Outdoor Unit

After living in Colombo for more than 23 years, I returned to my hometown, Nuwara Eliya a month ago upon retiring. In Colombo, I had reliable means of accessing the internet such as SLT ADSL, SLT Fibre, and Dialog 4G Home Broadband, all offering satisfactory speeds without problems. However, my experience in Nuwara Eliya has been disappointing. Dialog 4G Home Broadband, which used to give me around 40 Mbps in Colombo, has slowed drastically, sometimes even dropping to 5 Mbps or lower, reminiscent of dial-up connections. (SLT Fibre on the other hand indicates only a 3% drop in performance maintaining a speed between 65 and 70 Mbps) To resolve this issue, I contacted Dialog Customer Care, who arranged for their Technical Team to visit. After initial tests, they recommended installing an Outdoor Unit. Fortunately, being a Club Vision Customer, I received both the unit and installation free of charge, resolving my internet problems, or so I thought.

After Installing the Dialog HBB Outdoor Unit

After the outdoor unit was set up, there was a noticeable improvement at first. The speed tests showed it was fast (25 – 30 Mbps), and it seemed like it would be reliable for my everyday tasks, even though it wasn’t super fast compared to today’s standards. But the situation changed soon. Despite having a strong signal, the speed dropped drastically, sometimes even lower than before! I couldn’t figure out why. After looking into it more, I noticed that During the hours of midnight to 7 AM, the speed exceeds 25mbps; however, it diminishes to less than 5mbps after 8 AM. The reason? Network congestion. A bunch of people in my neighbourhood were using the same cell tower at the same time, which meant there wasn’t enough data to go around. This made the network struggle to keep up with everyone’s demands, slowing down the speed for everyone. I talked to a Dialog technician about it, and he confirmed (intentionally or unintentionally) that network congestion was indeed the issue.

My Opinion on the Dialog HBB Outdoor Unit

Right now, I use my brother’s SLT Fibre connection during the day and switch to Dialog Home Broadband at night. I’m still unsure whether to scrap the Dialog Home Broadband subscription or keep it. I’m worried that cancelling it might affect my status as a Club Vision Customer. (There are perks to being a Club Vision Customer that makes dealing with my internet speed issues bearable.) On the other hand, I got the Outdoor Unit for free, so I didn’t lose any money. In your situation, though, if you are not happy with the connection speed, I suggest cancelling your Dialog Home Broadband subscription and getting an SLT Double Play (Telephone and Fibre) or a Triple Play Connection (Telephone, PEO TV, and Fibre) for 12,500/- instead of paying for a Dialog HBB Outdoor Unit. From my experience, installing an Outdoor Unit doesn’t always improve performance. It’s frustrating, but it’s the reality.

Wrap Up

So, to answer my original question about whether the Dialog Home Broadband Outdoor Unit is worth the cost, my answer is it depends. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend against it. Imagine paying for an outdoor unit in this economy, only to discover that you still can’t enjoy a stable internet connection due to network congestion. If you decide to return the outdoor unit to Dialog, you’ll likely get a refund. However, it’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing because you have invested time and effort into obtaining an outdoor unit when you could get an SLT Fibre connection instead. Even if the outdoor unit worked perfectly now, what if a few years later the tower gets congested and the outdoor unit becomes ineffective? Your chances of getting a refund would be slim. I’m not saying SLT Fibre is perfect, but based on my experience, it’s a better choice than 4G Internet, especially if you live in a rural area. Should you decide to switch to SLT Fibre check my post “SLT Fibre is not Safe. Here’s the Solution

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