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Weak signal indoors with 4g router

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

I'm unhappy with my home broadband provider and looking to move to 4G broadband with three.I  am testing a ZTE 4G router with a smarty SIM. Network coverage checker tells me I should have excellent service indoors and out. 5G is not available in my area.

Trying various locations in the house speedtest is giving me download speeds between 5 and 29 Mbps. However the best signal strength I've been able to achieve with the router is -96dBm (3 or sometimes 4 bars showing)  and it's difficult finding a location to keep it consistently above -100dBm. (My phone with smarty SIM is mostly around -111dBm). Although the download speeds with the router in best location are good enough for streaming, the rule of thumb for signal strength appears to say I don't have a healthy connection. 

I obviously don't want to commit to a contract with three if it's not viable. What else can I do to improve signal strength ?



@IanClark_216200 @Try an external antenna?

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried a different router instead and now have a zyxel nr5103ev2 which tells me I have a poor signal but early tests give me download speeds  between 20 and  149mbps so all good for now, but will review after a few more days of use.