Why is my mobile hotspot so much slower than my regular data connection?

Userlevel 2

Hello all. I'd like to know why my mobile hotspot speeds are so much slower than my regular data connection. I have the old $70 unlimited plan from several years ago, when T-Mobile first started changing things. I have 4G LTE data, and even the mobile hotspot add-on (according to my T-Mobile app) supposedly uses the LTE network and not some slower speed.

However, it has been this way for a long time, not just recently. My download speeds when I test it on the phone itself, using the data connection, are decent. The one I just did was 12Mbps. But when I followed that up with a speed test on my PC, using the mobile hotspot, it was 1.33Mbps!

Why is this? Does the T-Mobile hotspot throttle your data speeds automatically? I've only used 0.1 GB of my allotment, so I know I haven't gone over. This is pretty terrible. Please help!




Best answer by tmo_ian 20 May 2020, 16:47

View original

46 replies

I have never had an issue with hotspot before but since this past Thursday, I haven’t been able to do anything using my hotspot. I use the hotspot to work remotely when I am away from home so this is extremely frustrating.

My bill is $200 per month for the 3 lines under a military plan - I never had an issue with hotspot before. 

Really feel like there is an issue on the other side of things as far as bandwidth goes and would love an explanation.


How is the moderator concluding that this huge issue is SOLVED?????

The ONLY solution is to REMOVE THROTTLING from non-phone devices. Until that is done this huge issue remains UNSOLVED and needs to be resolved immediately. Why would anyone buy a useless piece of equipment that doesn’t work as advertised unless we were duped and not told that it would secretly be throttled after we bought it??

Never has worked. 

Best speeds like 0.5 Mps download, upload 0.75

Hot spot is a lie at best.

Verizon worked.

10 years ago got decent speeds.

Experts were no help, someone might look at it in a few days or weeks.

It is outright false advertising,  but they seem immune to laws.


I finally found a T-Mobile tower near me that is already 5G Ultra capacity (and 100MHz). My MiFi 2000 zoomed up to 313 Mbps download speed at 7 pm (likely the busy hour) and the ping was at an astounding 16ms. So, it is safe to say the MiFi 2000 works as advertised and is not being throttled. Next, when I receive my 5G iPhone 13, I’ll run the same test at the same location along with my MiFi 2000 to see if there is any difference. I doubt I’ll see any difference.

The way I tested the MiFi 2000 is I connect my smartphone to the MiFi 2000’s WiFi (turn on airplane mode to turn off cellular) and run the application on the smartphone (download and use the app -  this way you can click on results and you get a wealth of information (lat and Longitude coordinates, map, etc.).


Well, I just visited a T-Mobile store that sits almost directly below a 5G uc equipped tower. They ran a speedtest on the store’s iPhone 13 demo phone and it clocked in at 509 Mbps Download speed. I have tested my own iPhone 13 at the same 5G uc equipped tower and got 610 Mbps.

Then I asked them to demo the store’s  MiFi 2000 Inseego hotspot and run the same speedtest - but they declined saying they don’t have a demo version of the MiFi 2000. So I pulled out my own MiFi 2000 that I had just purchased from them and ran the same speedtest, but I only got 309 Mbps Download speed.

I asked them why the difference, but I received no response. This proves to me that T-Mobile’s MiFi 2000 hotspots do not perform at mid band 5G speeds (mid-band 2.5GHz ultra capacity) as advertised, whereas the iPhone 13’s do, and are capable  of performing at twice the BW speed, i.e., the MiFi 2000, and perhaps all non-phone devices, are being throttled to 300 Mbps by T-Mobile (5G routers, hotspots, etc.). Go to a T-Mobile store and do the same comparison test to see for yourself. Below is the MiFi 2000 speedtest result I got while in the T-Mobile store.



Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Hotspot on your phone device is limited by plan eg.  I get 3g speeds on my One plan.  Magenta gives 5GB, , Magenta Max gives 40GB.

TMobile has Hotspot plans for for mifi which are 50GB.  only the home internet service will give unlimited on Hotspot style connections


This is not usage related.. I have three Mifi 2000 devices, each with 100GByte plans (I was lucky to get the 100GB grandfathered limits). The 300 Mbps BW  throttling that I see started out of the box, i.e., at zero usage. I  have never reached anywhere  near the 100GB usage limit in one month  on any one of my three devices. It is not related to my plan limit.  The BW speedtest has never gone over 300 Mbps since day one.

My iPhone 13, on the other hand, has performed well  over 600 Mbps out of the box, and it shows the new 5G uc in the upper right hand corner (5G ultra capacity). T-Mobile does not seem to want to explain why this is happening.


I have this issue as well.  


I’m also having this issue. I’m getting Less than 1MB/s Download and rarely more than .5mb upload. I can’t even work from home on that. It took 3 hours for my email to get updated from the day before.

I always had fast tether speeds on a military plan, but this year it will to under 1mbps. Even the phone data would be about the same. every week id call and be told different excuses from different people. one guy said a previous guy removed my high speed tether and that he put it back. Then another said it had not been put back. I was paying $25 extra just for my line and for years it worked great in every state while travelling.  They say its tower upgrades, then the next person says its fiber optics, towers are down, towers are fine. they then convinced me to do magenta and it would only cost $30 more for the entire bill. i had them do that in hopes it would fix a problem that never happened before. i tried different phones and laptops so i know its not on my side. Anyhow, the bill jumped for each line. so we pulled the plug on Magenta due to lies and the fact the service did not improve. Im down to the 40gb that comes with the basic plan and in over a week i have not had to call and complain yet? we will see what happens when i hit the 40gb, but i decided instead of getting nowhere with tmobile ill just get cable internet. and, no i will not recommend tmobile 100%, because their reps lie and never fixed my problems. If your tech reps and such are so poorly trained thet you need to address this and your congested towers! I believe everything gets throttled no matter your plan when towers are congested! so there is no fix for your data dont keep paying them for add ones for bad service. i can get cable internet for $30/month...i don’t need t mobiles lies! 

I feel totally duped by T-Mobile.

i have purchased a 15 GB high speed data pass plan for my vacation trip to another country. I took this because i knew i will have almost no internet and need fast wifi…..but surely not (only) on my phone but i need it though the horpsot on my mac and my tablet.

The good thing…the speed on my iphoe is raslly fast with 180 mbps.

The VERY bad thing, as i purchased the plan only to get my other devices to work….the tehtering with the hotspot only delives about 1.4 mbps !! Thats less than a hundredth !!
i cant work with this and the money for my plan is totally wasted.

last time i purchased a plan from t-mobile…

Same problem here in Italy. LTE overall is not great but sufficient. Tethering by any method is garbage — I cannot work on my laptop. Different CS reps give a variety of answers but nothing fixes the issue. 


I got my hotspot 2 weeks ago. It ran (decent speeds) well the first couple of times I used the device. Now it runs incredibly slow. I check the download and upload speeds. Download was .97 mbps and upload was slightly faster, which is usually just the opposite. These speeds remind me of the old DSL lines. I am considering taking this toy back to T-Mobile. I just had changed my service from Verizon to TM. I need to reconsider.

When I travel, I buy local sim cards in every country. I never have a problem with using my phone as a hotspot. Then I come back to America and find that you vampires try to charge extra for something I get for free everywhere else. It's insulting and I'm extremely unhappy about it.


I have the Magenta Max plan, and when I got the hotspot capability increased (the premium version) it was absolutely terrible. I was so disappointed. Then Go5g/Plus came out and I couldn't switch back to regular Magenta. The hotspot capability is garbage. I can't do much of anything. I thought it was my phone, but my fiance's phone does it, too. I have a Samsung s22 and he has an iPhone 13 pro. Hotspot is sloooooooooow. I connect my tablet to my phone and try to download things and can't, even though my phone states I have 200mbps download speeds. Yeah right. I'm really disappointed. Fiance's phone is doing the same thing. What's the point of paying for hotspot? Nothing. 

I’ve had TM for several years. The first year or so, my hotspot worked great, very fast. For the last year or so, it’s useless. I don’t even try anymore. The speedtest I just ran today saw .43 down. My plan is the same, so I don’t know why it changed so drastically.

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

older phone? newer phone?

Yeah this isn't 3G. I am getting speeds slower than 2G on my Hotspot. False advertisement all around. Also laughing at all these books people wrote complaining about this junk Hotspot speed haha.

At the end of this billing cycle, I’m switching to another carrier. 

Hey I switched from Verizon and they are just straight up thieves and proud of it. The Verizon reps told me to leave and go to t-mobile or AT&T if I wanted a lower bill.

I’d have to say this is the slowest hotspot I’ve ever had. The claim is that I’m running on 4glte which is either or I’m being throttled and throttled hard. I just ran a speed test on my PS and it’s downloading at a blistering 426.2 kbps(no that’s not a typo it’s actually in Kbps). It’s strange I didn’t realize I was paying for a fast dialup connection.

Pictures or it’s not true ^