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Major network issues on Note 20 ultra with T-mobile network and Cellspot

  • 23 October 2020
  • 10 replies
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I live at the edge of T-mobile coverage on a hill. T-mobile provided me an LTE cell spot for years which worked fine with my Note 8 for the last 2.5 years. I bought my Note 20 ultra on September 6. Everything was fine for about a month.

Then, as of last week, around October 11, I started having major issues with phone calls and texts.


1) inability to make phone calls from the cell network

No matter how many times I try, calls don't go through.

This happens when connected to the cell network. I dial the number and it just doesn't go through or terminate. The same happens if I redial, no matter how many times.


If I enable Wifi calling, calls do go out, at least. However, there is frequently silence of 2-3 seconds that make it very difficult to have a conversation, especially when my air conditioner comes on. This is despite being less than 10ft from the wireless AC access point, and being connected at a Wifi rate of 866 Mbps, with the backend Internet connection being Comcast gigabit.


2) inability to send texts when connected to either LTE or Wifi network

I use Signal with the confirmation on. Texts just hang forever when I send them. Recipients do not get them. Sometimes the texts will go out an hour later. Sometimes they result in an error.

The behavior with receiving texts is similar.


3) as instructed by a t-mobile tech, after rebooting my phone, and being located 6ft from my cellspot, it shows 4G or 4G LTE signal, and an "X" next to it, ie. zero bars. I can't make any calls, send/receive any texts, or use any data.


4) a reset of all the network settings on the phone did not fix the problem.


5) t-mobile did a "refresh SIM" on their end. It did not fix the problems.


6) If I power off the cell spot, all the problems go away in my home office. This is what I did for the last week while waiting for a replacement cell spot. But I then have only 0.4 Mbps speed even on the 5G network. In other spots in my home, I have zero cell network signal at all. I am in a 4600 sq ft home. T-mobile send me a new replacement cellspot. I just got it yesterday. All the lights on it are green. Unfortunately, all the problems described above are also back on my phone once the cellspot is on. The cellspot is supposed to improve cell signal, but in fact completely kills it for me instead with my phone !


At this point, I'm completely stuck with using my Ooma voice over IP phone to make phone calls. Without it, I would be completely SOL with making calls. I cannot reliably send or receive texts, since Ooma doesn't offer that service.


It is too late for me to return my Note 20 Ultra to the store. And I have already sold my Note 8.


My husband also has a Note 20 ultra, bought from Costco the same day as mine, and isn't experiencing the same problems, though he is not home most of the time.


It seems there is something wrong between my own Note 20 ultra and the cellspot. But I don't know what it could be.

I'm really at my wits' end.

Obviously I have been working with T-mobile techs on the phone on this, but they haven't been able to fix it. 
I posted my question to the Samsung forum as well at https://eu.community.samsung.com/t5/galaxy-note20-note20-ultra-5g/major-network-issues-on-note-20-ultra-with-t-mobile-network-and/m-p/2178139#M4773 .
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Best answer by madbrain76 13 November 2020, 03:48

Make sure you are using the new 5G sim card included with the device. It says R15 on the chip if you want to check it.

I’m using the R15 SIM .

It looks like the problem is with the Note 20 Ultra. A software update came in that broke it in October. A second software update just hit my phone this week, but it didn’t fix it. 

T-mobile told me to try with another phone. I ordered an LG V60 thinq dual screen, which I received today. It has no problem with the Cellspot.

At this point, it looks like only the original firmware for the Note 20 Ultra worked with the Cellspot, and nothing else afterwards does.

I don’t have a reliable network at home without Cellspot. I will ask T-mobile to buy back our Note 20 Ultra as they no longer work on the cell network we have at home.

 

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Actually my husband's Note 20 Ultra is having the exact same problem when near the Cellspot. 4G LTE and "X" (no bars).

 

Wifi calling is not reliable enough - hung 3 times in the middle of a phone call he just made. The only workaround was to unplug the Cellspot. But this is not a solution.

 

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Advance support wanted me to exchange the Cellspot for a 3rd one. I declined, as the first 2 behaved identically. They told me the next step was to consider switching to another carrier ! I asked for a ticket to be filed . They told me to keep the Cellspot on for 3 days while the advanced support team investigates. That’s 3 days during which we won’t be able to make calls (Wifi calling not stable enough for calls; texts are OK after I enabled a Wifi calling compatibility setting in the Signal app).

Make sure you are using the new 5G sim card included with the device. It says R15 on the chip if you want to check it.

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This is not an answer to your problem but more of a review of the cell spot.   We also have one and use it at our cabin.  I find it very spotty and does not work great.  I have had the problem with it not making calls all the time this is very common for us with the Cell spot.  I had them send us the tmobile wifi router and it really seemed to help.  

At work while i am on wifi I can’t send or recieve texts.  I have to go back on the data signal in order to send and receive texts normally but then have the issues with poor signal quality. 

Badge +1

Make sure you are using the new 5G sim card included with the device. It says R15 on the chip if you want to check it.

I’m using the R15 SIM .

It looks like the problem is with the Note 20 Ultra. A software update came in that broke it in October. A second software update just hit my phone this week, but it didn’t fix it. 

T-mobile told me to try with another phone. I ordered an LG V60 thinq dual screen, which I received today. It has no problem with the Cellspot.

At this point, it looks like only the original firmware for the Note 20 Ultra worked with the Cellspot, and nothing else afterwards does.

I don’t have a reliable network at home without Cellspot. I will ask T-mobile to buy back our Note 20 Ultra as they no longer work on the cell network we have at home.

 

Badge +1

This is not an answer to your problem but more of a review of the cell spot.   We also have one and use it at our cabin.  I find it very spotty and does not work great.  I have had the problem with it not making calls all the time this is very common for us with the Cell spot.  I had them send us the tmobile wifi router and it really seemed to help.  

At work while i am on wifi I can’t send or recieve texts.  I have to go back on the data signal in order to send and receive texts normally but then have the issues with poor signal quality. 

I have had the Cell spot for many years, and it has worked great with all previous phones (Note 4, Note 8). It’s only with the Note 20 Ultra and recent software recent updates that problems started. The other phone I got today (LG V60) doesn’t seem to have any problem with it so far.

 

I have the Galaxy Note20 5G but where I work it says it has great signal but it tells me I don't  have internet or any kind of service. It say I have 5G but I have no service in-tell I jump on a different service or tower that is not T mobile it works okay and now I am getting texts indicating its going to cancel my service due to it roaming all the time

 

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You realize right the cell spot works off your internet. If you have bad internet, or you live next to a bunch of people with tmobile, and bad internet its not gonna work. That cell spot shares your internet connection with every one, and they can travel quite a distance. When I had mine on the roof it went over a mile. I have a note 10 x2, s 20 ultra, razer phone 2, Sony Xperia,  and a s9 and they all work fine. Mind you I have fiber internet and no one lives next to me. 

 

Adding in it isnt gonna work right if you have slow internet, and some one is using the internet. If you are maxing your upload or download speed of your isp, it is going to add 300 to 2000ms ping to it, adding in lte is already slow. My ping from my wifi 5ghz is 11ms, my ping from the 4g lte cell spot is over 40ms. My computers ping is 10ms. So if your normal ping of your internet is low end like satlite, bad cable, dsl, or any low end internet like that, then trying to add a cell spot isn't gonna work at all. Especially if other people connect to it, and you won't even know if they are connecting to it or not.  Then add in anything some one is doing, say Netflix which if its Mac is like 28 mbps, YouTube can be around 15mbps.

 

One thing you can do is go to settings turn on developer mode, go into those settings and make it so 4glte is always on. Also if you have a actual t mobile signal there what you want is a cell booster not a cell spot. 

 

T mobile doesn't give you cell boosters, they give you a thing that leaches your isp and turns it into a 4g lte wifi singal.  A 5g cell booster will cost like 560 bucks for the low end one, if you want to cover an entire house you would need a more expensive one.  My honest guess would be the note 20 is getting confused by which signal to hook to, so you would have to manually tell it in your settings.

 

 

So basically the update messed our phones up amd TMobile is distancing themselves from the problem they created… im paying for service i need a new phone in compensation. This is why i buy unlocked phones cause these market phones come with TMobile bloat wear then nonsense like this happens for a 1000+ dollar phone.

I live in Seattle with the note 20 and after update 5g drops in and out all the time. Even new update didn't fix it. I know it's a software issue cause soon as I updated the problem started. I went in to mobile network connections and the one right under 5g is the one I chose I believe it says 3g but it's actually 4g and my issue is gone.  I did a speed test and got 125mps which is weird I never got those speeds on any 4g signal. This is a temporary fix till they address the issue with 5g. Good luck guys...

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