Less than 1mbps transfer speeds on tethering on iPhone X

  • 11 May 2020
  • 3 replies


Howdy folks,

I spent quite a bit of time recently with a support tech on the phone about this.  A very nice person, and was very patient and friendly.  Unfortunately, no success.  The conclusion was that it was maybe this particular cell?  I have confirmed it is not.  I think my use case is probably beyond his technical skill.  Reset network settings, he pushed an update, multiple restarts, yadda yadda. 

I need to maintain at least 3 mbps upload for a live stream that is part of my job.  I have five bars of LTE at two separate test locations.  On the phone itself, Ookla Speedtest reports 6mbps upload.  When tethered to a laptop, I barely can hit half a meg upload.  The results are suspiciously consistant.  This has been tested in multiple locations, and on two different phones. 

I did notice a lot of similar threads, and after reading quite a few, I saw no clear answer.  It's obviously specific to tethering.  My concern is that it's being limited.  I have T-Mobile One unlimited.  I have only used 2.25 GB of data thus far.  I was able to consistently get 3 mbps up or better on my previous carrier.  Bottom line, I need a solution soon, even if it means going to another provider.  I've considered a dedicated hotspot, but as this need might be time limited, that may not make economic sense. 

Thanks for your time. 


Best answer by tmo_ian 19 May 2020, 23:02

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I was about to call in again to support about this, but for some reason, I am now getting 11 mbps upload via tether.  Very strange, as there is nothing I've changed.  Will be testing it over the next few days.  Bit of a concern that it goes from unusable to strong from one day to the next. 


I kept scratching my head as to why the problem suddenly went away.  I had duplicated the sub 1 mpbs issue many times over a week.  There is one change I made that may have affected this.  I opted in to the covid 20 gb offer on the T-Mobile account page.  This is the only single variable.  It should not have been the case, as I was only about 2.5 gb.  Still not reassuring that this is unclear.  I'm concerned that it will revert to poor performance at a critical moment. 


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If you have the T-Mobile ONE™ Unlimited​ plan, it only includes mobile hotspot data at 3G speeds. You would need to upgrade to the Amp up version of the plan, which includes 20 GB of 4G LTE speeds. That's probably why adding the free hotspot offered fixed things for you.