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T-Mobile Home Internet shows 4 bars but keeps dropping signal

  • 12 January 2023
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Hi.  The last month or so, a problem is occurring - the gateway/modem shows 4 bars and has been sitting there for well over two years now.  Randomly, I keep getting disconnected from a game server, remote sessions halt, streaming audio stutters, everything.  

 

I also have phone calls (from Samsung S22 Ultra) disconnect on me if the phone is using wifi mode for phone calls. If I disable wifi on the phone, phone calls still remain stable. At least for now. I sometimes still have issues with audio stuttering in regular 5G mode, and even testing a game server I got booted off with an error citing connection loss.  Whatever it is, the loss is brief since connection comes back quickly.

 

Speedtest shows low ping and low jitter, which surprised me.

 

I logged into the Admin console. Is there an option to switch from 5G mode to 4G, just to rule out some possible causes of this? That sounds dumb since I have 4 bars on the modem and 5 on my phone (which generally connects to the modem’s built-in wifi.) I haven’t tested disabling 5G on the phone, but with 5 bars this really seems odd. Why would the phone show more bars and stronger signal strength when it’s the smaller of the two devices?

 

I turned the modem (“silver can” in shape) off and unplugged it for 30 minutes. I’d heard this forces a firmware check and upgrade.  This did not make a difference.

 

I keep a small fan running by the air inlet on the modem to help prevent overheating. That hasn’t helped either.

 

The built-in battery also seems to waver in percentage; always going from 65 to 78%. It used to read 100% in the past. I think that’s a separate issue.

 

I am having no power outage issues.  

 

 

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Best answer by fireguy_6364 13 January 2023, 21:44

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I forgot to add, when using Wi-Fi mode, Speedtest from my modem did fail, saying network connection issues.

 

Also, when I ran Speedtest on my phone, in 5G mode (4 bars), I get averaged ping of 40/919/340, jitter 4/91/78 when in idle/download/upload respectively, with 0% packet loss.

 

On my phone using Wi-Fi mode connected to the Wi-Fi gateway, I get ping of 31/453/333, jitter 25/78/76, when in idle/download/upload respectively, with 0% packet loss.

 

On my desktop using Wi-Fi to connect the same gateway, results are comparable to my phone’s test while using its Wi-Fi, though the results table only shows a general ping - not differentiated between idle/dl/up.  These read 31/261/95 at the time of the test.  A retest shows 31/968 (averaged from results showing as low as 266 or as high as 4000 ping)/85 for jitter. 

Rerunning Speedtest in both environments shows frequent significant changes in the ping and jitter values between tests, which also include occasional percentages of packet loss. Generally, I get 0% for packet loss, but a couple times had shown up to 15.1% in tests.

 

With 4- and 5-bar signal strength, should ping and jitter be this high on both phone and gateway and desktop connected to gateway?

 

I’ve not had problems until recently, but I’m hesitant to think there’s any issue on my phone and desktop specifically.

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One other side note - the closest tower is on the opposite side of the house.  The funny thing is, when setting up the modem on the wall nearest to it, I got a solid 3 bars. Moving it to the other end of the house gave me 4.  If it makes sense to try moving the modem to the side closest to the tower, despite whatever interference is reducing reception to 3 bars, I will try it. It just makes no sense that these issues have only started up roughly a month or so ago. (The phone call issue being very rare, but internet streaming drops are frequent.)

 

Thanks!

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is it by chance near a window on that side of the house or no? if not try getting it closer to a window and see how much it improves.

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Great question!  Both current location and the one on the other side of the house are right next to windows. Actually, if I loved the cylinder close to the window in the room where it’s at right now, it would go down to 3 bars… 

 

When testing for the optimal position, the side of the house closest to the tower had no spots better than 3 bars, even directly in front of windows where the cats would be inclined dop what they want to do on the laptop if given a chance -- and that would be for them to curl up and take a nap around it due to the heat it generates. :-D  

 

 

 

 

 

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A friend stopped by with his phone - his is from a different carrier. He had similar sluggishness problems as well, perhaps worse as Speedtest took several times to perform a successful test without bringing up about a Sockets error.  From what I could see, that pretty much rules out a lot of, if not all of the problems on my end. His phone/service also ran slower (4G), so whatever’s going on isn’t exclusive to 5G… 

 

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if you look at a map of your place are you by chance surrounded by a bunch of tall buildings/trees etc or down in a bowl where there are higher areas surrounding you? like once you are outside and leaving at what point does your reception start to improve?

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It’s weird, since phone reception has been 4 or 5 bars and no dips downward.  But as the problem is only recent and I’ve had no problems for a couple years prior to now, and there are no new buildings or new trees put up, I don’t think reception is a factor if I have 4 or 5 bars but horrible ping time, ping, jitter, and stuttering.  

 

  

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unless work is being done on the tower that normally covers that area or issues..wonder if adjustments were done to the direction the antennas are pointing or were pointing compared to now?

 

have you contacted TMO to put in a network ticket yet?

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I had not yet contacted TMO, wanting to rule out everything on my end’s nodes first.  The friend’s phone is from another carrier so they’re probably leasing the same towers.

It’s probable that some tower was worked on or an element is failing, but iI’d be surprised if nobody else had called in already. Still, one person calling over a minor blip isn’t as minor if other people report the same issue. I should look up the number and call. Something’s definitely off with a tower somewhere; I can’t think of anything else at this point to try.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

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no worries. have them put in a network ticket for you.

 

you might even opt to use their social media route like Facebook or Twitter..contact them through their direct message since they’ll need you to verify who you are...this also lands you with tier 2 support instead of the call in tier 1 support agents.

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I think you have been using too much of their “unlimited data” and they want to weed you out. But they are sneaky about it, and want you to quit as opposed to cancelling you and not profitable customer. I have same issues.

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I think you have been using too much of their “unlimited data” and they want to weed you out. But they are sneaky about it, and want you to quit as opposed to cancelling you and not profitable customer. I have same issues.

 

Thanks for the info and idea, but I don’t think it’s that, mostly because of the atypical nature of the dips. My friend with his phone uses another carrier and had the same problem in my area, so I don’t think TMobile is weeding anyone at this time.

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To be honest, if your network is typically ‘good’, or ‘very good’ (T-MObile app), and it is dropping, I’d almost suggest a replacement of the Nokia Trashcan to the Arcadyan  device.

I picked this one up in December, and it has been fairly consistent.  I have had occasional issues (dropped zoom), but these I suspect are more typical to the low QoS settings and time of day.

Eg.  Poor performance in morning/evenings, and I don’t yet have 5G accessible by my device.

Similarly, check the difference between signal in LTE and 5G.  If 5G is ‘iffy’ (my case  SINR -2 to +2) makes it unstable when it is above 0 (weak but usable drags performance down vs. completely unusable)

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We have the same issues here in Vero Beach Florida. My gateway reports a “good” signal (3bars) consistently, but the actual internet feed comes and goes, verified by a speed test. Very frustrating. I’ve called support multiple times and they say it’s a tower issue and that it’s bring worked on. Have heard them say this for the last year now. 

The problem is that this is a wireless connection and not a normal land connection like fiber optics. It all lies in the security protocol where they are using a dynamic IP address which assigned to you by your internet service provider (T-Mobile) and is subject to change. This means that your IP address can and will change each time you connect to the internet, or while you are connected which causes the issue. This makes it a bit harder for criminal hackers to monitor your online habits. Until they switch over to a static IP this issue will continue to happen. Nothing you do on your end will solve the problem as you will see by reading the other posts.  

Hope this helps!

Best solution: Class action lawsuit for non-performance and misrepresentation.

Your 5g internet is most times 4g and spotty at best. 

The excuses for working on the towers and upgrades are a cover for poor service.

Please bring them to court and get all your money back, plus damages for non-service.

Problem solved.

 

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out of curiosity..why havent YOU started a class action lawsuit?

out of curiosity..why havent YOU started a class action lawsuit?

Ok, Firedude, calm down; it's on the way.

This disconnecting issue is killing me. It happens at any moment whenever it pleases, including during my online exams. It is very frustrating, and T-Mobile never has the answer.

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