5G Gateway & 4G LTE CellSpot

  • 23 December 2022
  • 4 replies


I need to have an email from T-Mobile to get my questions to the person who can actually give the correct answer. I have spoken to a Manager & 4 techs. I now have conflicting answers to  my 3 questions.

  1. Will the Gateway properly function at our house or not? Obviously, I don’t feel comfortable putting that address on this forum.
  2. Where is the closest tower to our house. One tech says northeast & one says southwest.
  3. The Gateway is giving us better internet than our previous company,  But, not connecting properly to the CellSpot. 4 says when ongoing repairs are done, it should. 1 says no way because of issue #1, 

4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Sorry you make me chuckle. That seems to be a common tale of woe. If you have the T-Mobile home internet application loaded on your phone it has a cellular locator. The application will ask you if you want to setup the gateway or will provide the locater option. The cellular locator option can help direct you to the proper direction at the time. It has some concentric magenta circles and a small arrow that points as you turn and direct the phone toward the guided location. Hold the phone flat and with the top  away from you and look for the little arrow. I find it best to do that outside for clarity. You can do it inside the house close to windows as well. This gives a general direction for starting to establish where you need to place your gateway.

There might be a couple of cellular towers in your area so you might need to also figure out which provides the stronger signal and which is more stable. The bars on the gateway are a general reference so use the T-Mobile home internet mobile application and the “MORE” option on the bottom bar to get to Advanced cellular metrics. You can see the cellular metrics (values) for the 4G LTE and 5G NR cellular signals. The cart below will help you translate the information so you can know a strong clean signal from a weak signal of lesser quality. 

With all that said you can ALSO navigate to and use that as a way to locate cells in the area. It is not a 100% solution but it helps. It does take a bit to learn. Just accept that there are going to be adds or forget it as if you don’t have a subscription you have to put up with the advertisements. Like I said you have to learn how to use it. You can filter for 4G or 5G towers, you can look for the towers in your area. Allow it to use your location or you will find it puts you who knows where but then you have to also figure out that every thing is close in and you are possibly in the middle of the ocean somewhere off the coast of Africa. So allow the location or provide the zip code if it offers. The newer version of cellmapper is not as intuitive as the prior version. It still is one of the best utilities that are free to find cell towers. They have an Android application you can load if you have an Android phone. The cells have what is referred to as a PCI physical cell identifier. Towers also have an identification number so those are helpful to know for finding the cell(s) be it 4G LTE or 5G NR.

OK so even if that has not made your head spin well, there could well be truth in the statement about working on the towers as they continue to bring up cells and change frequencies and the spread of the signals and so the upgrades and maintenance of the systems continues so expect some disruptions along the yellow brick road as it is a trip through the haunted forest at times. 


Thanks for finding the location of tower. And, that you appreciate the confusion. 

I still need the correct answer if I will be able to use the Gateway or need to return it within the 14 days given by T-Mobile. Again, I have been given 2 different answers by T-Mobile: a “yes” and a “no”. Which is correct????

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

If you have an open support ticket and unanswered questions you can also try getting them to connect you to a customer retention specialist. If you have an open support ticket that has outstanding questions without answers the customer retention specialists might be able to help or offer additional options. T-Mobile used to offer the use of the gateway for 30 days before having to return it. The 14 day window is rather stingy given how they continue to work on the network gear and how unpredictable it can be for operation in some areas. If there are outstanding circumstances they should step up and make it right.

Are you using the 4G LTE modem or one of the 5G gateways? I have seen some users that get more stable and faster service from the 4G LTE modem/gateway vs the 5G gateway. I had a conversation with another user that was provided the 4G LTE gateway while they finished the 5G deployment in the area so they could keep them from going to another ISP vendor. That was also with the promise that they could go back onto the 5G when things were stable. That was a situation where it sounded as if it would be months before the improvements and upgrades were done in the area for the 5G delivery. If they cannot deliver on a given service they need to make it right or at least step up and speak the truth.

If the window is shrinking and you do not feel comfortable with the service or confident it will be stable and reliable then returning it might be best. If you still feel it might work out well it is a gamble. Keep in mind you have no contract for terms and you can return the gateway at any time. You can only be charged for the time you have it and once you return the gateway that should be it. Keep a record of shipping it back or if you can return it to a local store then do that but make sure to get a document from them that clearly shows they took it back in and when.

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

Do you actually have the gateway from T-Mobile? From your questions above, it sounds like you’re just trying to do your research before you pull the trigger.

T-Mobile has a 15-day trial period that will allow you to test it and see if it works in your environment. If not, just return it and your questions will be “answered.”