Question

Any way to disable 5G connection on router?

  • 16 December 2021
  • 8 replies
  • 1550 views

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Our connection is periodically (and lately, continually) unusable, with download speeds in the 0.2 to 0.8 mps range. We’re not sure if this is due to being deprioritized due to load on the system (it was awfully suspicious that it happened on the dot at 0800 this morning) or just T-Mobile having issues with their towers here.  We’ve called support repeatedly and they unfortunately are very little help.

We’ve noticed the same with our T-Mobile phones - but when switching to a 4G LTE connection, download speeds increase to 40-60mps. While not at our usual 400-500mps 5G speeds, this is at least usable.

Unfortunately, using a mobile hotspot for our home connection is not a workable long term solution, as we quickly use up our data allotment and are clamped at 2G speeds (which is even worse).

Ideally, we would like to be able to not connect using the 5g band when necessary so that we can at least have a working internet connection (0.8 mps downstream shared between 2 people working from home and 1 teenager is unusable). Unfortunately, if there’s no way to resolve this, we’re going to have to find other solutions for our internet connectivity.


8 replies

I have been trying solve this dilema also. No replies? I switched my phone to 4G and it works so much better but can’t figure out how to switch my internet gateway.

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.I would also like to disable 5G on my Home Internet router.  

Daily at approximately 2:45pm (school dismissal), I begin to see high latency and packet loss when my router’s secondary (5g) connection is up.  For the last several days, my secondary has been down, and my Internet performance and reliability has been drastically improved.  

I noticed yesterday that my Internet performance is suffering again, and to my disappointment my 5g connection is back online.  

There’s no way that I have found to administratively disable the secondary connection?  If there’s not, is there an appeal that I can make to T-Mobile to have my router’s 5g connection disabled?

 

 

Userlevel 7
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I would say from experience that all T-Mobile support engineers are not equal but if we treat them as we would want to be treated they actually do try to help out. I have had some that were OK and some that were pretty good. I kept calling back until I got answers. It is the luck of the call. Ask the questions as the only dumb one is the one not asked. Give them data if you can. Details help support. Ask the support engineer to tell you what the coordinates of the tower are so you know where it is. Get the PCI value for the secondary signal from the web interface and use cellmapper.net to see if you can find the 5G cell with that PCI value then you should be able to know exactly where the tower is. Keep in mind that cellmapper.net is only 70-80% accurate. T-Mobile knows what tower the router connects to. 

If you document the time(s) of the issues with the 5G cellular signal then T-MO support can probably look at maintenance records for the tower and see if there are radio monkeys messing around. When there was work on the tower equipment here back in June I saw times where the 5G, secondary cellular signal would drop. The transition to the 4G LTE signal would wobble and a disruption would take place. It was very frustrating. As soon as the 5G bounced back it could all go wonky again. It was very frustrating over and over. You can't just disable the 4G LTE or 5G cellular radios on the router. Share your observations with T-Mobile support. If more users on a given tower all did so they would know faster that equipment on a given tower was acting up. I would guess their monitoring equipment would inform them as such, but if they are doing upgrades and fine tuning the tower equipment that might be a good place to start. They should be aware of work on towers.

If you have a 5G phone you can leverage applications to use a different device to look at the cellular signaling. There are applications for Android phones that are pretty good. On Apple iPhones it is more limiting due to Apple’s security policies. If you have an iPhone you can put it in field test mode and look for cellular signal information. Dial *3001#12345#* then enter. You are in field test mode to see what the phone knows about the cellular signals. It takes focus to see what you want but it works.

It could be a problem with the tower or the router. Knowing if the tower is being worked on or the equipment has been acting up can help. If the tower logs and statistics do not reflect problems then maybe it is the router itself and not the 5G from the tower. Paying for 5G and only using 4G LTE is a poor workaround. 

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Thanks for the response, Tinker.  All good feedback.  

 

Below is an updated packet loss graph taken from my ethernet-attached monitoring system.  As noted in my previous post, the packet loss peaks are around 21% and observed when the 5g radio is up.  My router has been in the same place for months, and my home usage does not change throughout the day.  This really seems like a tower oversubscription issue considering it begins and ends around the same time daily.  Weekends show a bit different pattern, again suggesting a subscriber influenced issue.  

The tower is approximately 3.5 miles away.  “Good” throughput on 5G is in the 20mb up/20mb down, “bad” varies from 3ish up/down to near 0.  Good throughput when the 5G radio is offline is in the 35-50mb/s range, and very reliable.  

I’m not a big fan of the 5G Home Internet gateway.  It would be great if there was a bit more administrative access to it.

 

 

 

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Just curious. You state when the 5G is up but what band does it connect to and how is the signal strength and quality and signal to noise ratio? If you are only 3.5 miles away it would be interesting to know if it is linking to the (NR) band n41 (2.5 GHz) or the  n71 (600 MHz). If it is the mid tier 2.5 GHz at 3.5 miles out that might be part of the problem as the mid band is at the fringe at 3.5 miles. I bet the signal strength is pretty low if it chokes down like that. The 4G LTE running at 35-50mb/s range seems about right. When user load builds the QoS they use probably comes into play. I connect to an n71 5G signal 5.3 miles out and even in the evening with more load we still have pretty solid traffic flow. 

There seems to be a fundamental problem there. The 5G should out perform the 4G LTE for speed. When the 5G signal here falls the 4G LTE signal is a real dog. Sure it will connect but is slow as a snail’s pace. I took great pains to find the best window for the router and rotated the can to expose the antennas so the 5G secondary signal is the strongest one.

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Thanks T.

Right now.  

-99dbm on both Primary and Secondary.  Signal quality is pretty much consistent.  Definitely time of day related.  I have not moved the gateway device to test performance.  I don’t want to change too many things.

 

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Sorry for the delay in response. Apple mail decided the message was junk mail. :unamused: From the stats you have in your message it is pretty clear the SNR is very low. The SNR at 4-5 dB is on the low Medium part of the scale. That is going to impact performance. The RSRP in the -99 dBm also places signal strength in the Medium range. At least it is at the upper part of medium vs. the bottom. With those values and the distance to the tower it would be interesting to know bands the router locks onto, the  (NR) band n41 (2.5 GHz) or the  n71 (600 MHz). If you are in a more dense urban area with n41 on the 5G that would explain the low signal strength. The low SNR could be due to the distance and other factors such as buildings, trees, hills, RF noise from various other sources. Even the LTE signal has a low SNR so there are some external influences possibly. With the PCI values the tower location and knowledge of the topography in between can explain a good deal. You stated, “our usual 400-500mps 5G speeds” so I am going to speculate that it is a n41 signal source. Based upon the research i have done reception of n41 channels would be best within a 3 mile radius. Outside that it might be sketchy. The closer the tower the greater the speed and the noise would be possibly reduced. It all depends upon the other factors in the area. The shorter wave length of the n41 also impacts penetration so outside a 3 mile radius with a marginal signal is a challenge. Since the RSRP is still in the medium range an external antenna might make a reasonable difference. I looked into the waveform.com solutions when the 5G here was flakey. It is an investment as it is recommended to have lighting arrestors as well as the antenna so it pushes the $400 mark for even the lesser external antenna solution. For my solution  the 5G issues were related to work on the tower so I backed off the external antenna idea. I receive pretty solid signaling for both 4G and 5G with very good SNR and i have line of sight to the tower 5.3 miles away with the n71 NR signaling. It works pretty solid though the speeds with n71 do not compare to the n41 but well a solid stable solution is better than a flakey fast one in my opinion. 

If there are other towers in the area and T-Mobile can provide greater signal saturation from another tower to the location that is a direction to investigate. It does depend on your location. Here I have only one option as there are lots of pastures between us and denser population where the towers tend to be.

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Get rid of TMobile Home internet. Think about it, you can get the same internet service with a working phone for the same price at TMobile that works better than their Home Internet. If you have an older phone that doesn’t have 5G, it works even better than their 5G products, yet I don’t recommend that for Home Internet, so I’m just leaving TMobile all together. What they did here is corruption at its highest level and fraudulent. I’m waiting to jump on the class action, Months withoug a usable home internet during the day, they should start by being honest. They cannot provide customer service for a product that doesn’t work at all for normal working people. 

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