Hotspot as internet substitute

Hi everyone, this summer I have been working as a technician for a company called Nellcom. One of the clients we served runs a apple farm and only has access to Verizon's DSL service. Do to him being at the end of were the wires are ran his speeds are both horrendous and unstable. The thing I wanted to confirm however as a solution for his situation was the viability of relying on the T-mobile network to get his equipment connected. T-mobile pulls about 50-75mb down over LTE on this location. He has about 6 devices that will need to be connected at all times. What I was hoping to do was just get him the T-mobile International plan which includes unlimited hotspot data and then find ether a router that has a sim slot or get a phone to share the connection. What are my options here any insight is appreciated.


Best answer by tmo_mike_c 23 July 2018, 15:47

Although I understand what you're recommending, I agree with @theartiszan that this isn't something I would recommend as a solution. Even in our Internet Services | T-Mobile’s Broadband Internet Access Services section T-Mobile doesn't recommend using hotspot as a means to replace broadband internet.

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Unless he uses less than about 20gb per month, I wouldn't suggest it. After a certain amount of usage the data will get de prioritized and might be pretty slow. Cellular connections are not really a viable replacement for home internet services.

His usage is around 50-100Gb a month. I know that 50Gb is the soft cap and that even with depriotization it will be more reliable than the speed he gets now. He currently gets at max 2mb down which is just unusable. However, when at the location it was 0.5mb. I ended up using my hotspot data to download the drivers for a printer we were installing for him on location. I will say though that with better internet he will surely use more data as we have Castle Backup setup on his server and it regularly makes back ups of files that are added. There really is not any options at all for him. Comcast refuses to extend their service and Verizon DSL is the only game in town for him besides some satellite options. He is right beside a tower though so cell service is incredible at this location with T-mobile and some other carriers. I wanted to pitch T-mobile first ofcourse since they have the best plan to suit his needs and are my preferred company to recommend.

Also would this device work with T-mobile LB1120 | LTE Modems | Mobile Broadband | Home | NETGEAR

I guess just my main point is to say that any cellular service is not meant to be a replacement for land line services. It is worth a try, but he would really need to keep an eye on the usage. I haven't had it happen to me, but I have heard stories that of people that had high usage monthly (over 100gb) over a few months, they did have their service cancelled. Worth a try if it is that bad for him. Worst case scenario, he can reactivate the dsl service.

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If he uses less than 20 GB/month, it's ok but if you are looking for more than that as a reliable constant 24-7-multiple-device-connection, I wouldn't go with the T-Mobile hotspot.  The MI (mobile internet only plans) only go to 22 GB / month (at $90/monthly, without autopay), and if you over-use the wifi connection on a standard T-Mobile ONE plan with unlimited hotspot ($75 without autopay for one line, which is, I'm assuming, where you're going since you mentioned having a soft limit of 50 GB), you may be subject to disconnection due to overuse. 

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That 50Gb can be changed anytime fyi.

Need to replace Clear Internet service. Several vendors have promised but not delivered. I have a remote sensor that needs a static IP, so I can login to monitor. Hotspots have been suggested, do not have a static IP. Ideas? Thanks

Thanks the information so far everyone. So far based off everything I read going with T-mobile as a solution still seems pretty viable. If it is a matter of keeping his data use in check we could just try and stay below the 100Gb a month which is rare. I should mention that having a static IP address is not needed thankfully for this business and that out of the big 4 carriers T-mobile is the most generous with their data alotment. It would be awesome if one of the reps could swing by and clarify what the actual limit is in terms of unlimited hotspot the ($95) variant that has unlimited LTE. Depritoization is basically a non issue for this location and even if it were to kick in the speed would be significantly better than what he gets with Verizon DSL.

Its just one of those situations where he is lucky to have a phone and no one will come out to give him the internet he needs to run his company effectively.

Well you can used it as long as you don't abuse it and use 2TB of data on the phone you should be fine using it as home Internet I used it as home internet and have used 120GB of data no issues only issue is de prioritization that can get ugly but that's just my area that has heavy congestion once I go to a area with good capacity I am fine with fast speeds and all

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Looks like you've got some helpful info from our users here. Just wanted to make sure you got all your questions answered. Thanks for posting.

Yes for the most part mike but if possible can you confirm if this kind of usage is considered ok. I didn't see anything that would say otherwise in Terms of Service but I want to be sure before investing in this kind of setup for our client.

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Although I understand what you're recommending, I agree with @theartiszan that this isn't something I would recommend as a solution. Even in our Internet Services | T-Mobile’s Broadband Internet Access Services section T-Mobile doesn't recommend using hotspot as a means to replace broadband internet.

Thank you mike for linking that article. I see that it specify heavy users (over 50Gb) on a regular basis may be contacted. With this being the case I think that if anything were to happen it would be a back up connection for him. I will look into alternative solutions then. I appreciate everyone's help. Maybe one day wireless tech will get to the point where it is a more viable option for carriers to implement a broadband like solution. If you know anyone to talk to about such a idea I think it could work out well. You could even limit the user to say 15mb to ensure they don't have the ability to just destroy the network and impose a data cap in the ball park of 150Gb-250Gb which would meet many users needs of today.

Anywho just want to say thanks again this form is always a really helpful place to come in verifying the details for certain things.

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No problem! I'm glad it's been helpful for you. (You've been super helpful too by the way).

We appreciate the idea broadband as well. We're always looking for innovative ways to help give our customer's what they want. Thanks, and I'll pass along the feedback!

I was amazed to find this thread, since we've been using a T-Mobile hotspot as our primary internet connection for about nine months now. What amazes me is a T-Mobile employee recommending a T-Mobile hotspot not be used to replace a broadband connection, because this was the exact selling point used by a local T-Mobile salesman to convince us to switch to T-Mobile. Every single month, after we've burned through that first 50GB of data (about a week!), our connection is throttled so badly that we can no longer stream a thing except on the tiniest screens. Thanks Mike! You've given me a good reason, and some information to use when I cancel T-Mobile and switch to another carrier.