Question

Rural Service

  • 24 October 2021
  • 4 replies
  • 107 views

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SOS

I live in an area where the “coverage map” says I should have extended 5G service. The only internet I had available was satellite and it was WAY too expensive for the 7 days of regular usage we could get from them so I reached out to T-Mobile via phone to see if I could utilize the home internet they provided given my area was supposed to have coverage (I was on the sprint network at the time and hopeful that t-mobile’s coverage would be better). Boy was I wrong. It’s better than the satellite as it will connect to devices in a much farther distance and the connection of the gateway out of the box was fantastic and now, a few weeks later my download speeds are down to ~4mbps and the upload doesn’t even register. I can load streaming services but when i try to play anything it either doesn’t load or it buffers horrendously. My phone is on the T-Mobile network out here and it’s just as bad (1 bar of LTE consistently, 2 if your lucky). I called to speak to someone about it and the answer I received in return was that there was no plan for upgrading in the near future but that hopefully an upgrade would be rolling out soon to help boost my connection (my gateway receives 2 bars when it’s connected and loses connection at least 5 times a day). I own property and have offered up land near the paved road for a tower to be installed and the response I received back was that 5G service is excellent in my area so it wasn’t needed (obviously a lie). The customer service team that I speak to on the phone is incredibly nice and I appreciate their help. However this issue needs to be fixed ASAP. Not only do we not have cable and therefore rely on streaming to get our media, we also are avid gamers and have been unable to play since moving here 4 months ago. On top of all that, I’m also an online grad student and I need a stable internet connection for zoom meetings. 
Honestly, I’m just extremely disappointed with T-mobile’s performance out in my area given their promotion of 5G being available. It’s a better price for semi-usable internet so I won’t be switching back to satellite but it’s still upsetting and extremely frustrating to wait 3 minutes for a page to load (if it even does instead of giving an error that it’s timed out) or have my zoom meeting cut out or even drop when a car drives by.

Edit: There is no area in my house where I get better signal


4 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

My gateway receives 2 bars when it’s connected and loses connection at least 5 times a day.

 

Appears an external antenna system might be in your future.

 

https://www.waveform.com/a/b/guides/hotspots/t-mobile-5g-gateway

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

A number of people in your situation who are desperate for good Internet service have tried T-Mobile and found it wanting. It really isn’t intended to serve rural areas. The best thing you can do with it, assuming your past the 14-day return period is to get the router as high as possible, preferably in a window facing the nearest T-Mobile tower.

Just wait for StarLink to become available in your area.

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My gateway receives 2 bars when it’s connected and loses connection at least 5 times a day.

 

Appears an external antenna system might be in your future.

 

https://www.waveform.com/a/b/guides/hotspots/t-mobile-5g-gateway

 

Unfortunately since I get both my phone and internet through them the external antenna system is unavailable.

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A number of people in your situation who are desperate for good Internet service have tried T-Mobile and found it wanting. It really isn’t intended to serve rural areas. The best thing you can do with it, assuming your past the 14-day return period is to get the router as high as possible, preferably in a window facing the nearest T-Mobile tower.

Just wait for StarLink to become available in your area.

I have it nearly up to my ceiling next to a window and it’s still terrible. I filed a complaint through the BBB and finally got in contact with someone about this issue; he said the service I’m getting is the service they expect for my area and they have no intentions of expanding. I’m incredibly disappointed with my T-Mobile experience… the people I’ve spoken to for support since have been the ONLY redeeming quality for this company. I’ll be looking elsewhere for my cellular and internet. 

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