Signal Booster vs. LTE Cellspot

  • 7 October 2017
  • 49 replies
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49 replies

One thing that I'm surprised no one asked about is bandwidth usage. Sure, as long as you don't have a data cap on your ISP who cares how much data your neighbors are using off your CellSpot. But what ab One thing that I'm surprised no one asked about is bandwidth usage. Sure, as long as you don't have a data cap on your ISP who cares how much data your neighbors are using off your CellSpot. But what about sucking your bandwidth? If you have a 60 Mbps line, and you have one neighbor streaming Netflix off you, another one playing World of Warcraft, and a 3rd one doing god knows whay, how much bandwidth is left for you?! When you pay for internet service, you're not just paying for unlimited monthly data, you're paying for the rate at which you can download/upload that data. And I'm not running a data-charity service out of my apartment. I live in an apartment complex that has recently been struck by poor LTE rates. T-Mobile just sent me a CellSpot (I didn't know signal booster was an option). I've yet to set it up but I live in a densely packed apartment complex where hundreds of people could be in range of this thing at any even time, which means the max number of simultaneous connections (16 I believe?) is an easy target. I don't want to be sharing my bandwidth with strangers. Should I request the signal booster instead? I just want good call quality and WiFi calling doesn't seem to be doing the trick on my phone. I'd also like my LTE signal to not be dependent upon my cable internet to be up and functioning. out sucking your bandwidth? If you have a 60 Mbps line, and you have one neighbor streaming Netflix off you, another one playing World of Warcraft, and a 3rd one doing god knows whay, how much bandwidth is left for you?! When you pay for internet service, you're not just paying for unlimited monthly data, you're paying for the rate at which you can download/upload that data. And I'm not running a data-charity service out of my apartment.

I live in an apartment complex that has recently been struck by poor LTE rates. T-Mobile just sent me a CellSpot (I didn't know signal booster was an option). I've yet to set it up but I live in a densely packed apartment complex where hundreds of people could be in range of this thing at any even time, which means the max number of simultaneous connections (16 I believe?) is an easy target. I don't want to be sharing my bandwidth with strangers. Should I request the signal booster instead? I just want good call quality and WiFi calling doesn't seem to be doing the trick on my phone. I'd also like my LTE signal to not be dependent upon my cable internet to be up and functioning.

Also OP asked about health concerns and I was also wondering that. The device will be in my bedroom where I sleep. Any health concerns about having this so close by?

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There are no health concerns. As far as bandwidth usage that is something you can directly control with your router. You can set a dedicated amount to the cell spot making it so that you always have X amount to use for yourself. For example, when I used the cell spot(I no longer due because coverage is excellent at my house) I dedicated 50mb out of my 300mb connection to the cell spot. Hope that info helps a little bit. You could request a booster if you like but you need to have aleast a bar of LTE to repeat into the apartment itself.

I have now installed the cell-spot.

The positive is that I am getting extremely good signal - its too good to be true, and voice quality has improved significantly. However, based on 1 day of monitoring, ISP data usage by neighbours is a concern, but before I conclude anything, I will continue to monitor usage for a week or a month..

My feedback to Tmobile is to enhance the cellspot to allow customer's to restrict who can use it, or, automatically restrict it to only those in the family plan..

1. Based on 1 day of monitoring,  this cellspot is using a non-trivial amount of data. That data isn't coming of my cellphones (its most likely from my neighbour's cellpones) unless the cellspot is extremely chatty.  i was hoping my neighbours cellphones are configured to use wifi for data (but realize that they are not techies). I haven't reached any conclusion yet, and will continue to monitor for the next week or month.

2. I might try to move the cellspot to a different location inside my house which is further away from my neightbours, but i won't get GPS signal there, and hope the unit works without GPS.

3. I am guessing dragon1562's suggestion of bandwidth cap won't work because nobody wants their cellphone service to suddenly stop working.

Keep us posted on your data monitoring. I will be installing mine this week and I'll provide feedback on data usage in a dense apartment complex. I have a 100 Mbps line and I'd like to throttle this down to 10 Mbps or less, but I'm concerned that will get eaten up by my neighbors easily.

(Btw I wrote that previous post on my phone and the mobile text editor on this site is very clunky, had no idea I was copy/pasting the same sentence in a bunch of places! Can't edit it either.)

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Your cell service would not suddenly stop working. What I was talking about doing is some simple network management. It just ensures that you have a certain amount of bandwidth for other devices to use on the network. I think you would fine by just giving the cell spot 15mbps to play with.

I think maybe what he was getting at is that if you throttle it too low, a bunch of neighbors could sap it easily and make it worthless(ish). So there's probably a sweet spot you have to find where it's not clogging up your home network, but still enough bandwidth left on it to be usable. I'll see how mine performs with 5 - 10 Mbps.

jewboxcube has the right interpretation - afaik, throttling can have unexpected ramnifications such as dropped calls or punishing the legitimate user when the neighbour starts using high bandwidth, or your own youtube stream can fallback to SD instead of HD.

LTE in theory is fast, but in reality it is not consistently that fast, and maybe only deliver a in the lower Mbps. Plus, the cellspot is limited to 8 connections. Hence,  I wonder if it helps to set a high limit of 15Mbps.

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The answer is yes, a higher limit is always better. I personally give my cell spot a dedicated 50mb to use when I had it in use. That amount of speed was more than sufficient and I know it can handle more. Sorry for the misunderstanding with the original reply. It really just comes down to what you will do with the cell spot. Since I only cared about calls/texts I gave it a lower limit. If I was treating it like my router than I would raise it. I think in your case 15mb is overkill even with the neighbors.

I have NOT understood why single throttling bucket for cellspot will work, but I'll leave it to y'all to figure it out.

  1. If u lower the throttle rate, when neighbour starts streaming u won't get voice calls or your voice calls will get dropped.
  2. if u increase throttle rate, u will probably never hit throttling and then get towards the ISP cap.
  3. if u keep throttle rate, your voice calls will intermittently drop.

If router supported separate throttling for each call, then i think it might work

Anyways, best of luck - thanks for all the help.

I will post my data usage info after a few days!.

I received my cellspot last week and have spent over 3 days trying to activate it.  I have tried both connecting to my Linksys router and then my Spectrum cable modem.  I have tried to unblock the three ports on my cable modem, still did not help.  I tried to unblock the ports on my Linksys router and I'm not sure if they are unblocked because it says it did it but then they don't show as unblocked. 
I am taking this back to the local store and returning it and then calling to ask for a booster to be sent to try that.  I don't know if I can spend a lot more time explaining the entire procedure of what I have tried (according to the installation instructions) several times.  After I explain the entire situation, I get the reply, I can't help you but I will transfer you to someone who can.  One time I was transferred a third time back to customer service after tech support. 
Frustration is setting in.

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In order for a booster to work at your location you will need to already have T-mobile service. Do you have any forum of coverage in this location?

what do the status lights say?

If u can give "name, color, flashing or not" of all the lights on the router, someone might be able to help.

Green and Yellow have been flashing without ever activating or becoming a solid color.  I can't get past that point.  Ref. the booster, I do have Tmobile cell service nearby and outside my home but inside only one bar and dropping calls.

Userlevel 6
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Well than the booster should help in your case. As far as trouble shooting the cellspot have you seen this page 4G LTE CellSpot status lights & ports

Yes, and the same information is in the brochure I received with the cellspot. Never been able to get past a flashing green and a flashing yellow.  But thanks

which one is flashing green and which one is flashing yellow? There are names against each of them.  And, if anything else is solid green, yellow, it would be good to know.

I am in the process of installing my second Cellspot.  The first one evidently didn't get registered or activated before they sent it out.  Waste of 1 day.  Waited one week for this one and We are back to waiting for Internet to stop flashing yellow.  I have been through that calling Spectrum to open up 3 ports for this one.  They wouldn't do it the last time.  I am so frustrated with this whole run around.  NO service inside home  dropping calls.   have to stand by the signal booster which the  upstairs one only has one bar.  dropping calls outside.   Got told that the cell tower was under maintenance and was scheduled for completion on April 6th.  Also was told that if I lived a block over, I wouldn't be having these issues.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  If something doesn't get fixed by tomorrow.   BY BYE T-Mobile.   14 yrs of loyal service doesn't mean much anymore :-(

I wonder why does spectrum block ports. . afaik, that used to be the norm during windows 95-97,  and many ISPs have gotten out of the business of blocking ports. if possible move to a more an ISP that is up-to-date policies/technology..

Well crossing my fingers, spectrum just opened the 3 ports.  I restarted router and cellspot modem.  Patiently waiting for 2 he installation  time

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Signal Booster vs. LTE Cellspot

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I wonder why does spectrum block ports. . afaik, that used to be the norm during windows 95-97,  and many ISPs have gotten out of the business of blocking ports. if possible move to a more an ISP that is up-to-date policies/technology..

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Welllll.... guess what folks. I joined in this thread yesterday saying that I was going to be setting up my CellSpot later. Just got home after leaving it plugged in for 4 hours and unfortunately it looks like I am part of the green and yellow flashing club 😥

To be more specific, the Power light is flashing green and the Internet light is flashing yellow. None of the other lights are on.

Yippee. Now what?

The green top light for power is flashing and never turns solid.
The yellow light below the green is flashing and never turns yellow.
The GPS is connected and by the window, but that wouldn't keep the box from activating according to the instructions...

It's going back to the store today.

Userlevel 5

Hey folks! If you are getting a flashing power and internet light, we are going to need to take a closer look at your account to ensure everything is provisioned correctly. Please contact us when you have a moment so our tech teams can investigate this.

I stand corrected on my previous post. I woke up this morning to a text message saying my CellSpot has been activated and all the lights were green. Guess I spoke to soon. I know that doesn't help the other people commenting here with flashing lights, but for posterity anyone reading this should know that it may take more than 4 hours for it to activate.

It finally works.  I only had the power light flashing green and the internet flashing yellow.   I woke up in the middle of the night to find all lights green.  Yay!!!!  The difference this set up and last.  First they actually activated the box before it shipped.  I followed the enclosed instructions and per Louis in their tech support...called my ISP and had them open 3 ports. 123,500,4500. Finally got a tech from Spectrum that had done it before and amazingly not dropped the call...he got it done.   Another miracle is that my signal booster box upstairs is showing all bars lit up.  Yesterday only one was lit.    All I need to do is send back the first cellspot that didn't work.    What a hassle!!

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