MIMO antenna for T-Mobile 5G home internet gateway?

  • 30 August 2021
  • 32 replies
  • 46063 views

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Hi all - 
New T-Mobile home internet user, here.  I set up my 5G internet gateway (silver cylinder) this weekend and it works just fine.  I have Frontier DSL and Charter Spectrum now and T-Mobile is currently way outperforming Frontier DSL and outperforming Charter Spectrum almost always.

I found this article about installing a MIMO antenna using the internal gateway ports. 

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

Has anyone tried it?  I would be interested in experiences and results.  Thanks in advance!


32 replies

Userlevel 2

I recently rolled the dice on waveforms external antenna. My parents chose T-Mobile for home internet because of the awesome results I have had at my home. They also lacked any other real options. I would strongly consider moving before I ever considered settling for CenturyLink or HughesNet and this is what they faced. Luckily T-Mobile was available so they signed up. Gateway arrives, I set it up, and run the first speed test. 21mbps up and 4mbps down. This was super disappointing considering I consistently see speeds over 250mbps down and 35-40mbps up at my home from T-Mobile. They have a tower 0.83 miles west of their location so I expected much more. The issue they face is that their property is densely wooded including a high volume of large trees that completely surround the home. So, I took a gamble on an external panel 4x4 mimo. Super simple to connect to gateway. I used a gps to determine the exact azimuth to the nearest tower. Ran some test speed test with the antenna on the same side as that tower and pointed in its direction. I also tried it in various other locations on all sides of the house running test from each. Ultimately the location on the same side and pointed at nearest tower showed best results so I mounted it up. Not difficult to do at all. The only issue I could see being a problem would be if the best location ended up being on the front center of the home. While it isn’t this massive sore thumb on the house it is noticeable. Luckily our spot ended up being the back corner of the house. With install complete I went back to run a series of speed tests. Using the external antenna saved us from the 21mbps down we started with. Now, my parents consistently get speeds of 350mbps down during the peak use times and sometimes as high as 500mbps down during off hours (1:00 am). Honestly, I was absolutely floored. I never expected gains like that. Now that I have seen the possibilities I don’t see why everyone would get one. If you are going to rely on you primary internet service arriving via 4g or 5g why wouldn’t you do everything to grab every extra bit of signal strength or speed or reliability you can. For me and my family it is totally worth every penny.

If anyone has any additional questions about it feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help. 

Some have seen improvements, and some have not.. I think it depends on how close you are to the towers, the direction you point the antennas, quality of the antennas and how high you mount them if the tower is at a higher altitude then you. It’s more of a try it and see, but remember if you break anything during this it could cost you $370 to replace that gateway according to my contract with T-Mobile Home Internet.
And those U.FL Male connectors on the built in antennas can be fragile so be careful when removing the ones connected, and connecting the pigtail ones.
Also, be sure to remove the sim card after powering down the until or it can drop inside the can and might be hard to get it out.

Userlevel 5
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Hi all - 
New T-Mobile home internet user, here.  I set up my 5G internet gateway (silver cylinder) this weekend and it works just fine.  I have Frontier DSL and Charter Spectrum now and T-Mobile is currently way outperforming Frontier DSL and outperforming Charter Spectrum almost always.

I found this article about installing a MIMO antenna using the internal gateway ports. 

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

Has anyone tried it?  I would be interested in experiences and results.  Thanks in advance!

I have it worth every penny if you are not getting good signal as is.

 

If you use the search I am sure you will find my countless post on it.

Hi Ijh,

Yep, those are the antennas, I used four of those. Was expensive, well worth it and I have not lost the secondary signal once.
 

  1. First setup was two flat panels from Waveform for a 4X4 mimo. Would work for a day and then I would lose the secondary signal. This setup was also picking up a T-mobile tower that is not 5G, and thus dropping the secondary connection. Great download speed, upload speed was horrible at .30mbps
  2. Second setup was a Yagi combined with a flat panel for a 4X4 mimo. Would work for about three days and then drop the secondary signal. Great download speed, upload speed was horrible at .30mbps
  3. Third try was two Bolton Long Ranger Parabolic antennas & and it still dropped the secondary signal.
  4. Fourth try was 4 Bolton Long Ranger Parabolic antennas,it has held the secondary signal. It switches from band B2 to band B66 with 5G band N71. Download speed of 155mbps, upload speed of 15mbps.

So I added another panel antenna and now averaging almost 300 down. So now I have the Poynting xpol and an Amazon purchased antenna. 
 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CRN6HYY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_6E4PJ5XGZSAZ6P2F70SB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Im very happy with setup. separate the panel antenna about 5 ft from each other. 

Poynting XPOL-2-5G Antenna (A-XPOL-0002-V3-01) 

from NorthWest Towers.

I used:

https://store.nwtowers.com/products/poynting-xpol-2-5g-us-antenna-a-xpol-0002-v3-11

 

Or:

https://smile.amazon.com/Bolton-Technical-Directional-X-Polarised-Connector/dp/B08SFP9XMZ/ref=sr_1_11?crid=37JTM2FCBQRAI&keywords=bolton+technical+long+range+antenna&qid=1643567874&sprefix=bolton%2Caps%2C166&sr=8-11

Have to get n41 & n71

3.01 Miles from 5G newly updated T-Mobile tower. Some trees but not dense.

Cylinder mounted outdoors and only using one set of antenna ports for above antenna.

Sometimes speeds are into the 400 Up range but normally 250 Down 10-20 Up. Before antenna

half of the above speed.

I am very Happy with External Antenna Route. Use this video to add pigtails:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXSpbP8NuWw&t=773s

 

Or

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiO-xqFbVho&t=7s

I recently rolled the dice on waveforms external antenna. My parents chose T-Mobile for home internet because of the awesome results I have had at my home. They also lacked any other real options. I would strongly consider moving before I ever considered settling for CenturyLink or HughesNet and this is what they faced. Luckily T-Mobile was available so they signed up. Gateway arrives, I set it up, and run the first speed test. 21mbps up and 4mbps down. This was super disappointing considering I consistently see speeds over 250mbps down and 35-40mbps up at my home from T-Mobile. They have a tower 0.83 miles west of their location so I expected much more. The issue they face is that their property is densely wooded including a high volume of large trees that completely surround the home. So, I took a gamble on an external panel 4x4 mimo. Super simple to connect to gateway. I used a gps to determine the exact azimuth to the nearest tower. Ran some test speed test with the antenna on the same side as that tower and pointed in its direction. I also tried it in various other locations on all sides of the house running test from each. Ultimately the location on the same side and pointed at nearest tower showed best results so I mounted it up. Not difficult to do at all. The only issue I could see being a problem would be if the best location ended up being on the front center of the home. While it isn’t this massive sore thumb on the house it is noticeable. Luckily our spot ended up being the back corner of the house. With install complete I went back to run a series of speed tests. Using the external antenna saved us from the 21mbps down we started with. Now, my parents consistently get speeds of 350mbps down during the peak use times and sometimes as high as 500mbps down during off hours (1:00 am). Honestly, I was absolutely floored. I never expected gains like that. Now that I have seen the possibilities I don’t see why everyone would get one. If you are going to rely on you primary internet service arriving via 4g or 5g why wouldn’t you do everything to grab every extra bit of signal strength or speed or reliability you can. For me and my family it is totally worth every penny.

If anyone has any additional questions about it feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help. 

Did you have to dissect the router to install or is this plug and play? If so what’s the connector type to plug and play 

Anyone knows what are these ports on the new Tmobile Arcadyan KVD21 Gateway? M, M1, M2, D, 4, and 5 ports.  Which ports give the best signal and speed? 

m & d are the 4g pairs, m1 & m2 are the 5g pairs

Anyone knows what are these ports on the new Tmobile Arcadyan KVD21 Gateway? M, M1, M2, D, 4, and 5 ports.  Which ports give the best signal and speed? 

I had no luck with the waveform yagi or mimo antennas. The Nokia works best if you use all four ports. The only antenna that worked for me was the Bolton Long ranger antenna.

 

I am six miles from the tower with really dense forest.

I had no luck with the waveform yagi or mimo antennas. The Nokia works best if you use all four ports. The only antenna that worked for me was the Bolton Long ranger antenna.

 

I am six miles from the tower with really dense forest.

I’m curious about this setup. Are you saying that you have used four of these parabolic antennas?

Hi Ijh,

Yep, those are the antennas, I used four of those. Was expensive, well worth it and I have not lost the secondary signal once.
 

  1. First setup was two flat panels from Waveform for a 4X4 mimo. Would work for a day and then I would lose the secondary signal. This setup was also picking up a T-mobile tower that is not 5G, and thus dropping the secondary connection. Great download speed, upload speed was horrible at .30mbps
  2. Second setup was a Yagi combined with a flat panel for a 4X4 mimo. Would work for about three days and then drop the secondary signal. Great download speed, upload speed was horrible at .30mbps
  3. Third try was two Bolton Long Ranger Parabolic antennas & and it still dropped the secondary signal.
  4. Fourth try was 4 Bolton Long Ranger Parabolic antennas,it has held the secondary signal. It switches from band B2 to band B66 with 5G band N71. Download speed of 155mbps, upload speed of 15mbps.

Wow, that’s quite a setup. It does sound like it was worth it in the end, for your location.

 

How do you have these antennas mounted? At multiple points along an edge of your house? Vertically along a tower of some kind?

 

Edit: Also, were you able to return the Waveform antennas once you found they wouldn’t work well for you?

I mounted them vertically cross polarized, on two separate poles 420 feet away from my house, 20 feet above the ground,on the top of a hill away from my home. The antennas are still below the tree line. I would have to have a 60 ft tower if I were to go above the tree line. The 5G Nokia gateway is also at the antenna site inside a NEMA box that is cooled with fans. The box is from Hana Wireless. My home has a metal roof, so there is now way I would have been able to receive a consistent signal. Right now I just have a ethernet cable laying on the ground.

Every location is different. If your more than 2.50 miles from the tower and have a dense forest like mine, then I would suggest the parabolic antennas. A 4X4 yagi antenna setup might work for you. With the Bolton antennas I can connect to any T-mobile internet 5G tower within 12.5 miles or more. If one tower goes down for repair I can turn the antennas to 1 of 4 towers in my area. Parabolic antennas are much more versatile.

 

They will take them back. I kept them though.

I mounted them vertically cross polarized, on two separate poles 420 feet away from my house, 20 feet above the ground,on the top of a hill away from my home. The antennas are still below the tree line. I would have to have a 60 ft tower if I were to go above the tree line. The 5G Nokia gateway is also at the antenna site inside a NEMA box that is cooled with fans. The box is from Hana Wireless. My home has a metal roof, so there is now way I would have been able to receive a consistent signal. Right now I just have a ethernet cable laying on the ground.

Every location is different. If your more than 2.50 miles from the tower and have a dense forest like mine, then I would suggest the parabolic antennas. A 4X4 yagi antenna setup might work for you. With the Bolton antennas I can connect to any T-mobile internet 5G tower within 12.5 miles or more. If one tower goes down for repair I can turn the antennas to 1 of 4 towers in my area. Parabolic antennas are much more versatile.

 

They will take them back. I kept them though.

 

Cool, thanks for the information. I may be trying to put together something like this; I’m not 100% sure yet, though.

Userlevel 3
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I’m curious too if this works. 

Userlevel 1
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It’s important to note that these antennas are *large* and generally meant for outdoor mounting like a satellite dish you’d use with DirectTV. The antenna is only a couple of feet long but certainly not meant to be put on your shelf next to the gateway.

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I recently rolled the dice on waveforms external antenna. My parents chose T-Mobile for home internet because of the awesome results I have had at my home. They also lacked any other real options. I would strongly consider moving before I ever considered settling for CenturyLink or HughesNet and this is what they faced. Luckily T-Mobile was available so they signed up. Gateway arrives, I set it up, and run the first speed test. 21mbps up and 4mbps down. This was super disappointing considering I consistently see speeds over 250mbps down and 35-40mbps up at my home from T-Mobile. They have a tower 0.83 miles west of their location so I expected much more. The issue they face is that their property is densely wooded including a high volume of large trees that completely surround the home. So, I took a gamble on an external panel 4x4 mimo. Super simple to connect to gateway. I used a gps to determine the exact azimuth to the nearest tower. Ran some test speed test with the antenna on the same side as that tower and pointed in its direction. I also tried it in various other locations on all sides of the house running test from each. Ultimately the location on the same side and pointed at nearest tower showed best results so I mounted it up. Not difficult to do at all. The only issue I could see being a problem would be if the best location ended up being on the front center of the home. While it isn’t this massive sore thumb on the house it is noticeable. Luckily our spot ended up being the back corner of the house. With install complete I went back to run a series of speed tests. Using the external antenna saved us from the 21mbps down we started with. Now, my parents consistently get speeds of 350mbps down during the peak use times and sometimes as high as 500mbps down during off hours (1:00 am). Honestly, I was absolutely floored. I never expected gains like that. Now that I have seen the possibilities I don’t see why everyone would get one. If you are going to rely on you primary internet service arriving via 4g or 5g why wouldn’t you do everything to grab every extra bit of signal strength or speed or reliability you can. For me and my family it is totally worth every penny.

If anyone has any additional questions about it feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help. 

Erik:

 

Which external panel 4x4 mimo did you use?
Thank you,
Chris

I mounted them vertically cross polarized, on two separate poles 420 feet away from my house, 20 feet above the ground,on the top of a hill away from my home. The antennas are still below the tree line. I would have to have a 60 ft tower if I were to go above the tree line. The 5G Nokia gateway is also at the antenna site inside a NEMA box that is cooled with fans. The box is from Hana Wireless. My home has a metal roof, so there is now way I would have been able to receive a consistent signal. Right now I just have a ethernet cable laying on the ground.

Every location is different. If your more than 2.50 miles from the tower and have a dense forest like mine, then I would suggest the parabolic antennas. A 4X4 yagi antenna setup might work for you. With the Bolton antennas I can connect to any T-mobile internet 5G tower within 12.5 miles or more. If one tower goes down for repair I can turn the antennas to 1 of 4 towers in my area. Parabolic antennas are much more versatile.

 

They will take them back. I kept them though.

Hey hopefully you see this from so long ago. I am trying to do a setup like your running the atenna around 400 feet from my home. After you run the ethernet cable do you have another router or distribution center in your home? If you could give more info on your setup that would be great. Thank you 

Does the antenna utilize coax from the roof to the interior of the home? I have an old satellite mounted rooftop that I’m thinking of removing and using one of these antennas so that I can use my old network rack in my basement where the old modem used to sit. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

I recently rolled the dice on waveforms external antenna. My parents chose T-Mobile for home internet because of the awesome results I have had at my home. They also lacked any other real options. I would strongly consider moving before I ever considered settling for CenturyLink or HughesNet and this is what they faced. Luckily T-Mobile was available so they signed up. Gateway arrives, I set it up, and run the first speed test. 21mbps up and 4mbps down. This was super disappointing considering I consistently see speeds over 250mbps down and 35-40mbps up at my home from T-Mobile. They have a tower 0.83 miles west of their location so I expected much more. The issue they face is that their property is densely wooded including a high volume of large trees that completely surround the home. So, I took a gamble on an external panel 4x4 mimo. Super simple to connect to gateway. I used a gps to determine the exact azimuth to the nearest tower. Ran some test speed test with the antenna on the same side as that tower and pointed in its direction. I also tried it in various other locations on all sides of the house running test from each. Ultimately the location on the same side and pointed at nearest tower showed best results so I mounted it up. Not difficult to do at all. The only issue I could see being a problem would be if the best location ended up being on the front center of the home. While it isn’t this massive sore thumb on the house it is noticeable. Luckily our spot ended up being the back corner of the house. With install complete I went back to run a series of speed tests. Using the external antenna saved us from the 21mbps down we started with. Now, my parents consistently get speeds of 350mbps down during the peak use times and sometimes as high as 500mbps down during off hours (1:00 am). Honestly, I was absolutely floored. I never expected gains like that. Now that I have seen the possibilities I don’t see why everyone would get one. If you are going to rely on you primary internet service arriving via 4g or 5g why wouldn’t you do everything to grab every extra bit of signal strength or speed or reliability you can. For me and my family it is totally worth every penny.

If anyone has any additional questions about it feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help. 

It sounds like my experience. It look old like mounted outside provides better performance than mounting in the attic. 

Userlevel 5
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Anyone knows what are these ports on the new Tmobile Arcadyan KVD21 Gateway? M, M1, M2, D, 4, and 5 ports.  Which ports give the best signal and speed? 

Any response? I connected to M1 and M per some posts directions. Not sure if it’s the best.  

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

Anyone knows what are these ports on the new Tmobile Arcadyan KVD21 Gateway? M, M1, M2, D, 4, and 5 ports.  Which ports give the best signal and speed? 

m & d are the 4g pairs, m1 & m2 are the 5g pairs

Thanks. I’ll try the M1 and M2. Currently using M and M1. 

Userlevel 7
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Extreme care needs to be taken when making the U.Fl connections. If one of those is damaged all is not lost but could cost between $75-125 to have someone replace the damaged connectors. Getting it repaired is much cheaper than what T-Mobile would charge for a damaged unit. 

Per Waveform’s guide for antenna connections:

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

  • If you have a 2x2 MIMO Antenna Kit, disconnect the cables for ports M and D, but leave ports M1 and M2 connected internally.

Be very careful here. U.Fl connectors can be quite fragile. Make sure you're very gentle to avoid breaking the connector.

If you were to get the waveform kit they also have engineers that are very helpful and will provide answers to questions. They are very good at what they do.

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Anyone install one of these panels inside? I get 3 out of 5 bars where I want to place it and 4 of 5 for LTE and get 350-450Mbps regularly, but if I go outside or move to improve, I get 450-500 regularly and sometimes see 750+. Wondering if I kept it where it should be and just mounted and used one of these antennas inside on the wall if it would make a big enough difference, being a higher gain antenna than whats in the unit. 

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