phone port, signal boost, remote access, usage by device

  • 6 March 2021
  • 5 replies


(1)I purchased a Home Internet. Plugged telephone line into telephone port but no dialtone. Called that line and message says it is a limited line. How can I get a dialtone?

(2) at my farm I get 3 bars & great speeds 30mbps down, but 1,300 ft away at our lake cabin, I get 1 to 2 bars and speeds of 1.5 to 6 down. I get good speed with MoFi with external antenna. Is there an external antenna or signal booster available for NOK 5G21?

(3) Is there any way to remotely access/control this device?

(4) Is there a way to view and control usage by device? I can see # of devices connected but have no way to see them individually

(5) device is a   Is there a way to change that to to match my ethernet attached routers throughout my farm?


Sorry for so many unrelated questions. I have AT&T at my business with 12 lines and home internet service. My spouse depends on this for her job with NYSEG. She has to keep folks alive that will die if their electric service goes out. Folks on O2, disabled and elderly; so having, knowing and controlling a very reliable connection could be a matter of life & death during an electric outage


Best answer by LabRat 10 March 2021, 00:28

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5 replies

Userlevel 1

To the best of my knowledge (the answers are based on my experience with the gray cylindrical gateway, the “trash can”):

  1. The phone jack is disabled. They may provide phone service in the future, and while it would be great if it used the SIM in the device and it was included in the existing plan, it would almost certainly be an additional service fee.
  2. There is no native/supported/official external antenna or signal booster available. If you check FB or Reddit you will find that there are people connecting external antennas. However, it requires opening up the device.
  3. Not natively. (You could set up remote access to a device on your home network and then connect to the gateway from that device.)
  4. Yes, though limited. In the T-Mobile Home Internet app go to the Devices tab at the bottom of the screen. Tap > at the right of any device and you get additional information and can set up a schedule for the device’s access. You can’t get at this in the web interface. And, unfortunately you can’t do anything more at this point — you can’t change the name, establish QOS rules, etc.
  5. No, not at this time.


(1) I believe I read somewhere, either reddit or here, that the phone line port is not meant to be active. It is not an advertised feature of their ‘rural broadband’ Home Internet, so I can’t complain. I too was hopeful I’d get a voice-only line that I could use w/ my home’s existing telephony wiring. I would be willing to pay a small fee extra per month to get even minute-limited VoIP out of this Gray trash can.


(2) There are kits I’ve seen recommended on reddit. But, in that same thread it was disclosed that the advertised kit is not 100% proper for the home gateway. IIRC, the advertised kit was a 2x2 antenna kit, the 5G gateway uses 4x4, supposedly. There *are* antenna connectors inside the unit, but I’d bet T-mo doesn’t like its forum users disclosing the details. I’ve ran across the FCC docs for the unit for the precise bands it uses and power it dissipates using a search engine. (you really are supposed to be taking post-gain calculated power radiated into consideration when buying a high-gain antenna; FCC regs and all that jazz)

The T-mo ISP subreddit should get you going in the right direction, but re-research anything that’s ‘recommended’ to decrease the likelihood of post-purchase headaches or regrets.

FYI, I do not know how large the radius around the registered address’ GPS coordinates that T-Mobile concerns themselves with. There *is* a GPS antenna in the Home Gateway, and there’s always cellular triangulation. They do “reserve the right” to disconnect use in multiple, mobile, or unregistered locations. Not saying you’re doing a No-No; I’d argue you’re not. But more a heads up as to potential overzealous ‘subscriber management’


(3) Over the internet? No, not as far as I know, at least as a simple setup and go deal. (You theoretically could set up a DDNS or remote access to your LAN over the internet some other way to get to the HTTP config interface, over the web) But if you can, or ever will be able to, I guarantee it will be through T-Mobile’s Home Internet mobile application.


(4-5) Currently, as far as I know, no. I do not see any detailed device listings even in the HTTP web interface for the gateway. Some research indicates that the EXTREMELY LIMITED configuration options of the gateway are a well known issue to T-Mobile. Again, should this already be present, or is to be supported, it will probably be through their T-Mobile Home Internet mobile application.

(I will not defend their purposeful and incidental limitations, but I do understand that this isn’t an issue for many expected customers, and is in part cause by a hasteful development and deployment schedule)

(4-5 cont.) It’s also a HUGE spur in the backside of many legitimate (ie, not pushing their limits w/ the Service Agreement) Residential users that happen to actually know what they’re doing with home networking. The best work-around solution I’ve seen thus far (and I’ve implemented myself) is to disable all the WiFi SSIDs manually and ‘disable wifi’ then hook up a decent WiFi router to one of the 2 LAN ports on the gateway. Gateway: LAN1 or LAN2 -> Router: WAN. People do have problems with double NATing, but you might be able to minimize the issue by getting the Gateway to be DHCP server, but the Router merely a configurable access point+switch.


This is not the internet connection for your needs, as stated. Should you ‘make it work’ using a bonding/load-sharing/fail-over service like Speedify; that reliability is on you entirely. I don’t believe most of these VPN datashaping services (that are consumer-facing) offer any uptime guarantees either, and waive any liabilities related in their user agreements. They just advertise ‘reliability’ as a feature that you can configure and enhance with multiple ISPs. Do not expect the level of reliability you need from T-Mobile until they offer a Business-Tier with guaranteed uptimes.



Thank you both for your timely, accurate & detailed answers. Not what I would have like to hear, but very informative. I am keeping my old AT& Paramont at my house as that does include a working phone line of landline quaility and has been dependable for 10 years and unlimited servie is grandfathered in.

But, I am pleased with this T-Mobile device and price, so I am using this at our lake cabin with speeds of 3-7 g, so very useable.

The T-Mobile goes between Band 5 and Band 12 both with about the same speed going between two towers both 8 miles away straight line. One at Choconut, PA and one a Friendsville, PA.

While T-Mobile shows 5G at 8 miles out, I doubt that is possible.

You are right, I could just attach my Netgear Nighthawk router and remote in easy enough and I could disable the WiFi and use the Nighthawk for that.

Again, thank you. Any additional assistance will be appreciated.


Userlevel 2

“The T-Mobile goes between Band 5 and Band 12 both with about the same speed going between two towers both 8 miles away straight line. One at Choconut, PA and one a Friendsville, PA”.

Actually, the nearest t-Mobile tower to you is 4.5 miles away (straight line), located just west of Friendsville. It is tower #139207 and has bands 12 (700 Mhz) and 71 (600 Mhz). However, this tower is no longer listed on





Thank you.