Question

POOR CONNECTION 5g home internet

  • 21 July 2021
  • 6 replies
  • 1319 views

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Since I have had my 5g internet, I get no more then 2 bars. I have moved it all over the house and here and there might get three, but once I set it down back to two bars. Tmobile told me I would have service in my area, but I want faster then dsl lol. Any help would be great. Thanks


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I live in Utah. There is a cell transmission tower less than .3 miles from my home.  Since I cancel my cable interservice and switch to T-Mobile internet service, I also can only receive two bars of signal strength.  I have tried T-Mobile tech support with no improvement of signal strength.  I can’t look at a streaming premium internet service without the tv signal buffering.  

I have the same problem from the day I bought internet tower approx 7-8 months ago. I tried everything including contacting technical support numerous times.  T-Mobile don't care after you bought internet tower. Poor customer service.

When I changed my internet service to T Mobil I was promised that I would have great service. I even got calls from the corporate office thanking me for changing to T Mobile and telling me they were in the process of upgrading the towers in my area. Since then everything has went quiet. I have received no more calls and my service has not improved. At peak times I struggle to get 2 GBS of service. I have internet TV and the shows will start buffering to the point that they are hard to watch. I want to stay with T Mobile but if things don't improve this may be a deal breaker. When are things going to improve? I want results, not empty promises!!!

I never get more than 2 bars and have consistency issues indoors. I average around 15-20 down sometimes I’ll get 45-50 for a short time.  
 

I experimented with placing my Nokia 5g trash can router outside on top of a 12 foot ladder. I still only have 2 bars but my speed jumped to 125-180 down. Time to build a permanent structure and figure out how to keep it cool and out of the weather.

Im in Ocala Florida 

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Obtaining a strong, clean signal in the home can be a challenge in some locations. The materials your home is made of can influence the penetration of the cellular signal as well. A stucco home which has the expanded steel mesh embedded will shield the RF out so that presents a challenge. Putting the gateway up higher toward the center of the home may help. If the roofing is metal well that will also shield the signal. With the gateways having the antennas internal most of the time it is necessary to position the gateway close to a window. Some windows may have coatings which, there again, can impact the penetration of the cellular signals as well. Some customers with weak signals have had success with adding external antenna solutions. WaveForm.com has both 2x2 MIMO and 4X4 MIMO and various other antenna solutions that can be added and they provide significant assistance with support and clear useful guides. It is still technical as the gateways do not have external antenna connections available on the outside of the shell. Much care has to be taken to make connections with the cables to the antennas as the connectors are miniature and very fragile. The cost of adding an external antenna can run from $250-$500 depending upon the requirements. Not an inexpensive solution but one possible solution. Not all locations will receive stellar results even using external antennas but others really do improve. 

Before looking too far into external antennas it is best to start by locating the tower that the gateway receives its signal from. With the cellular metrics which include the PCI, physical cell identifier, it is possible to locate the tower using CellMapper.net or another tower location resource. CellMapper.net is one of the most useful free online sources to use. 

I have to run but will post a few more notes that may help.

Userlevel 7
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RE: Improving signal etc…

Regarding cellmapper.net use. Once the page renders the left hand pane has the dropdown to use to select the “Provider” i.e. T-Mobile 310260 and once this is done then there is the Network which will default to 4G - LTE or you can filter for 5G NR. CellMapper.net is roughly 80-85% complete as it relies upon subscribers to upload data to the database. The 4G LTE information is very extensive. Some 5G may not be seen on the map but if you find the 4G LTE chances are the same tower may have 5G NR cell delivery on it as well. Knowing where the possible towers are and in what direction with respect to the gateway location does help with the effort to get a better signal. 

The position of the gateway can be experimented with. In one of Nater Tater’s YouTube videos he reported that when he put the Arcadyan gateway in the attic on its side that it actually provided a better signal reception. I found with the Nokia gateway I have it is best oriented with the front right half of the gateway facing the direction of the tower. Just by rotating the gateway a few degrees or in some cases 180 degrees to impact the signal wash over the 5G antenna can help with 3-4 dBm improvement. That is not a great deal but when you have very little sometimes that can push from 2 bars to 3 bars or 3 bars to 4 bars in effect. It can also help the SNR, signal to noise ratio which is a good thing. A clean signal will help improve performance. It all takes time and experimentation and yes patience. Results can vary but in some locations which are not easily covered by the cellular signals all the trial and error with gateway positioning still may not provide much help. 

If you have an iPhone you can put it into Field Test Mode by dialing *3001#12345#* and get cellular metrics reporting. When the dashboard appears use the menu bar icon at the top right to expand to the menu drop downs to dig deeper. You can see the RAT > Serving Cell Info and then see the band info and the CellID and the PCI for the tower plus a bit more info such as the RSRP which is the radio signal receive power level. It is safe to poke around and look at the information as it is just reporting. When you are done just flip the window away and it will close. 

With an Android phone you can load a network scanner application from the play store and get cellular and wireless information that is also useful. Of course all this is really more for geeks but it is still good for the inquisitive to play with.

Of course T-Mobile support should be able to provide some information about the tower your gateway connects to but you need to get with a support engineer and have one that really knows their stuff. Ask the questions you want answers for. If you don’t ask you will for sure not get the answer. I have had mixed results with support as I have had good ones and not so good. Don’t expect quick results in peak periods. Start early in the morning not at mid morning and it is often better with less wait time.