Solved

slow streming


Badge

I only stream to watch tv (Netflix, appleTV, HBOmax etc.). Will my internet slow once I stream so much?

icon

Best answer by iTinkeralot 28 August 2022, 11:00

View original

16 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

If the gateway is a cylinder it is the Nokia. If it is a squarish box with rounded corners with the LED display on the front it is the Arcadyan gateway. Another tool to use for speed testing is fast.com that Netflix runs. There are other speed testing tools but those are the two I tend to use most. I like to run a test or two with both and compare results. Another handy tool, if you have an iPhone, is to put the iPhone into “Field Test Mode”. Easy to do just dial *3001#12345#* and you can see what the phone reports for cellular metrics for the cellular connection it has. 

Another great source of information is from CellMapper.net which will allow you to find 4G and 5G towers around you and determine which your cellular connection is with. There is the PCI value which is the physical cell identifier and with that you can confirm the cell ID and location of the tower your home internet gateway is using for 4G and 5G. There are filters that you can use to look at only 4G or only 5G which help to reduce the clutter. CellMapper.net is roughly 80-85% complete for information as the database is updated by people using the site. With the CellMapper Android application installed findings can be uploaded to the server to be in the database. This is really more of a geek thing but still handy to know when trying to get a gateway positioned to improve communication. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Your experience with the content delivery could be dependent upon the level of the service your plan is and load upon the uplink equipment. Also the quality of the cellular signals will be a factor. If your gateway receives at least 3-4 bars and the signals are clean service delivery should be good. There are some locations where users seem to experience delivery problems but not all users have service problems. Only time will tell if you are fortunate to be in a good place for service. If the cell tower equipment and upstream routers are all provisioned to carry the subscriber load it could be just fine. If there are periods of the day/night when bandwidth is more limited just keep in mind you can plan ahead and download some content during off peak hours for offline viewing. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

I would guess your gateway connects to a cell with the n41 frequency given the speeds. If you have an iPhone you with 5G you could put it into Field Test Mode and confirm what it reports for cellular connection. It is probable that both would connect to the same tower. Here both my gateway and my iPhone 12 Pro do connect to the same cell. With the PCI values you could probably still confirm tower location through CellMapper.net. I don’t know if the mobile application provides the cellular metrics for the Arcadyan gateway or not. I thought I had seen some posts where users had gathered the info with the mobile app. I seldom use it as it does not play nice on my iPhone. It tends to crash or just refuse to do anything but try to set up the gateway. 

According to the information on the app store version 2.9 of the T-Mobile HI application is supposed to provide more information on the cellular metrics. That appears to have posted 2 weeks ago to the Apple app store. It only gets 2.8 stars so I don’t expect great things. Maybe if all the settings are default it might work. If you have turned off the wireless radios on the gateway it for sure will not work.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

The bars on the LED display are a rather generic report for the aggregation of the 4G and 5g signals more or less. They do reflect cellular reception but do not provide any real detail. Yes they do present a representation of speed as more bars are better. T-Mobile uses the 4G LTE band for the uploads and the 5G NR for download. It is probably a little of both but the heavy lifting for downloads is on the 5G. If you are getting 250 Mbps down your gateway is probably on the n41 millimeter frequency for download. If you have the Arcadyan gateway you would need to use the mobile application to look closer and it may provide the cellular metrics for that appliance. I have the Nokia gateway and use the web browser as I don’t care for using the mobile application. The Arcadyan now only allows management via the mobile application. You may be able to see some things with the web application still but I am not sure as I don’t have one to be sure. 

Here is a chart that explains the metrics. If the gateway shows 3-4 bars probably the RSRP is around -80 dBm or possibly a little less say -87 dBm. If the RSRQ and SINR is good to excellent then performance will be pretty solid. Signal noise due to a poor quality signal will result in poor performance as packet damage results in retransmissions so more delay to session completion. You can get more definition on RSRP, RSRQ and SINR with a web search if you really want to understand it better. 

On average I receive around 125-130 Mbps pretty consistent and have uploads 45-60 Mbps here on the n71 frequency and I am 5.3 miles from the tower, line of sight. Pretty much true line of sight without obstructions so my signal is very clean. With -85 dBm on RSRP, signal receive, I am getting 157 Mbps down and 71.7 Mbps upload with speed test. The 4G only shows 3 bars with -96 dBm RSRP. The signal to noise ratio is good to excellent for both so performance is pretty solid. I use the Nokia gateway alone and have no additional router or extenders and we have a 3300 sq ft home. A couple of weak spots here and there but still coverage is good.

You can play with the gateway for orientation and placement and may be able to get another bar or better signal quality. Signal quality, i.e. clean signal with less noise does improve performance. Speed is not the only part of the equation. A clean signal without packet loss and delay is a good thing.

Do notice the negative values. Just how it works. The SINR, SNR will be a greater positive value whereas the RSRP and RSRQ a lower numerical negative value is better. My 4G LTE signal may be in the low medium range but it is clean with 22 dBm SNR so performance is good as the clean signal makes up for the loss of receive power. 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Keep in mind you can add the local mesh router but everything still depends upon the cellular uplink capability for speed and performance. Local transfers, client to client, on the local LAN can still be much more impressive than the link to the internet. If the traffic on the backend routers for the cell is heavy then the uplink will suffer some. There are lots of factors that come into play. From time to time network congestion does cause issues and it can be a challenge to determine if the problem is local or with the uplink. If there is no internet connection check the cellular signal first and don’t assume a local gateway issue. If the problem is upstream a reboot of the gateway will probably not help much. There are cases where the gateway just needs to be rebooted to make it play nice. I have to reboot the Nokia around 45 days or so from time to time.

If you run speed testing with speedtest.net find an optimal server and set it as the preferred one to test off of. If you just allow the application to pick an “optimal” server that is not always the real best solution. Testing of a single source provides a better reference. From here I always use the one out of Charlotte NC and even though the application may try to tell me Nashville is optimal that is not always the case.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Well, in some ways that is good. You can get a network scanner application from the play store and there are a number of them that run on Android phones and they are quite good. The Apple phones don’t allow the network scanners access so that is why I suggested Field Test Mode. I know CellMapper.net has an application that runs on Android. It is commonly used to find the cellular tower information and also with an account on cellmapper.net data from the findings can be uploaded to the database. That should provide metrics, assuming you have a 5G cell phone. If you only use a 4G LTE cell phone then it would only help for 4G information. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

According to the play store the 2.9 version of the T-Mobile internet application provides cellular metrics and detailed information. I can’t say for sure as it does not play nice on my phone. I can be connected to the wireless but it does not seem to want to recognize that. Once in a while it does work but more often than not it tends to refuse to do much more than try to set up what has already been done.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

If you use your phone like I do just copy the info into notes and it is handy when you have your phone. Easy to share that way too. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

So with the Nokia gateway you have the cellular metrics available to you via the web browser interface and you can easily manage it. That is great. Those Sprint towers are probably upgraded and serving both subscribers. 

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

So with the Nokia gateway you have the cellular metrics available to you via the web browser interface and you can easily manage it. That is great. Those Sprint towers are probably upgraded and serving both subscribers. 

Sorry, correction . . . I have the  Arcadyan gateway.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

I’ve only been using T-Mobile internet for a short time and have streamed a couple of hours every day, mostly Amazon Prime.  There’s never been any slowdown of streaming, no buffering, although a few times the picture hasn’t looked super sharp for a few seconds.  My big problem was when I first started using my Sony Smart TV after connecting to the T-Mobile tower.  Nothing could be streamed anywhere.  I soon figured, though, it had to be the Wi-Fi setting, so went to the settings on the Sony.  I discovered I had to pick my network name and type in my network password, even though it was the same network name and password I had previously been using.  That happened the first two times I tried to stream, but has not happened since. Hopefully, those who have been streaming longer with T-Mobile will add comments here.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

iTinkeralot, do the bars represent speed or just reception?  I always have three bars and my download speed is always around 250.  If I had four or five bars, would my speed be greater?  Not that I need more speed.  Before I got my eero 6+, it was usually around 100.  After the eero, it went up to 180, and then higher with T-Mobile.  The upload speed now is what amazes me, though.  It was always around 5 before T-Mobile, but now it’s like 20!

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

I would guess your gateway connects to a cell with the n41 frequency given the speeds. If you have an iPhone you with 5G you could put it into Field Test Mode and confirm what it reports for cellular connection. It is probable that both would connect to the same tower. Here both my gateway and my iPhone 12 Pro do connect to the same cell. With the PCI values you could probably still confirm tower location through CellMapper.net. I don’t know if the mobile application provides the cellular metrics for the Arcadyan gateway or not. I thought I had seen some posts where users had gathered the info with the mobile app. I seldom use it as it does not play nice on my iPhone. It tends to crash or just refuse to do anything but try to set up the gateway. 

According to the information on the app store version 2.9 of the T-Mobile HI application is supposed to provide more information on the cellular metrics. That appears to have posted 2 weeks ago to the Apple app store. It only gets 2.8 stars so I don’t expect great things. Maybe if all the settings are default it might work. If you have turned off the wireless radios on the gateway it for sure will not work.

Sorry, no iPhone ever. I have never seen the point of spending so much for a cell phone.  I buy one Moto or other when one is on sale at Amazon or Motorola. 

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

iTinkeralot, I am going to have to print out all the helpful info you provide here.  Thanks for the reboot tip, too.  My gateway just says it’s a T-Mobile 5G Gateway.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Mine is the cylinder. Fast.com showed my speed at 240 just now, while Ookla showed it as 306.  This morning the eero app showed it as 362! There are no T-Mobile towers in my city, but there are two Sprint towers.  

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Well, in some ways that is good. You can get a network scanner application from the play store and there are a number of them that run on Android phones and they are quite good. The Apple phones don’t allow the network scanners access so that is why I suggested Field Test Mode. I know CellMapper.net has an application that runs on Android. It is commonly used to find the cellular tower information and also with an account on cellmapper.net data from the findings can be uploaded to the database. That should provide metrics, assuming you have a 5G cell phone. If you only use a 4G LTE cell phone then it would only help for 4G information. 

My phone is only 4G.  My next one will be 5G. I’m waiting for a good sale price. :)

Reply