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5G home internet keeps dropping



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@jtheiss I like your suggestion that we document our experiences on one thread in as detailed a way as possible. One idea would be for users using additional airflow to record the mean time from reboot to failure both with and without such airflow. I'm convinced its a heat issue, but know from experience that trying to get action on this through bottom tier tech support in Mexico is futile. Nothing speaks louder than hard data, and the possibility of exposure through a major publication. I intend to make this case to T-Mob management directly, and it will be very helpful to have a user group compiling this data to point to. Thank you for your efforts.

Clearly not a tower issue.  After several calls to Asian tech support, using the direct number they gave me because the 611 IVR doesn’t understand “home internet support”, when the latest agent continued questioning my ability to wire an effective home network, he finally got the picture when I wired my laptop directly to the trash can and received the same dismal Speedtest that the iPad confirmed wirelessly, then disconnecting iPhone 7 from WiFi and Speedtest next to the trash can yielding >150Mbps down.  My wired Bravia with severely pixelated and buffering YouTube TV was clearly not a sufficient indicator.

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@jtheiss - I’m curious to know if both the gateways behaved identically. That is, were you running the cooling fan on both of them? Same exact failure mode, etc? Even if not, there are enough variables in any design that if the problem is with a voltage regulator, for example, many other components “could” be affected differently due to varying component sensitivities to low voltage conditions. This could lead to a difference in failure modes in something as complex as a combination gateway / wireless router. The fact that a Tech Support person offered the fan solution and was surprised that it didn’t fix the problem is significant. I’ve worked in companies where products have known and fixable design issues and management decided to ignore the issue after a cost / benefit analysis. And of course we’ve all heard the horror stories about the auto industry. Thanks for your input.

FJ

Sorry, I missed this message and never responded.  So, the first and second gateways behaved similarly, yes.  I didn’t think about cooling when I had the first Gateway, so it went back without testing for airflow.  Both would work great (speeds reaching 215 down and 35 up) until they didn’t, failing in the same way.  Only after the second one ran for 6 days w/o problems and then faced the exact same issue as the first did it occur to me that heat might be a problem, as the odds of being sent two gateways with the exact same problem were pretty slim unless it was a design issue that all units of that type would be plagued with.

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@jtheiss Thank you for the reply. I’ve started a new thread to collect information from users like us who have experienced degradation after some period of operation. If you’d care to participate it can be found here:

 

I also have the black trashcan and can confirm ~daily disconnects. 

Overheat may be an issue, but I can report other factors that don’t seem to be heat related:

(FYI, I used 192.168.12.1 to identify issues below)

After a disconnect, warm reboots do not solve the issue. Disconnecting power for ~3 minutes (even though trashcan has “partial” battery backup, this seems sufficient) allows it to reconnect cellular. However, it does not reconnect its secondary connection unless I first turn off my netgear WiFi router (it’s about 10 feet away) while I reboot the trashcan. 

(Also, I do not see a way to disable WiFi completely on the trashcan. Best I can do is reset WiFi channels to “auto” and reduce their power transmission to 12%. )

On power up, trashcan then reconnects primary and secondary connections (channels b2 and n41 respectively) and speeds and ping are excellent (~180 down, ~25 up, 15 ping). Approx 2-3 bars, mostly 2 bars. Then I can restart the netgear and all is good.
 

Then, wait ~1 day, disconnect occurs, rinse and repeat.

(One reason I don’t think my issues are heat related is because I put the trashcan on the roof (shaded by a cardboard box) and it performed well on a 90* day with no disconnects and 50gb of download). 

If you can't get any help from T-Mobile's support staff, take your complaint to the FCC (see my signature for a link to their complaint department). If the FCC accepts it, they'll forward your complaint to T-Mobile who has to respond to your issues. I'm still in the middle of my own complaint without much change in T-Mobile's behavior, but it did give me a chance to speak with someone from T-Mobile's Office of the President. Still waiting to see the results of my pestering, but if they think they're going to blow me off that easy, they're underestimating the stubbornness of a pissed off consumer, haha. 

Love this idea of the FCC!

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This is more of a poor device design then anything else. Others have noted the same thing that T-Mobile needs to design a better router with better hardware and more efficient software. This is a poor design of a router that T-Mobile rushed out the door. The FCC should hear about this company and how they refuse to address the problems they constantly keep having.

Update: I can now confirm that if I leave the trashcan off for ~5 minutes, the netgear does not need to be powered off during trashcan’s startup. 

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Reading through this thread and having the same issue with Trashcan disconnecting daily there is only one resolution that worked for me…. Cancel service and stay as far away from T-Mobile as far as I can.  Terrible service, robotic responses and sales agents that flat out lie.  Toss this experience as lesson learned. T-Mobile sucks!

 

If a customer has to work this hard to stay connected, then the company should pay them, not the other way around.

I was so relieved (and bummed) to do a Google search and find this forum and verify that I'm not the only one having the gateway drop issue after a few days. Yes, turning off power for about 2 minutes and then turning it back on and waiting another 5 to 10 minutes before it fully connects again is not an acceptable "solution".

i permanently work from home now and use this for connecting to a VPN and I'm very successful. The only time this thing seems to drop is within 3 to 4 days and it's usually between 8pm to 9pm (EST) at night. I'm on day 7 of my 14-day "trial" before it officially gets billed to my account, and I'm thinking very strongly this isn't going to make it past the 8th day (tomorrow) as I may be returning it and have to bite my tongue and continue with crappy Spectrum. I strongly agree with @freckle527 that us consumers should not have to go through this song and dance to STAY connected. On the other hand my 5G T-Mobile service has been impeccable for my OnePlus Nord 200 that is basically a "free" phone (bill credits). I think they were so eager to roll this out to America they didn't seriously do enough thorough QA before rolling out this "trash can". At least that's what I'm noticing.

4 days with the T-Mobile 5G Home Internet router, with about 5 hours uptime. Initial setup went smooth added about 5 devices to test.  I moved the device to another location and fine for a couple hour and everything disconnected .

What i noticed was that the battery was 100% charged when it disconnected, after reboot the device came back on says was connected, but was not.   Reboot several times same issue (connected but not). No w-fi broadcast or direct router to PC connection working.

Overnight left router on discharged to 85%. Next afternoon. Turn off for 1 hour, reboot same issue.  and once plugged in to power, the battery did not show a charging status.

Discharged the battery down to 77%, powered back up and got a message as in the initial setup. The battery status showed charging and was able to connect with direct connection to PC. My setup rename was still there and was able to connect my other device to WiFi.

Once the battery charge status hit 100% everything disconnected once again.

 

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I’m having a problem with T-Mobile 5g home internet that has not been resolved despite many calls in to the help line.  I’ve had T-Mobile 5g home internet for almost a month now, and the short version is that every so often the gateway drops the network.  When I say “drop the network,” I mean to say it throws everything off of the Wifi that it’s broadcasting, and anything plugged in via ethernet says “no network found.  (To elaborate this point, cell phones switch to cellular data because wifi is gone for them, and computers hardwired into the gateway think that they are no longer plugged into anything.)  Turning off the gateway and turning it back on resolves the issue, but doesn’t prevent it from happening again.  Whatever is happening doesn’t seem to affect our connection speed/strength when the gateway IS providing signal to devices in the home, but due to the nature of our work, we need a connection that won’t just disconnect randomly.  

 

To address this, T-mobile has so far run a bunch of tests on their end, and seem to have ruled out a tower issue (which makes sense, as the tower shouldn’t have anything to do with whether or not the devices on the gateway’s wifi or ethernet connection get thrown off of the network.)  They’ve sent me a replacement gateway, which is experiencing the exact same problem (3 times in the last 36 hours, in fact).   I’ve noticed that the device gets pretty warm, so I set up a computer case fan as a cooler to force air through the device, thinking that perhaps it’s an issue with the device overheating.  However, while the gateway is notably cooler than it was without the fan, it has not prevented the issue from persisting.  The last thing that I can think to do (and my most recent attempt at resolving this issue) is to plug a router into the gateway via ethernet, and allow the router to handle the wifi/connections w/ devices in the house, and to disable wifi from the gateway all together.  Maybe the gateway is simply too overburdened with connections and gets somehow overwhelmed and shuts down, and having the router handle the “heavy lifting” of taking care of all of the individual device connections will resolve it?  I don’t have a great deal of faith that this will fix the issue (as the gateway also kicks ethernet things off of the network when it experiences this problem), but I’m running out of options/ideas of what to do in order to just get a stable, constant internet service.   

 

Is anybody else having this issue, has anybody resolved this issue, or does anybody have any advice or feedback regarding how I might get this resolved so that I can get back to having stable internet?

I am having the same issue and I'm glad I am not alone. 

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I commonly have 15 devices reported as connected to this GW and have had around 23-24 reported when I was setting up additional clients. I can't say I have seen significant heat for sure. This one is hardware version 3TG00739AAAA. I don’t know if maybe it is a hardware revision that might be responsible for the behavior maybe. I have never seen this one report an alarm for over temp. I even put it out on the back porch in 88 degree weather for hours and it ran warmer but did not report any issue with over heating. It was warmer than what I have seen it but it continued to run. I see no evidence of a fan but there are two pretty good sized heat sinks on the components. Too bad the HTML software does not have any reporting for temperature. The software seems to be missing many necessary troubleshooting features currently.

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Right now the RSRP on the n71 is reported at -79 dBm, which is about the best I have seen it. The T-Mobile engineers upgraded the tower on Monday and since then mine has been working well.  With a little change in the exposure of the 5G antenna it really made a nice difference here. I found the router spin a little at a time to be beneficial. I still would like to have an external MIMO antenna.

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Have the LTE router and it crashes all the time.  When I’m away there’s no way to reset it. Sometimes calling T-Mobile they can remotely reset it. Often it doesn’t work. 
 

T-Mobile recommended the 5G Trashcan as a fix. Bummed to see others still having the exact same problem with a completely different model. 
 

We’ll see…

Also, no remote reboot is a bummer  

 

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Well, you need to translate the problem statement a little and keep in mind, if you continue to do the same thing, you can expect the same results. The newer T-Mobile 5G Nokia built gateway router is yes a totally different appliance but it does have both 4G LTE & 5G capability plus the WIFI is 802.11ax so it also can support the newer 6G wireless clients on the LAN. If you go out and buy a flashy new laptop with a 6G wifi card you will be happy you jumped to the future solution. A “crash” and a uplink to tower signal loss are not the same animal. Some people have reported issues with freezes or other behaviors but nothing is perfect but the newer Nokia 5G router/gateway may just be a major improvement for you. The problems I experienced in July were related to the operation of gear on the tower NOT the gateway router itself. If your location is within 2-3 miles from a T-Mobile tower with the mid band 5G signal you would see a significant increase in bandwidth over LTE and much lower latency for the communication back and forth. The faster 5G mid band n41 channel can provide significant punch in the 1-2.5 mile radius from the tower and a HUGE jump from LTE. The lower broader delivery on the n71 channel will extend out and cover a much larger area and still provide 150-200 Mbs down even 5 miles away from the tower with the 5G and have lower latency. With both the 4G LTE primary signal and the 5G on the secondary signal you have a distinct advantage. You would have nothing to loose going with the newer router. My take is it would be a win. I was given the option to just go with the LTE can or join the BETA program and wait three weeks for the newer 5G router. I opted for the 5G with the knowledge that the latency is lower and the bandwidth capability is much higher. The future is with 5G and 6G NOT 4G LTE. If you are given the chance to upgrade to the newer router my advice is to go for it! Think of it as a sleek version of R2D2 vs a trashcan. Put life in perspective and lets look on the sunny side of life. You will not know until you try it. You might find the issues you were having just go away. I try to keep a sunny disposition with the T-Mobile support engineers as they may not all be perfect but they are there trying to help out. They do appreciate consideration and respond. I try to treat people how I want to be treated as a rule. It pretty much gets positive results every time.

Having remote reboot capability can be possible, but let’s be real. I worked in IT for 22 years and we built in extra terminal servers and IP connected APC power strips with alternate access portals to ALWAYS have such capability. If the connection to the gateway appliance only has the single tower connection we can't expect miracles. This is after all a home gateway appliance and well the price is right. Is it perfect? No but it is decent for what it is. Mine ran from early January through June without much of any burps. Sure July was a bit frustrating but now with the tower upgrade and equipment having attention it is back to stable and has even better bandwidth results. T-Mobile is pushing out the 5G rapidly and anything that is new will have its challenges as it matures. My only option here was Hughes Net with a 2 year contract and $20 more per month after the second month. That was a pretty poor option. I had nothing to loose with the T-Mobile solution and no contract! I get 10X the upload and download speeds I was getting from the provider in California for less cost. It is a win!

Same problem here. I’ve had the new gateway less than 24 hours and it has dropped all WiFi devices twice in the middle of meetings. No noticeable overheating on mine - it seems like more of a software issue.

The support “technician” didn’t acknowledge anything I said about this being a common issue with other users and suggested that everything was fine if my devices are connected after rebooting the gateway. They said they would check back in three days to see if the issue continues, and only then would they send another device. Rebooting is NOT “troubleshooting” as they suggested and it is definitely not a solution. Troubleshooting would be looking at error logs to see exactly WHY all devices are getting disconnected but, unfortunately, this device doesn’t give access to anything like that through the internal admin page.

Speeds are impressive *when it works* but dropping connections like this is unacceptable.

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I spent considerable time monitoring mine and researching. Do get into the web interface from a local client and record the internet connection information for the primary and secondary channels and record the channels recorded for the primary and secondary connections to the tower. The T-Mobile support engineers should be able to provide the coordinates for the tower where your connection is established. If you know how far you are from the tower(s) and what channels are used etc… that helps to have a better idea of what to expect. 

I would guess the primary will connect to LTE and the secondary channel should connect to 5G. Hopefully you have good signal strength and signal quality at least. It could be they are just doing work on the tower equipment and you have just encountered the disruptions due to that. I found the web interface to the router from a client can be impacted by my Bit Defender agent from time to time as the connection from the client to the router is not encrypted. That makes it appear as if there is no connection to the router even with a refresh so that was driving me nuts. I ran speed tests and also ran concurrent pings to several of the DNS servers to monitor how the connection was holding. You can rotate the router a bit and influence the signal strength. I was able to improve the 5G signal several dBm just by turning the router to position it so the 5G antennas were receiving the most favorable exposure to the tower. You have to know where the tower is to really get the router in the best location. Also make sure you dont have metal screens on the window in the way of the signal from the tower. 

I cannot say for sure about the relationship to heat as I cannot confirm any heat related problem with mine. I did put a fan under it today since I had a small spare laptop cooler. Some people appear to have had heat related problems and appear to have had positive results adding a fan for cooling. I put mine out in 88 degree temp last Sunday to test it for such but it ran fine for hours. It was a bit warmer than usual when I brought it in but it never dropped link while outside the door. I suspect the problems I have seen are more related to engineers working on the tower rather than this router. Good luck with it.

I have had my T M internet for 2 weeks and have only had maybe 2 full days of service fair  been on the phone daily lots of excuses but no fix, speeds are all over the board and as stated here drop outs  especially after 7pm that’s when TM Ted’s say that it’s the busiest, The last Tech turned in a ticket? And will here back on the issue, we’ll “NOT” fed up cancelling Monday. Very Unreliable.

add my name to the list. i’ve only had the device for a week, but it has dropped several times and rebooting does fix it. i am not using the WI-FI and my device runs about 110F…..on hold with support as i am typing

Yep after many hours of the same answers from the Techs mainly that the tower has problems I canceled and only had this useless paper weight for 8 days I am being charged a full month and didn’t get it till Aug 4 th. Oh well done with T Mobile. I wanted it to work but I guess they don’t ?
good luck

I’ve now been on hold for 2 hours waiting on technical support. I think I many have made a terrible mistake ordering this service. It has dropped 4 times today alone

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As I recall for customers that do want to return the router by the end of the initial trial period you would not be charged if it does not work out. If you do run into problems with the billing just keep calling back in and stay after it. Early on I had a couple of charges that they did not get removed properly and they kept charging/billing me even though it was supposed to be resolved. Don’t just give up keep after it as they will resolve improper billing if you are persistent. When you get with a support person that is solid and knowledgable they can and will resolve disputes over billing. 

If you call in for a tech call I recommend using the call back option in the menu if you do not get to a support engineer right away. It has always been more acceptable to me to not waste my time just sitting on a call listening to elevator music. I found calling early in the morning was more successful than later in the day or evening. Avoid what would be peak hours and it does help to not have to wait. Have your questions ready and give them as many data points as you can. Get the trouble ticket number before you hand up as well. Work the system.

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My 5G gateway does not have any wifi enabled but uses my home network router and access points.  About the same time every day, it refuses to connect any of the clients to the internet.  When I connect to the web interface (192.168.12.1) the status shows the internet and the gateway with a green check.  I can reboot it and get my internet connection back but it is a pain.  I was on a call with a support lady when I rebooted and it came back up but she said she would refer it to one of the product specialists.   We will see ...

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I suggest a couple of actions to see if you can get a better idea of what is going on. Open a command window and run continuous pings to say the quad9 DNS server 9.9.9.9 or Cloudflare at 1.1.1.1 and let the pings run. When you halt the pings you can see the success/failure rate for the given period of time, average latency etc.. When you go into the HTML interface of the T-Mobile router look beyond the overview and review the current cellular statistics. Use the refresh switch or refresh the page itself or use the F5 option key to refresh the statistics. Do so several times to confirm if the send and receive counters both increment. It would be interesting to know if the  router is  sending but nothing is  received or vice versa. Since you have your wireless device connected, via ethernet to the router be sure to look at the RX/TX counters for the ethernet connection between the two on both sides of the link. Do both agree on RX/TX values and if there are errors recorded or not. If you have multiple clients run pings back and forth from one to another on the local LAN and have each also ping the router gateway IP address. Evaluate the viability of the local and remote traffic and see if there is possibly some communication issue between your local wireless solution and the T-Mobile router. It might be interesting to see if there are search results for others that use the same wireless devices and the T-Mobile router. The T-Mobile router is 802.11ax capable so using a client direct to the router WLAN with a separate SSID might be good to also test with parallel to your current solution. If a wireless client connection direct to the T-Mobile router continues to work while a wireless client upon your personal wireless device does not that would be a good data point. There might be some operational compatibility problem between your wireless device and the T-Mobile gateway. It might be as simple as a software upgrade of the personal wireless device or the T-Mobile router. I can only speculate but if you get more data points it should help clarify where the failure takes place. Record your data periodically and see if things change over time. Taking a screen clip of the overview, status and statistics reporting at each interval and making a document for review will help profile the operation to know what is taking place over time. The more you keep an eye on it the more you will “know”. It is not what we think that matters, it is what we know that will make a difference. I also suggest to record the statistics recorded before you reboot the T-Mobile router. FYI, from time to time, ok more frequently than I like, I have seen the T-Mobile router HTML server refuse show squat. It will render the page contents at times but NOT any vital statistics. It can report no connection, no statics counters etc… I believe if you allow the webpage to stand idle for a bit then the data goes stale and you get squat. In that case just close the tab and open a new browser tab/window to the 192.168.12.1 address again. You can always tell when it is in that state by opening a terminal window and sending pings to one of the DNS servers. If your pings are successful but the HTML page rendering reports not connected well the basic cached information seems to render but nothing else so it can be deceiving. Good luck!

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