5G Nokia Bridge Mode

  • 17 January 2021
  • 11 replies
  • 3702 views

T-Mobile, please add bridge mode. So much money will be left on the table from all the returns. I get that this device is meant for grandma first. The target audience that probably doesn’t have a separate router, let alone know what one is.

But don’t lock out a good portion of your customer base that already has a network in place. It’s 2021. If there’s a year for privacy and having control over your home network, it’s now. This re-branded Nokia Beacon/Fastmile device is fully capable of doing all the advanced features; so thus far, this is an intentional locking out, not a hardware issue.

If you want to hide behind the hardware support argument, at least consider for the time being to let the advanced users enable it with the understanding that it’s an experimental feature and no support is available for it? That way grandma will still be surfing the Pottery Barn site with default gateway settings, while elsewhere Bitcoin Timmy can sleep in peace knowing he no longer has to run into double NAT oddities.

You’re in a great place to disrupt not only the crummy monopolies in the middle of nowhere, but also in big cities. But please treat it seriously, and not like a glorified giant trashcan hotspot.


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11 replies

Userlevel 1

+1!  Many times people will have existing routing & mesh WiFi networks already at home where bridge mode is a must!
 

In many cases all of the leading vendors such as Eero, Nest, Google Wifi and even Asus prefer Bridge Mode from their ISP for their WiFi Mesh solutions.
 

That’s certainly the case for Ubiquiti, which is what I’m using for a lot more than just routing. (Intrusion Prevention, Deep packet Inspection, multiple VNETs, Network isolation, etc..)

Userlevel 1

T-Mobile, please add bridge mode. So much money will be left on the table from all the returns. I get that this device is meant for grandma first. The target audience that probably doesn’t have a separate router, let alone know what one is.

But don’t lock out a good portion of your customer base that already has a network in place. It’s 2021. If there’s a year for privacy and having control over your home network, it’s now. This re-branded Nokia Beacon/Fastmile device is fully capable of doing all the advanced features; so thus far, this is an intentional locking out, not a hardware issue.

If you want to hide behind the hardware support argument, at least consider for the time being to let the advanced users enable it with the understanding that it’s an experimental feature and no support is available for it? That way grandma will still be surfing the Pottery Barn site with default gateway settings, while elsewhere Bitcoin Timmy can sleep in peace knowing he no longer has to run into double NAT oddities.

You’re in a great place to disrupt not only the crummy monopolies in the middle of nowhere, but also in big cities. But please treat it seriously, and not like a glorified giant trashcan hotspot.

Couldn’t agree more.  Very disappointing that there’s no bridge mode on this thing. We’re well past the era where mildly sophisticated customers want to be bound to ISP provided modem-router combinations. I’ll note a few other points:

  1. This router is very limited in its capability, such as firewall rules, QoS options, choice of subnets, DHCP and static IPs.  None of this exists, as far as I can see on this basic router functionality.
  2. No DDNS for connection to outside services like Plex. This is impossible where your existing router is Double-NAT’d behind this other router.
  3. Some of us want to configure fail-over or load balancing to a second ISP (landline)--for routers that support this.  This is becoming increasingly important for people that depend on their Internet connection for work.  I don’t have an Internet connection, then I can’t work. I’ll note that the Nokia router, on which this is apparently based, has a WAN port for backup fail-over operation. They’ve removed that here.
  4. I just bought a WiFi 6e router using the 6GHz band. Forcing me to use the T-Mobile router for this functionality limits me, although I suppose I could buy a high-end router just for the 6GHz band as an access point.  But, that’s like buying a sports care and only using the radio. It’s silly.

I guess the fortunate thing here is that T-Mobile is no contract. So, I could give them a chance to make this change and then ditch them at any time. Hopefully, this is missing only because they wanted to rush it out. As a router it is extremely limited. We shouldn’t have to choose between using T-Mobile as an ISP and using our own fully functional router.

Userlevel 1

The lack of Bridge Mode is what is keeping me from moving over to T-Mobile Home Internet as well. I have $1000+ invested in a mesh network, not gonna tear it all down because T-Mobile engineers feel like crippling hardware to provide easier support.

Count me in for this request. I have been using my own routers for years with FIOS, Spectrum and etc. 

Userlevel 1

I want to say DITTO to everything on this thread. Come’on T-Mobile, don’t be those other guys.

+1 on this one. T-Mobile, I am yet another Ubiquiti user that doesn’t want a dumb Internet gateway. Please enable bridge mode on these devices.

What happens when you all attempt to use the TM/Nokia router as a “dumb” antenna and attach your preferred router or mesh network? I ask because, after a few starts and stops, I now use my ASUS RT-AC88U and connect to its 5 ghz and 2.4 ghz networks with no issues to date. It took a couple of resets to get Chromecast v2 to connect to this, but third time was a charm.

I am not as network savvy as most of you, so I am genuinely interested in understanding the issue.

Just got my 5G21 Gateway.  It has awesome speed, yet I absolutely require Port Forwarding and other standard router capabilities in order to enable external communication with my IoT environment at home.  As described in this and other posts, the 5G21 configuration UI simply does not provide the functionality I require.  I’d even be fine with a bridge mode where the device acted only as a 5G/Modem, so I could use my existing WiFi/Router and mesh network.  Alas, at this point, I have no choice but to return the device and discontinue the service.

FWIW, often times corporations will allow customers to beta test new software or firmware before release.  I’d be interested even in being a beta tester for a 5G21 configuration UI which provided the more detailed configuration capabilities I require.

I’ll endeavor to keep up with these posts, and at the point I find the 5G21 has conventional router configuration capabilities, I may try to sign-up again.

Userlevel 1
Badge

bridge mode is pointless… get a vpn. solved.

There is nothing in any of these comments that justifies it, nor port forwarding…  One day, even your coax/fiber providers are going to switch to CGNAT, and you’ll be in the same place you are today.  be smart, secure your stuff, and get a vpn. simple. done.

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Unfortunately, a VPN is not the solution to everything.  A VPN can actually break some apps on a properly functioning internet service/modem/router config, depending on how that VPN is set up.

The problem is that developers are still using much older approaches to their netcode.  We are WAY behind on the IPv6 transiton in many aspects, not just the ISP adoption angle. Some devices/applications relying on old school peering formats... listening for and expecting specific IPv4:port configurations.  Even some very recently released applications do not even support IPv6 as an alternative either.  So we can't really get around it with a proper localized v6 delegation set up either.

The problem here stems in large part to how they are using a 464 tunnel.  More specifically, XLAT 464.  This can create a lot of issues when somethimg is being hosted on the client side, especially with how they have stripped so much functionality out of their modem/router combo units.

We need a better dual-stack solution to deal with all the v4/v6 transition issues, and it would be hella convenient if their device could be configured to run as a transparent passthrough modem so we could have the option of managing our local networks with a more robust dedicated router.

Userlevel 1
Badge

Unfortunately, a VPN is not the solution to everything.  A VPN can actually break some apps on a properly functioning internet service/modem/router config, depending on how that VPN is set up.

The problem is that developers are still using much older approaches to their netcode.  We are WAY behind on the IPv6 transiton in many aspects, not just the ISP adoption angle. Some devices/applications relying on old school peering formats... listening for and expecting specific IPv4:port configurations.  Even some very recently released applications do not even support IPv6 as an alternative either.  So we can't really get around it with a proper localized v6 delegation set up either.

The problem here stems in large part to how they are using a 464 tunnel.  More specifically, XLAT 464.  This can create a lot of issues when somethimg is being hosted on the client side, especially with how they have stripped so much functionality out of their modem/router combo units.

We need a better dual-stack solution to deal with all the v4/v6 transition issues, and it would be hella convenient if their device could be configured to run as a transparent passthrough modem so we could have the option of managing our local networks with a more robust dedicated router.

agreed 110%.

software development has completely failed to solve this problem for the industry as a whole.