Question

Cannot get a secondary signal

  • 16 September 2021
  • 8 replies
  • 2510 views

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I have had home internet through T-mobile for a little over 3 weeks and I cannot get a secondary signal. I have tried changing the gateway location and tried using an external antenna. The t-mobile map shows my area as covered by 5g extended. No such luck. 

The signal I am getting is pretty weak. All T-mobile can tell me is they are constantly upgrading towers in order to provide the best customer experience…..


8 replies

Userlevel 5
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I live in a Ultra 5G coverage area map clearly shows my house is covered. I can put the can in a few places where I get n41 or n71 it last for seconds or minutes and gone. When I have the n41 download is 500+ but again for short time and gone. 99% of the time I am on the B66 and no secondary at all with download 60-70 ish latey. I really don't get it as our phones can hold the higher speed bands even in the home.

Userlevel 4
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I have had home internet through T-mobile for a little over 3 weeks and I cannot get a secondary signal. I have tried changing the gateway location and tried using an external antenna. The t-mobile map shows my area as covered by 5g extended. No such luck. 

The signal I am getting is pretty weak. All T-mobile can tell me is they are constantly upgrading towers in order to provide the best customer experience…..


How far are you from the tower and if you know where your tower is, are there a lot of hills or forests in the way between you and the tower? If you have a distance over 7 miles and/or obstructions, that could account for they weak signal and not picking up the Secondary, which means you aren’t getting 5G. You probably know this already since you seem to have a good handle on the meaning of the data, but I’m just stating it for people who may be just starting out.

There is one more possibility and if I were in your place I would try it only if I had good sight-lines to the tower and were less than 7 miles away from the tower. That is you may have gotten a defective gateway. You can call them and just say you’ve tried everything, really want it to work, and just ask them if you can swap it out.

Another possibility is the 5G equipment at your tower is down, and once it is up, you’ll get the Secondary signal. If that were the case, it is unfortunate the service department can’t give you a specific answer on that for your tower.

I just watched a video of a guy who had been on the old 4G white modem for a year and switched to the 5G gray can and was disappointed he got only 10 to 20 in speed on the gray can. But after a short time, the can got stuck in re-boot mode, kept rebooting itself over and over and wouldn’t work at all. So they let him exchange it for a refurbished can and bingo, speeds around 80+ and he is very happy.

So that is the last-ditch effort people who really want Tmobile to work for them will try, who don’t have a good service provider alternative to fall back on. Unfortunately, most people who try swapping out their gateway find that isn’t their problem.

I read some of your previous posts and saw you mentioned getting 16/1 speeds on Frontier, your former provider.The policies of these companies vary. Some might even charge you for a re-connection fee. But many will give a price break if you are coming back to them, at least for one year. They want to get their old customers back. It is a big loss for them.Then in a year you can try again with Tmobile and see if they’ve improved.

When Tmobile gives you that stock line about “constantly improving,” in general, that is true. I’ve read a lot of the speed progress from beginning of the 5G rollout just less than a year ago and speeds are getting better. But you don’t want to be stuck for months waiting.

I have the latest firmware update 1.2101.00.1609 running on the gray can, but was not seeing any secondary signal.  Don’t know if this occurred because of the upgrade or before.  Did a reboot through the web interface and...voila...3 bars on 5G along with the previous 2 bars on LTE.

I thought this problem of having to reboot to get a secondary signal was fixed?  Who knows how often I’ll have to check back and see if  I still have 5G?  I’ve been refreshing the web interface off and on for the past 30min and it’s holding firm.  Will check back randomly next week.

I’m getting 200down/14up now, about a 40-50mb download speed increase since the reboot.  Anyway, took the plunge and dumped Comcast a month ago.  Fingers crossed T-Mobile keeps upgrading  their towers and improving their hardware/firmware.

Userlevel 4
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I thought this problem of having to reboot to get a secondary signal was fixed?  Who knows how often I’ll have to check back and see if  I still have 5G?

I’m getting 200down/14up now, about a 40-50mb download speed increase since the reboot.  Anyway, took the plunge and dumped Comcast a month ago.  Fingers crossed T-Mobile keeps upgrading  their towers and improving their hardware/firmware.

The problem of having to reboot to get a secondary signal has not been fixed. If you are getting over 100 down on the primary (4G LTE) alone, that means your house is in a specific location where the 4G is good and the gateway just selects the strongest connection.

There is no practical problem in getting 4G instead of 5G, as long as the speed is comparable. In fact, a small minority of people can get faster speeds on 4G instead of 5G, and they would be better off not connecting to the 5G signal.

The people for whom it is a problem are those who get a speed of, let’s say, over 80 on 5G but then when they connect to 4G alone, their speed drops to a few Mbps or much slower anyway.

Although I haven’t connected to 4G alone in weeks, partly from finding a gateway placement where I get a strong secondary signal, and partly because it was a very rare problem in the first place. I know that if I had the problem more of not getting 5G, it would have been annoying since my 4G speeds are very slow compared to 5G.

Also, many people, like myself, can get pretty wild speed fluctuations on the same 5G signal pair, but my speed is very rarely going below 100, and quite often it’s over 250, but this is not a problem for me because I do not have five people in the house all downloading or streaming games or 4K smartTV programs at once, as some people do.

I have some personal experience with the band combination switching though, because I do get switching between B2/n41 and B66/n41, and I restart the gateway (via the button on the side) in the morning to get my faster 5G signal pair and it usually sticks to that combination all day.

I understand that for you, since your 5G gets you 50Mbps faster, you would prefer that speed, and you can try certain gateway locations where that might be more likely to happen, but often, it’s not something location can fix.

So far, T mobile doesn’t do firmware updates (which are pushed out automatically) very often, and they don’t result in the speed jumps like a new equipment installation at the tower can.

For my first few months of use, I had a peak speed of 190 down, my highest ever speed, and then one morning about 3 weeks ago I was getting speeds of over 200, and have had those every day since, on the same band combination and getting the same signal strength I had from the beginning. Just a few days ago, I hit a new peak speed of 420 down.

I try to keep the comments of people who have terrible problems in perspective, even those who had great speeds for months and then their speed drops to nothing. It’s not happening to that many people, or even likely to, just because it is happening to them.

So, having a relatively fast 4G-alone connection at your house can be a good thing, not a problem.

Timsw wrote:

So, having a relatively fast 4G-alone connection at your house can be a good thing, not a problem.

 

Thanks Tim.  Good info.  Fyi checked back this morning and the 5G signal is holding at 3bars. Download speed is over 200MB now, Upload speed is above 30MB.

Secondary Signal
Connected
RSRP  -94 dBm
SNR     21 dB
RSRQ  -11 dB
 
To your point about relocating the gateway, tried that and it didn’t really make much of a difference.  I’m sure I could find a better spot if I worked at it, but all my ethernet connections terminate in one location where I want my access point and gateway to be, so fortunately I’m getting good performance where I need it.
 
We can run Sling/AirTV, our Tivo, our Smart TVs, Nest, Alexa, all our laptops, phones, tablets, etc without a hiccup.  Really liking this solution so far.

I have the same issues.  
Tried a panel antenna but it didn’t seem to help.  
Cellmapper just doesn’t cut it.  
Have you looked at Ookla’s 5G map?  Google it.  
Supposedly it is from trusted sources and their own data.  It is updated weekly. 
I don’t know accurate the indicated cell tower locations are.  Maybe this will help all of you.  I really want this to work well.  I want to kiss Spectrum good bye. 

Userlevel 5
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I have the same issues.  
Tried a panel antenna but it didn’t seem to help.  
Cellmapper just doesn’t cut it.  
Have you looked at Ookla’s 5G map?  Google it.  
Supposedly it is from trusted sources and their own data.  It is updated weekly. 
I don’t know accurate the indicated cell tower locations are.  Maybe this will help all of you.  I really want this to work well.  I want to kiss Spectrum good bye. 

What panel ant did you try as mien did make a big diff.

 

 

I think they are playing with tower signals to gateway. I get strong n71 secondary signal then lately it drops completely with 0 bars for a half day then comes back again 5 bars. The interesting thing is my cell phone gets the n71 signal WHEN THERE IS NONE ON THE GATEWAY. So it is not a signal problem. Tmobile must be able to kill the specific band to the gateways.

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