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External Antenna Ports

  • 12 January 2022
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Is there a new model of the Home Internet Gateway that includes the option of adding external cellular antennas?  I see all these videos that show opening the gateway up and soldering in your own connections but we can’t be the only ones that noticed the poor performance of the internal antennas. I know that being outside with the gateway makes the difference between getting a good signal outside and a poor signal outside and the signal to noise ratio improves too.  I just don’t want to put my gateway on the outside covered deck just to get a decent signal. I’m not sure what the temps and humidity will do to the unit over time.  I’ve done the cell tower mapping and I know where my cell tower is located.

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Best answer by tmo_mike_c 12 January 2022, 18:50

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That’s a good question. I’ve seen other posts of people adding their own antenna’s but there’s not a model T-Mobile that’s got a antenna option that’s directly offered.

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I can’t image that they didn’t know this would be an issue, it is not like I am in a rural area. I wonder what the spec were when they bought these from Nokia.

  The external antenna can be added to the gateway, however, it requires the consumer to disassemble and modify the gateway.  The modification is not permanent but if damage is done T-Mobile will charge you for the equipment as part of the agreement.

  There are a couple of ways to go about this, but the first thing you will have to do is purchase a minimum of (2) IPX/U.FL to SMA Female straight adapters.  Then disassemble the gateway, gently disconnect 2 or 4 of the internal antennas depending on how many external antennas you are adding.  Fish the adapters through the gateway base and gently snap the adapters in place.  You must attach at least 2 for this to work properly.  Reassemble the gateway, locate the nearest tower, mount and attach the antenna in a relatively high location pointing towards the tower (some adjustment may be needed after you have conducted the initial speed test).  Connect the coax to the pigtails that were installed and start running speed tests and doing adjustments.

  Keep in mind that the X-Polarized antennas are more forgiving than the yagi antennas when it comes to dialing in the location of the tower.  All of the necessary parts can be purchased from Amazon.  Check your local tower information to see if it is worth investing in a 5G antenna, most rural consumers can see a major difference with just a 4G antenna.  The 4G runs about $90 the 5G runs about $200, so do the research on multiple sites before making a decision.  It is also a good thing to remember that you may not gain signal strength, but you will increase the efficiency, which will give you faster speeds.  as for myself I did not see a noticeable gain in download (120Mbps to 150Mbps), but my upload more than doubled (4Mbps to 20Mbps).  All of these speeds are much faster than my old DSL line, so I am very happy with the performance.

  Also it would be a good idea to purchase a USB powered computer fan to set the gateway on.  There are no internal fans and when using a lot of data over WiFi it will get hot and slow speeds as well.  This is a cheap quick fix that I recommend everyone that has this service does.

 

Be careful, and don't do anything you cant undo.

 

IPX/U.FL to SMA Female straight adapters

 

                  

4G/LTE Directional X-Polarized 2X2 MIMO Antenna

      

5G Directional X-Polarized 2X2 MIMO Antenna
2X2 Directional MIMO Yagi antenna

 

I can’t image that they didn’t know this would be an issue, it is not like I am in a rural area. I wonder what the spec were when they bought these from Nokia.

It is an insanse choice for an option that is clearly geared towards rural and suburban users. The blocking of 3rd party devices, like the Mofi modem/routers, is also baffling.

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