Home internet not the option for rural areas that was hoped for.

  • 30 August 2021
  • 9 replies
  • 635 views

Badge +1

I live in a rural area an while I am pretty close to a T-Mobile tower, there are lots of trees. I just received the T-mobile home internet receiver and, so far after 3 days, I can tell this is not going to work. 
My internet is currently through Frontier and I get about 16  up and  1 down.


T-mobile had promised me I would get 20 minimum down. Well, it is more like an average of about  10 to 11 mbps down. I have hit  mbps twice during constant speed tests.

Sadly, this just is not living up to promises or expectations. It likely works fine in an urban setting, but the signals are just too weak in rural settings, or at least the one I am in.


T-mobile is very loose with there definition of areas where this can function as described. 


9 replies

I am not upset with T-mobile. but this is a caution to anyone considering this as an option to guard your expectations. Obviously, T-mobile wants to sell you their service and can claim all sorts of things…...but in a rural area with no clear line of sight to a tower, I suspect others will find they are having the same issues as I am experiencing 

I understand you point. Can I ask what the walls of your house is built from? I had a house in Ohio that had some insulation board and it contained metal fibers and blocked all cell signals. Also people with stucco on the walls have a metal mesh under the stucco. Then the house can act as a Faraday cage.

I just wanted to clarify one part as I defiantly don't have a clear line of site to any tower. In fact my signal was pretty low inside my house with my T-Mobile phone until I updated to a 5G T-Mobile phone and I dont have those same dead spots I used to find traveling thought the mountains.

Part of T-Mobiles 5G extended roll out was acquiring a lower frequencies in the 600Mhz range. and 600/700Mhz range for the extended 4G LTE. Unlike most cell signals in the 2Ghz and higher these lower frequencies pass thought buildings/trees and other obstetrical better.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

I live in a rural area and the best speed I get is with only 2 bars of the primary which is usually B2 or B66 and 3 bars of secondary signal, N71. I started out with generally 50 to 80 down during the day around 100 at night, and anywhere 20 to 50 up. That alone was enough for me to cancel Spectrum. I was paying for 400 down and 20 up and it was very reliable. But now that I had a option, I was going to try. I didn’t hate Spectrum, I was tired of escalating costs and every year calling to negotiate the price. I’m not gamer, I don’t use VPN or worried about port forwarding etc. I live on an acre and the WiFi coverage with just the T-MOBILE router is everywhere, I live in a ranch and it’s in the center of the house, I can’t see any towers, but I know where they are. I can vouch for gradually rotating the router until you find the sweet spot. Just in the last two weeks I had to turn the router off and back on because the internet disconnected completely. The wifi still worked but no internet. After turning it back on, my speeds doubled to 190-200 down and 20-30 up. Since then my speeds have consistently been 150 to 190 and 20-50 up. I couldn’t explain why, just supposition. Memory leak? Nater Tater alludes to that in one of his videos. I just know that between TMO internet and YouTube TV I don’t miss Spectrum at “ALL”. 

Badge +1

I checked the coverage map but did not find a tower map. 

As for primary vs secondary ….. I am not even getting a secondary signal.

I have been with T-mobile for years and have never had issues. I had doubts that this option would work, but was assured by the support person that it would. As for promises of a certain speed, I know those promises are nothing, but a support person should not say that to a customer when troubleshooting. When I first got the receiver, it had not been registered properly, so I had to get tech support to help. Once connected, the support person had me check a couple of things to verify it was working. One of those things was the speed test. I only got 11mbps on that and she said that was because the system was “provisioning” and that could take 24 hours, but “rest assured you will be able to get a minimum of 20 down once that is done.”

 

I am not upset with T-mobile. but this is a caution to anyone considering this as an option to guard your expectations. Obviously, T-mobile wants to sell you their service and can claim all sorts of things…...but in a rural area with no clear line of sight to a tower, I suspect others will find they are having the same issues as I am experiencing 

I also live in a rural area and when they released the iphone 12 with 5G I noticed better and faster coverage. So I decided to try the home internet and its been a good option for me.

I thinks that's why they offer to refund for the first month and free shipping to return it if it doesnt work for you.

On the other hand I also checked those tower maps and found that the spot I thought would be the best in the house was not the best. After moving it to another wall in a different room I had a better signal and it better speeds.

Agree moving it around is needed even turning the can helps once you find an ok spot.

Also if you are creative the TM map is actually the best as it is the only place you can find the coverage of all towers. There are many other tower sites but for sure they do not have all the towers and worse if they do have a tower they don't always have the bands on that tower giving you false locations that you think will be best when really other spots are actually better.


True

For me, the secondary signal seems to be the fastest. I did the tower map thing, and first did the wall/room in the house I thought would be the best from using my GPS and compass. Turns out after moving it and testing in other rooms I had a better signal. So dont trust the maps completely and test yourself.

So when I tested it on different walls/rooms I focused on the secondary signal RSRP number to get it as low as I could with the SNR on the secondary above 10. Even moving the can an inch maybe from 2x4s in the wall or electrical lines can make a difference. Once I found the strong secondary signal on the wall I then rotated the can to improve on that and make it even better. Rotating it is just rotating the antennas. Wait 30 seconds after each time you move it, refresh the signal page 3 or 4 times and take the average and decide if its better or worse. 

I ignored the primary signal since its LTE and already knew the secondary 5G was going to be faster.
I hope that helps a little.

Userlevel 5
Badge +5

I also live in a rural area and when they released the iphone 12 with 5G I noticed better and faster coverage. So I decided to try the home internet and its been a good option for me.

I thinks that's why they offer to refund for the first month and free shipping to return it if it doesnt work for you.

On the other hand I also checked those tower maps and found that the spot I thought would be the best in the house was not the best. After moving it to another wall in a different room I had a better signal and it better speeds.

Agree moving it around is needed even turning the can helps once you find an ok spot.

Also if you are creative the TM map is actually the best as it is the only place you can find the coverage of all towers. There are many other tower sites but for sure they do not have all the towers and worse if they do have a tower they don't always have the bands on that tower giving you false locations that you think will be best when really other spots are actually better.

Userlevel 5
Badge +5

Speeds can vary depending on location, signal strength and availability, time of day, and other factors therefore I cannot see how T-Mobile can “promise” what speeds a person will get. That’s the reason they do not offer tiered pricing based on speeds at this time.  Customers automatically receive the best speeds available from the service at their home address. As better speeds are available, customers automatically experience them, at no additional cost.

Exactly same as a Dr promised my mother years ago that nothing was wrong with her everything was ok that she had nothing to worry about at all. Then reality, he was wrong and she is now resting 6 feet below ground level. So the moral of the story is don't believe everything someone promises you as it can end badly.

I also live in a rural area and when they released the iphone 12 with 5G I noticed better and faster coverage. So I decided to try the home internet and its been a good option for me.

I thinks that's why they offer to refund for the first month and free shipping to return it if it doesnt work for you.

On the other hand I also checked those tower maps and found that the spot I thought would be the best in the house was not the best. After moving it to another wall in a different room I had a better signal and it better speeds.

Badge

Speeds can vary depending on location, signal strength and availability, time of day, and other factors therefore I cannot see how T-Mobile can “promise” what speeds a person will get. That’s the reason they do not offer tiered pricing based on speeds at this time.  Customers automatically receive the best speeds available from the service at their home address. As better speeds are available, customers automatically experience them, at no additional cost.

Userlevel 5
Badge +5

I live in a rural area an while I am pretty close to a T-Mobile tower, there are lots of trees. I just received the T-mobile home internet receiver and, so far after 3 days, I can tell this is not going to work. 
My internet is currently through Frontier and I get about 16  up and  1 down.


T-mobile had promised me I would get 20 minimum down. Well, it is more like an average of about  10 to 11 mbps down. I have hit  mbps twice during constant speed tests.

Sadly, this just is not living up to promises or expectations. It likely works fine in an urban setting, but the signals are just too weak in rural settings, or at least the one I am in.


T-mobile is very loose with there definition of areas where this can function as described. 

That’s your call still sound better than what you have but again your call.

 

There are a few companies selling external antennas that apparently help in situations like yours maybe that is an option for you.

Reply