New 5G Gateway questions

  • 13 January 2021
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Hello! received yesterday and installed the new 5G21-12W-A gateway. I have a number of questions:

  1. How do I know if I’m connected to 5G? The tmobile map says my location is 5G, but with only a “fair” signal. I get three bars. Is there anyway to know from the gateway if it’s 5G connected?
  2. That leads me to my next question: I had four TVs all streaming HD content with no issues. All connected via wifi on 5Ghz . No issues with buffering, pixelation, etc. However, when I go to, it tells me that my connection is roughly 40Mbps. Those two tests don’t really match up. Thoughts? I’m sure one thought is, I’m not on 5G, but how can I run 4 TV with HD content on 40Mbps? Doesn’t make sense.
  3. Hulu Live TV: Found that Hulu Live TV does not work on my Amazon FireTV devices. Complains about location.  I called Hulu support and they told me that the IP address that I have with tmobile is not allowed because “it’s mobile.” I told them this is a home gateway, yes, connects to a cell tower, but it’s home internet with a gateway. The funny thing is the Hulu app on my phone works (via wifi) and so does the Hulu app on my laptop. Does Hulu have it out for Amazon and TMobile? So, testing YouTube TV now. So far, pretty nice.
  4. Where do I find the latest firmware version?
  5. Sometimes I have big problems with getting data to display in the dashboard, and the same with the tmobile app. Anyone else?
  6. (not really a question) I too am disappointed that there are no advanced wifi options (port forwarding, firewall config, etc). I may end up getting a wifi router and put it AP mode if that becomes a problem. Tmobile needs to rethink that I think.


5 replies

Userlevel 3
  1. Why does it matter if it’s on LTE or 5G as long as you get throughput you are happy with?
  2. 40 Mbps is plenty to do 4 HD content.  The content providers can re-encode HD down to next to nothing with h.265 and you won’t know the difference.
  3. Yeah, it’s a fail on t-mobile’s part partially.  They need to work with Hulu to convice them this device doesn’t move, won’t operate on other eNB’s for example.  Then hopefully they carved out a range of CGNAT IP’s for home internet they can give to Hulu to white list.
  4. No idea, they will probably never share this info.
  5. No problem here.
  6. Yes, this modem needs to have bridge mode!
Userlevel 2

You can access the Web GUI at it will show you if you are on 4G or not and strength of signal etc


I get 130-140Mbps down and 10-50 Mbps upload speeds and mine is 4G.  I am in a 5G area so eventually I assume they will make the home internet service 5G, and it will be even faster.   Using or speedtest I get 130-140Mbps.  But 40 would be enough for any single stream anyways. 


I find the internet to be not suitable for general use, despite the impressive speed.  There is something wrong with it, perhaps port forwarding.  From a PC you can’t really play steam games, it often won’t log in  or you will lose the internet while you are playing.  You can rarely upload video to Facebook, although uploading to youtube or Vimeo works fine.  Lots of times you will momentarily get a you are not connected to the internet page as you refresh something, it usually clears itself quickly on its own but it means things just aren’t reliable when you use T-Mobile vs other home internet options, like Verizon.


Also few streaming boxes, Samsung TV, Roku etc work reliably with it.  They can sometimes get through the internet setup fine, but if you ACTUALLY try and stream video it’s pretty flaky.  It often just hangs for no reason.  Many devices cannot make it through setup without a lot of retries as well.  They can all connect fine to the WiFi but they say they cannnot reach the internet.  If you keep retrying they will eventually get through setup but streaming is very iffy on the device after that.


I hope it gets fixed, the speeds are amazing.  And the WiFi is very fast WiFi 6 802.11ax , like over 1 Gbps wifi within your house.

Userlevel 1
  1. This device needs to have a bridge mode!!! I am a little bummed that it doesn’t have this ability.
  1. On the Status page on the dashboard app, if you see Band n71 on primary or secondary cell signals, this is one of T-Mobile’s 5G bands. Check here for the other: My problem is the modem will occasionally connect to the n71 band and everything works great but then is switches most of the time to the B12 band and speeds aren't good enough for all the streaming that goes on in my home. I called to Tech Support to see if there was a way to force a band selection. This isn’t currently available and not clear if it’s something that’s coming.
  1. Switched from Hulu to YouTubeTv. Same price, both have local channel access but YouTubeTv doesn’t have the “mobile connection” restriction.
  1. Yes - often there is no data populated in the dashboard. 
  2. This is an issue for me. Need brigde mode to get rid of the double NAT problem.


One other observation, and this might be because I have marginal signal strength or specific topography in my location, but I was able improve signal strength by rotating the modem (5G21 grey tower) to a specific position. This is completely empirical but it seems like the internal antennas are aligned in the same direction as the power input plug. When I aim the modem in the direction of the cell tower I get higher signal strength. 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

I only see a primary signal on band b12. Learning about this stuff, but I see that’s LTE, and expected at this point. Was told they will have 5G sometime this year. I’m seeing 45/10 at this moment in time.

For now, this is fine as everything is “working”. Meaning, as long as things work for the most part, with the expectations of 5G and hopefully advanced settings coming, I’m good for now. For now…

Also, we are liking YouTube TV better than Hulu TV. Interface is much better. So that forced move turned out well.