Nokia Home Internet Gateway Issues list

  • 5 February 2021
  • 22 replies
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Wanted to see if any T-Mobile reps were active in these forums. I have been on the home Internet service for about a month now.

I was previously on ATT 4G LTE using a Netgear lb-1121 in bridge mode to my Watchguard firewall. I am an IT engineer and been working almost exclusively from home the last 9 months.

So to the point of this post. Current speeds are pretty good for the rural area I’m in. 1 mile from tower as the crow flies and seeing 100 down 60 up. However, I had to totally reconfigure my home network due to the VERY limited configuration available for this gateway. Okay no worries all of that done.

I understand this is a Nokia Fastmile gateway with T-Mobile specific firmware on it. I’m currently showing version  1.2003.03.0143 of the firmware. The Fastmile has configuration support for vpn passthrough as well as full bridge mode and other basic and advanced settings however it appears that T-Mobile has not developed their firmware to support these settings yet. There are TONS of reddit threads speaking to all the various issues people are having with this thing. I’m looking to hear from someone at T-Mobile who may be able to give us an update on when we might have updated firmware to address some of these issues.

Now to list all the various issues….

  • No VPN passthrough
    • I have tons of client VPNs we work with currently L2TP udp and IPSEC vpns can not traverse this gateway properly
  • Cannot change the LAN IP Subnet
    • You are locked into the private address range the device comes with
  • Wifi calling from a T-Mobile cellphone running through the T-Mobile gateway
    • Call drops, incoming calls ring once or are not received
  • Microsoft Teams calling has strange behavior periodically whether using the desktop app or Mobile App (Mobile App does seem to be somewhat better)

These are the big ones for me but you can just go to Reddit tmobileisp for more. As for my setup I am running the Home Internet gateway direct into my switching. All Wireless Radios and WLANs are turned off on the gateway as I use Ruckus wireless access points in our home. All devices are hardwired through Cat-6. Honestly never had these problems at all when on ATT granted I was running through my own Firewall with the modem in Bridge mode.

This can all be fixed if T-Mobile will get some updated firmware developed to allow us to use some of the settings available on the Fastmile.

tmo_mike_c 1 month ago

Normally recommend that you go through the installation process again if you’ve been able to use things like VPN before. I’m not seeing any firmware update available right now, however, we could have our Tech Care team file a Trouble Ticket for you if you contact them. That’ll get our engineers to take a look on the backend to get this fixed.

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Userlevel 4
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At the very least, at least set up the option to run it as a dumb pass-through device so people that have designed their own secure network can use it as just a modem like every other ISP’s setup.

Even Spectrum isn’t this stingy with their hardware.

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I see a lot of posts about the limited usefulness of the router. 

That is for a reason, its in TMobile agreement with you, sort of. TMobile is not looking for a customer like you, one that requires more then simple plug and play stuff, their network can not support business operations and a large network at this point. 

The target is for the other 90% or so of plug and play American families. 

Take it out of the box and plug it in. They do not want you to be able to network your business and home at this point. 

I do agree, it would be nice to have a “pass through” to use my owner router but that is pretty easy to do by making your own router an access point. 

Your firmware is the latest and I am glad to see that you are getting reliable speeds. My speeds are terrible and most likely will go back to Spectrum for a year while TMobile gets their act together. 

Charging me $50 a month for service that dives to the single digits in the evenings. Mulitple service tickets, New Nokia Unit, and I filed a complaint with the FCC. It was great the first day. 100 up…Then had to be reset every day to keep the 80 to 117 mbps speed, 3 weeks later lost the N71 5g secondary signal forever and now goes as low as 7 Mbps and high of 30. 

Seeing your post might have me wait a little longer before going back to my cable company, I can only assume they are working on the tower 1 mile from my house. Either way they owe me a refund for not meeting the min speed standards and unable to give me answers or follow up calls.

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 It was great the first day. 100 up…Then had to be reset every day to keep the 80 to 117 mbps speed, 3 weeks later lost the N71 5g secondary signal forever and now goes as low as 7 Mbps and high of 30.

 

Sorry to hear about that. Sheesh, that would have me up in arms as well. It does sounds like there may be some maintenance or re-configuration being done on your tower. Have you done any testing moving the gateway to various locations in your home temporarily to see if you get cleaner signal?

At this point the most pressing thing, with the amount of Americans still having to work from home, is that they get the ability for VPN passthrough to be enabled in the next firmware update. That is base functionality in any ISP provided gateway and is my primary issue right now.

And let’s be honest there is a large segment of the population who will never go back to the office. Many companies have now seen that they can successfully retain a remote workforce and still maintain productivity.

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I tend to agree that the TMo HI system was designed for the “other 90%” who don’t work from home. Corporations should give their required WFH employees a stipend for a VPN-enabled broadband connection. It could be paid out of the $$ companies are saving on In-person office costs and used for any ISP the company deems suitable.

 

As of now, TMobile Home Internet is designed for personal (not business use). As memory serves, part of expediting the Sprint acquisition was the agreement with the FCC regulators to provide broadband connections to under-served rural communities. It is not coincidental that the FCC’s current definition of broadband (25 down, 3 up) is the same as what TMo “guarantees” for home internet.

 

 

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About that 90% who would be "plug and play" users…

...a large portion of them are also depending on that plug and play functionality to include port traversal... a lot of which is managed by UPnP, both with Windoze AND consoles, among other devices.

Most are not even aware such a feature is configuring the firewall rules on their devices... all they know is now things like group chat/conferencing functionality is broken... multiplayer functionality of games got knackered up... various IoT devices have lost some functionality... etc.

This is a problem for many that likely are not voicing their frustrations here.

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About that 90% who would be "plug and play" users…

...a large portion of them are also depending on that plug and play functionality to include port traversal... a lot of which is managed by UPnP, both with Windoze AND consoles, among other devices.

Most are not even aware such a feature is configuring the firewall rules on their devices... all they know is now things like group chat/conferencing functionality is broken... multiplayer functionality of games got knackered up... various IoT devices have lost some functionality... etc.

This is a problem for many that likely are not voicing their frustrations here.


I certainly hear your frustration and recognize the problems with TMo HI for WFH and other higher-end users. However, based on my experience in teaching basic computer skills (Windows, email, MS Office, etc.) in rural America, at least 90% are currently “plug and play” users. There are very few WFH jobs available in rural agricultural counties, unless you count milking cows twice/day working from home :smiley:. TMo HI service has been a big plus for folks that previously had choices of ultra-slow DSL (1-3 Mbps) connections and high-priced satellite for internet.

I agree with other comments that TMo rolled out a product that wasn’t well thought-out and not ready for prime time. However, for some of us it has been a godsend to actually stream a movie or watch The Mandalorian for the first time.

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The point is that  even for a large portion of that hypothetical 90%... it is still broken for them because port traversal does not work, even when it is automagically done for them via UPnP--an essential feature for such "plug and play" scenarios to work.

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VPN connections worked on the old home gateway and should function on the new Nokia. This particular issue is nothing short of broken functionality that can easily be fixed in the firmware.

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TMobile is after your typical homeowner and that is all its network can currently support. These typical homeowners dont even know what a port or VPN or passthrough is and could care less.

They do not have to be accountable to making sure you can work from home either. 

They just want to take is out of the box and plug it in, that parts works well for a new product and will only improve. Issues with 5g they do have for sure but that will get worked out.

I suspect maybe in 5 years, things will be more robust, to the point that you will even be able to buy your own mode/router/cell unit. 

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I am having an issue with this device where it just random quits passing traffic, devices will show connected with good signal and the gateway itself shows connected to the network yet devices just time out or act like they are disconnected even though they are. Its very fustrating because I still have a t mobile grandfathered unliminted plan running in a M1 and have no issues with it at all. Id like to get my hands on one of the older home gateways

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Problem though is that it is not really a plug and play solution.

Sure, for generic browsing of the web it works as intended.

But without properly supporting the UPnP daemons and/or manual means of port forwarding, it falls short of this goal for far too many users.

There are MANY applications/devices that use the UPnP service to configure rules for their proper operation.  Not everyone tries to do those configurations manually.  Many are not even aware that it is taking place... they just connect their devices to the network and use them without ever knowing any port traversal is getting negotiated in the background to make it work.

Console players are just one example of this scenario.  We have seen posts here about chat failing, multiplayer matching failing... these scenarios are happening because the console is expecting the UPnP (or otherwise manual) port traversal rules to work--but they do not because of how TMobile has set things up. Media streaming/recording applications/devices and many IoT things that normally just "work" once they are put on the network are also failing for the same reason.

Environments that once were "plug and play" in that sense are failing on these devices... because TMobile has neglected to consider an important piece of that puzzle--the port forwarding aspect.

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Honestly I’m not dinging them too hard yet. This is following the rest of the tech marketplace on minimum viable product. I expect they’ll get the kinks ironed out, this is of course a brand new gateway device for Tmo. The radio and hardware specs on the Nokia are FAR better than the previous Askey gateway although currently has less functionality.

It’s been about a week since I posted this and I was really hoping that we’d hear some statement from T-Mo in this forum. Kinda disappointed that it doesn’t seem they even monitor their own forums.

Massively disappointing. Thankfully I had not returned the LTE gateway and was able to swap my sim back in and get back to work.

 

The Nokia 5G21 is just a paperweight for me until they get the IPSEC VPN support working. 

 

Sounds like the Nokia fastmile is an amazing piece of hardware crippled by barely functional firmware. I don't understand why someone felt the need to rewrite the fully functional firmware that Nokia provided.

 

Don't underestimate, I am incredibly thankful for tmobile home internet. It is my only option for internet in very rural Montana. I am looking forward to the day we can run the hardware with the full fastmile firmware capabilities.

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If it’s not designed for modern networking, it’s not designed to work with even basic home setups (incl. VPN support), and the coverage won’t support true 5G network speeds, they why did they even bother? What’s the point? This is brand-damaging at this point. They’ve made this huge marketing push around how they have the best 5G available and, frankly, no they don’t. Verizon does. At least in my market. 

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If it’s not designed for modern networking, it’s not designed to work with even basic home setups (incl. VPN support), and the coverage won’t support true 5G network speeds, they why did they even bother? What’s the point? This is brand-damaging at this point. They’ve made this huge marketing push around how they have the best 5G available and, frankly, no they don’t. Verizon does. At least in my market. 

I would disagree, even though I had to return my Nokia tower and go back to Spectrum (for now) until they get the 5g working properly on my local tower. Keep in mind, this is a new technology and hands down blows away any offerings from ATT and Verizon anytime in the next few years.

I HAD 80 to 120 Mbps speeds with Tmobile until the 5g on the tower died, also it was very buggy while it did work. 

TMobile will have it perfected by the end of this year and next, it will take ATT and Verizon 4+ years to catch up.
BTW- TMOBILE 5G MADE 5G AVAILABLE TO 100 MILLION PEOPLE IN 2020 FOR VERIZON IT WAS 2 MILLION. 
IN 2021 TMOBILE ADDS 2 MILLION A WEEK WHICH TOOK VERIZON ONE YEAR TO ACHIEVE. 

But this is the key, 90% of American household are a plug and play household and that is the market mobile is after, not the other 10% at this moment in time. 
Take the unit out of the box, plug it in and get on the internet. 
Im hoping they get all the issues worked out this year, I am going to try them out again in Jan 2022 or sooner. 

Userlevel 6
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Normally recommend that you go through the installation process again if you’ve been able to use things like VPN before. I’m not seeing any firmware update available right now, however, we could have our Tech Care team file a Trouble Ticket for you if you contact them. That’ll get our engineers to take a look on the backend to get this fixed.

Normally recommend that you go through the installation process again if you’ve been able to use things like VPN before. I’m not seeing any firmware update available right now, however, we could have our Tech Care team file a Trouble Ticket for you if you contact them. That’ll get our engineers to take a look on the backend to get this fixed.

Let’s start a trouble ticket, then.  Without UPNP, this modem is almost worthless to me.  Let me know how to initiate a ticket and I’ll be more than happy to get it going.

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Problem though is that it is not really a plug and play solution.

Sure, for generic browsing of the web it works as intended.

But without properly supporting the UPnP daemons and/or manual means of port forwarding, it falls short of this goal for far too many users.

There are MANY applications/devices that use the UPnP service to configure rules for their proper operation.  Not everyone tries to do those configurations manually.  Many are not even aware that it is taking place... they just connect their devices to the network and use them without ever knowing any port traversal is getting negotiated in the background to make it work.

Console players are just one example of this scenario.  We have seen posts here about chat failing, multiplayer matching failing... these scenarios are happening because the console is expecting the UPnP (or otherwise manual) port traversal rules to work--but they do not because of how TMobile has set things up. Media streaming/recording applications/devices and many IoT things that normally just "work" once they are put on the network are also failing for the same reason.

Environments that once were "plug and play" in that sense are failing on these devices... because TMobile has neglected to consider an important piece of that puzzle--the port forwarding aspect.

Normally recommend that you go through the installation process again if you’ve been able to use things like VPN before. I’m not seeing any firmware update available right now, however, we could have our Tech Care team file a Trouble Ticket for you if you contact them. That’ll get our engineers to take a look on the backend to get this fixed.

Not 1 device that requires UPnP works. VPN’s slow the connection to a CRAWL! 3 bars outside with tower in view but inside barely works. Note 8 connects to at the same place with full bars, 3 inside the house.

 

 

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I’m disappointed, too. I’m in prime 5G area, but I barely get 50-60Mbps down, mostly 30-40Mbps. Upload is nice and can be upwards of 50Mbps, but can also be as low as failing testing. And a base ping of 60 isn’t the greatest. I don’t mind the limited configurability of the gateway as the future really is adaptive (currently managed by third-party) WiFi. What does bother me are the extreme fluctuations in speeds, lack of a guaranteed minimum speed provided/experienced, and the seemingly very low signal reception of the gateway with inability to make the 5G band the primary signal received. Definitely appears to be both a 5G/tower/capacity and gateway firmware issue. 
 

Edit: guess I’ll also add issues reconnecting to the gateway if I happen to turn my iPhone’s WiFi off and on… 😕 And yes, I’ve tried resetting the gateway… at least three different times to try and resolve this, as well as resetting network settings on my Apple devices. 

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Was able to correct the reconnection issue by both resetting network settings on iPhone and resetting to factory settings on gateway doing setup just through the app. 

If it’s not designed for modern networking, it’s not designed to work with even basic home setups (incl. VPN support), and the coverage won’t support true 5G network speeds, they why did they even bother? What’s the point? This is brand-damaging at this point. They’ve made this huge marketing push around how they have the best 5G available and, frankly, no they don’t. Verizon does. At least in my market. 

I would disagree, even though I had to return my Nokia tower and go back to Spectrum (for now) until they get the 5g working properly on my local tower. Keep in mind, this is a new technology and hands down blows away any offerings from ATT and Verizon anytime in the next few years.

I HAD 80 to 120 Mbps speeds with Tmobile until the 5g on the tower died, also it was very buggy while it did work. 

TMobile will have it perfected by the end of this year and next, it will take ATT and Verizon 4+ years to catch up.
BTW- TMOBILE 5G MADE 5G AVAILABLE TO 100 MILLION PEOPLE IN 2020 FOR VERIZON IT WAS 2 MILLION. 
IN 2021 TMOBILE ADDS 2 MILLION A WEEK WHICH TOOK VERIZON ONE YEAR TO ACHIEVE. 

But this is the key, 90% of American household are a plug and play household and that is the market mobile is after, not the other 10% at this moment in time. 
Take the unit out of the box, plug it in and get on the internet. 
Im hoping they get all the issues worked out this year, I am going to try them out again in Jan 2022 or sooner. 


How do you verify you connected to a 5G tower? And what tool are you using to measure speed? Just educating myself on this. 

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@Doug, the gateway will show both a primary and secondary connection that will show the bands its’s connected to. Not sure about others, but I use Ookla’s Speedtest all (or their website speedtest.net).