Slow 4G connection only, but only sometimes -- SOLVED



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It is clear you are doing your homework. :wink: I would have to only take issue with the “I think” statement. You have put considerable thought into your analysis and your logic seems spot on with regard to the various channels and how they behave. I did a considerable amount of reading investigating the problem and I agree 100% radio wave propagation is extremely complicated. It would be easy to make a simple mistake standing up equipment on a tower. From what I have read the n71 band does have more reach than the n41 but one source did suggest n41 has good penetration. I guess it is all relative to power and lots of other factors. It is not like modulating a signal down a highly controlled path. The n260 or n261 bands are probably only going to be useful in cities and will probably be more expensive to have. I would guess they will be leveraged more for business customers. The n71 signal we receive down here is probably just one of multiple cell paths off that tower as it is just south of the highway and feeds signals along the highway and probably primarily south as the population north of that tower is pretty sparse. The cellmapper information about that string of towers is not “verified” information so it does not provide significant details like the 4G LTE information. The information from cellmapper is only as good as what is loaded into the database. 

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007BondM16 have you identified the tower connections 100% i.e. you know the PCI the router reports for both the 4G and 5G NR channels? Use http://www.cellmapper.net/ and confirm the tower(s) that are used as the PCI, physical cell ID can be determined and checked agains what the router reports. In my testing early on with this router I made incorrect assumptions and burned way too much time before I used cellmpapper to have 100% verification. I had a call with T-Mobile support they told me the tower coordinates, of the tower, and I confirmed it all using cellmapper.net to be clear about both the 4G and 5G NR connections. With that information you can know the radios that are present on the towers and see the 4G LTE cell identifications. Since the radios are not commonly omnidirectional it provides more clues as to what cell is sending in the location where you are. It takes a bit of time to pick it apart but is well worth the effort. Use that information and the reporting from the Nokia router to have the facts. One suggestion was made to use Opensignal to locate the tower but it does NOT provide sufficient detail nor does the app differentiate between carrier. It also does not currently support 5G NR signaling. Using www.cellmapper.net with a local computer takes a little to get used to but is very informative. When I open the web page it has me in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Africa. If everything is blue zoom out till you can see where you are on the map. Then orient yourself to where you need to be and dial it in. You would find using the T-Mobile USA - 310260 with a 5G tower search to start is less cluttered than using 4G LTE towers as a beginning. There are fewer 5G NR towers reported so it is not as cluttered and you can better see the details of the map. Going from one to the other is a simple and quick selection. In 5-10 minutes you will clearly know what T-Mobile towers are around you and be able to identify the one(s) that you connect to via the PCI reported. The cell phone and router may or may not latch onto the same tower. An iPhone in field test mode will identify the PCI just as the router identifies the PCI for each signal. Start with confirmation of the actual tower the router links to. If you have speeds over 100 Mbs down then your RSRP and RSRQ and SNR values should be decent. 

Yes rotation even very little can make a big diff.

 

I have not found an online source of tower data that is really even 75% up to date. At least in my area half of the towers are not even in the correct lat long. The 5G is almost not at all up to date as to which tower has what. I read that many towers and building are lower so they don't have to register the details with the FCC. Anyways I will have some more time to play in a few days had to do some pay the bills work lately.

 

But past few days I have not moved my can and speeds vary wide from 1 to 150 various times of the day. When I check the can signal always the same so seems to be congestion.

 

I do love all the in depth details you are going into I think it helps.

 

 

Hello, I wanted to reply here to bump this post up and say thanks to the community for helping me fix my issue. I didn’t get into the depth of signal and tower mapping that others did here, but a specific part of the OP’s comments here stood out to me, and I thought might be helpful to others struggling with their connectivity/signal strength issues as well.

TL/DR from the OP:
“Although it is counterintuitive, because usually higher bars means better connections and faster speeds, but it turns out sometimes not. By simply placing the gateway a few feet from the window, to a place where it gets only 2 bars instead of 3, I was able to connect right away to my fastest speed and remain there for the rest of the day.”

More on my specific experience, if you are interested...

I have been wrestling with spotty connectivity since I got the service a couple weeks ago, and experiencing similar problems as others are (overwhelmingly) reporting here. Super intermittent speeds, frequent drop-outs, needing to reset the gateway multiple times a day. For the most part it was working well enough, and even with the disruptions slightly preferable to the 40mbps DSL I was moving away from, but...really not ideal. So I spent 2 worthless hours on the phone with T-Mobile support, and a lot of time here combing through threads, considering buying a fan, asking for a new gateway, etc. 

Ultimately, the most important thing to me was the reliability of the signal to my main home PC, which acts as a media center for the house. We have lots of other devices that were working pretty well (Sonos, Fire TVs, phones/laptops, etc.) but the Windows 10 PC is down in the basement, and I could not get a dependable connection there even after buying a new PCI wifi card (TP-Link AC1200, fwiw). I was messing with the gateway settings, frequency bands, etc. and nothing really worked. I could sit at that desk with my laptop and pull 100+ mpbs while the PC was struggling to maintain single digits. Not great!

After reading this thread, I decided to revisit the very first assumption I made when setting up the gateway. It should be on an upper floor, by a window, to get the strongest signal, right? The best placement upstairs got me 3 bars, and seemed intuitively better than putting it in the basement, where I could only get 2 bars. But I found a location by a basement window (just 10 feet below my original placement), where even though I am only getting 2 bars, it DRASTICALLY improved my connectivity and signal strength to the PC and everywhere else. A little trade-off for a couple of the Fire TVs that it is now further away from, but still getting durable 40-80mbps for those, so no noticeable loss in streaming performance. I think moving it resulted in a change in the primary band I was connecting to (from 12 to 2) and this seemed to make the difference. 

So that’s my story, and my recommendation. Even though you might sacrifice a bar, do not be afraid to get creative with your placement, and see if you get better results with 2 bars then with 3. This really seemed to solve the issue for me, and will likely make the difference with me keeping the service rather than going back to DSL.

Best of luck to everyone...this was pretty frustrating and while I typically appreciate T-Mobile’s customer service, they are apparently pretty terrible on the home internet front. So while we are left to our own devices I’m glad there are helpful people like you all out there! :)  

Just switched from Verizon to T-Mobile mainly for 55+ savings but was also hoping for better data. it’s terrible! T-Mobile 5g is less than 2 Mbps! I had much faster 4g lte with Verizon. I live in rural area but still that was not an acceptable speed even 5 or 10 years ago. So much for “Faster 5g in more places.” I get 35 Mbps with our home internet provider. 

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My phone and home internet used to use b66 and b12 a lot. Service went downhill for over a month, then I noticed my phone started connecting to b41 and speeds and service have been great. My phone shows 5g but I've never seen my router connect to a secondary signal. The router pretty much stays on b41, sometimes on b66. I hope the service continues to improve like this! 

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My phone and home internet used to use b66 and b12 a lot. Service went downhill for over a month, then I noticed my phone started connecting to b41 and speeds and service have been great. My phone shows 5g but I've never seen my router connect to a secondary signal. The router pretty much stays on b41, sometimes on b66. I hope the service continues to improve like this! 


Thank you for responding. This is the kind of thing I’m interested in. The phone app gives out information but for some reason leaves off the secondary signal, so that’s why I use the GUI for that.

Are you using the GUI or just the T mobile home internet phone app? And when you say the speed is great, what kind of speed we talkin about here?

“Great” is relative to what you had in the past or expect. For some people 40 is great, and others anything under 200 is disappointing.

Also, what’s your signal strength, on both your 5G phone and your gateway?

A commenter responded to a post of mine on another thread saying he got 400 down and 50 up on T mobile’s home internet 5G but dropped to 60 to 80 when on a primary 4G signal, and he gets stuck on that 4G signal for long periods which is totally unacceptable for him because he’s used to  steady speeds in the hundreds on cable. He gets 5 bars signal strength and indeed, by lowering that down (by putting foil over the gateway)  he can connect to 5G only with fewer bars, but then his speeds drop off way too much. 

However, if you are using the GUI at the address I mentioned in my first post, and showing no secondary signal, chances are your B12 and B66 are 4G only. And that isn’t bad! As long as the 4G works reasonably well for you. Also, the near future could be dramatic for you, when they install the 5G on your tower like n41, and you start getting that as your secondary signal. 

One form of 4G they put in Chicago, I read, and people can get speeds of 500Gbps if they are close enough to the tower.

About the 5G icon on your phone, here is a quote from an article:

T-Mobile has been adding this icon on their phones even when they are not connected to the 5G network, so if you are unsure, download the app Signal Spy (on Android) or enter Field Test Mode on your iPhone

 

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My phone and home internet used to use b66 and b12 a lot. Service went downhill for over a month, then I noticed my phone started connecting to b41 and speeds and service have been great. My phone shows 5g but I've never seen my router connect to a secondary signal. The router pretty much stays on b41, sometimes on b66. I hope the service continues to improve like this! 

I want to add that I'm also connecting to Sprint b25 as well. But mostly staying on b41 on all devices.

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My phone and home internet used to use b66 and b12 a lot. Service went downhill for over a month, then I noticed my phone started connecting to b41 and speeds and service have been great. My phone shows 5g but I've never seen my router connect to a secondary signal. The router pretty much stays on b41, sometimes on b66. I hope the service continues to improve like this! 


Thank you for responding. This is the kind of thing I’m interested in. The phone app gives out information but for some reason leaves off the secondary signal, so that’s why I use the GUI for that.

Are you using the GUI or just the T mobile home internet phone app? And when you say the speed is great, what kind of speed we talkin about here?

“Great” is relative to what you had in the past or expect. For some people 40 is great, and others anything under 200 is disappointing.

Also, what’s your signal strength, on both your 5G phone and your gateway?

A commenter responded to a post of mine on another thread saying he got 400 down and 50 up on T mobile’s home internet 5G but dropped to 60 to 80 when on a primary 4G signal, and he gets stuck on that 4G signal for long periods which is totally unacceptable for him because he’s used to  steady speeds in the hundreds on cable. He gets 5 bars signal strength and indeed, by lowering that down (by putting foil over the gateway)  he can connect to 5G only with fewer bars, but then his speeds drop off way too much. 

However, if you are using the GUI at the address I mentioned in my first post, and showing no secondary signal, chances are your B12 and B66 are 4G only. And that isn’t bad! As long as the 4G works reasonably well for you. Also, the near future could be dramatic for you, when they install the 5G on your tower like n41, and you start getting that as your secondary signal. 

One form of 4G they put in Chicago, I read, and people can get speeds of 500Gbps if they are close enough to the tower.

About the 5G icon on your phone, here is a quote from an article:

T-Mobile has been adding this icon on their phones even when they are not connected to the 5G network, so if you are unsure, download the app Signal Spy (on Android) or enter Field Test Mode on your iPhone

 

The app is useless. I use the web settings to check. When I first got home internet (old gateway), my speeds were the same as my phone on LTE, usually 10mbps-50mbps. Not sure what bands the old gateway was using. I think my phone would go between b12 and b66. I got the 5g gateway 3 months ago and got the same speeds, never showed secondary signal. My signal strength on both the old gateway and new one stay at 2 bars, no matter where I put it. It’s funny because the best spot is in the middle of my house, but it’s a small house and one level. My phone generally has full signal, sometimes drops down to 2 bars. There seem to be 3 different towers that I can connect to. The closest being 2 miles. Last month I started getting horrible service, slow speeds, no signal, on all of my devices, including my work Sprint phone. 2 weeks ago, the service improved on all devices. That’s when I noticed connecting to b41 and b25 (tagged as Sprint). I use signal checker pro on my android phone and tablet. It shows the tower/signal information in status bar. Another good app is LTE discovery. I use the web gui or app to see what the gateway is connected to. My home internet kept connecting to b12 for several weeks while I noticed the speeds slow to a crawl, under 1mbps. Now, with all devices consistently using b41 most of the time, my speeds are usually always above 20mbps. Usually hitting 100-150, even in the evenings during peak time. I’m not sure if the gateway ever connects to 5g, but my phone usually is on 5g, sometimes switching to 4g. It’s funny because it doesn’t seem to matter as speeds are the same and sometime worse on 5g throughout town. I never used to get 50 or 100 months ago. I would occasionally see 50 early mornings but that was it. Always consistently averaged about 15 and dropped to under 1 when they were upgrading the towers It’s great because I can stream and use everything normally normally now. I think with the latest firmware update on the 5g router and the service from the towers improving, all the issues with my home devices staying connected and streaming have disappeared. I’ve found that I also don’t have to reboot the gateway as I did regularly before because the signals were so wonky. My router still only shows primary signal and always on b41 now. Same with my phone, although I’m seeing more 4g on my phone than 5g at my house, but even on 5g it shows band as b41 or b25. I’m pretty sure at this point with the upgrades happening, even though it’s hard to tell if really on 5g or 4g sometimes, it doesn’t matter what “G” shows, it mattes what towers and bands you’re connecting to. Right now in my area, I’m seeing way more 5g coverage and signal strength but speeds are definitely faster on 4g and sometimes better than on 5g. I have never seen n71 yet on any device. I’ll be doing some more testing as I’m out and about in the next month. I’m happy with anything over 20mbps and definitely noticed when the service dropped out for several weeks. Now that I’m getting around 100 mpbs and staying well above 20mbps all the time, I’m very happy and impressed by the difference. I also don’t notice any difference in speed performance between my devices. Home Internet for me always matches my phone and sometimes performs better. Hopefully that answered your questions, sorry got long winded haha!

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Okay, well now I’ve got the full picture. Thanks. You’re a real pioneer being on this home cellular with that other device which didn’t have 5G.

Even though I got this just a week ago, I feel stunned being in the first year of 5G home internet by T mobile, at this price. I had to wait 7 years after broadband was available in the city 10 miles away for me to get it. So I was stuck on dialup forever it seemed, going to the library in town to do fast updates of Windows 10 using their wireless.

So I just got my first smartphone last month, and it is 4G only, and before that I was on a 3G phone that used to drop calls unless I used it in a part of my house where it wouldn’t do that. But the difference for me between the 4G phone was I got speeds on that of 10 to 60, with maybe an average of 25 or so. So I think my 5G speeds on this gateway are even better than the promise of 2x the speed of 4G that many people see. Tell me if you pick up a n41 somewhere in your travels with your phone and what kind of speeds you get on that.

 

Just got the Gateway last Saturday. Speeds were terrible.  
 

Overnight the firmware updated to 1609.  Performance is better.  100 down and 10 up. Band b41. No 5G. 
 

Did factory reset last night.  This morning I was b2, then b66.  Speeds still bad. Moved it upstairs. Now I am back on b41 with 100/10. 

I think cellmapper has issues. 

I think the major problem is people look at the cell towers as omnidirectional.  They are anything but.   They are phased arrays that can steer the energy beaming it where they want. 

I have ordered a panel antenna kit from waveform.  We’ll see how that works.

I am north of Ringgold GA  

Retired electrical engineer that did control systems used to make cookies.

 

Dennis

 

 


 


 

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Just got the Gateway last Saturday. Speeds were terrible.  
 

Overnight the firmware updated to 1609.  Performance is better.  100 down and 10 up. Band b41. No 5G. 
 

Did factory reset last night.  This morning I was b2, then b66.  Speeds still bad. Moved it upstairs. Now I am back on b41 with 100/10. 

I think cellmapper has issues. 

I think the major problem is people look at the cell towers as omnidirectional.  They are anything but.   They are phased arrays that can steer the energy beaming it where they want. 

I have ordered a panel antenna kit from waveform.  We’ll see how that works.

I am north of Ringgold GA  

Retired electrical engineer that did control systems used to make cookies.

 

Dennis

 

IMO Cellmapper at least in my area is next to useless none of the tower data is even close to accurate.

What I have done is just drive around with my phone and do testing at the tower and out towards my home. The can is really fussy in rotation makes a big difference. Since I got the new firmware my can will not hold the 5G signal as the SNR is near 0 so it stays locked on LTE b66 I get 60-70 ish but seems stable. Note I am in a Ultra 5G coverage area so I have no idea why my can does not get att the very least an ok 5G signal. I am on the fence about the external antenna as I don't know how much it will really help. Testing with my phone very close to the towers only shows speeds in the 100 ish area. There is only one tower that is 3.5 miles away that gives 200ish speeds but my can will not ever lock on that tower as there are 2 closer towers one half mile, one 1 mile, oh yea another 2 miles. So if my 5G phone is not getting the speeds next to the towers I don't see how the can can.

 

One very odd thing is once in a while in just one window of my home the can and my phone can get 500+ speeds. It does not last sometimes I see it for minutes sometimes longer but then it’s gone and speeds in that window drop to10. Makes me think of the old days on CB and shortwave when signals would bounce off the atmosphere and I would be talking to someone on the other side of the world.

 

 
 


 

 

 

In my area n71 band is on towers next to the interstate.  At least cellmapper says they are there. That is 600 MHz band.  What used to be used by UHF channels like 39-55.  
My b41 tower was a Sprint cell. 
The app really needs some work as does the firmware.  At least there needs to be a search button to force it to find another tower.  It needs to remember and display previous towers along with SINR. This is not hard to do. 
 

Dennis

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I hooked up an external antenna and it helped not one bit. I still just get 2 bars on 5G as a secondary connection to go along with my 3 bars of 4G coverage, Walking around doesn’t seem to improve the connection but it’s hard to tell since the meter on the cylinder just shows the best 3bar connection and not specifically 5G. I don’t have a 5G phone to test with.

Looking at the Cellmapper web site I don’t see the only 5G connection I can get; N41 / PCI 7.

Supposedly my area has “5G Ultra Capacity” coverage but the towers to support that don’t show up on cellmapper.net; mostly just along the freeways. I guess it only has what users submit.

Maybe I should hook up the external antenna to the 4G line and try to get more than 3 bars.

Usually the 4G is much better than what I used to have but sometimes it’s spotty with even poorer performance than my old 10 megabit DSL.I suspect that the router doesn’t do that great of a job handling the drastically shifting speeds available so I get lots of bufferbloat and whatnot. Upload speeds are often < 1 megabit with tests often failing to even complete when there are slowdowns.

Edit: I still get 2 bars on my antenna for 5G even with the antenna disconnected so maybe I didn’t get it connected right. The again, it was the same with the internal antenna so perhaps I just can’t get a freaking 5G signal at my house despite being in a “5G ultra capacity” zone. :|

Cellmapper has multiple entries for T-Mobile when you search.  I found that when I looked up the b41 tower/cell I am connecting to.  Turns out it came from Sprint. I think one of the cell tower metrics is CID.  Long number.  First 6 digits are the carrier.  It showed up as T-Mobile Sprint not T-Mobile. 

We will see when the panel antenna gets here. 

I hope the software jockeys that wrote this are running it at their houses.  They need to eat their own dog food.  

I wrote control system software for a living. I know all software has bugs, those you know about and those you don’t.  The latter you really worry about. 

In the software business there is a saying…

“if builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.”

Users today are debugging the software.  Why do you think apps get updated so frequently?  Throw that spaghetti code against the wall and see if it sticks.  
 

Dennis
 

 

Metric is not CID, but CGI. 

Just correcting the record. 
 

Dennis

One more rant for the developers…

Around 8% of males in the US are colorblind. Red-green. I am one of those. 

The color choices for the signal strength bars on the top of the can are terrible. Difficult to distinguish.  

I hate the combo red/green LEDs   I can see it change  color but can’t tell you what it changed from and to   
 

Climbing down from soap box…

 

Dennis

 

Tim… thank you for sharing your insights in your post! I have been having a similar issue and your post is the only thing I found that directly addresses the problem. You are a scholar and a gentleman!

In my case, my secondary signal drops from time to time. When that happens my connection is basically useless. At that point, I run a continuous ping [ping www.google.com -t] and see ping spikes that always look the same. They build up over 4 pings and then drop back down. Something like this:

 

ping 1: 78ms

ping 2: 245ms

ping 3: 679 ms

ping 4: 1084 ms

ping 5: 84 ms

ping 6: 455 ms

ping 7: 872 ms

ping 8: timed out

 

After a while, magically, the signal will stabilize and reconnect on the secondary signal and all my pings are sub 100ms.

What I don’t understand is why the secondary signal drops, at all. Why not just stay connected?

Any insights on that?

Thanks again!!

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In my case, my secondary signal drops from time to time. When that happens my connection is basically useless. At that point, I run a continuous ping [ping www.google.com -t] and see ping spikes that always look the same. They build up over 4 pings and then drop back down. Something like this:

 

ping 1: 78ms

ping 2: 245ms

ping 3: 679 ms

ping 4: 1084 ms

ping 5: 84 ms

ping 6: 455 ms

ping 7: 872 ms

ping 8: timed out

 

After a while, magically, the signal will stabilize and reconnect on the secondary signal and all my pings are sub 100ms.

What I don’t understand is why the secondary signal drops, at all. Why not just stay connected?

Any insights on that?

 

Thanks for your kind remarks. If you told me the timing out on your continuous ping test was happening all the time, instead of only when your secondary signal is dropped, I would suggest turning your firewall off, at least temporarily, to see if it stops that. You might try that anyway, to see if might stop you from dropping the secondary signal.

To turn the firewall off in Windows 10, you hit the Windows key, type in “firewall” and then OPEN, and then on the left you can go to a menu item that gives you the option of turning the firewall off.

If it works, then you’ll  want to explore what firewall setting you can change to keep it working, but get the firewall back on, because you don’t want to just leave your firewall off.

Your continuous ping pattern being rather high and then timing out when you have the primary alone suggests its unstable and that’s probably similar to my experience where I live, that the 4G LTE signal is less stable, on my phone anyway. 

Now that I’ve had the gateway for over a month, by finding the position in the window facing the tower, I haven’t had the issue of dropping to a slow primary-only signal even once.

Have you fully explored trying all manner of positions for your gateway, seeing if there might be one that helps stop you from dropping the secondary signal? (You didn’t say, so that’s why I’m asking that.)

Also, just to see how my continuous ping is -- I haven’t done that test in years -- it’s of note that my continuous ping does not time out and fluctuates between 50 and 150, even though I rarely get a ping of over 50 on a standard test. So that you are getting continuous pings of sub 100ms is good on the 5G signal pair.

 

 

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Well for me its primary b71 with no secondary during daytime hours. this is basically useless and doesnt hardly load a webpage and wont perform a speedtest without timing out.

At night time i connect to b66/n71 on this i get around 10 mbps nothing stable though i have gotten 40-50 mbps but rarely also the upload is .05-.5 mbps really horrible and the ping times are 800.

it seems like they really throttle the connection or kick you off towers or something nothing really works with any sort of reliability sometimes it doesnt work at night as well or its only after midnight -5 am its actually ridiculous ive spent countless hours moving this thing all over the place i even rigged up a fan mounted to the bottom idk 

losing hope

Thank you for the suggestions. My firewall has already been neutered so I think I can eliminate that.

Its harder for me to move my router around for reasons I can’t disclose here. Lol. But, I think your point is well taken. There must be something happening with stability in my signal that is making the router drop my 5g band. I will experiment with that. Hopefully, if I figure it out, I will remember to come on here and update the thread.

Also, I’m very glad to hear that you have a stable, strong signal. I bet you are so happy! I know I will be if I can get it to stabilize. I have had CenturyLink DSL for years and OMG…. torture! Of course you had dial up so I can’t complain. I mean seriously… how is dial up still a thing? :)))

Thanks for responding!

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Well for me its primary b71 with no secondary during daytime hours. this is basically useless and doesnt hardly load a webpage and wont perform a speedtest without timing out.

At night time i connect to b66/n71 on this i get around 10 mbps nothing stable though i have gotten 40-50 mbps but rarely also the upload is .05-.5 mbps really horrible and the ping times are 800.

it seems like they really throttle the connection or kick you off towers or something nothing really works with any sort of reliability sometimes it doesnt work at night as well or its only after midnight -5 am its actually ridiculous ive spent countless hours moving this thing all over the place i even rigged up a fan mounted to the bottom idk 

losing hope


I can see why you’re losing hope. I’ll be frank and say it sounds kind of hopeless. You didn’t mention your signal strength or your distance to the tower, and how many obstructions there are between the tower and you. Are you city or rural?

The only hope is that they are doing tower work, or have temporarily shifted you to a tower that is farther away and it will be this slow until the work is done. This is a slim chance, but it is possible. Call T mobile and ask if that is what is happening at your tower. Leave your number for the callback instead of waiting two bloody hours to speak to someone. (I just happened to have called them once, but it was about my account, to make sure  I was on autopay.)

Yeah, a ping of over 150 is bad, and if it is frequently over that into ping like 800, that will make your connection lag, stop, and be unusable most of the time. They are not throttling your speed. That would not influence ping.

Assuming there is no work being done on the tower, there is a possibility you’re in a dead zone with a lot of interference. This interference can be caused by overlapping signals from two towers, or something like a nearby electrical power station.

Do you have a 4G smartphone, and what provider is it, and what kind of speed were you getting with that?

If you were getting a speed of over 30 on a 4G smartphone, or better yet, were able to find someone with a T mobile 5G smartphone who could do a speed test in your house and got good speeds on 5G, I would say that could point to something being wrong with your gateway.

But reading about people’s experiences, and the ones who tried getting another gateway before giving up, it rarely is the gateway that is the problem.

I have my own story about encountering a dead zone, at my brother’s house. He is much closer to a t-mobile tower than I am. According to their coverage map, both T mobile’s 4G and 5G are a level better than what I can expect in my location. I went to his house with my 4G smartphone -- he doesn’t have a smartphone yet -- and I got a speed of 12 download, and went out to the park near him -- same speed. But looking at his tower location, there is a massive electrical substation located between him and the tower, about 6 blocks from him, and I wonder if that is it. I don’t know what his 5G speeds are but we’ll just wait until one of his friends gets a 5G phone and can test for him, before he tries the T mobile home internet.

Your pattern of getting a better signal at night, as bad as it is, is the same as nearly everyone. If you haven’t done it yet, you might also try doing a factory reset, using the hole located above the two yellow LAN ports on the gateway. Stick the end of a paper clip or something in there for 4 seconds. Then you’re going to have to start over with the app.

I admit that I consider myself to be terribly lucky, to be 5 miles from a tower, and that this tower has n41 instead of n71. But it was also predictable. My 4G speed on the T mobile smartphone was between 10 and 60 (with the high speeds at night only), and then with the 5G on the same tower, I expected to get 2x the speed and got 3x the speed instead.

But if you give up and turn it back in, which I probably would do in your situation, try to keep in contact with neighbors or something via a message board and find out what provider is getting the best 5G service in your area, because it may not be there now, but it most likely will be coming soon.

And remember if there is a store near you, you can turn the gateway back in to the store and not have to mail it back in, if that is more convenient.

Lastly, the traffic of cell phone use and streaming videos, video chat, downloading things and other things during the day is what gives most people faster speeds late at night or in the early morning hours when people aren’t doing those things.

And as I said before, ping is what is really killing you. Even if you were getting speeds of 300, a ping of 800 would cause so much lag, halting, well, that would be a problem.

But who knows, maybe with a tower in a different location from Verizon instead of T mobile, and this could work for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have done multiple factory resets and even purchased a external router for wifi instead of using the built in wifi so all the ssids are turned off with a ethernet cable going to the router that i connect my wifi devices to.

There are two towers i connect to the daytime one that i get primary b71 with no secondary signal from even though the tower says it has it on cell mapper is about 3 miles north in a idk small populated area im on the outside of town i find it weird that it connects to the tower that is in a more populated area during the daytime i only get 2 bars of b71 never had a secondary connection from this tower there really isnt any tall buildings in the area .

The second tower i usally only get connected to at night with the b66 2 bars /n71 3 bars connection is 2 miles south maybe less i would be surprised if there was 500 people that lived within a 3 mile radius of that tower lol its all farmland basically. i do notice the b71 4g signal on the tower with no secondary connection is stronger usally by a couple digits than the tower with b66 4g so i think its choosing that tower witch idk seems broken or something as no data hardly gos through it lol

Also i just noticed my boost mobile phone that has been horrible for the last year comes up as t-mobile ip address on speed test and has the same horrible connection. before this boostmobile was on sprint network and i had great speeds on 4g always 50mbps and up with 5 bars of service-i thought t-mobile merged with sprint i dont seem to get access to those sprint towers anymore as the same phone and service only has 1-2 bars of signal now and has been ridiculously bad ever since this changed not sure if that means anything.

im just thinking the t-mobile service is really bad in the area along with every other provider-currently i am on visible wireless that uses verizon towers and has unlimited hotspot data i get ok ping 90-150 usally but speeds are often 1-3 mbps during peak hours but it always works and is pretty stable i only get 1 measly bar of service on this and the ping times are so much better it works like regular internet lol but i also game so downloading/updating doesnt get you very far at these speeds.

its weird because it seems like they have put up new cell towers all over around here but none of them are on cell maper and no provider seems to have good service in this area but im surrounded by towers maybe they are all causing interference or something im really confused about how i used to have great connection to sprint towers and t-mobile has those towers now but it seems that they have them turned off or something.

anyways sorry for the ramble i basically have given up and try not to think about it as much as i was and idk most likely will be returning it at some point-also there is probably a store for every provider you can think of within a few miles i just dont understand why they would have storefront in small areas with no service lol the only one i havnt tried is at&t they are supposed to be pretty good around here but idk its expensive i do plan on trying cricket or puretalkusa next month witch is based on at&t towers it just sucks because this all costs money weather the service works or not doesnt mean you get stuff for free.

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I felt like I was in the clutches of telephone companies decades ago, up until I ditched my landline. This is the first time I’m the one doing the clutching, hanging on to this amazing 5G service I get, hoping it continues through the future months and years.

What are you kidding?  Do you repeat that 3 times while clicking your heels together?

 

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OK very very interesting thread!!!

Just may have saved T-Mobile a customer.

Several takeaways.

-The download speed you get on your phone in the same spot has nothing to do with what you will get on the can.

-Take all the signal strength, SNR, bars, everything and forget about it as none of it matters.

-Fact you can get better download speed with less bars again forget about them.

I started out in a window that I could see the tower with m eyes. There it is line of site from the window can in that window. Good signal all looks good how can you get any better you can see the tower it’s right there. Crap speed total crap speed was getting ready to send it back and stick with Comcast.

This thread popped up gave it a read yea took a while. Took the can on a UPS with my laptop moved around the house doing just download speed tests. Found several places with good download speed that just did not make sense. Not near a window, tower nowhere in sight, in the middle of a room. Crazy acceptable download speed. Tried several windows with towers not good speed this does not make any sense.

Made a list of places and found that many inside places gave good speeds. In the end put it in the center of my home and it is there now with good speed. Just for giggles I moved it to the window where I can see the tower man it is right there you can see it and 2m download speed total crap. Move it back to the center of my home where I have worse signal, worse readings, less bars, and I get speed.

So now we leave it sit here for a few days, a week, and let’s see how we do. I don't need that much speed just enough to have 2 zoom calls my wife on one me on the other and maybe a kid watching a 4k show.

Again forget bars, signal strength, all that stuff the only thing that matters is speed and you may get that with less bars and worse signal.

 

 

 

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I tend to agree the download speed of one device or another could have no bearing on the matter. The radios and antenna configurations could be very different the same as drivers etc… but as a reference point for trouble shooting having multiple devices did help here. The reporting by the software and/or the LED panel on top of the Nokia router are not very impressive. The signal strength indicator is just a quick reference so sure it is probably not sufficient. It does take effort and attention to optimize the placement of the router. I would speculate that the current location of the router in the middle of the house may have something to do with the signal bounce off surfaces in the house. It does seem crazy wrong that having it in the window with direct line of sight to the tower would not provide a better reception. It is easy to overlook screens that are not nylon or in one odd case here I discovered my wife and daughter were pulling down the “metal” blind inside the glass door which totally shielded the router. They did it to themselves but did not think about the aluminum blind between the glass when using it to darken the room. 

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