T-Mobile HOME Internet Service

alarmguy

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Ok, one more test ... after I finished the post above ^^^
Awesome, exceeds expectations at this time. I was ok and would be ok with 50Mbps ... glad I am getting just as fast download speeds as I did from Spectrum and my upload speeds are 100s of times faster then Spectrum. Yes!
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GON

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AlarmGuy, thanks so much for taking the time to post your findings. I am very concerned that most major internet providers are also major content providers- which is an inherent conflict of interest and posts risks to free competition. Anytime a third party can offer internet service- it changes the entire internet landscape. I hope T-mobile is high successful as a wireless internet provider that can compete with major cable internet providers.
 

alarmguy

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AlarmGuy, thanks so much for taking the time to post your findings. I am very concerned that most major internet providers are also major content providers- which is an inherent conflict of interest and posts risks to free competition. Anytime a third party can offer internet service- it changes the entire internet landscape. I hope T-mobile is high successful as a wireless internet provider that can compete with major cable internet providers.
Its awesome, and well, honestly? This is serious stuff, major competition to the landline internet providers. They really cant provide the service at this point as fast as people want to sign up. In addition the factories producing these cell modems are running at full capacity.
$50 a month, no games, no costs, no one need come to your house. They 2 days air the unit to you, you open the box, plug it in and your on the internet. Just like cell phones decades ago, growing pains there will be, but people will or already now FINALLY have a choice.
 
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709
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Indiana
I'm hoping to go this route and appreciate this informative thread.

I have ATT vdsl (pair bonded, max 28 down/6 up) at $55 per month. Although I live in a county with 1 million other people, my neighborhood is not densely populated so we won't get fiber anytime - at least not soon.

I do have the option to use comcast, but having been a subscriber before I'm unwilling to accept the marginal signal quality and terrible customer service (IMO, the "gold standard" for bad customer service).
 

alarmguy

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South Carolina
I'm hoping to go this route and appreciate this informative thread.

I have ATT vdsl (pair bonded, max 28 down/6 up) at $55 per month. Although I live in a county with 1 million other people, my neighborhood is not densely populated so we won't get fiber anytime - at least not soon.

I do have the option to use comcast, but having been a subscriber before I'm unwilling to accept the marginal signal quality and terrible customer service (IMO, the "gold standard" for bad customer service).
Ok, thanks for the responses, doing my best to keep this straight forward informative thread. glad its a help. Im a firm believer that Home Cell Internet is the future for many people but the best part is, maybe it will put a lid on the crazy price increases for Home Data/Internet Service by the cable companies.
I knew there may be and will be some growing pains, just like any technology, for me I enjoy this stuff and happy with our decision to cancel Spectrum and go with the T Mobile Home Internet service.
So below is yet another update, I know in time, whether it is days, months or up to a year, things will be more consistent.
 

alarmguy

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Update Friday Jan 15th,
Two weeks into this with TMobile internet, still large inconsistencies in speed but connection has been 100% reliable and never has stopped working.
Of course to the best of my knowledge T Mobile AMYBE still working on the speed variation with my local Cell Tower OR they already did yesterday because my speeds shot up to 100Mbps for 24 hours but has since been cut in half down to 20 to 40 again or worse at times.
I know nothing about cell towers but I seem to have one out of two signals the unit is using that is weak and over time it loses that signal, then speeds go down. I can check on these signals by accessing the router/modem.
TMobile is going to call me today to see if the issue was solved and I will let them know, it worked fine but now back to the 20 to 40 range and sometimes slower. Once again, never at anytime does it stop working or stutter or anything negative then just slower speeds. Its been entirely useable but I do want a more consistent speed. Two tests this morning and as I am typing this I did another that came in at 40Mbps which I would be good with if it didnt drop below that, though I have to admit, having 100Mbps yesterday spoiled me and want it back *LOL*
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Indiana
Ok, thanks for the responses, doing my best to keep this straight forward informative thread. glad its a help. Im a firm believer that Home Cell Internet is the future for many people but the best part is, maybe it will put a lid on the crazy price increases for Home Data/Internet Service by the cable companies.
I knew there may be and will be some growing pains, just like any technology, for me I enjoy this stuff and happy with our decision to cancel Spectrum and go with the T Mobile Home Internet service.
So below is yet another update, I know in time, whether it is days, months or up to a year, things will be more consistent.
I'm closely following your updates. I signed up yesterday and was told the equipment would ship between mid-February and mid-March. The rep I spoke to actually guaranteed me that I'd have speeds > 50/20. Not sure if it was just salesmanship or predicated on my location (I get strong LTE signal with my T-mobile, paygo phone and "my" tower is 3 blocks away, in sight from my house though LTE-A, not 5G).

Much like you, I'm approaching it as fact-finding experiment. A $50 gamble. Also, just like your case I'd really like to have bridge mode on the hardware. As I'm sure you've seen, there are others clamoring for it and with the Nokia modem being brand new they might implement it.

Time will tell. It's great that people share their experiences on new technology/services. I'm acting as a guinea pig for both myself and my neighbor who is sick of paying comcast $200+ per month (something I'd never even consider doing).
 

alarmguy

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I'm closely following your updates. I signed up yesterday and was told the equipment would ship between mid-February and mid-March. The rep I spoke to actually guaranteed me that I'd have speeds > 50/20. Not sure if it was just salesmanship or predicated on my location (I get strong LTE signal with my T-mobile, paygo phone and "my" tower is 3 blocks away, in sight from my house though LTE-A, not 5G).

Much like you, I'm approaching it as fact-finding experiment. A $50 gamble. Also, just like your case I'd really like to have bridge mode on the hardware. As I'm sure you've seen, there are others clamoring for it and with the Nokia modem being brand new they might implement it.

Time will tell. It's great that people share their experiences on new technology/services. I'm acting as a guinea pig for both myself and my neighbor who is sick of paying comcast $200+ per month (something I'd never even consider doing).
For whatever it’s worth I think you will be fine and based on what you said about the tower I think you will be blown away by the speed. Yeah there is no pass through to use your own router in the proper way but if it means anything to you I have found this router powerful.
The GUI is full of bugs and they aware of that. By that I mean if you program your SS IDs to each of the three bands you may find on a reset that you lose those settings and have to do it all over. For now you can use the app and program one SS ID to test it out and let the router choose which band. We haven’t had any issues at all with the system going down or any interruptions if that’s any consolation.
Also tech-support is extremely impressive. Previous post I had a call into them and they were going to have engineers work on it. They called me at 12 noon today but I wasn’t home and in our conversation they are going to call back at 6o’clock and have me move the router to the southern part of the house and 3 feet off the floor while they troubleshoot. The issue for me is I’m losing one of the two bands which is cutting the speed down, They didn’t tell me that about the two bands but I figured it out for myself.
Just the fact that they knew my house in relation to the tower tells me the engineers are doing their job.
 
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Indiana
For whatever it’s worth I think you will be fine and based on what you said about the tower I think you will be blown away by the speed. Yeah there is no pass through to use your own router in the proper way but if it means anything to you I have found this router powerful.
The GUI is full of bugs and they aware of that. By that I mean if you program your SS IDs to each of the three bands you may find on a reset that you lose those settings and have to do it all over. For now you can use the app and program one SS ID to test it out and let the router choose which band. We haven’t had any issues at all with the system going down or any interruptions if that’s any consolation.
Also tech-support is extremely impressive. Previous post I had a call into them and they were going to have engineers work on it. They called me at 12 noon today but I wasn’t home and in our conversation they are going to call back at 6o’clock and have me move the router to the southern part of the house and 3 feet off the floor while they troubleshoot. The issue for me is I’m losing one of the two bands which is cutting the speed down, They didn’t tell me that about the two bands but I figured it out for myself.
Just the fact that they knew my house in relation to the tower tells me the engineers are doing their job.
The responsiveness of their tech support is encouraging. Hopefully that'll extend to implementing bridge mode (obviously not a main priority on a new service, newer modem). I looked at the online documentation for the nokia modem and I wasn't sure if you can turn off the wi-fi radios (I have a 3 unit mesh wi-fi setup). I also didn't see if there is a place to specify DNS servers rather than having to do so on each connected device - I have a pi-hole running to filter/block ads. Ideally, with bridge node I could use a pfsense box for routing, filtering, etc. My current ATT gateway has the same limitations as the Nokia.

Another similarity to your setup is that I also have ooma telo. I have noted the power down power up sequence you chronicled.
 
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running only 1 connection my lowest tier DSL is good enough for me + a bargain compared to TV for sure!! i hate spending $$$ for nothing as i watch LITTLE TV + not pleased how Dish cut 22 + 28 during football season with no price cut!!! in their favor they repaired a water logged bulb on my dish without charge!! i prolly spend TOO much time on-line but usually only in the colder sloppy Pa winter time but shopping + buying on-line is a plus for sure as well as ALL the great info available, so i could do WITHOUT TV but not the fair priced DSL i have had for MANY years!! the most important things i learned is how to be HEALTHY by proper lo carb eating + FASTING!!! thank you Dr Ken D Berry + especially Dr Sten Ekburg who explains IN Detail "how the body works" + debunks many false promises by our SICK CARE in the interest of $$$$$ + NOT your health!!! CURES NOT BANDAIDS to keep you on the scripts!!!
 
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alarmguy

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The responsiveness of their tech support is encouraging. Hopefully that'll extend to implementing bridge mode (obviously not a main priority on a new service, newer modem). I looked at the online documentation for the nokia modem and I wasn't sure if you can turn off the wi-fi radios (I have a 3 unit mesh wi-fi setup). I also didn't see if there is a place to specify DNS servers rather than having to do so on each connected device - I have a pi-hole running to filter/block ads. Ideally, with bridge node I could use a pfsense box for routing, filtering, etc. My current ATT gateway has the same limitations as the Nokia.

Another similarity to your setup is that I also have ooma telo. I have noted the power down power up sequence you chronicled.
Your not going to be able to do anything involved with the GUI on the router, its so limited its not funny. I never saw anything like it, as basic as basic can be. I posted photos in another thread. Under the "computer section" of BITOG.
I can tell even before a 6PM phone call that they have worked on something, speeds have increased to 50 min 70 max. Still have a phone call from them coming in at 6Pm as noted in previous post.A few devices running right now as well including wifes workstation.
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alarmguy

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Update - Sunday 1-17-20
Ill make this a short update today and follow up with a really detailed update, shortly, meaning another day or two which will most likely be the final, unless I do a blog on it someday, I feel like an expert dealing with and setting this Nokia T Mobile Home Internet Modem/Router up. I know it well, inside and out, with all its bugs, and the oddities of setting up a cell tower based Home Internet system. My wife and I had a blast Saturday, TMobile called us two times on Friday, engineers worked on our signal from the tower to our house and customer service called me at noon ( I Was at work) I wasnt home, she told me they wanted me to move the modem when I got home to the most southern part of the home as that was the clearest path to the tower. (to me this meant they really worked on it, to figure out where I live in relation to the tower) they also instructed me to have it 2 to 3 feet off the ground and she would call back at 6Pm to see how it was working, guess what, she did call back, Im so impressed but I missed the call.
We love it! Bye bye landline over priced Spectrum/Charter overpriced money grubbing internet service and hello to TMobile, Love my Freedom! *L*
Our issue was one of the two signals the modem was using from the cell tower was just a bit weak for the modem to stay locked onto. Anyway, we found a spot and I know its locked in by the numbers I am seeing, Where we are from the tower is the outer midrange. So in all this time we ALWAYS had uninterrupted internet service but with the modem unable to use both signals we at times would only get 30 Mbps +/- 10 Mbps.

Now that we found an area in our home, we get 100 mbps +/- 10 Mbps !! We just love it, Spectrum cost 50% more for slower speeds.
For the heck of it, my wife turned on 3 of our 5 or 6 Roku players and started streaming moves all around the house with a 4k on in our great room, two desktop computers running plus our security cameras. no hiccups at all. Its why I say, the normal residence only needs a solid 50 Mbps of service but internet providers want you to believe you need more so they can keep raising prices for bandwidth you never use. Its a cash cow, pure profit. Anyway, we love it, great feeling not being tied to a cable running down the road and to your house and held hostage by the company delivering the data. Just like landline telephones largely disappeared with their outrageous pricing, well, now the time has come for Charter and Spectrum to continue their decline as a data provider.

Sunday Mornings speeds taken form two different sites, over our WIFI on second floor of the house, router on main level, BTW, the built in router is very powerful. Somehow we get these speeds all over the house.



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Illinois
We received the T-mobile home internet router this past Wednesday, found a good central spot with a solid 4 bars and am very very impressed. Of course coming from 10 yrs of up to 5mbps DSL anything is better but this has been great.....we have averaged ~120 mbps down ~30 up pretty consistently with a drop to around 90 mbps last night for a couple hrs. Set up was stupid easy and the range of the router is really good, the only issue was our youngest daughters room in the back corner of the downstairs having a few buffering problems so I dug out the old powerline system hooked it up to the router and the fire stick and no more buffering, the powerline modules max out at 35mbps but speed tests showered it at 35mbps every time.

No complaints with this system and I cannot wait to call ATT and cancel DSL.......makes me kind of ill thinking about how much we paid for it over the years..........a big big shout out to Alarmguy for putting us onto this service......Thank you!!!!
 

alarmguy

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South Carolina
We received the T-mobile home internet router this past Wednesday, found a good central spot with a solid 4 bars and am very very impressed. Of course coming from 10 yrs of up to 5mbps DSL anything is better but this has been great.....we have averaged ~120 mbps down ~30 up pretty consistently with a drop to around 90 mbps last night for a couple hrs. Set up was stupid easy and the range of the router is really good, the only issue was our youngest daughters room in the back corner of the downstairs having a few buffering problems so I dug out the old powerline system hooked it up to the router and the fire stick and no more buffering, the powerline modules max out at 35mbps but speed tests showered it at 35mbps every time.

No complaints with this system and I cannot wait to call ATT and cancel DSL.......makes me kind of ill thinking about how much we paid for it over the years..........a big big shout out to Alarmguy for putting us onto this service......Thank you!!!!
This is an awesome story. Glad it worked out for you.
Lets all keep in mind as I have been posting, there will be hiccups along the way, this is a new and unfolding technology or better said, way of having a data connection for your home other then the traditional landline way of doing it.
In addition the Nokia Home Router/Modem has only been sent out to new TMobile Home internet customers for maybe 4 weeks now, we can only assume firmware updates, even Tmobiles understanding of their cell tower capacities will be a learning experience.
I guess I am just preparing those who will read someone having issues, then get multiplied by 1000 times worse in the forums and media *LOL*

I would think sst9303 with 4 full bars of service you will be as trouble free as anyone and WOW, from 5 Mbps to 100, fantastic. Even IF you lost one of the two cell tower signals your unit is locked on, you would still be at 20 to 40 Mbps but with 4 bars, I think your set for life.

For us, it has not been as cut and dry. Let me first say, to this day, never, ever have we lost our internet connection, not even one minute or second, we have over 25 wifi devices in our home, not all used at once of course. We would know right away interruption.

We are on the outer/middle band of cell signal from the closest tower.
Which means in most of our home, we only get 2 bars on the 5g signal and 3 on the LTE. The 5 g signal has been a bear to stay connected to consistently. (I know in time this will improve) what happens when we lose 1 of the two cell tower signals are our speeds drop down from 100 to roughly 30 +/- 7 Mbps.
TMobile has been great, they even have a dedicated support phone number for Home Internet Support. Anyway, as I posted before, on their advice after they did some research they advised and we have seem to found a spot in the southern corner of our house where we now have 4 bars on one cell tower signal and 3 bars on the other.

I spent a lot of time getting to this point to see if both signals hold so we can have the highest speeds we now have. Keeping my fingers crossed as it held through the night so far. I do know, in a years time stuff like I am posting will be a thing of the past with newer equipment/firmware and solutions. then as more years go by, these 5 G Networks will be expanding extremely quickly.

Ill never go back to landline internet, they are price gouging themselves out of business. Keep in mind I can only work on this weekday evenings as my wife works from home weekdays and can not have an interruption in our connection.

Anyway, just did a speediest, Tuesday Morning 1-19-21
Hoping these speeds hold or will have to try other spots for better cell tower signal, Im hopeful, will see. Ill have more to say on setting it up, I learned A LOT over the last 2 weeks.
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alarmguy

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South Carolina
Update - Wed 1-20-21
Speeds still holding with modem/router in it new most southern location, as advised by T Mobile Support last week.
Both signals going to the unit have been solid at 3 bars, one of them bounces up to 4 bars once in a while. I have learned 2 bars are not good.
Pretty much, I get 80 Mbps and higher all the time now and 30+ up which is way faster on the upload then my now canceled Spectrum internet!

If you are in a weaker area for cell signals from the tower, (like us) placement becomes critical, not so much to get service, you will always have ok service but to get the fastest speeds. Pervious postings up until last weekend have been up and down on the speeds, service always 100% reliable.
Now speeds are set, in stone it seems. Finger crossed, Im thrilled. Wife too, as she is into this stuff.

If you are in a weaker area, you need to find out where the cell towers are and move your modem around your home accordingly so you can literally "face" the direction to the cell tower. On T Mobiles advice we did so, they actually looked into it and told us where in our home to try, and wow, so far so good, wife and I had fun, we plugged the Modem;/router into a 100 Foot extension cord and literal moved the modem around the house watching the readings on the phone app and on my laptop for highest cell signal.

I have also read in TMobile forums that if you rotate the Nokia Modem and face the electric cord of the Router/Modem cord towards the location of the tower you will notice the signal readings on your computer or phone app go up! I tried it, amazing but true. It seems the internal modem antennas for the cell towers are slightly directional and you can actually optimize the cell signal by turning the Nokia Modem/Router a little bit at time while the back of the unit where the power cord is, is facing the tower. Once you have it positioned you can actually fine tune if watching the readings on your computer or phone app, just a little bit of a twist on the modem makes a difference on the signal strength, critical in a marginal area of cell coverage.

Which bring me to the next stage, I loved my set up in my central closet with my old Spectrum modem, Motorola router, power line adapters for wifes workstation, Ooma landline phone, back up power supply, ect.
However I could not get a reliable high speed cell tower signal in that closet, so had to move everything into a southern most area of my home, with is fine but that also places the built in router at the southern most area of my home, instead of central area.

I can say this, the built in router is very powerful, Im amazed at the signal I get throughout the house, literally no loss in speeds.
BUT one of my outdoor security cameras is at the most furthest possible part of the home from the router, outside the house, which is brick. Signal is not so good there, Im shocked I get any. All other cameras are fine. I have these cameras for fun more then security but ... I will some day think about a power line adapter for that one camera, OR wifi extender, OR maybe wire up my now unused Motorola router and put it back in the central part of the home, honestly, the TMobile router works so impressive, Im shocked, at the same time, if your a techie kind of person you will hate the basic GUI for changing settings, there is literally nothing you can change. This router/modem is for residential use, T-Mobile does not want it used commercially, its a violation of its terms of use and I am sure the limited GUI is for that reason.

One more thing, the phone app sucks and is very buggy. Keep in mind, we used our intensely for finding the proper location in our home and that worked great, but if you come to reply on it, on a daily basis, sooner or later the darn thing starts bugging out on you, no mater how much you removed and reinstall it. I do not think the typical person will have that issue, we for the reasons above of a weaker signal were constantly restarting/even defaulting the router ect and it gets confused. *L*

Part of the reason of defaulting the modem/router was we needed a sequence of powering up to get our Ooma landline working correctly with it. Otherwise we could only receive calls and not make calls. So we needed to powerup the Modem/router up from a powered down and defaulted state and then within seconds, power up the Ooma device. This sequence is not just with TMobile router, it happened with Spectrum too, its just the Tmobile router is a bit less refined and a few bugs left that makes it dicey until you get it right. Completely non issue of you don have Ooma.

Example of weak signal from center of home;

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Following TMobile Support suggestion to try the southern most area of our home was correct, good signal and holding;
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Silicon Valley
Good deal. I think the best you can do is to try moving the modem / gateway around the house till you find the best signals. You can always run wires or powerline ethernet around the house for the wifi router so that you can get the best wifi, but the modem / gateway needs to have the best signal to the tower.

Do you know if you are running 5G or 4G LTE?
 

alarmguy

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South Carolina
....

Do you know if you are running 5G or 4G LTE?
We have the new LTE/5G capable Nokia Modem/Router. It is capable of 5G and we know networks will be expanding rapidly in 5g so its future proof as far as future proof goes. Even then it doesn't matter if future proof or not since they give you all the equipment at no cost.

With that said it doesn't matter to me what it is as long as I get above 50 Mbps and more then happy with the close to 100/40 I am getting now, no matter if it is 5G or not. Much like landline internet, as long as the speed is there, it doesn't matter to me how they do it.

To answer your question though, yes we are getting 5G. The unit uses up to 2 cell bands, primary and secondary. We are receiving an LTE signal and a 5G signal.
From what I read, the N71 band is TMobile 5G. It must have the "N" in it. "N" = New for 5G.
If it doesn't have the "N" then it is LTE. They also have LTE on other bands too.
 

alarmguy

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South Carolina
Update, Friday 1-22-21 things are working awesome, solid numbers all the time, internet spot on reliable.
Just freaking awesome! Free from Spectrum, no more, never again, nada nada nada yada yada yada! *L*
Download tests out constantly between 85 and 110 .. and upload MUCH faster then Spectrum/Charter 25 to 50.

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