Hi there. I believe you are correct, there is no way to view RSSI in the Rocket 4G Connection Manager. There are a couple options if you need to get to this info.
Option 1 - Use what you are referring to as the "contract connection manager" for the Rocket 2 (Basically, it is the same device). Warning: Having two connection managers can lead to unpleasantness on your PC, such as conflicting device drivers.
Option 2 - If you have hyperterminal on your PC, you can send an AT command to the device to get back RSSI reading. This may be overly technical, but it is an option. If you are uncomfortable with AT commands, just ignore this option. AT+CSQ will return an RSSI reading.
Final comment - RSSI/Signal Strength could impact speeds of course, so that could be your issue with slow speeds, but there are other factors which could be at play also. Temporary network congestion, multiple apps running on your PC, the service you are attempting to use could be slow, etc... If you are getting good signal, are in a 4G area, and are quite confident there is nothing on your PC or with the service(s) you are using, you may want to contact customer care to make sure there are no techical issues in your area. Also - What is your definition of slow? Are we talking < 1mbps average? I'd call that slow. If we are talking 2-5mbps, I'd say could be better could be worse, but normal depending on all the speed affecting variables.
Thanks for the response. I can confirm (since I already tried it) that "Option 1" worked once and since rebooting only results in errors.
I also have Clear 4G and needed access in one of their dead spots. The T-Mobile coverage map showed full 4G so I bought it hoping to take care of that. The T-Mobile had 2 to 4 bars and worked poorly at first and then even Skype couldn't connect. The Clear worked but not as well as I needed. I understand that there are a lot of dynamics involved but the best speed I've gotten so far anywhere was 4+ down and 2+ up which would work for my needs.
What disappoints me is that T-Mobile is treating me like a second class customer by charging me more than if in a contract and now I find the connection manager is a stripped down version. If I can't even get real signal quality readings to best position it then I will have to consider returning it or simply not PAY to use it anymore. I'll be looking at going with Verizon or ATT to fulfil my needs if necessary. Also, their reps greatly exaggerate the available speed; tellig me I'd get 20 to 35 Mbps. Of course that is ridiculous. The online chat rep insisted that I would get 21 to 31Mbps UP. I'd be happy with dependable 4/2. Why set people up for disappointment?