14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 20, 2016 2:38 PM by tmo_marissa RSS

    T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

      I just got the new T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot and had it setup with no issues but according to the indicators I have maxed out on 4G LTE connections. We only have 4 T-Mobile phones at the house and only 3 are currently in the house so how did we hit the max 8 limitation so quickly after it started up?

        • 1. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

          Neighbors, possibly?

          • 2. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

            I am guessing the same thing as our neighborhood had no signal before I installed this and according to the coverage map I have neighbors on T-Mobile with Wi-Fi CellSpot's so I am sure they are connecting to me. My concern is they are going to eat up my connection limit as I look at the unit through-out the day I see the 2G/3G along with the #G LTE flashing on and off.


            Here are a few questions

            1) Anyone know how much bandwidth a call uses?

            2) If my neighbors start getting these will the phones roam to the strongest signal as you go down the block?

            3) Anyway to find out how many phones are connected

            4) I am worried that I am the first on in the area to have one and one day a phone wont be able to connect because it is full


            Just to give everyone my thoughts on this, I just moved to the area I am in now a couple months ago. I could not get a stable call and sometimes had to go across the street or down the block as we a in a dead zone between 2 towers and some large trees near us. I first tried the boosters and they didn't do a thing, I then got internet and tried WiFi calling, had nothing but issues with WiFi connecting and staying connected. I had to keep rebooting my phone to keep it working, there would be time just sitting there it would just stop working, or it was connected and someone would call me and it would not ring and next thing I knew I had a voicemail. I even tried T-Mobile Wi-Fi CellSpot Router and had the same issues. So far with the 4G LTE CellSpot I have a good strong signal and haven't missed a call but am worried about availability of a connection and bandwidth used, I think T-Mobile should give me a monthly discount on my bill for providing neighbors with cell service and using my Internet.

            • 3. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

              Hello ksiltd!


              You have some really good questions. Some of which can be answered on our 4G LTE CellSpot FAQs page. I see that you've already tried using our Wi-Fi Router. Sorry it didn't work out but it would be the only device that you could set up some security measure to prevent others from being able to connect to it.

              • 4. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                Hey Mike

                The Wi-Fi calling is not reliable in any means of the word using your router or others. It works when it wants too and is a pain to get working when it doesn't. The CellSpot is working good for us except on one phone where it keeps getting a bad connection with the other end has an issue hearing. The lights are still going crazy through out the day and with the overload of connections I am getting you would think T-Mobile would setup something in this area to handle the need.

                • 5. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                  Ouch! Sounds like you've already been through enough hardship with the router already. If the device that has audio issues is Wi-Fi capable you'd want to turn that setting off and retest. If the issue still continues, you'll want to Contact Us and we can have Tech Support troubleshoot this further.

                  • 6. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                    Did you ever find out if the CellSpot can limit which devices connect so you aren't the new microcell in the neighborhood helping T-Mobile fix coverage gaps?

                    • 7. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                      Sorry to interject, but there isn't a way to limit certain devices that can connect to the CellSpot. The router would be the only other option.

                      • 8. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                        Mike is right, but I still think T-Mobile should check my CellSport usage and see that they should put in a better solution for this area, I also believe I am getting connections from phone on other carriers which adds to my max connection issue. But it does work better then the Wi-Fi!

                        • 9. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                          I'm in the same boat where both our 4G and 3G connections are getting maxed down off and on throughout the day and night. The worst thing about it is that we notice when the connections are getting maxed, that my wife's Galaxy S6 Active starts getting extremely hot and the battery drains very quickly. But when she's using the phone in the middle of the night or very early morning when the connections are not maxed out, then the heat and battery are just fine. So it's obvious that other people are connecting to our cellspot and then her phone is searching for a distant tower/signal outside of the house since it's not allowed to connect to our own cellspot just a few feet away.


                          This is terrible and unacceptable. I get that T-Mobile is completely using us to expand their coverage for their dead zones which is why they don't charge anything for the device. However, there should be an option to limit only the devices under our account to connect to the cellspot or at the very least, give our devices top priority over anyone else outside of the house trying to connect.


                          We're seriously considering switching to Verizon even though we've been loyal magenta customers since the early 2000s. T-Mobile, can you please help us out??? tmo_mike tmo_elesa tmo_jonathan tmo_ryan

                          • 10. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                            Hi pabloc,


                            First things first: thank you for trusting us with your family's service for over a decade.  We would hate to lose your business.  If I'm reading this right - the lack of locking or priority options on the 4G LTE CellSpot is causing your wife's phone to act up while it's searching for service?  That stinks.


                            At this time, we don't have a way to modify the 4G LTE CellSpot as is to perform the way you'd like.  We can absolutely accept your feedback through this forum and make sure your voice is heard.  I was alerted to the other thread you'd posted on and noticed that another user advised that his previous carrier had a microcell that did lock and he was not a fan - I'm sorry, I'm sure that's salt in the wound for someone in your situation, who'd gladly trade places.  Any network amplifying option is going to be open to everyone, but what about switching to the Wi-Fi CellSpot instead?  That device works in tandem with your in-home Wi-Fi and so it's password protected.  As a possibly awkward last resort, you could speak with your neighbors and explain what's happening.  If they have T-Mobile service as well, they may not realize that they could order their own 4G LTE CellSpot instead, and that would ease the traffic on yours?

                            Thank you again for your feedback.  I wish that we had an immediate modification available to alleviate your frustration, but we do appreciate the opportunity to discuss the issue with you. 

                            - Marissa

                            • 11. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                              Hi Marissa,


                              Thank you for your reply! I'm glad to hear that at least someone's listening to our concerns.


                              Unfortunately, the WiFi CellSpot/Router isn't an option for us because we both have non-tmobile branded phones therefore, no WiFi Calling support. If I'm going to buy new phones, I might as well get them through Verizon and not need any extra devices to make phone calls.


                              Trying to get the neighbors to order their own CellSpots is a good idea, but a difficult one. Is there any way to tell who is connected to the CellSpot? Is there any type of web interface that we can log onto via our internal WiFi network to see how many actual connections are made at any given moment?


                              Also, is it possible like @ksiltd suspects that users from other carriers could be connecting to the CellSpot as well? I know some carriers share/lease each other's network towers so is this possible? If so, it's no wonder our 16 max connections are getting tapped out constantly.


                              The true solution would be, like you said, to give us locking and/or priority options with the device that we're powering and feeding a high speed internet connection through. Considering we're doing T-Mobile a favor in expanding your coverage, we should really get some personalized control in return at a bare minimum.


                              At this point, I'm even considering switching to AT&T so that we can keep our expensive phones and have a locked microcell (which I would be a HUGE fan of).

                              • 12. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                                Gotcha, pabloc, you're right, the Wi-Fi option isn't going to work with that set-up.    I'm sorry to say there's not a way to see how many users or which users are connected. 


                                I do know per 4G LTE CellSpot overview that the device "supports both T-Mobile branded handsets and other carriers' handsets compatible with the TMO network" - so that's how your unlocked devices are able to function on it.  Per my understanding there is no distinction in network access as long as the equipment is compatible with the frequencies listed there: UMTS devices – Band 2 UMTS, and LTE devices – Band 4 LTE and Band 2 UMTS.  Real talk: this means that it's possible that your neighbors are T-Mobile prepaid or MetroPCS customers, with equipment that can operate on those frequencies on the TMO network, and as such are not eligible to get their own 4G LTE CellSpot, but are utilizing your connection. 


                                Can I ask how close in proximity these neighbors are to you?  Also, has your coverage always necessitated such a device, or did you recently move?  I know you mentioned your tenure, so I'm wondering if you've needed a coverage solution the entire time - did you have a booster before?


                                I do agree that your ask is reasonable - but realistically, if it's adopted or possible, I can't begin to conceptualize the timeline, so I'm honestly just trying to determine if there's any viable solution that we can immediately provide.  You absolutely have to do what's best for your family - I hope we can figure out a way that T-Mobile is still that choice.


                                - Marissa

                                • 13. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                                  Ugh, that's horrible to hear that the prepaid and MetroPCS customers can all connect to our CellSpot. This is ridiculous. I wish there was some way to block the signal around the house, but I'm not about to start building a faraday cage around us!


                                  Yes, we recently moved a few months ago. At our previous house we had a perfect 4G signal at all times. Unfortunately, this new neighborhood is next to a natural preserve where they aren't allowed to build cellular towers on or near it. Good for visual pollution, but bad for our service.


                                  The neighbors are relatively close, but not on top of one another. The cellspot claims 3,000 sq/ft coverage, but from my informal testing (walking around outside with a signal analyzer on my phone) the coverage is well beyond that. I would say a little over 2x that amount. So it makes perfect sense that there are tons of devices connecting to us at once.


                                  Is it possible to turn down the power of the CellSpot to reduce the coverage? Can you think of any devices or materials or removing a couple of the internal antennas or something?


                                  I love T-Mobile and have always preached to all of our friends and family that it's the best carrier of the bunch. Unfortunately, it's getting to the point where it's unusable if our devices are burning up and battery lasting less than half a day just inside the house.

                                  • 14. Re: T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot maxed on connections

                                    pabloc, I agree that a Faraday cage is not the most popular DIY project this season, nor would your neighbors (or worse - HOA if you have one!) be stoked to see that kind of structure go up.  What an interesting take on the old "good fences..." adage that would be, though.   I'm sorry this is such a complicated scenario - awesome new place, horrible for reception.  It's great that the CellSpot works twice as well as expected, but bad because it works for everyone. 


                                    We love that you love T-Mobile, and we absolutely recognize that you're in a tough position.  The tenor of our conversation makes it seem like this may be the last method of contact you've explored - but just in case you haven't yet, I would encourage you to Contact Us and speak with our Tech Care team to see if there's any additional insight they may provide.  With my resources, weakening the signal somehow is either not a process that exists, or not a process we support.  I would strongly discourage you from tampering with the CellSpot in any way that could be considered "damage", as technically it belongs to us and the customer using it is responsible financially for any repairs that may be needed upon its return.  Again, though, it can never hurt to ask.


                                    Thank you again for your valuable feedback, and for being so responsive.

                                    - Marissa