12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 21, 2016 10:12 AM by tmo_mike_c RSS

    Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot

    checkyourmirrors

      I am going to install a CellSpot in my condo and given the LTE coverage is not great where I am, I would prefer not to provide service to all of my T-Mobile neighbors. In part because there is a limit to the number of connection the CellSpot can handle and I'd like to ensure we get them, I also don't want them riding my Internet pipe for free and lastly, if T-Mobile wants me to be microcell for them because of coverage problems, I'll take a 20% my bill for that service.

       

      Any idea if you can limit which cell phones can access the CellSpot?

        • 1. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
          tmo_mike_c

          Greetings checkyourmirrors!

           

          There isn't a way to limit certain phones from being able to access the CellSpot. It is open to use like any other T-Mobile tower. If you do have some concerns about using the CellSpot device, I would suggest getting our Wi-Fi Router instead. The router will allow to limit access to certain devices with a password setting.

          • 2. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
            checkyourmirrors

            I assume the Wifi Router requires and uses the "Wifi Calling" feature on the iPhone? If that is the case, I have wifi calling already enabled but the service isn't rock solid hence my desire to switch to an LTE based service instead. So if I am clear, I hook up the CellSpot, however there is no ensurance that my devices will get connected? Meaning if others near me are T-Mobile customers, they could connect, use up the connection limit and I'd be back in the same place I was without the CellSpot?

             

            If that is the case, is there any indictor if my iPhone(s) connect to the CellSpot or will the low bars/service be myway of knowing?

            • 3. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
              tmo_mike_c

              Yes. If you do use the router, it would use the Wi-Fi calling feature. We do have a specialized router that we offer that's ideal for helping your Wi-Fi calling experience. To answer your other question, you would rely on the phone's signal bars just like you would if you were connected to a regular tower. They'll show that you have a connection.

              • 4. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                pabloc

                Why can't T-Mobile incorporate the same user restrictions options on the Cellspot as you do with the WiFi Router? There has got to be a better solution. I'm so disappointed with T-Mobile right now

                 

                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_c

                • 5. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                  drnewcomb2

                  I recommend getting a good WiFi router, such as T-Mobile's TM-AC1900, and forgetting the LTE CellSpot. The whole idea that it allows anyone to use my broadband Internet service is just a non-starter for me.

                  • 6. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                    pabloc

                    Well, two issues.

                     

                    1) I already have an excellent AC router which I love and spent good money on so I can't see myself replacing it with T-Mobile's router and

                     

                    2) Both of our phone aren't T-Mobile branded, so they are not capable of using WiFi calling.

                     

                    Therefore, we're stuck with the Cellspot being the only option. It works great, but the HUGE downside is the fact that the entire neighborhood is leaching our limited number of connections and not to mention sucking our internet bandwidth. Thankfully we have very fast speeds through Brighthouse Networks, but that's not the point

                    • 7. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                      drnewcomb2

                      Not sure what to suggest. WiFi Calling is an important feature for T-Mobile. And, no, if you have a good router, you would not need to replace it with T-Mobile's. One issue T-Mobile found with WiFi Calling was that many people had cheap routers that didn't work well, so they loan their customers a good one on liberal terms. Without WiFi Calling, you are limited in your options.

                      • 8. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                        pabloc

                        Do you know if there's any way to add WiFi calling to non T-Mobile phones via root or flashing on Android devices?

                        • 9. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                          drnewcomb2

                          Some people claim to have been able to flash a T-Mobile firmware version to identical devices that are not T-Mobile branded. It's something I've never tried and don't know much about.

                          • 10. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                            pabloc

                            Yeah, I've read the same thing. However, that would be impossible to find considering my wife uses the Galaxy S6 Active which is an AT&T exclusive. I have the OnePlus One and there have been lots of talks about CyanogenMod 13.1 coming with WiFi calling baked in, but nothing has materialized from that.

                             

                            Thank you anyway!

                            • 11. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                              tidbits

                              Only devices that can get wifi calling are same branded devices with exactly the same hardware and the manufacturer sign the packages exactly the same.

                              • 12. Re: Limiting which phones have access to CellSpot
                                tmo_mike_c

                                Hey pabloc it makes me sad hearing you're so disappointed.

                                 

                                I wish I had another solution for you but as previously mentioned, the router is the best alternative if the Cellspot isn't the best fit. Of course, you'll need a Wi-Fi calling capable phone. I don't know much about the OnePlus but even if it does get Wi-Fi calling capability with a future update, I'm not sure how well it'll work on the phone.

                                 

                                Sorry I don't have another workaround for you. I do want to thank you for stopping by and letting us know what's going on.