4G LTE Cellspot versus iPhone 5 from Verizon


    Just moved an iPhone 5 from Verizon to an existing T-Mobile plan.  iTunes updated the network settings and it went live.  Problem is, it has no data when it's in range of my 4G LTE Cellspot (had it since Nov 2015).  With the Cellspot on, the iPhone 5 shows 5 bars of "T-Mobile" and has no data at all.  With the Cellspot off, the iPhone 5 shows 1 bar of "T-Mobile 4G."


    I called 611 but the person there couldn't do any more diagnostics than turning things on and off.  How do I get the iPhone and 4G LTE Cellspot to play nice together?

      All replies

      • tmo_marissa

        Hey kevinmcmurtrie, that's a bummer to hear!  I want to get to the bottom of it and figure out if the phone isn't compatible, or if it's an issue with the CellSpot itself.  Maybe your Verizon iPhone 5 can connect with our network but not on the same bands the CellSpot boosts - the 4G LTE CellSpot V1 says that although it's compatible with other carriers' handsets, to get LTE they must operate on either Band 4 or Band 2 LTE, and I'm not matching that up on any listing for your phone that I can find so far.  Do you know what frequency your phone is accessing when it connects to the network?  If it's a problem with the CellSpot not working as expected, then we would want you to exchange it.  Do you have any other devices that are picking up the signal?


        - Marissa

          • kevinmcmurtrie

            It looks like the CMDA iPhone 5 should be able to talk to a CellSpot on UMTS 1900MHz.  It's talking to normal T-Mo towers fine.

            iPhone 5 - Technical Specifications


            Other phones using the CellSpot have bands 2 and 4 LTE so this is my first try using the CellSpot with UMTS.  The iPhone 5 has good cell reception but WiFi reception, so a CellSpot creates a much larger dead-zone than a WAP can fill.

              • tmo_marissa

                OK, got it - so LTE is not expected because the iPhone 5 picks up different LTE bands, but you should still be getting 4G via U1900.  What's crazy to me is that you are seeing it if the CellSpot is off, but once it's turned on, nothing - right?


                If you go through the settings on the iPhone, are you able to disable LTE to see if it will force the phone to find the U1900?  I know you downloaded the update through iTunes, but you could also try double checking those settings against these.  If that still doesn't work, that case it seems logical that the CellSpot is the culprit.  I know you mentioned that only standard troubleshooting was performed when you gave us a call previously - did we discuss exchanging the CellSpot for you? 

                One last thing - did you mean to type that the iPhone 5 does or does not have WiFi reception?  The frequencies from a WiFi router are different, so could you connect the iPhone 5 to your WiFi and keep using the CellSpot for the other equipment? 


                - Marissa

                  • kevinmcmurtrie

                    I had a typo that I couldn't fix -  The iPhone 5 has terrible WiFi so turning that on only fixes data for one room.


                    I tried turning everything on and off in the iPhone 5 settings but it didn't change anything.

                    CellSpot on:  5 bars of "T-Moble" without data.

                    CellSpot off:  1 bar of "T-Moble 4G" with data.


                    During experimentation I did see a case where another phone went from LTE to H+ to H, then to no data while CellSpot had solid green lights.  A CellSpot reboot fixed it, so I may try exchanging it.  Maybe that will fix me getting WEAs for the wrong location too.