magenta1858649

    Hi. I use a T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot as my source of internet at home (no cable ). I have been using this device for over a year. I usually connect my phone (Verizon, sorry), Macbook, and iPad to the internet, and my room mate does the same. We have the 18 GB/month plan with roll-over data, and we have never gone through all of it and always had a full cache of data. In October I got a Samsung Smart TV, which I also connected to the hotspot. However in the past 3 to 4 months we have been FLYING through data, and hitting the limit. When I check the usage on my account it seems like something is constantly downloading or updating. So my questions are:

    -Has anyone else had trouble with connecting a Smart TV to a hotspot and going through data like water?

    -Does the BingeOn feature (which is enabled for the hotspot, according to my online account) not apply to the TV, or my other devices?

    -Is there a way that I can check specifically what devices are using the data, either on the Hotspot itself or on my online account?

     

    I have called T-mobile support multiple times and not received the answer to any of these questions. Any help/advice from anyone is greatly appreciated.

      All replies

      • artart

        Re: Eating through data on 4G LTE Hotspot?

        Hi magenta1858649

        Welcome to the T-Mobile support community.

         

        My immediate response off the top of my head

        is that you should stop using your hot spot to connect to a smart TV. I don't believe that it is a good idea under any circumstances. You seem to have been doing fine before you inadvertently started "pushing the envelope" by connecting your TV to your hot spot. I would therefore recommend for you to simply return to your prior usage habits.

         

        T-Mobile's, and the other Mobile data provider's position, is that a mobile hot spot is not meant to be a substitution for cable Internet service. All carriers have taken steps to dissuade people from using mobile data in such a manner. Those steps will eventually cause you problems if you don't know how to conserve even your BingeOn data to avoid being "deprioritized".  In this first of two replies I will attempt to address your questions. In my second reply I will endeavor to explain why I believe that you should not only be monitoring the data which is subtracted from your 18GB monthly allowance;  but also keep track of an additional data metric which is called "total on-network data".

         

         

        You asked:

        -Has anyone else had trouble with connecting a Smart TV to a hotspot and going through data like water?

         

        Answer:

        A TV connected to the Internet will always go through data faster than water flowing over Niagara Falls. An always on connection is constantly being used to update menus and load images that use gallons of data. Most of those images might not ever actually be viewed by you.

         

         

        You Asked:

        -Does the BingeOn feature (which is enabled for the hot spot, according to my online account) not apply to the TV, or my other devices?

         

        Answer:

        Although all BingeOn data is usually exempt from counting against your monthly data bucket allowance, there have been instances of some data not receiving the proper "exemption", but that is probably not the issue you are having. All binge on eligible data being used by hot spot should be excluded from your data bucket whether you are viewing/listening on a tethered Verizon phone, tablet, laptop, or TV.

         

        On-network Data

        Total on-network data is the  monthly amount off on-network data that is allowed for all T-Mobile devices before data speed reduction MIGHT occur. That total on-network data is as important as your 18GB when keeping track of your data. All data, both BingeOn exempt data, plus the metered data that counts against your bucket usage , is added together which is then called total on-network data.

         

        Currently that total on-network data usage threshold is 32GB per month. Once you exceed 32GB you may experience slower speeds, even if you have not reached your 18GB monthly bucket allowance. The reduction will only occur during periods of high data usage resulting in congestion on the network If you do happen to experience speed reductions, the speed will return to normal after any high demand for data subsides.

         

         

        Question:

        -Is there a way that I can check specifically what devices are using the data, either on the Hotspot itself or on my online account?

         

        Answer:

        I am assuming you know how check your current total data usage. After making note of the current usage, Turn off the wi-fi connection on all but one device for the period of time you want to monitor the individual usage on that specific device. You can check, for instance if a particular device is registering data usage while watching a movie on YouTube. Only video and audio streaming is exempt from counting against your data bucket allowance. All other browsing on YouTube counts towards your data bucket allowance.          

         

        If you disable wi-fi on each of your devices except for your TV for a few hours while watching the TV, you will get a rough idea of how much data the TV is using over a period of time. Just check the data differential in your account for the lapsed period of time. You could perform the same test with your TV left on overnight to see how much data is being wasted over that period of time.

         

        There might be additional ways to to find individual data usage totals, but the above method should be sufficient to confirm the huge leak the TV creates in your data bucket. Furthermore Samsung is constantly using up your data allowance to snoop on your viewing habits to sell that information to marketing partners. That alone is a reason I would never connect a smart TV to a metered data plan connection.

         

         

        How I Stream BingeOn Video on TV

         

        To watch streaming videos using exempted binge on data, I use a laptop and then connect the laptop to a monitor or a TV via a HDMI cable. There are other ways to accomplish the same objective, but that is the easiest way that works for me.

         

        I have also made some additional remarks in my second reply pertaining to why we should conserve data usage even if that usage might not be counted against our data bucket allowances, because of the vulnerability to deprioritization..

         

        Art

          • artart

            Re: Eating through data on 4G LTE Hotspot?

            Hi again,  magenta1858649

            I would like to add to the answer I gave to the following question.

             

            -Does the BingeOn feature (which is enabled for the hot spot, according to my online account) not apply to the TV, or my other devices?

             

               Remember just like, laptop tethering, the other background data uploads and downloads eat up tethering data when connected to a smart TV. Although streaming data should be exempt via BiingOn, the additional  data used by a TV is still counted against data bucket usage.

             

            All data used while browsing sites like YouTube uses data from the data bucket. Only the actual video that is streamed doesn't use data from the bucket. When displaying  vudu movie menus and watching movie previews, that data counts against the bucket. . .  .just a  little clarification of my answer to your question.

             

            Art

          • artart

            Re: Eating through data on 4G LTE Hotspot?

            Hi  magenta1858649

            Why is it important to monitor BingeOn unlimited data usage

            in addition to the data that counts against the 18Gb of monthly data allotment?  Lets say for instance that you use 9Gb of your 18GB bucket allowance. Suppose you also use 23GB of "unlimited" BingeOn video streaming data. That means that you would have used a total of 32B of on-network data. At any moment when congestion might take place on the local T-Mobile network; you could without notice have your data speeds reduced to levels you would not deem usable. The issue would be made worse by two people in the household trying to access the Internet simultaneously. It would not matter if you had 9GB left in your bucket, that remaining high speed data will suddenly become low speed.

             

            If you live in an area where the network never gets congested you probably have nothing to worry about. It is my own opinion that once you do go over 32GB of on-network data, and there is no speed reduction, it doesn't really matter, how much more unlimited BingeOn data you use until the end of your billing cycle. If congestion does subsequently occur, you will have the same speed reduction if your on-network data was 33GB or 70Gb.

             

            I hope I have helped address your concerns. Others might be along to offer some additional advice or suggestions. Before too long a T-Mobile Community Manager will check in with you to ask if you would like any additional help. Of course if My replies raised any more questions, feel free to ask them.

             

             

            One question I am wondering, is why are you using Verizon as your primary carrier when you more likely can get  a better deal from T-Mobile? 

             

            Art