On Tmobile One plus international but still slow hotspot persists


    I am on the Oneplus international plan, unlimited talk+text+data $75 a month, and $25 a month more for unlimited 4g lte hotspot grand total of $100 a month.


    So since I have unlimited 4g lte or at least I'm paying for it, I should get it, but my speeds show differently.


    Phones I have are a Oneplus 3, and a Lg Necus 5x.


    I have had the Nexus 5x on tmobile before with the exact same plan I have before, and had no issues about 6 months to 8 months ago.


    I switched to metro PCS for approximately 6 months, then came back to tmobile again on the current plan I had before.


    So everything works on the cell side IE: lte/4g side, not hotspot. I get from 25Mbps to 50Mbps in speeds and that's good. When it comes to Hotspot though, my speeds drop drastically, 1Mbps to 3Mbps. That's a drastic difference, especially when you download any files, as they take 7 hours to 2 days to finish, as compared to 15 mins to 30 mins on my cell side/phones side.


    I did some research and found what seems to me that Tmobile seems to be limiting hotspot for non--branded (phones bought directly from tmobile or in store) unlocked cell phones. Both my Oneplus 3 and Nexus 5 are unlocked phones, and both suffer from the same issue. I swap out the sim card to each phone, turn on hotspot, and my laptop speeds are the 1-3Mbps speeds. That is horrible speeds.


    I headed to a tmobile store on my way home and had the tech in that store try a tmobile branded phone, which was his, since the dummy phones didn't have or use sim cards in them they are just for sample purposes. Once he inserted "my" sim into his tmobile branded phone, I connected to his phones hotspot, and bingo! it worked like a charm, on both my nexus 5x and my oneplus 3. This was my sim so it was my account and service in phone. I got good speeds. So I put the sim card back in my phone oneplus 3, and tested hotspot again with my nexus 5, and speeds dropped again to crappy speeds.


    The tech told me another person had brought in a phone that was having the exact same issue, and it was not a tmobile branded phone as well.


    So I'm not sure what to think, is this still a hardware issue? It seems my account isn't blocked or hindered in any ways, as I was getting good speeds when the sim was in his phone.


    So I am completely confused now.


    -Oneplus 3 phone cell works and gets good speeds


    -Oneplus 3 hotspot gets 1-3Mbps speeds, crap speeds


    -Sim inserted into the 5x phone, hotspot gets 1-3Mbps speeds, crap speeds


    -Sim inserted into a branded tmobile phone, hotspot gets good speeds.


    Only difference is the 5x and 1+3 are both non-branded phone.


    Could it be tmobile is killing non-branded tmobile phones hotspot speeds?


    I can't see this as a hardware issue with the phones, because I get the same thing in both my 5x and oneplus 3 phones. It seems something has changed on the tmobile side, because while cell gets good speeds, hotspot does not.

      All replies

      • easyrider77

        Ok did some more testing, scratch my above thinking.


        What I found out was that one of phones (oneplus 3) has what I think is bad hardware, which causes slow hotspot speeds. My Neuxs 5x phone is also not a tmobile branded phone but hotspot works just fine on it. So it's not a carrier issues it's a phone issue.

        1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • dragon1562

            Glad you were able to resolve it for yourself. Although I wanted to provide a little extra info to clarify things for the future.

            1. Hotspot data is not treated equally to cell phone data usage.

            * Basically what I mean by that is its de-prioritized from the start even if you have went above your 50Gb threshold for the month.You can still get full speeds its just that someone who uses their phone normally will take precedence.

            2. Your one plus 3 is lacking in some of the equipment that is now used on the network. Its not that its defective per say its just older hardware. So my advice is that should you upgrade again down the line ensure that your phone supports bands (2,4,12,66,71) as well as all the tech that is usually abbreviated like this (4x4 MIMO, 256QAM, 3CA). This will give you the best experience and show a real difference in markets with "Gigabit" LTE.


            Hope all works out well for you down the future and sorry if you did not need all the info.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • easyrider77

            The bands is true, I did a search on a phone I am currently looking at which is the Moto g5s plus, and it has about what seems double the bands it uses..





            Moto g5s Plus

            B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 25, 26, 38, 41, 66





            Oneplus 3

            1, 2, 4, 5, 7 ,12, 17, 30


            As you see quite a bit more on the moto phone.




            I'm pretty techy for the most part, but of coarse not everyone knows everything about everything, so that brings me to a question for learning purposes.


            I know what the bands do and what they are, but what I am not sure of is when it comes to bands, would the band affect hotspot, AND cell or just one or the other, or what? And also do some phones have a single modem chip, or are there like multiple chips that control different aspects of things ie: 1 chip is lte/cell, one chip is hotspot, etc..... or is it just a single chip for all.


            If it were a single chip and a single band that does both, then how could I get good cell side speeds (phone only no hotspot on at all), but then get really really slow hotspot speeds?


            Can you clarify this a little bit possibly in lamens terms so I maybe understand a bit better?


            Everything on my phone works fantastic and I get speeds of 24Mbps up to 50Mbps, which is quite acceptable, but I do not get good hotspot speeds off the phone, anywhere from 1-3Mbps speeds. This only pertains to hotspot, which is why it took me so long to track down if this was carrier, hardware, phone, or what. After visiting the store using another sim along with mine (2 sims in all), and multiple phones, I have come to the resolution it's the oneplus 3 with and it's hotspot being the issue, for whatever reason I am not sure, this is why I ask. My nexus 5x same scenario everything works just fine.

              • dragon1562

                So generally speaking most modern phones have everything included on the SoC(System on a Chip). The LTE modem/ antennas are all generally located together as well on the device and handle everything from Bluetooth to WiFi and etc.


                Now as far as why you get slower speeds on hotspot vs using your phone normally. The answer is mainly that the carriers put hotspot users behind regular users in terms of priority. I.e if I'm trying to stream a video as a example and you are trying to do the same thing but via your hotspot, I would get to load mine up first since my data info is considered more important than yours. There are also other variables at play as well, one of which being that your phone is not a router. It can only generate a weak signal due to power and heat constraints.


                Now as far as band support goes the best way to look at it is like this, bands are like human languages. If me and you speak band 12 than we can communicate, which is all well in good when we are up close. However there is other tech in use to improve how we communicate for example MIMO (Multi Input Multi Output) technology which  would basically make it so the both of us could hold more conversations at one time as well as some other stuff that I'm having a hard time explaining without getting super nerdy.


                I hope this clarification helped and I'm sorry if it didn't

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • bradgrant

                I honestly think T-Mobile is throttling the data somehow. To be totally honest. The phone is not prioritized at all for their network. I have OPO and the tethering is broken but this was not always the case. I believe something bigger happened.

                  • dragon1562

                    I am usually not one for conspiracies. I also don't think T-mobile would go out of their way to throttle customers with non-t-mobile branded devices as there is nothing in it for them to gain. Chances are they may be doing upgrades that effect devices with legacy support for certain functions. If anything like that is happening, in which case it is up to the OEM to ether support said upgrades through software updates and hardware implementation for future devices. It can also be a provisioning issue. However, everything I just said is a guess unless we were to troubleshoot your specific case.


                    So what device do you have specifically and what seems to be the problem?

                      • bradgrant

                        I was saying I have an OPO. A OnePlus One. I rain some tests months ago on it. I believe the data is being throttled to 2G. I have an OPO, S7 Edge, S3 LTE, S5, Note 3... I have many phones available to me. There is something unusual about it. It seems to be degraded through artificial means. There is no reason for the tethering to be degraded. I have 10GBs of free LTE tethering with Promo Plus. It works perfectly well on all my other phones even my BLU Studio XL2. But the OPO running cyanogen does not work. Cyanogen is the official and original software for it. If you a anything beyond the OPO you have Oxygen. In any case the data to me appears to be throttled as if it thinks it is a phone sim trying to be put into a hotspot, which probably won't operate correctly. Each different data set has a different quality.

                          • dragon1562

                            Hmm that is quite interesting. Seeing as it works fine including on the BLU Studio XL2 which is not a T-mobile phone I would be willing to wager it is something to do with one plus's device. I am well aware of Cyanogen mod and the original oneplus. The thing is that the device lacks some of the newer technologies that have been implemented on the T-mobile network. It is also running older software as One plus came up with there own OS as you mentioned called Oxygen OS. Since you have all the devices avaiable to you I am actually a bit curious to why you do not use the s7 edge as a example which does support all bands being used by T-mobile and technologies like 4x4 MIMO and etc.


                            What is probably happening is that the one plus phone is connecting to a frequency that is slightly congested. Since hotspot data is not treated equally to normal cell phone data on the network you automatically de-prioritized. Since the one plus then can not connect to a less congested signal you then stuck with the slower speeds. That would basically be my hypothesis on whats going on. All though to be certain I would look at what band the device is connecting to with its service mode and then do the same with the S7 edge. If the S7 edge is CA to 2 bands or connecting to a different tower or something along those lines it would explain the drastic discrepancies and be a hardware issue of the older device that can not be fixed.


                            Although I could be wrong since you said there were other old phones that ran faster but this is just a guess. I would just use another phone to avoid the headaches. Maybe even look into purchasing a future one plus with better support for US networks since I remember the original also having issues with AT&T.

                              • bradgrant

                                T-Mobile has a very complicated throttling system. I still don't completely understand it but it is no conspiracy or anything. I honestly have no idea what the specific problem is with the OnePlus One's. But regardless most of their own model phones are not really up-to date. Actually 99% of their phones are not up-to date or even close to anything that would function well today outside of a large city. Most phones don't even have band 12 let alone be able to use US Cellular to connect a roaming call. OnePlus phones are really great phones. They usually have the best of the best technology all streamlined and they only make the phones/sell the phones people actually want and they only sell from their own store. I think one reason OnePlus One has done really well is because their phones are well tested in the industry and on Android channels. Overall they have done really well with carefully crafting quality phones usually except with they put on the screens upside down. So, they released an update to them to flip it so the jelly scrolling looked funny as it was pulling both sides of the screen the wrong way in perspective which was not a problem for most. Jelly scrolling is a thing that makes the scrolling appear more natural to the human eye. Anyhow, did you try to adjust the frequencies from auto to a specific one? Did you try USB vs WiFi? Just curious. Also, why would I use an example of my S7 Edge when that works perfectly. The OPO is the one with the screwy tethering which in my opinion is almost absolutely throttling. But I have no proof available. There would be no specific reason except that the network cannot detect what you are using. All traffic on T-Mobile goes through a system of gateways that basically either give you a green light for unthrottled, a yellow light for when you for example get throttled on the base One Plan to 512kbps/have your video throttled so that the server at the other end sending you the video must lower the bitrate or quality aspect ratio, or you get a red light and your traffic stops completely and you run out of all your data completely. Among other things they use a lot of very complex tricks to keep peoples plans unlimited but things like tethering or video are throttled heavy. Also, when you purchase hotspot data specifically with a hotspot device the quality of that data is different as well and is more of a premium. The tethering data itself comes from the same data as your on device data. Android now informs the carrier and has been informing them if you are tethering or not tethering. They can also use other tricks to determine what you are viewing and so forth. I will look but as far as I can see there is simply a pervasive issue with tethering and that for some reason tethering is kicked. As for ATT problems a lot of those could have been resolved by just putting in the right APN.

                        • bradgrant

                          When you got international did you ever turn on your HD setting? Just curious.