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Tethering download speed being throttled or what?


    I'm trying to use tethering on my phone (OnePlus 5) in area code 20109-2347.  I have great coverage, full 4g lte and when I do a speedtest from my phone I get 50+ Mbps download and 25 Mbps+ upload, great.  Now I tether my phone to my laptop (tried usb, wifi hotspot, and bluetooth with the same result) and I get download speeds of 0.50 Mbps - 1.6 Mbps download (horrible) but around 20 Mbps upload:


    I've gone through the steps with a rep of resetting my apns, etc. etc. and nothing changed.  I tested it with a second phone (OnePlus 3T) and get the same exact result.  Is the download just being throttled for some reason when tethering or is there something happening with tethering for oneplus devices?

      All replies

      • drnewcomb2

        This is not a bug. It's a feature. I recently switched over from a Select Choice plan with many GB of high-speed tethering to a 55+ plan with throttled tethering and I can tell you that the difference is shocking.

        • dragon1562

          To be more precise, if you have the base T-mobile one plan your hotspot data is throttled to 3g speeds. If you have One+ you get 10Gb of LTE data. Although that data is treated differently and is de-prioritized. Finally there is One Plus International where you get unlimited hotspot LTE data. Hope the info helps to clear things up.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • magenta4482025


            I'm on the "ONE Plus Promo" plan which states:

            HD Video / 10GB LTE tethering & 1 hr GoGo WiFi

            Now, activate HD video streaming and 10GB of high-speed Mobile Hotspot data for no extra charge. You will also get unlimited data in 140+ global destinations at twice the speed (up to 256kbps), included free. T-Mobile ONE includes unlimited talk, unlimited text & unlimited data.

            Changes made in the middle of a billing cycle will result in full monthly charges of the new feature.

            On all T-Mobile plans, during congestion, the small fraction of customers using >50GB/mo. may notice reduced speeds until next bill cycle due to data prioritization.


            So shouldn't I be getting the full speed and not be getting throttled?

            • magenta4482025

              I'm using the built-in android hotspot.  I don't see any "tmobile mobile hotspot" app on the play store.  My tmobile app does show 0.5GB/10GB of tethering usage though which makes it seem like it thought it was using LTE even though the speeds weren't LTE?

              I'll give tech a call and see what they say.

                • dragon1562

                  I came back and just wanted to say that no you should not be getting throttled like this. However, there have been other threads on this forum from users with Oneplus phones suffering from this issue. If you have a chance to test your sim in a T-mobile branded phone it would be greatly appreciated. When you call tech I hope they would suggest something similar because they have a tendency to go the route of its a unlocked device not sold by the carrier. Which is true mind you but it does support the network.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • magenta4482025

                  I have a old Xperia z3 I can put my sim into and test in a few days.  I'd be very confused on why only download speeds of tethering would be unsupported on my phone while everything else works without issue.

                  • tmo_chris

                    Just checking in here to see how things are going.

                      • savvysgranny

                        I used to have One plus (the $25 a month data service) and could only get around 5mbps download, so I dropped it and and using a Sprint ZTE Warp and get the same for $12/month unlimited & unthrottled.

                        Recently I needed to use my T-Mobile Hotspot (S7 Edge &/or S8+). The best download I could get was .01 - .49mbps download. Called T-Mobile (tmo_chris) and was told I needed to sign up for the $25/month data service to use the hotspot and expect a usable speed. After about 24 hours I began getting download speeds of 20-35mbps on the phone with the extra charge. I'm still only getting way less than 1mbps download speeds on phones without the extra data service that used to get 5 or more mbps.


                        I'm concerned that there's a setting on my phone I can't find -  that T-mobile uses to raise & lower my hotspot wifi speed, that has nothing to do with T-mobile cell signal.


                        Basically, T-Mobile has removed my back-up hotspot ability, unless I pay $25/month per phone extra.

                          • dragon1562

                            That is not how this works. Basically The base one plan has throttled hotspot data of 3g speeds. One Plus gives you 10GB of Lte hotspot data and the $25 plan gives you unlimited LTE hotspot data. Hotspot data is de-prioritized though(not hard throttled) regardless of the usage. Every carrier does this mind you so it is not out of the norm. T-mobile has no reason to degrade your service to unusable mind you, and signal strength alone is not indicative of fast speeds.

                              • savvysgranny

                                I'm just comparing my hotspot service now to a few months ago. If I understand what you are saying 3g speeds have dropped from 5-6mb to less than 1mb download speeds since last fall where I live. This was on One Plus and way less than 10GB. The only way I'm getting LTE wifi speeds is by paying the extra $25/mo/phone.


                                I'm trying to understand the relationship between 30-60mb download speeds to .01 wifi speed on the same phone using hotspot - One Plus gives you 10GB of Lte hotspot data.


                                I swear T-Mobile is the best and it's been my main phone service since 2004. I don't believe they are degrading service. I honestly think this is some kind of bug or over site.

                                  • dragon1562

                                    T-Mobile ONE Plus: Gogo available on equipped flights to, from, or within the U.S. International data speeds approx. 256 Kbps. After 10GB, tethering at max 3G speeds


                                    3g speeds I think is 512KB in there eyes. so that is the max you should be getting over hotspot without the one plus add on or after you use the allotted LTE data. Its in the fine print of the plan. They also say that phone use will be prioritized over hotspot data on the network. Although you should not be seeing.01 if you have the LTE data available.

                              • d.t.

                                Re: Tethering download speed being throttled or what?

                                My issue is similar to what others have stated in this thread. I am on the Simple Choice NA plan with 10 GB of high speed data. I am not close to using all of my data. My data speeds are around 10 Mbps (or higher) download and 8 Mbps upload directly on my phone. However, when I USB tether to my laptop, data speeds drop to about 0.3 Mbps download and 0.1 Mbps upload.



                                I have multiple lines with T-Mobile and multiple phones. It happens on all phones and all lines. The issue is not related to my location because data speeds on the phone are adequate. As soon as I USB tether, speeds drop drastically. The issue is not related to tethering to one particular laptop either. I have been having this issue for the last 1.5 years and in that time I have used several different laptops. Prior to 1.5 years ago, tethering speeds were fantastic. My T-Mobile plan has not changed during this time.



                                My phones include a Galaxy S8 and a Galaxy S8+ (but the problem has happened with prior phones, as I mentioned). My phones are all T-Mobile branded devices. My current laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad. I do not have to use a 3rd party app on my phone (USB tethering is built in to Android on the S8, S8+) and I do not need a 3rd party app on my laptop. When I turn on USB tethering, I get a proper connection. The issue is that it is very SLOW.



                                I also tested the mobile HotSpot feature. For about the first 5-10 minutes, I had good speeds while connected with my laptop, but then the speeds dropped to the 0.2 or 0.3 Mbps range and stayed there the rest of the day. That looks like throttling to me...



                                Over the last 1.5 years I have called T-Mobile support many times regarding this issue. Tickets have been opened. Unfortunately, no solution. Usually the support person is very nice and promises to follow up with me. So far not a single person who has made me that promise has actually followed up.



                                Multiple T-Mobile support reps have told me that my plan has no throttling of my 10 GB data allotment. I used to be a huge T-Mobile fan. I have had my current account for over 6 years with multiple lines. Before that I was with Verizon for 2 years, but prior to Verizon I was also with T-Mobile a long time. (I was a loyal T-Mobile customer even when their network was not as competitive as it is now.) If this isn't fixed, they will lose me as a customer, unfortunately.



                                My question is, does anyone get good tethering speeds on a plan that is supposed to support them?



                                BTW, is this the best place to ask my question? Or should I start a new thread?

                                  • tmo_chris

                                    Re: Tethering download speed being throttled or what?

                                    Your issue is definitely not normal. At first glance, one would think its hard ware related but with it happening on multiple devices and laptops, we should be able to rule that out. For this specific issue, a service ticket with our engineering teams is going to be the only way to get to the bottom of this. I understand you have had support tickets filed in the past and I sincerely apologize that you were not followed up with.


                                    What I would recommend, if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can use the links in my signature to message our T-Force team. They will be able to pull up your account and see a full history of your existing tickets and escalate them if necessary.

                                      • d.t.

                                        Re: Tethering download speed being throttled or what?

                                        Thank you for following up, Chris. I just called T-Mobile support. The person recommended one solution I have not tried: purchase the T-Mobile branded Alcatel Mobile Hotspot. Unfortunately, the online reviews of that hotspot are not very favorable. I think that may simply cloud the picture rather than prove to be a good solution. Your thoughts?


                                        The rep again confirmed that my plan (and usage) are not limiting my data speeds.


                                        Regarding T-Force, I quit Facebook and I am not regularly on Twitter. But I can call support again I guess... anyway, thanks for replying.

                                          • tmo_chris

                                            Re: Tethering download speed being throttled or what?

                                            You should not have to purchase another device. Your phones are more than capable of being use as a tethered or Wi-Fi hotspot. We usually see this problem but the other way around where the Wi-Fi is slower than the usb tether.


                                            I think the key to this one is to gather as much info as possible and have one of your existing tickets escalated with our over the phone tech support staff.


                                            If you are able to do a short testing session with your phone and laptop and mark the times of when you started with the Wi-Fi hotspot and the speeds you got and then mark the times you were USB tethering and your speeds, this will give our engineers a window they can look at to see if there is anything off.

                                    • chuckj

                                      I also am suffering from tethering throttling.  I am paying for the One Plus service, which should get me 3+MB speeds.  Instead I get <100kbps.  After spending 45 minutes with a T-Mobile tech rep he finally told me that the problem is my phone - a Oneplus 3T is not compatible with the T-Mobile network.  I told him I had put the sim in a Moto X phone and an old Nexus 4 phone with the same results.  I also told him that when I download a file directly to the phone I get over 4MB speed, so the problem isn't with the phone.  I also told him that I had just recently (2 weeks ago) switched from ATT and the same phone and tablet were getting nearly 5MB speeds.  Net result is that he said his only solution was to go to buy a T-Mobile phone.  Sorry but I only use unlocked phones and am quite happy with my Oneplus phone.  What I am not happy with is T-Mobile service, and I know how to fix that problem. 


                                      I have done enough testing to know that T-Mobile is absolutely throttling tethered devices.  Maybe they remove the tethering for T-Mobile branded phones, I don't know.  But I know that this is a deal breaker for me.

                                        • dragon1562

                                          Are you over your data allotment? The one plus plan only has a set amount of data(10GB) in which you get LTE speeds after that you are throttled and that is made clear in the a earlier post in this thread. Also it is worth pointing out that T-mobile does treat hotspot data differently from normal phone usage. So it could be that the tower in your area is slightly congested since 4mb is not very fast for LTE.


                                          You should look into what band you are connected to when running the test and seeing if the location effects anything. It just sounds like you have not tried other spots and have a misunderstanding of what the one plus plan provides you.

                                            • chuckj

                                              No where near my allotment - I've used less than 100MB (it's so slow I couldn't use 15GB in a year much less than a month).  I have also tried a total of 7 different locations, all in strong signal areas.  I never had to do any of this with AT&T - it just worked.  When I measure the download speed directly to my phone I'm getting around 10-20mb/s depending on location, so I know the data channel can support the speed, but T-Mobile's literature specifically states that tethering and hotspot data will have a lower priority than phone data.  What other explanation is there?  Data direct to phone - 20Mb/s.  Data to tablet through a hotspot - 50kb/s.  The only way around the problem is to download files I want directly to the phone and then use direct wifi to transfer to my tablet.  Hardly an ideal situation.

                                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                • glabman

                                                  I think I figured out what is happening. When you sign up for a one + plan, they add binge on to your account. In a fact you are throttled because you have binge on turned on. To check press dial #264# to check. If you see it turned on then follow the instructions to turn it off by dialing #263#. Enjoy

                                              • 435scott

                                                since I got the iPhone XS and got put on senior 55+ plan my tether download speeds average 70-90 kbps which works out to about 4-5 meg per minute. I'd be quite happy to get the promised 3G download speeds of 512 kbps.

                                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                              • landonloco

                                                Just use foxfi or Pda net to get around the slow down you can even get unlimited high Hotspot problem is that with something this alternatives might not work for example with Pda net you can connect your laptop and then share the connection to other user problem I found out is that speeds only reach a max like of 3mbps it might be usable but not enough for somethings the other solution is foxfi this can give you the max speeds you got with a proxy server problem is this proxy serve might interfere or cannot be detected by other services some services I found out most issues is Netflix and steam altrough Netflix seems to work best on PC  and steam doesn't detect the proxy server at all so it uses out of my 7GB of high speed other problem is that data transmission might be inconsistent for example you might have 20 mbps but it keeps jumping from consistent 16mbps to just staying at 3mbps or 4mbps. This solution is only available for android watch this video in order to install the apps with a free premium key

                                                • dodgetheviper

                                                  I've got a T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55 plan and found myself getting throttled just 4 days into my billing cycle. I've not been throttled before and so I wasn't sure it wasn't my own hardware causing the issue. I could clearly see it being throttled to 600kbps (it's hard not to visually see throttling). After talking with a T-mo rep who assured me I wasn't being throttled, I went back to testing equipment only to find that everything checked out. I could speed test on my phone and get 60+ mbps and even saw these speeds on my tethered equipment but as soon as I started a download from any site, it would cap at 600kbps. I called back and after a while of silence, I lost tethered data and then the rep came back and asked me to power off my phone for 2 minutes. I turned it back on and I was unthrottled. When I asked what the problem was, they told me that the tower I was connected to was congested and so they had to switch me towers. I knew this was garbage since I can identify the tower I was connected to and am still connected to. I also was getting 4G speeds on my phone while being throttled so that doesn't hold water.

                                                  This encouraged me to check my truly "unlimited" terms. This is what I found:

                                                  check.PNG  20GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot in the US

                                                  check.PNG  Unlimited 3G mobile hotspot after 20GB (up to 600 kbps)

                                                  T-Mobile ONE™ Unlimited 55+ (Grandfathered)


                                                  This completely described what I was experiencing to a "T" (pun intended). I looked up my data for last month and it was 24GB but I'm not sure how much of that was tethering. I could have gone over my 20GB tethering but that wouldn't make sense as to why on a new calendar month, and 4 days into a billing cycle, that I would be over 20GB and throttled. I feel there was some sort of glitch and the CSR who helped me was trained to fudge the truth in order to avoid "issues". Anyway, thought I would share my experience in an effort to clear some of the confusion.

                                                  • magenta10403492

                                                    I switched to T-mobile unlimited prepaid plan from AT&T just to test "3G" hotspot and kinda disappointed. Can't even log in my bank account.  Time out. It's not "3G" speed.  More like "2G". Speed test shows between 30&60 kbps.