LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

snn555

    The tower my phone normally connects to has a strong signal but capacity is very congested and speeds are very weak. So I tried out the LTE cellspot and noticed that 90% of the time my phone stays connected to band 66 on the tower and disconnects from band 4 cellspot frequently. Checking the signal strength I find the cellspot a little better in strength but speeds are quite horrible. This result is based on no other devices connected to Wi-Fi at the time so there should be no drain on my ISP connection and it's very doubtful there's more than one or two other T-Mobile customers who are within range of the cellspot.

     

    I can see the phone automatically connecting to the stronger signal or the better signal in relation to capacity and speed. However I don't understand why a near-perfect cellspot signal with plenty of capacity can be overridden by a tower with weaker signal and a lot more users in relation to capacity.

     

    Is this a band 4 vs band 66 issue?

      All replies

      • stevetjr

        Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

        I suspect it is a band 4 vs 66 issue and how the phone prioritizes which one to use.  I know they phones won't use Band 12 unless there is virtually no Band 2,4,66 since Band 12 is in most all markets only a 5x5 channel so to keep it from getting to congested and keep it for when you can't get the others.  If you think about it Band 66 is really Band 4 + an extra download only band so in theory if it is available and the phone see's it then it should be faster than straight up band 4.  Of course the phone see's the cell spot as a cell tower with Band 4 only not realizing it is not on the TMO backhaul versus your own backhaul. 

         

        Of course this is just a WAG but based on how they are set to use band 12 thinking it is a pretty good WAG :-)

        1 of 1 people found this helpful
        • snn555

          Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

          If I switch to 2 or 3G only, it locks to the tower as well, but the signal is almost nill with 2G .

           

          I know the cellspot works, just phones won't stay connected to it.

          • snn555

            Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

            Okay so here's an update from T-Mobile tech team. Despite the tower having a weaker slower signal the cellspot is not designed to be used anywhere you have any tower signal whatsoever and at least for LG phones the phone will not prioritize the stronger faster cellspot signal over the weak or slower tower signal. As it was explained to me there is no way around this and LG does not support any settings that allow you to choose one band over the other. basically what I was told was that T-Mobile has a T-Mobile branded device that does not work with all of T-Mobile equipment or network configurations.

            • tmo_mike_c

              Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

              I'm still working to get a solid answer on any network prioritization with our signal. I don't have the answer yet, but I'm getting the right folks involved. I'll keep the thread open and let you know what I find.

              • snn555

                Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

                No PM received.

                  • snn555

                    Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

                    Capture+_2018-11-18-06-18-17.png

                      • stevetjr

                        Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

                        I would expect the band 66 to be faster than straight band 4 since it is Band 4 + AWS-3 extension although why it was slower on the download on the cellspot versus a tower is a bit weird since clearly Band 4 is capable of more and clearly your wi-fi showed it is also.  Although I wonder what he QAM and MIMO are on the Band 4 cellspot versus a true tower??  The upload is the same 5 Mbps on both wifi and cellspot so that seems to hint to ISP upload throttle.

                         

                        From the behavior I have watched over the years since Band 12 was launched and subsequently Band 66 is their seems to be a priority the phone will attempt.  Since Band 66 went active I always see it, but then when my signal drops or go outside of 66 area then I roll to Band 4 (or 2 depending on the market) and then when that gets flaky band 12 will roll in a almost a last resort (when I was living in ATL since we have no low band in Memphis although got a response from Neville on twitter that now that the local channel 51 has official moved at the extreme end of the legal limit for them to do so, he said they have already started working on low band for Memphis and even have a few towers up on the fringes and are working in),  I can't wait, I miss low band and indoor coverage so bad>

                        • tmo_mike_c

                          Re: LTE Cellspot weaker than Network Tower

                          Thanks for posting this! This'll be really helpful for us!