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Thread: New 4G LTE Cellspot Signal Booster Ineffective (Defective?)

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    New 4G LTE Cellspot Signal Booster Ineffective (Defective?)

    We just set up a 4G LET signal booster. The Windows unit is getting 3-4 bars with the LTE light on.
    The coverage unit downstairs is showing number 6. So, everything looks like it's working fine.
    However, the Phone 6S is only getting 3-4 "bars" of coverage. 3-4 bars would normally be fine, but with a booster only a few feet away, the signal should be maxed out.
    The bigger problem is that the T-Mobile data connection is still very poor. Even with the Window unit showing a good connection with LTE, plus 4 bars, web surfing from the phone is sluggish. Speed test shows .5 to 1Mb download and upload is actually faster at around 4Mb.
    Bizarre that upload speed is faster than download.

    The booster is not helping. How can I tell if it's defective or if there is an issue with the tower the cell booster is connecting to?
    I think the booster might have an issue since the phone will not max out its 4G LTE signal strength even when in the same room with the booster.

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    What was your signal like without the booster?

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    It was 1-3 bars bars with frequent dropped calls and low battery life on the phone. So, the booster was obtained to remedy this, but is has been underwhelming.
    I was expecting full bars and at least average data speeds for LTE since the booster lights indicate that it's picking up a reasonable LTE signal from the window and the coverage unit also shows a good signal quality.

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    How fast is your T-Mobile data connection outside? Do you live in an area covered by only band-12? I'm not sure if the current boosters have band-12, or not, but it's worth thinking about.

    Other than that, have you tried moving the units to different locations?
    Donald Newcomb

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    Boosters do not support B12. The issue is this, you're getting a signal that night appear stronger, but it's still relaying a weak signal, just amplifying it. It really sounds like your tower is congested with the upload being faster.

    I think it would be wise to unplug the booster to see what the speeds really like next to the window without the booster. Could just be the tower being overloaded. I personally like the LTE cellspot that used my home internet for backhual. Works way better.

    Sent from my ZTE A2017U using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harmtan2 View Post
    Boosters do not support B12. The issue is this, you're getting a signal that night appear stronger, but it's still relaying a weak signal, just amplifying it. It really sounds like your tower is congested with the upload being faster.

    I think it would be wise to unplug the booster to see what the speeds really like next to the window without the booster. Could just be the tower being overloaded. I personally like the LTE cellspot that used my home internet for backhual. Works way better.

    Sent from my ZTE A2017U using HoFo mobile app
    The windows unit shows around 4 bars of signal and the LTE light is on. So, doesn't that mean it is getting a strong signal that isn't B12? If there was only a B12 signal, then the booster wouldn't have a 4-bar LTE connection.

    It really seems like the booster isn't working because the signal strength in the house (number of bars of signal showing on the phone) is low even when in the same room with the coverage unit (which shows "6").
    Regardless of download speeds, shouldn't the signal strength be very high when in close range of the coverage unit that's communicating with the Windows unit that has a 4-bar LTE signal?

    There is not reliable wifi at the location. This is the reason why we didn't want to get a solution that depends on connecting to a home wifi connection. We want it to work even when Spectrum Los Angeles is having another outage or slowdown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by web1b View Post
    The windows unit shows around 4 bars of signal and the LTE light is on. So, doesn't that mean it is getting a strong signal that isn't B12? If there was only a B12 signal, then the booster wouldn't have a 4-bar LTE connection.

    It really seems like the booster isn't working because the signal strength in the house (number of bars of signal showing on the phone) is low even when in the same room with the coverage unit (which shows "6").
    Regardless of download speeds, shouldn't the signal strength be very high when in close range of the coverage unit that's communicating with the Windows unit that has a 4-bar LTE signal?

    There is not reliable wifi at the location. This is the reason why we didn't want to get a solution that depends on connecting to a home wifi connection. We want it to work even when Spectrum Los Angeles is having another outage or slowdown.
    I had one of the LTE cell boosters. It was 'ok'.
    1. You have to put the outside/window unit a good deal away from the inside unit. I.e. Window unit at the window, other unit located in the house area with the worst signal.
    2. LA is band 4/12 and in places 2.
    3. If you're not out in the burbs, it may be a saturated network that you're connecting to on band 4, or a further away unloaded band 2 (I've hand band 2 at -114dBm from +3 miles away at my house when there's a cell site 1/2 mile from me thats band 4/12).
    4. These devices I think only put through 2Mbps on LTE if I'm not mistaken (been a year).
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    It can't be true that they are limited to 2Mbps or there would be no point in making an LTE model.
    Maybe the older signal boosters had that limit. It should have LTE speeds, not 2G to 3G speeds.

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    I had the person unplug the boosters, turn off wifi and go outside to retest the speed and it was about the same (about 2mbps download and 4Mbps upload. She was able to get 3 bars of coverage outside, so there is decent signal from the tower. The T-Mobile coverage map shows full coverage for that entire area.
    So, there is an issue with the tower, or they are throttling the service on the account. It's not intermittent congestion because we are seeing these speeds day and night weekdays and weekends.

    Explains the speed coming from the signal booster, but still doesn't explain the lack of full bars inside when near the coverage unit.
    When the signal booster is turned on, shouldn't the phone switch to it automatically instead of continuing to hold on to the weaker direct signal to the cell tower?

    I'm going to have her re-run the speed test when she runs errands in another neighboring city and see if the speeds are much faster.
    If they are still the same, the issue has to be throttling. If the speeds are much faster, then the tower near her home has an issue.
    If it turns out to be a problem only in the area near her home, how can she report/complain about slow data 24/7 so T-Mobile can fix it?

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