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Thread: Personal CellSpots are getting in my way

  1. #1
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    Personal CellSpots are getting in my way

    (NOTE: this post has NOTHING to do with the CellSpot router, the branded Asus thing t-mo gives away. This post is about the Personal CellSpot itself, that broadcasts as a cellular tower.)

    (NOTE: this post has NOTHING to do with the CellSpot router, the branded Asus thing t-mo gives away. This post is about the Personal CellSpot itself, that broadcasts as a cellular tower.)

    (NOTE: this post has NOTHING to do with the CellSpot router, the branded Asus thing t-mo gives away. This post is about the Personal CellSpot itself, that broadcasts as a cellular tower.)




    I'm paying close attention to my t-mo service nowadays. We were driving on a main road not far from my house, right near a tower--I'm talking 100 yards--so I checked my signal and service, and did a speed test.

    My signal level wasn't what I thought it should be, and without thought I did the speed test. 57 down, 2 up. Really, T-Mo?

    It was then I realized I should check what tower I'm connected to. Turns out I'm not connected to the REAL tower that I'm driving by; instead, I'm connecting to a personal CellSpot well over half a mile away, at someone's house in the middle of the residential neighborhood. (Network Signal Info Pro *does* show the very nearby real tower as being, in fact, a T-Mobile tower.)

    My neighborhood does have less than stellar coverage overall, and T-Mo has been solving this problem one user at a time with these Personal CellSpot things. Just last week they convinced me to install my Personal CellSpot at home, because I kept connecting to other homes and not my closest real tower.

    I'm convinced these things need to die, because they aren't really controlled in a good way. Access to them SHOULD be limited to the user who has it installed, but it's not. (I used to have something similar with Sprint, and that's how they handled it back then.) They're just another cell tower as far as the system is concerned. And that means that any phone can think connecting to it is a good idea, even if connecting to the real tower would be a better idea.

    (Plus, of course, that also means that other users in the neighborhood are using my broadband to connect to T-Mobile's network, but that's a story for another post.)

    I've sat on my front porch and watched my phone connect around to the 9 of these things that are in my general area over a mile radius, bouncing around like a toy in a hurricane.

    It's crazy.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    (NOTE: this post has NOTHING to do with the CellSpot router, the branded Asus thing t-mo gives away. This post is about the Personal CellSpot itself, that broadcasts as a cellular tower.)

    (NOTE: this post has NOTHING to do with the CellSpot router, the branded Asus thing t-mo gives away. This post is about the Personal CellSpot itself, that broadcasts as a cellular tower.)

    (NOTE: this post has NOTHING to do with the CellSpot router, the branded Asus thing t-mo gives away. This post is about the Personal CellSpot itself, that broadcasts as a cellular tower.)




    I'm paying close attention to my t-mo service nowadays. We were driving on a main road not far from my house, right near a tower--I'm talking 100 yards--so I checked my signal and service, and did a speed test.

    My signal level wasn't what I thought it should be, and without thought I did the speed test. 57 down, 2 up. Really, T-Mo?

    It was then I realized I should check what tower I'm connected to. Turns out I'm not connected to the REAL tower that I'm driving by; instead, I'm connecting to a personal CellSpot well over half a mile away, at someone's house in the middle of the residential neighborhood. (Network Signal Info Pro *does* show the very nearby real tower as being, in fact, a T-Mobile tower.)

    My neighborhood does have less than stellar coverage overall, and T-Mo has been solving this problem one user at a time with these Personal CellSpot things. Just last week they convinced me to install my Personal CellSpot at home, because I kept connecting to other homes and not my closest real tower.

    I'm convinced these things need to die, because they aren't really controlled in a good way. Access to them SHOULD be limited to the user who has it installed, but it's not. (I used to have something similar with Sprint, and that's how they handled it back then.) They're just another cell tower as far as the system is concerned. And that means that any phone can think connecting to it is a good idea, even if connecting to the real tower would be a better idea.

    (Plus, of course, that also means that other users in the neighborhood are using my broadband to connect to T-Mobile's network, but that's a story for another post.)

    I've sat on my front porch and watched my phone connect around to the 9 of these things that are in my general area over a mile radius, bouncing around like a toy in a hurricane.

    It's crazy.
    Since whitelisting is disabled you don't have many options other than switching carriers. The cat is out of the bag on this and getting rid of them is next to impossible.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

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    Personal CellSpots are getting in my way

    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

    I'm paying close attention to my t-mo service nowadays.

    My signal level wasn't what I thought it should be...
    It was then I realized I should check what tower I'm connected to.
    You need a hobby.


    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    It’s crazy.
    Yep.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I'll be off this in a month or two, when I've decided what to do. In the meantime, I will randomly pull out my phone or phones and check things.

    It takes but a moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

    I'm paying close attention to my t-mo service nowadays. We were driving on a main road not far from my house, right near a tower--I'm talking 100 yards--so I checked my signal and service, and did a speed test.

    My signal level wasn't what I thought it should be, and without thought I did the speed test. 57 down, 2 up. Really, T-Mo?

    It was then I realized I should check what tower I'm connected to. Turns out I'm not connected to the REAL tower that I'm driving by; instead, I'm connecting to a personal CellSpot well over half a mile away, at someone's house in the middle of the residential neighborhood. (Network Signal Info Pro *does* show the very nearby real tower as being, in fact, a T-Mobile tower.)

    My neighborhood does have less than stellar coverage overall, and T-Mo has been solving this problem one user at a time with these Personal CellSpot things. Just last week they convinced me to install my Personal CellSpot at home, because I kept connecting to other homes and not my closest real tower.

    I'm convinced these things need to die, because they aren't really controlled in a good way. Access to them SHOULD be limited to the user who has it installed, but it's not. (I used to have something similar with Sprint, and that's how they handled it back then.) They're just another cell tower as far as the system is concerned. And that means that any phone can think connecting to it is a good idea, even if connecting to the real tower would be a better idea.

    (Plus, of course, that also means that other users in the neighborhood are using my broadband to connect to T-Mobile's network, but that's a story for another post.)

    I've sat on my front porch and watched my phone connect around to the 9 of these things that are in my general area over a mile radius, bouncing around like a toy in a hurricane.

    It's crazy.
    Cell Spots have a range of a couple hundred feet at best, from my experience.
    There is one not far from where I live, in a shopping plaza (store), and I'll get B4-20x20, +100Mbps/10Mbps. Walking into the parking lot, the service drops off as fast as someone's WiFi, and in < 100', I'm on T-Mobile macro - at -113dBm. I don't really have an issue with them, and I'll know when I've hit one, as ping will jump from ~20ms to +100ms. It would be preferable if T-Mobile set up a micro/pico cell in these areas instead. In general, these are supposed to shut down if the interference is too high (i.e. you're too close to an actual functioning licensed cell).
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    The green 'dot' in the center of this snapshot it the range of a cellspot. Unless you have a Yagi/Cantenna you're going to hit 'something else' unless there is nothing else.
    Name:  cellspot.jpg
Views: 395
Size:  84.4 KB

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    Microcells shouldn't be necessary in the first place, as Wi-Fi calling is the better solution, unfortunately Wi-Fi calling doesn't actually work very well, at least in my experience, as I use it fairly often on AT&T. If Wi-Fi calling actually worked, then these personal cell spot things wouldn't be needed. It's also far more versatile, as I can go somewhere else with Wi-Fi and connect to just by connecting my phone to Wi-Fi there.

    That being said, I used to live in a house with decent AT&T, and poor Verizon/Sprint, so one roommate had a Sprint AirRave, another had a Verizon Network Extender. Since almost no one in my area uses Sprint, that didn't matter, but having the Verizon Network Extender wide open was great, as most of my friends have Verizon, so they could use the Network Extender for voice/text and my Wi-Fi for data so they never had connectivity issues there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    Microcells shouldn't be necessary in the first place, as Wi-Fi calling is the better solution, unfortunately Wi-Fi calling doesn't actually work very well, at least in my experience, as I use it fairly often on AT&T. If Wi-Fi calling actually worked, then these personal cell spot things wouldn't be needed. It's also far more versatile, as I can go somewhere else with Wi-Fi and connect to just by connecting my phone to Wi-Fi there.
    This.

    I have used wifi calling in the local hospital. In that case, it's a savior. But overall, no, it doesn't work well. And lately my T-Mo wifi calling has cut me off at the second ring on outgoing calls...

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    This.

    I have used wifi calling in the local hospital. In that case, it's a savior. But overall, no, it doesn't work well. And lately my T-Mo wifi calling has cut me off at the second ring on outgoing calls...
    Move to a city.


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    Quote Originally Posted by p6B5Nm5b View Post
    Move to a city.
    What makes you think I don't live in a city?

    Tread carefully here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    Microcells shouldn't be necessary in the first place, as Wi-Fi calling is the better solution, unfortunately Wi-Fi calling doesn't actually work very well, at least in my experience, as I use it fairly often on AT&T. If Wi-Fi calling actually worked, then these personal cell spot things wouldn't be needed. It's also far more versatile, as I can go somewhere else with Wi-Fi and connect to just by connecting my phone to Wi-Fi there.

    That being said, I used to live in a house with decent AT&T, and poor Verizon/Sprint, so one roommate had a Sprint AirRave, another had a Verizon Network Extender. Since almost no one in my area uses Sprint, that didn't matter, but having the Verizon Network Extender wide open was great, as most of my friends have Verizon, so they could use the Network Extender for voice/text and my Wi-Fi for data so they never had connectivity issues there.
    Many 'microcells' are actually not 'cellspot' style devices with a range of ~100' radius.
    Many microcells are like these T-Mobile ones, and cover a couple city blocks - typically fill in and cover shopping centers/apartments. - Band 4+2.
    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4474...7i16384!8i8192

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4443...7i16384!8i8192

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4541...7i16384!8i8192

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4621...7i16384!8i8192

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4599...7i16384!8i8192

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4606...7i13312!8i6656

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4598...7i16384!8i8192

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4549...7i16384!8i8192

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    Quote Originally Posted by p6B5Nm5b View Post
    Move to a city.
    There are plenty of dead spots in cities. Big, old buildings that block signal. Also, the networks in NYC are so heavily densified that they don't reach the tops of some large apartment and office towers. Verizon has sites in Manhattan at 10' AGL. Some tall buildings are covered by "vertical" sites that are angled 45 degree UPWARDS at a building, which is bizarre, but not all buildings are covered by those.

    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    Many 'microcells' are actually not 'cellspot' style devices with a range of ~100' radius.
    Those are small cells not microcells. Microcells cover about 100', small cells cover a few blocks, metrocells cover less than a mile (although I think Verizon got rid of them and no one else deployed them), and macros cover anywhere from a few blocks to 20mi+. I believe Verizon is now just deploying normal macros instead of metrocells, and uses a mix of small cells and sectorized macros at very low power for urban densification.

    Just to confuse everyone, AT&T created a "Metrocell" that's like a beefed up Microcell for businesses that supports a few dozen to a few hundred users indoors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    This.

    I have used wifi calling in the local hospital. In that case, it's a savior. But overall, no, it doesn't work well. And lately my T-Mo wifi calling has cut me off at the second ring on outgoing calls...
    WiFi Calling is highly dependent on the quality of the WiFi service to which it's attached. Since most WiFi signals are tuned for general web surfing and shared by many users, the quality of WiFi Calling is also highly variable. I've found that as long as I'm on an uncongested, stable WiFi signal, such as I get from my CellSpot Router, and I don't wander off out of range, WiFi Calling works very well. (However, services such as changing forwarding don't work over WiFi Calling.)
    Donald Newcomb

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    Technically ... Metro/Micro/Pico are relatively small urban cells femto cells are what companies are branding as "microcells" .. I suspect that it had more to do with the familiarity of the word micro vs. Nano/pico/femto. The irony is that micro is numerically larger than pico. https://www.rfpage.com/what-are-smal...5g-technology/

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    I have one in my house too (1915 building)

    Mine I have to have in the center of the house, otherwise I lose it by the time i get to the back, I'm not sure how you are picking one up that far away, as by the time I get to the street it's long gone.
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