MAX-BR1-MINI-LTE-US crawls on T-Mobile

I’m a customer of OTR Mobile, now reselling T-Mobile as their backhaul. I’m on a hill within 2 km of a trio of towers (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon). I bought a MAX-BR1-MINI-LTE-US when OTR switched from AT&T backhaul to T-Mobile and my speeds are now nearly unusable (molasses would be an upgrade). Current = 1.7 mbps down, 0.26 mbps up.

I’m trying to figure out if the issue lies with T-Mobile in general, the tower, or my modem configuration. Cellmapper.net reports the tower as weak but I get the following not-abysmal numbers:

  • RSSI: -75 dBm
  • RSRP: -102 dBm
  • RSRQ: -6.5 dB

Using the small stock antennas at the moment because similar antennas on other modems in the same physical location worked stellar hitting the AT&T and Verizon towers (with prior ISP’s now no longer options because of plan changes). I’ve got an external Yagi and a 60ft tower onto which to hang it but am currently so far in the “suck” range I’d like to troubleshoot my basic setup a little better before hauling myself up the tower for no potential gain.

Any suggestions?

Side notes – I bought a pre-paid Verizon SIM and observed tower connection but the modem would never negotiate connection to the Verizon network. Similar behavior with an AT&T SIM. Bands & freqs all left to ‘auto’.

If you suspect the tower may be at capacity, test it at 3AM and see what you get. My T-Mobile tower here gets down to about 8-10mb down during the work day, but is 70-90mb at 3AM. I’m not suggesting it as a fix, just a data point.

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You are probably on the right track. Speed drops to near zero at night during the streaming hours.

I think it’s more a matter of resellers being throttled than the network. If your connection uses an APN that isn’t “fast.t-mobile.com” then I’m 99% sure you won’t see very good performance.

I just tested a Mint Mobile SIM on my iPhone and MAX BR1, both with very good signals and both ran at 3 / 3. Their APN is “Wholesale”, it’s the only one that will register. Previously the same phone on a T-Mobile account ran 20 / 8.

My Verizon SIM (not a reseller) runs 45 / 10 in the same device at the same location with similar connection quality.