New 100GB metered T-mobile mobile hotspot plan - will it work with a peplink pepwave device?

Curious if the new 100 GB mobile hotspot plan T-mobile announced might be compatible with any pepelink pepwave devices?

Industry’s Best Hotspot Data Plans
The Un-carrier’s unmatched 5G network also means T-Mobile can deliver the industry’s BEST prices for standalone hotspot data to keep your devices connected. Starting December 13, T-Mobile customers can get 5GB of mobile internet data, including Ultra Capacity 5G speeds, for just $20 a month (with autopay), saving $30 over Verizon for that much data. Or get 10GB for $30, 30GB for $40 … or an incredible 100GB for just $50 a month (with autopay) for a limited time…

Data only. Capable device required; coverage not available in some areas. During congestion, customers on this plan may notice speeds lower than other customers and further reduction if using 100GB/mo., due to data prioritization. Video typically streams at 480p.

I just finished testing the T-mobile 100 GB mobile hotspot plan using my Pepwave Max Transit Cat 18…Yes it does work, but the speed test was surprisingly slow.


I’m about 7 miles from the T- mobile tower and I was connected to the new band 71. I then switched back to my AT&T sim…see speed test…
The AT&T tower is about 6 miles away.

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what were your signal levels? did you try different bands?

Hi mystery, here you go, some new test results…

Now my ATT sim…

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I’ve just sent the info you requested to the web site. and yes i did try all the bands.

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It could also just be as simple as AT&T have sufficiently provisioned backhaul to the tower and T-Mobile have not. Do you see any variation in speed over the course of the day that would imply local congestion may be a factor?

Having said that consider the following technical points -

AT&T are giving you carrier aggregation both uplink and download, T-Mobile are not.

AT&T at that location appears to have a significantly stronger and cleaner signal than T-Mobile - if you are not familiar with the acronyms for RSSI, SINR, RSRP and RSRP and how they interact with each other it would be worth doing some reading as they paint quite a different picture of the two carirers here than the differences in speedtest results.

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Agree, and I’d test the tmobile sim card in another device before blaming the peplink.

Thanks very much for the feedback on this plan so far. Eager to hear more.

Question: I see today that in addition to the “contact us” under the original press release for post-paid, a 100 GB plan is now showing up under t-mobile prepaid at

Is the plan tested in the post above under t-mobile business or t-mobile prepaid?

Is there a difference between the two?

Also what does the connection look like if you uncheck (disallow) band 71 specifically and test with t-mobile?

Good afternoon WillJones and mystery,

Thank you both for responding.
WillJones, yes I have tested both towers at different times of the day and night. And yes I have read about RSSI, SINR, RSRP, and RSRQ…see those results in my above post. The majority of people are only concern with the speed they are getting from whatever carry they’re using. And as far as congestion…will I guess that could be possible, but I’ve lived here for some time now and I’m 99.8% sure I’m the only one willing to spend close to $900 on a router just to be able to test t-mobiles band 71. Very few other routers very even have that band so I don’t see how congestion would be a factor. mystery, I’m not blaming my pepwave router at all in fact I love it. I’m simply doing a test between 2 different carriers and showing the results I get. It was my hope that the T-Mobile’s band 71 would blow away AT&T. And In what other devices do you suggest I test the t-mobile sim? I do have a max Transit cat 12 ( Currently for sale on this site) and a netgear Nighthawk but none of those have band 71 so that would be useless. I would love to see others people post their speed test results on band 71 if they have the cat18 or one of a few others. Here’s a useful link some people may not know about. It will let you see where all the carriers towers are in relation to your home…that’s important!.. https://www.cellmapper.net. You can simply zoom in on the map and find your street/home, next right near that area and choose “select provider” you will then see where all the towers are located and the bands on each one Important!
I will be back shortly with more speed test.

I will.

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Hi aquablue, this time I’ve conducted the test both ways as you asked…Starting with t-mobile and allowing my router to auto choose the band.


A little better. Now t-mobile band 71 only


OK now AT&T


That’s as fair an accurate as I’m able to test. I hope some of you post your own results here I’m interested to see. And by the way, the t-mobile plain that I am testing is post paid. But just $10 for the sim and about $20 for the activation fee. You have 14 days to see if you want to keep the plain or your money back. $55 per mo if you want to keep the plain.

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Ooops my mistake…I ment to say “plan” :grinning:

Sure, but you do seem to ignore the picture they are painting for you, the signal you have for T-Mobile when compared to AT&T at your loation is very poor, you got noticably better results when you let the router (and in some respects the network) select the bands for you, but at that point on T-Mobile you were getting carrier aggregation on the downlink and that will typically get you more throughput in most cases vs where you do not have any CA.

That doesn’t mean the mast is adequaely provisioned in terms of backhaul, although if you are seeing consistent results throughout the day I would agree is probably not the case, either that or it is permenantly oversubscribed 24/7… such things do happen.

What gives you that idea out of interest, band 71 is a low frequency band (600MHz) typically these lower frequency bands are used to deliver coverage at the macro layers of the network, not high capacity at the micro layer (ignoring what the carriers marketing department would have you believe and listening to what an RF network architect would use them for) - lower frequency will generally travel further and is typically deployed where outdoor range or delivering reliable indooors coverage due to better penetration through walls etc. is more important than outright performance compared to the higher frequency bands where you will often get significantly better data performance but at the expense of where the signal will not travel as far or penetrate indoors areas as well.

Yeah, I will add the data on it is not always accurate or current, it can give you a good idea of what you will find but it is obviously not totally reliable, for example you reckon the AT&T tower you are connecting to is only a mile closer yet the RSSI and RSRP would make me believe it is a whole lot closer than that :slight_smile:

TST is a mobile router, have you out of the interest of testing chucked it in your car and driven closer to where you think the cell site is - be curious if you get get the performance higher with a stronger signal.

You may also need to consider the antennas you are using as if testing band 71 performance is your goal it may be worth checking they provide adequate gain across that frequency range - the stock dipoles that come with the Peplinks (ACW-813?) only offer ~1dB gain down at 700MHz and possibly do not fully cover down to 600MHz according to the specs on the website.

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I have tested activating a brand new T-Mobile prepaid simcard kit on the 100GB plan. With Max Transit cat18.

To the original poster - all good to activate this plan! Works fine.

I am in a “moderate” signal area for T-Mobile, so its working as well as I would expect.

There is a lot of hype around T-Mobile and they certainly do control alot of spetrum, but at this point ATT still wins on speed and Verizon wins on coverage. T-Mobile is still lagging behind.Maybe in 2-3yrs all this will have flipflopped. I hope so. I am rooting for T-Mobile! Personally I have all 3 carriers active and aggregate all 3. Normally I keep the lowest amount T-Mobile plan active because limited usefulness. However I will be traveling for two weeks to some new places so I decided to give this 100GB plan a go. I bought a $50 value sim kit at best buy for $40. And used this to enroll in the 100GB plan. :slight_smile:

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Good evening WillJones,

Just returned home from a relaxing asian back alignment :upside_down_face: :smiley:
Something I should have mention earlier about my setup. Even though I’m using a Max Transit router I don’t use it as most do in an RV/boat or some type of vehicle. Instead I use it in my home office. And it wouldn’t make much sense to have one of the baddest 4x4 mimo routers in the land without pairing it up with an equally badass 4x4 mimo antenna…So I have it connected to a Panorama 4X4 mimo antenna. This is an external directional antenna that allows me to point it exactly towards any cell tower I choose. And yes it does cover all the current cellular frequencies see specs. https://www.panorama-antennas.com/site/2G-3G-4G-5G-LTE-Antennas/5G-Ready-Antennas?product_id=370

And here is a look at my setup…

Next all I had to do was to remove the 4 paddle antennas from the router and then connect the 4 leads coming in from the panorama antenna then BAM!!! excellent signal. :smiley:
And google map is pretty accurate showing the distance.

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Yep, that’s a decent antenna indeed and about as good as you will get in terms of broad frequency coverage and reasonable gain - I use LTE for my backup internet access and have one strapped to my chimney right now.

I would still question though the disparity between the RSSI in particular for AT&T vs T-Mobile given where you believe both towers are, AT&T at -40dB vs T-Mobile -75dB is a huge difference, even when you were not using band 71 on T-Mobile it was still a relatively poor signal.

In my case although cellmapper and Google show me where the nearest tower is (I know exactly where it is anyway as I’ve done work at the site for a carrier) the information for what carriers and bands are present on it is a good 12 months out of date, listing one carrier who no longer uses the site and another that has changed the bands offered, perhaps I should be a good citizen and download their app and update the data for them … :slight_smile:

I would do as WillJones suggested and since the Peplink device is mobile, throw it in your car, and go test it closer to the cell tower.

Does that antenna have clear LoS to the cell tower? It seems mounted pretty low on your house… There is no other houses/structures/foliage/land blocking anything in between the antenna and cell tower?

“There is a lot of hype around T-Mobile and they certainly do control alot of spetrum, but at this point ATT still wins on speed and Verizon wins on coverage. T-Mobile is still lagging behind.Maybe in 2-3yrs all this will have flipflopped.”

All depends on your specific location and the specific cell tower. For example, in one location, my experience is VZW wins on speed and coverage even though I am closer to a ATT tower it is oversubscribed both in back haul AND clients connecting to the radio. Other locations I go to Tmobile might win. Others AT&T. The carriers have done a lot of work to patch holes in their networks but as they continue to add new frequencies, the distance signal can travel, and how well it can penetrate can be negatively impacted. I see more and more antennas on roofs/sides of buildings, mini cells, etc, but that seems to have slowed probably due to the impending 5g roll-out.

Funny enough, during a recent storm, power was knocked out for over a week. Since the carriers don’t care about maintaining their infrastructure and predicting situations like this, the cell towers were not only overloaded but then they lost power one-by-one. T-mobile kept running and running. Reason being was because they had installed a tower on top of a train power truss and I am guessing were receiving power from the train’s power grid which was separate from the local power grid (the train station was the only location with power for that week). Folks that had installed t-mobile backup cellular for their homes in the area were delighted to find it worked very well (also so few t-mobile subscribers they had good speeds). Even FTTH stopped working because it required local utility power (ridiculous, right?).

@mystery given my usage patterns (mobile not fixed), this is why I keep all “big 3” carriers active because the variability. My comments about speed and coverage are based on routine monitoring of 3 cellular modem’s status and frequent speed tests in all the places I travel… Most of the travel I do is to national parks which would be “rural”.

Gooooood morning WillJones and mystery,
Just finishing my coffee :coffee: Think I’ll try the gun range today :slightly_smiling_face:
WillJones in all me searching the cellmapper.net site is the best one I have found and it does even show the dates when the cell tower information has been updated. You said you have worked in this field so I’m hoping you may know a better web site, if so please post a link. I am always looking for the most accurate up-to-date info. I have given some thought to what both of you said about the unequal distance of both cell towers, but I don’t see the logic in putting my router in my vehicle and driving near the tower…of course I would get a better signal. However I believe I have found a more fair and accurate comparison. Within the city of Elkton, KY are both an AT&T and a T-Mobile cell towers, they are not even far apart from each other. Now to be as accurate and fair as I can and knowing there are a few other AT&T towers between my home and that town I have turned off all the AT&T bands within my router except band 66. Because the closer AT&T towers don’t have that band, but the tower within Elkton does. I have now pointed my high speed antenna exactly at that town so the two tower distances are basically equal. See results AT&T on band 66 only and T-Mobile band 71 only.



Yeah mystery I certainly fell for all the hype around t-mobiles band 71 earlier this year, hell that is what led to search out and discover pepwave routers. But I an very pleased that I did.