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Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

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rkawakami
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Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#1 Post by rkawakami » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:16 am

On Jan. 1, 2015 in another thread I wrote:And besides, I will probably have to look for another hotspot solution as I understand that Sprint will be shutting down their 4G WiMAX network near the end of this year (Nov. 2015).
I know it's not good form quoting oneself, but I've got to start this topic somewhere :). As I stated a few weeks ago, since Sprint is supposed to abandon their WiMAX network near the end of this year, I figured that I needed to look at a mobile WiFi (MiFi) hotspot solution once again. Here's what I found after doing a little research online for 4G hotspot rates:

AT&T (ATT for the forum's search function):
$25/1.5GB
$50/5GB

Sprint:
$15/1GB
$35/3GB
$50/6GB

T-Mobile (Tmobile for the forum's search function):
$30/3GB
$40/5GB
$50/7GB
$60/9GB

Toast.net (using Sprint's network)
$20/1GB
$30/2GB
$40/3GB
$60/6GB

Verizon:
$60/3GB

Virgin Mobile (using Sprint's network)
$25/1.5GB
$55/6GB

I went with T-Mobile as it's a no-contract plan and offers the best price/data ratio. I chose the Samsung SM-V100T not because of company loyalty (I'm employed by a division of Samsung) but because the other hotspot (ZTE 4G LTE HotSpot Z915) had some minuses like a non-removable battery and shorter battery life. Although that means that the Samsung unit is comparatively huge; 3.5" square and 0.5" thick.

One perk is that T-Mobile offers data rollover for their plans. Unused data allotment rolls over into the next month and remains available for up to a year. Initially I've selected the $30/3GB service. This will replace my "backup" WiMAX connection from Toast.net. I plan on keeping the Virgin Mobile box until they decide what they are going to offer their customers when the WiMAX system goes bye-bye. If nothing comes of it, I'll drop them and bump up the T-Mobile plan to the $50/7GB level, assuming it's a system that addresses my needs at home and work locations. The Samsung hotspot might get here this afternoon; Monday at the latest, a little bit more than a week after placing the order online. After a few days of using it, I'll be back with an initial review.
Ray Kawakami
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T)

#2 Post by GomJabbar » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:16 am

AT&T just announced data rollover as well, but there are differences.

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/comparing-t- ... ata-plans/
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T)

#3 Post by tarvoke » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:41 am

depends on how you plan to use it (always stationary, or mobile) ...

but it's inexpensive enough experiment to try tethering a cheap VM android phone instead of paying for a hotspot. portable devices, replaceable battery, decent cpus. not too different from a mifi, aside from the plan costs/restrictions.

I've done it for weeks at a time during cable or dsl outages. the network speed is not brilliant, but it was better-than-usable.

$35/mo. for unlimited 4G/LTE and "unlimited" 3G, simply connect your laptop to the phone via USB or bluetooth or wifi.

obviously they don't encourage tethering (although there was a ?limited? promotional period a year or two ago, where they (EDIT: "they" meaning vmobl /EDIT) advertised heavily for people to try it! could. not. believe it!), but there has always been much discussion on the subject, in many of the usual fora, and I never once read about anyone being throttled or capped or banned.

I imagine a mifi/hotspot/etc. has a much better cell antenna than a phone (although I saw one in person, a friend had one from either ATT or Verizon (sorry, I can't recall which), and, yeah, wow, no, that thing was junk. including a permanent backup battery no better than a cordless phone, ~600-something mAH. well, that was couple years ago, hopefully there's much improvement.)

and yes the tethering-thing is fiddly, and not for everyone to get working. some phone models may simply have hidden the BT and/or Wifi control panels, some may outright require being rooted. ditto USB; plus it's always been hit-or-miss for me personally, to find working USB drivers for some phones but not others.

I have always wondered ... how is this any different if, say, someone wanted to just have a nice desktop computer? get one of the nicer phones with a good CPU (easily under USD200) with HDMI (actually I think nowadays you can even get TVs with NFC or whatever, no more need for A/V cables...??!?) and get a bluetooth kbd/mouse - instant fast home computer including low-monthly-cost Intarwebs.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T)

#4 Post by GomJabbar » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:05 am

Hotspots are tethering by definition as far as the cellular carriers are concerned. I have an AT&T hotspot and a Verizon hotspot. Both tether via WiFi (or USB).

I also have a HTC One (M8) [for use on AT&T] that I bought unlocked from HTC. I can tether it via WiFi as well. My previous HTC phone came from AT&T and I could only tether with it via USB or Bluetooth. Bluetooth is definitely slower than WiFi. USB keeps you well ... 'tethered'! :lol:
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T)

#5 Post by tarvoke » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:23 am

hah, yeah, I think I rambled on a bit, there!

the idea was mainly: as you said, the devices are doing literally, exactly the same thing. so, the thought of paying 35/mo for kinda-sorta-unlimited, rather than paying 35/mo for 2-3GB (which, on my phone itself, not even connected to a PC, I can easily use in 1 day) ... :)

at least the hotspot hardware itself has dropped drastically in cost! - I took a glance at vmobl site just now, and the things are 25% of the prices I remember from only 2 years ago. which I guess is common sense, haha.

something that still irritates my old-man-sensibilities: I was happy for years and years with my old VM phone. and if I'd kept it, I'd still be paying 25/mo., forever. haha, ah well - the temptation of the shiney new phone was worth it.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T)

#6 Post by rkawakami » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:24 pm

GomJabbar wrote:AT&T just announced data rollover as well, but there are differences./
From what I gather reading AT&T's description of their rollover plan, in my case, this won't work. I have 5 phones on my AT&T family plan. Two of them are grandfathered unlimited data on iPhones. The other two have their own data plans. The fifth phone doesn't browse the net (mine). If I read it right, I'd have to dump both unlimited iPhone plans and have everyone tap a pool of (limited) data. That's not going to happen. Besides, only allowing data rollover to accumulate for a month doesn't get my interest.

Tethering, the way I understand it, doesn't fit my needs. I don't own a 'smartphone' and I'm not going to change my basic phone for a smart one (or buy a "cheap" Droid phone and have another line on my account), sign up for a data plan and then drain my phone's battery all day when I'm connected at work (and possibly not be able to talk and maintain a data connection at the same time).

Just got interrupted by the arrival of the Samsung hotspot. Unpacked, plugged in to charge and now going online to activate my account. I'll be back in a couple of days with my report.

edit: A quick speed check here at my desk with only the two smallest signal bars lit on the Samsung hotspot...

T-Mobile 4G LTE 2.8Mbps/2.85Mbps: (double the download speed of my DSL at home and almost 8x the upload speed)
Two other random speed checks using servers on both Coasts, with the Samsung hotspot in different positions in the office:
Best transfer seen from this server this afternoon: 3.637/3.344Mbps
Best transfer seen from this server this afternoon: 3.989/3.563Mbps

Toast.net (Sprint WiMAX) 0.768Mbps/0.072Mbps:
What I've been getting for the past year

I've already blown through 395MB of data (combined, down and up) in the 5 1/2 hours I've been using T-Mobile today :!: . This is not typical usage as I've been running multiple speed tests.

edit: Removed the results of the speed test as dslreports changed them to an annoying blue advertising ball
Ray Kawakami
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#7 Post by rkawakami » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:18 pm

Okay, with one week of (intermittent) usage, here's some quick observations:

First the pluses:
- The unit is cool! By that I mean it doesn't get hot or warm in use. The two Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro boxes I run on Sprint would literally cook the battery; sometimes I would have to shut down the hotspot, take out the battery and let the box cool down.
- Connection with the cell towers is solid. I only get two bars on the signal meter here at work but it's more than enough to get the 3+ Mpbs down and up transfer speeds outlined above. Haven't yet seen any signal drops.
- Battery life is pretty good. It ran for two whole days at work until I needed to recharge it. The Overdrive Pro units would only last a day.
- Checking my data allotment, I've blown through 7.3GB of my initial 10GB Data Stash in one week. When signing up, you get a free "stash" of 10GB of high speed data. When that is used up, you then start eating through your plan's allotment; in my case 3GB. Any amount of unused data for the month rolls over and is available for up to one year. If you exceed you plan's cap, then throttling begins. It's supposed to be from 64Kbps to 128Kbps. I might get to that point before the month is over so maybe I can run some speed checks then. Recently, T-Mobile got slapped on the wrist because they were hiding the true connection speeds when user's plans were throttled:

ref: http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/11 ... customers/
ref: http://www.businessinsider.com/t-mobile ... ds-2014-11

Some of the data transfers have occurred while at home but most of it has been at work. Vast amount has been due to the speed tests I've been running so this is not going to be a typical month.

The minuses:
- When first received, there were already 4 days gone from the current billing cycle. It seems like the clock started when the unit was activated at the factory.
- Only WPA2-PSK AES is supported as an encryption method (well, besides "None"). If you have any wireless cards that don't support this, tough. I knew this going in from reading some of the online reviews so while this wasn't unexpected, it could be a problem when using older WiFi cards that don't support this encryption standard.
- While the hotspot is capable of running in both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi spectrums, it can't do it at the same time. You have to choose one or the other.
- When activating the unit, you are supposed to go online and establish an account. To do this, you need the phone number of the hotspot. It took some time to find it. It was not printed on any of the literature received with the unit. Not on the box, nor the paperwork inside, or with the SIM card. Instead, it was in a message stored in the hotspot's Inbox. You access it via the unit's built-in admin web server (IP 192.168.43.1:8080). I suppose that if I had gone into a store or mall kiosk to set this up, they would have given me the number right away but this was an online order.
- Said web server is SLOW. I saw this mentioned in a PC Magazine review but I didn't think it would be this bad. The weird thing is that the first time I accessed it, everything was fast and complete. Now, it takes several seconds to load each page and there are many things that don't display any more on the main page; like the unit's SIM ID data, the firmware version, the MAC addresses of the connected devices, etc.

ref: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428625,00.asp

- You can't access the my.t-mobile.com web site with an iDevice. I've tried both my ancient iPad 1 (5.1.1 I believe) and my iPod Touch (running 6.1.6) using Safari and Chrome. Both return an error message saying, "Sorry, there was an error in processing your request.". The only way of looking at your account data is to download the T-Mobile My Account app.

The "mehs":
- Unit has a larger footprint than the Overdrive Pro but is thinner. It fits inside a shirt pocket or back pants pocket better.
- The battery gauge could be a little bit bigger.
- The screen and back panel covering the battery compartment are fingerprint magnets. It's like my iPod before I stuck it inside a case.
- While the hotspot is essentially a cell phone that is not capable of receiving voice calls, it does accept text messages. You can see that a message was received on the hotspot's screen, but there's no way to read it there. You have to use a browser and sign into the admin page to read the message. You can also reply to it there. Not sure if there's any benefits to this. I suppose if this was somebody's sole connection method to the cell phone network or internet, then this would be useful. On the plus side, the data plan allows an unlimited number of text messages.
- I have yet to test the USB tethering feature and I probably won't. There's a built-in USB-to-Micro USB cable that wraps around the lower edge of the hotspot. Since I use both my iPod and A31p here at work wirelessly, I don't see the need to tie the box to a single computer.
- The gauge on the hotspot's screen showing the amount of data used is not yet working correctly (as also mentioned in the PCMag review). I don't know that it will once the initial 10GB is used up and then I start consuming my monthly data allotment. If it never works right, then I'd move this into the minus category. It's useful to see how much data has been consumed with a quick glance at the hotspot. The Overdrive Pro had to be double-clicked several times but the data was there from day one.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#8 Post by GomJabbar » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:19 pm

Awhile back I had a hotspot where the billing cycle start and end dates on the hotspot did not match the actual billing cycle dates from the carrier. IIRC, the way I fixed it was to do a factory reset of the hotspot on the day a new billing cycle started from the carrier.

I don't know if the above has anything to do with why your data gauge is inaccurate or not. One thing (as a general rule, not specific to any one carrier), the data gauge on the device might tend lag actual data used by a day or so. I don't think the data gauge is updated real-time. The data consumed at the cell towers has to be processed by the carrier's various computers and this takes a little time. If you are not using your carriers native cell towers, the delay in processing this information will likely increase. When you refresh the data gauge on your device, it should query the carrier for the latest information that they have (which could still, not be up-to-date). ---My theories anyway. :P
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#9 Post by rkawakami » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:47 pm

I'm not sure yet what the relationship is between the billing cycle date and service plan date. I just noted that it seemed like I had "lost" 4 days of usage for my initial month since that's what the hotspot reported.

I've now figured out that maybe I was misinterpreting the data meters. I think I've used up 5.8GB of data, not 7.3GB but there's still some confusing items. Here's the breakdown and what's giving me issues:

1) T-Mobile My Account app reports "Data Usage as of 1/30/15 6:05PM" as "3072.0MB/Unlimited" on one line which represents my 3GB/mo data plan and "2795.59MB/10240MB" on another (the "Free 10GB Data Stash"). This apparently means I've used up the full 3GB of my monthly allotment and 2.795GB from the free 10GB. It's listed as "3GB/Unlimited" in that T-Mobile doesn't cut you off or charge you for going over your data plan. Instead they throttle your speed when you exceed your plans limit. Also, from reading some explanations on how the data stash program works, I thought that the free 10GB would be tapped first, and then the monthly allotment. That's not what it looks like from this information. So, reading the app's figures, I've used almost 5.8GB (3GB monthly + 2.795GB from 10GB) of data from the start of the cycle (Jan 20). It also looks like this is "live" data as I've refreshed the app a couple of times and the data has increased each time (it was at 2.778GB when I started composing this message).

2) Going online at my.t-mobile.com, the main page says that DATA is "0.00 MB of 3.00 GB of high speed". If you read that this is the amount of data I've used, this is counter to the app's figure. This is what's confusing: right next to the Data figures is the number of TEXT messages that have been recorded (that number is "4 msgs of Unlimited") and TALK minutes (0 since it's a hotspot). So, the only way I can interpret these figures is what's been used. Also, there's nothing here indicating the free 10GB. If I click on the Usage tab, I see a display saying I've used 3GB of my 3GB allotment and 2.73GB of my free 10GB. Okay, that's 5.73GB, close enough to the 5.8 the app says. Getting the detailed report, it says Total use: 5.66 GB. This is probably delayed and doesn't take into account the last several hours of use.

3) Going here: https://mim.t-mobile.com/primary/openPage it says I have "up to 7.26GB of high speed data remaining". If you assume that I started with 13GB of data (3GB/mo + free 10GB), then that means I've used 5.74GB. Again, close enough and probably using delayed information. Clicking on a detailed report it shows that my 3GB plan is "Throttled" and the "Free 10GB Data Stash" is Active, more proof that the monthly allotment was used up first and then the free data accessed.

4) I would have a fourth source of data usage recording if the hotspot's web server was working properly. There's several counters for data received, used, sent and remaining but the fields are still blank. It did work the first day I accessed the hotspot so maybe there's a cookie in the browser that's messing things up, or worse, something in the hotspot's server itself. Maybe a factory reset would fix it but I'm hesitant to do that as it's working fine otherwise. I should note that I purchased a "refurb" unit. If I find any other issues I'll contact T-Mobile and see if I can swap it out. I haven't yet consulted the T-Mobile Support forum so it may be a known issue.

edit: I brought my work A31p home with me tonight as the wireless USB dongle I've been using for the last few years was getting intermittent. I swapped out the factory combo card (goodbye modem!) and threw in one of my generic Broadcom BCM94306MPLNA cards. Downloaded the driver from HP's site ( http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files ... 24001.html ), configured the wireless setup for my WPA2-PSK AES password and went to dslreports.com. I'm using a different test server as the other ones are currently offline but with 3 signal bars on the hotspot, I've doubled my speed here at home (7.8M down, 4.92M up). I haven't tried optimizing the hotspot location; it's just sitting on the desk about two feet from a window. I should also add that the hotspot is 6' from my home's WRT54G wireless router and I don't recall what channel I using here.

edit2: I also checked out what my network coverage is while driving home. How did I do that? I started streaming a local radio station through the TuneIn Radio app on my iPod Touch before leaving work. T-Mobile says there's several music streaming services you can use unlimited and TuneIn was one that I already had on the Touch. I checked my data usage before leaving work and again when I got home. There was no difference; at least not to an accuracy of 0.001GB (1MB). The drive time was about 25 minutes and I twice lost audio for about a minute. There had to be at least a few hundred (okay, just did the math... maybe 10's of) MB of data (music) transferred so this confirms their claims of unlimited music.

edit: Removed the results of the speed test as dslreports changed them to an annoying blue advertising ball
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#10 Post by jedisurfer1 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:21 pm

I haven't read about this but I think it's ridiculous that you can have a grandfathered unlimited plan and they still want you to pay for tether. Data is data.

I don't actually use it but if you have an android phone and root it you can get free hotspot function from your phone.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#11 Post by rkawakami » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:25 pm

Update: Brought a T410 to work with me today in order to check out the system. Verified that the Intel Advanced-N 6200 AGN wireless is working by running a speed check. Had to use the MI server again as that was the only one that was available. Not too bad with only two bars on the signal strength meter. I just ate up another several hundred MB from my "data stash" with this test....

edit: Removed the results of the speed test as dslreports changed them to an annoying blue advertising ball
Ray Kawakami
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#12 Post by jdrou » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:21 pm

rkawakami wrote: Verizon:
$60/3GB
I got their tablet plan; same basic functionality as a hotspot but cheaper service.
$30/2GB
$40/4GB
$50/6GB
$80/10GB
No contract. Contract rates are exactly the same; just cost of the device is less.
Other providers are lower cost but no one but Verizon has decent 4G coverage everywhere I need it.
One nice aspect that I didn't get with my Virgin hotspot or Walmart Internet-on-the-Go (3G) hotspot (both Sprint network) is that if I run out of data my tablet will still let me get to the Verizon site to renew early.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#13 Post by RMSMajestic » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:19 am

Ahhhh back in UK I used to have WWAN adapters in all of my thinkpads.
But now in the US..... they are becoming useless.
Cos it's just so expensive here in the States.
I was thinking of getting the verizon plan ($60/3GB) for one of my thinkpads but it turns out to be much more than $60, I'd have to pay $100+ for the useless Mifi and they refuse to activate my internal WWAN card :/

In UK on three mobile it's £15 ($22) for 10GB per month >_< And that's what I miss UK most :|
*sigh* only if I've done better in my BSc degree
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#14 Post by RMSMajestic » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:33 am

rkawakami wrote:1) T-Mobile My Account app reports "Data Usage as of 1/30/15 6:05PM" as "3072.0MB/Unlimited" on one line which represents my 3GB/mo data plan and "2795.59MB/10240MB" on another (the "Free 10GB Data Stash"). This apparently means I've used up the full 3GB of my monthly allotment and 2.795GB from the free 10GB. It's listed as "3GB/Unlimited" in that T-Mobile doesn't cut you off or charge you for going over your data plan. Instead they throttle your speed when you exceed your plans limit. Also, from reading some explanations on how the data stash program works, I thought that the free 10GB would be tapped first, and then the monthly allotment. That's not what it looks like from this information. So, reading the app's figures, I've used almost 5.8GB (3GB monthly + 2.795GB from 10GB) of data from the start of the cycle (Jan 20). It also looks like this is "live" data as I've refreshed the app a couple of times and the data has increased each time (it was at 2.778GB when I started composing this message).
So the T-mobile plan is actually $30 for 3GB +10GB? A little bit unbelievable here in the States.
I think maybe the 3GB is used under 4G LTE and the free 10 GB is used under 3G. when you finished with the free 10 GB using 3G then data will be deduced from the 4G LTE allowance
BTW how much are you charged ****actually**** for the plan? (by actually I mean including all the activation fee, tax, 911 service, insurance, the-quick-brown-fox-jumps-over-the-lazy-dog fee and the device you might have to pay for)
I need to be much more careful with the bills here in the States :? One of my friends got a $150 bill on a $30 cell contract last month...... ooops
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#15 Post by jdrou » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:49 pm

RMSMajestic wrote: So the T-mobile plan is actually $30 for 3GB +10GB? A little bit unbelievable here in the States.
I think maybe the 3GB is used under 4G LTE and the free 10 GB is used under 3G. when you finished with the free 10 GB using 3G then data will be deduced from the 4G LTE allowance
The 10GB is a one-time bonus you get when you sign up, not 10GB every month.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#16 Post by RMSMajestic » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:30 pm

jdrou wrote:The 10GB is a one-time bonus you get when you sign up, not 10GB every month.
Ouch :|
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#17 Post by rkawakami » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:10 am

RMSMajestic wrote:So the T-mobile plan is actually $30 for 3GB +10GB? A little bit unbelievable here in the States.
I think maybe the 3GB is used under 4G LTE and the free 10 GB is used under 3G. when you finished with the free 10 GB using 3G then data will be deduced from the 4G LTE allowance
As jdrou correctly stated, it's 3GB of data per month, with a one-time bonus of a free 10GB worth of data when you sign up. All data can be consumed using the 4G LTE system.
RMSMajestic wrote:BTW how much are you charged ****actually**** for the plan? (by actually I mean including all the activation fee, tax, 911 service, insurance, the-quick-brown-fox-jumps-over-the-lazy-dog fee and the device you might have to pay for)
"Activation" fee was $15 (SIM starter kit). In addition to that, sales tax on the Samsung hotspot was $10.03. My first two bills have been for the same amount: $34.15; $30 for the data and $4.15 since I financed the Samsung hotspot (for two years; total of $99.60). The billing summary says that there's no other taxes or fees.

I've recently upped the data plan to 5GB/month for an additional $10. So next month's bill should be for $44.15. Any unused data will rollover for up to one year.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#18 Post by RMSMajestic » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:50 pm

Just think of another question, Since every operator is dropping their wimax network, will the wimax part of my 5350anx and 6250anx be completely useless? Pretty sad if that happens..... Since all I've done with wimax is just seeing sprint's message 'we are shutting down our wimax network' :'(

BTW how much were you paying for the wimax before?

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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#19 Post by rkawakami » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:06 am

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 19#p719619

$35/mo for 2GB of 3G data. "Unlimited" 4G where/when I could get it.

As Sprint has publicly stated, their WiMAX system will be shut down on or about November 6th. As far as I know, nobody has been slated to take over that network so I would guess that would mean WiMAX-only phones and hotspots would be useless for internet access. That should be a small number as most WiMAX gear is also able to tap into other 3G and 4G systems. Sprint has also said that 180 days before the shutdown (i.e., about May 10th), they will formally notify their customers of that fact and may offer an upgrade path from WiMAX to LTE. Whether or not this will filter down to their resellers (Virgin Mobile, FreedomPop, Boost, Toast.net, maybe others), I don't know. For now, the T-Mobile network and the Samsung hotspot is working out for me quite well. It's just that I'm using more data than I thought I would, as evidenced by my near-depletion of the free 10GB stash in two months time, along with upping my plan to 5GB/mo. I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised as with the faster data access, I have more time to consume more data :wink: .
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#20 Post by precip9 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:57 am

Also a Tmobile customer, I have literally been forced to replace my Xperia ZL plagued by the frequent reboot problem noticed with a number of Xperia phones. It seems to be related to the presence of LTE while switching cells.

The replacement is a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, purchased from Tmobile. Located outside of Phlly, approximately 1 mile line of site to the tower, a run, while in stationary position, of the Speakeasy speed test provides these results, connected to a NY server, while tethered to an X61 tablet:
down: 56.16
up 25.18

On the Northeast Corridor rail line between NYC and Trenton, the connection is much more robust than with the older Xperia. Of course, speeds while moving are much slower than the above.

The Note 4 has LTE-advanced, and this is an area in which Tmobile has 20 mHz channels.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *

#21 Post by bill bolton » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:48 am

RMSMajestic wrote:Ouch :|
Setting up a new mobile device nowadays often involves a lot of initial one-time downloads, so a temporary start-up quota is a customer friendly way of minimising bill shock.

Here is Oz, my mobile ISP gives 25GB on top of the normal quota for the first 30 days.

Cheers.

Bill B.

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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#22 Post by rkawakami » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:36 pm

While the phrase "customer friendly" does not immediately come to mind when talking about most ISPs (cellular, telco, cable or satellite), I think T-Mobile is giving out the free data mainly as an incentive to sign up with their service. That, and along with the free, unlimited streaming of music via apps or approved web services is making them stand out in the somewhat crowded field of mobile data operators here in the US.

In my case, a good portion of the free 10GB data allotment was spent running speed tests; upwards of several hundred MB each time when using speedtest.net. Also, since I had a faster pipe, I upgraded some apps on my iPods using the hotspot - something I would not have done with the Virgin Mobile / Sprint setup as it is as slow as, if not slower in most cases, then my old DSL service.

When setting up the hotspot with T-Mobile, I don't think that there was anything I needed to download. Certainly nothing that went onto my laptop. I suppose there could have been an OTA update to the Samsung hotspot but it was obtained directly from T-Mobile (a refurb unit) so I would assume it has/had the latest firmware. This update is a possibility as the built-in web server interface was displaying some hardware information the first time I powered it up but has since refused to show these fields again.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#23 Post by jdrou » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:23 pm

If it was limited to only the first month it might not be such a great thing but combined with the fact that they allow rollover it's a significant bonus.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#24 Post by rkawakami » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:54 pm

Well, the rollover, the free music streaming and the basic price/GB all combine for a nice package when compared to the competition. I just hope they aren't doing this now and then raising the rate or cutting back on the features later on when they'll claim that the network is being saturated.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#25 Post by jedisurfer1 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:13 pm

tmobile lte is the fastest for me, I only use a hundred MB a month but my plan includes free hotspot. Doesn't matter as an ROM on XDA will give you free hotspot feature. Or if you use a lot use an agent switcher.
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Re: Review: T-Mobile 4G LTE Hotspot Pro (Samsung SM-V100T) *PICS

#26 Post by rkawakami » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:25 pm

With only a few hours left on my monthly data plan, I just ran out of "high-speed" access; total was 18GB for two months (3GB 1st month, 5GB 2nd month, 10GB free). Ran a speed test and here's what I got:
Image 3.11Mbps down, 10.96Mbps up
Much less than the 15-20Mbps download I've been getting but nowhere near the 128Kbps I've seen published when you deplete the data stash. Ran a few more speed tests and it actually improved to 7.9M/13.7M (!). I then started downloading an HMM that previously took a couple of seconds and now it's taking over 8 minutes (all the while the speed tests are saying > 6Mbps). It seems like T-Mobile is watching what sites I'm accessing and throttling my download if it's not on some sort of "approved" list. To verify, I'm streaming a live FM radio feed via TuneIn Radio app on my iPod, with no interruptions, while running speedtest.net (now 11.3M down/15.8M up) and the PDF is STILL downloading from the Lenovo Support site. Interesting.
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