T-Mobile Family Mobile ($30) plan data speeds

Headcase_Fargone

Senior member
Nov 20, 2009
388
0
0
So I've been on this Family Mobile plan for a few weeks now and have noticed something about the data speeds. In both the phone the plan came with (Exhibit II 4G) and my Galaxy Nexus I'm seeing exactly 900kb/sec down in Houston. What's strange is that it's always exactly 900kb/sec. When a speed test starts, it immediately jumps up to around 3mb/sec then drops down to right at 900kb/sec. It's almost like I'm being capped.

I've verified my APN with some other folks on T-Mobile and have even tried flashing a few different radios. Same result. This is all over town too (Houston).

Anyone else experiencing seemingly capped speeds?
 

vshah

Lifer
Sep 20, 2003
19,003
24
81
900 kbyte/s = ~7.2mbit/s, solid performance on a tmo hspa+ connection.

I don't think you could have been seeing REAL 3mbyte/s = ~24mbit/s on a galaxy nexus, which is only a 21mbps hspa+ device. must be an error in the app.

try tethering the nexus via USB, and running speedtest on a computer.

if in fact, you're seeing 900 kBITS/s = ~ 112 kbytes/s, that's very slow for t-mobile.
 
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shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,365
136
I wouldnt doubt it. Thats probably part of the bargain they have with Walmart for such cheap service, limited data speeds.
Unofficially of course.
 

Headcase_Fargone

Senior member
Nov 20, 2009
388
0
0
900 kbyte/s = ~7.2mbit/s, solid performance on a tmo hspa+ connection.

I don't think you could have been seeing REAL 3mbyte/s = ~24mbit/s on a galaxy nexus, which is only a 21mbps hspa+ device. must be an error in the app.

try tethering the nexus via USB, and running speedtest on a computer.

if in fact, you're seeing 900 kBITS/s = ~ 112 kbytes/s, that's very slow for t-mobile.

Kilobits, not bytes. 900kb/sec, as opposed to 900KB/sec. And yes, it seems very slow. I'm wondering if it's normal for this plan.
 

Lyfer

Diamond Member
May 28, 2003
5,842
2
81
You pay for what you get. My brother's family is on tmobile and there coverage/speeds are pretty lame. He's switching VZW as soon as their contracts are up later this summer.
 

vshah

Lifer
Sep 20, 2003
19,003
24
81
i've generally gotten excellent speeds on t-mobile, first in NYC, and now in pittsburgh. i can easily get 10mbit + on a speedtest.

i agree with shorty, it seems that there may be some throttling going on due to the low cost nature of the plan.

OP, you could get a tmobile-proper prepaid sim for a couple bucks, and run a test with that in your phones - might give you some insight.
 
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Headcase_Fargone

Senior member
Nov 20, 2009
388
0
0
i've generally gotten excellent speeds on t-mobile, first in NYC, and now in pittsburgh. i can easily get 10mbps + on a speedtest.

i agree with shorty, it seems that there may be some throttling going on due to the low cost nature of the plan.

OP, you could get a tmobile-proper prepaid sim for a couple bucks, and run a test with that in your phones - might give you some insight.

I might do that if I can't find someone here at work with a T-Mobile smartphone. Further investigation is definitely warranted, as otherwise this plan is perfect for me.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,908
820
126
You pay for what you get. My brother's family is on tmobile and there coverage/speeds are pretty lame. He's switching VZW as soon as their contracts are up later this summer.
Really? Im in NYC and my tmo sgs2 smokes my company given droid razr by a HUGE margin. Maybe its just LTE sucking ass in NYC but the vzw doesnt even come close to tmo in my hood.
 

ImDonly1

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2004
2,357
0
76
Other forums mention getting a new SIM card. Go to a t-mobile store and ask for one. Might help you. Or call customer service and ask them why data is so slow.
 

Headcase_Fargone

Senior member
Nov 20, 2009
388
0
0
It looks like they put me on the wrong plan. It's showing that I only have 250MB of "speed boost" 4g speeds, then sure enough, capped at 900kb/sec.

What's the name of the plan you guys are on that gives unlimited 4g?
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,689
2,811
126
It looks like they put me on the wrong plan. It's showing that I only have 250MB of "speed boost" 4g speeds, then sure enough, capped at 900kb/sec.

What's the name of the plan you guys are on that gives unlimited 4g?

It's not unlimited 4g. It's 4g for 5gb each month. It's their Unlimited Web & Text with 100 minutes Talk plan. It's the $30. http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plans Scroll down to the middle of the page to $30 per month part.

Yeah you're on the $45 plan which gives you the first 250mb 4g and then EDGE after. That's the wrong plan.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,306
10,027
126
Hmm, I have a Tmobile phone, I switched to prepaid a little while ago, they were trying to get people off of their Flexpay plans. It turned out to be cheaper anyways.

So, I'm on the $50/mo unlimited talk, text, and web plan.

Would it be feasible to get a smartphone, and then somehow, use that as my internet connection? I'm on a limited income, and as nice as my FIOS is, it's expensive.

Also, it would be nice if I could hook my laptop up to my phone, and use internet that way, when I'm traveling.

Do they make smartphones with WiFi hotspots integrated with them?

I notice that only the first 100MB is 4G with my plan. What speed is it after that limit is reached?

Unfortunately, that would mean that my remote-access server stuff wouldn't work, if I gave up my FIOS connection.
 

Headcase_Fargone

Senior member
Nov 20, 2009
388
0
0
It's not unlimited 4g. It's 4g for 5gb each month. It's their Unlimited Web & Text with 100 minutes Talk plan. It's the $30. http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plans Scroll down to the middle of the page to $30 per month part.

Yeah you're on the $45 plan which gives you the first 250mb 4g and then EDGE after. That's the wrong plan.

I think they just set it up completely wrong. I'm definitely being charged $30 a month, and 900kb/sec is still faster than EDGE speeds.

I'm going to try to get a new SIM today anyway.
 

vshah

Lifer
Sep 20, 2003
19,003
24
81
Hmm, I have a Tmobile phone, I switched to prepaid a little while ago, they were trying to get people off of their Flexpay plans. It turned out to be cheaper anyways.

So, I'm on the $50/mo unlimited talk, text, and web plan.

Would it be feasible to get a smartphone, and then somehow, use that as my internet connection? I'm on a limited income, and as nice as my FIOS is, it's expensive.

Also, it would be nice if I could hook my laptop up to my phone, and use internet that way, when I'm traveling.

Do they make smartphones with WiFi hotspots integrated with them?

I notice that only the first 100MB is 4G with my plan. What speed is it after that limit is reached?

Unfortunately, that would mean that my remote-access server stuff wouldn't work, if I gave up my FIOS connection.

drop your fios and get plain old verizon DSL, i think it's <$30 a month now for the basic plans.
 

Headcase_Fargone

Senior member
Nov 20, 2009
388
0
0
Can someone on the $30 plan who is actually getting correct 4G speeds please tell me how their SIM card is branded? Obviously the associates we have to deal with at WalMart know nothing about these plans or the differences.

The SIM that they gave me is actually branded WalMart Family Mobile. At this point I'm suspecting it probably should be a T-Mobile branded SIM.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,306
10,027
126
drop your fios and get plain old verizon DSL, i think it's <$30 a month now for the basic plans.

I've read that once you go FIOS, they will not let you downgrade to DSL. In single-family dwellings, they literally cut the copper pairs so that you will not be able to re-connect. (This prevents downgrading to DSL and going with another CLEC.)

I'm in an apt building, so they may have not cut my pair.

I tried dropping down my FIOS service, as I learned about a FIOS tier that was only offered to then-current DSL subscribers (something like 1.5-3mbit FIOS service, for cheap), but was denied.

Some days I do wish I had stuck to DSL. I got lured in by the appeal of FIOS. Granted, I had plans to run a home server, with file serving and VPN access and stuff, so I wanted the high upload speeds of FIOS. But it is definitely costing me an arm and a leg monthly.

Edit: Hmm. I plugged in my Verizon DSL modem/router, and the DSL light blinked green, and then went to a solid green. So it looks like they didn't cut my pair. I might consider that then.

Edit: Tried logging in using my current FIOS username/password, and it didn't work to bring up a PPPoE connection. Darn.
 
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Headcase_Fargone

Senior member
Nov 20, 2009
388
0
0
I've read that once you go FIOS, they will not let you downgrade to DSL. In single-family dwellings, they literally cut the copper pairs so that you will not be able to re-connect. (This prevents downgrading to DSL and going with another CLEC.)

How is this legal? They're forcing customers to a much more expensive product. Carriers get away with murder in this country...
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,365
136
Oh, and the other day I noticed Tmobiles prepaid phones only give you 4g for the first 100 megs. After that you are throttled to 3g equivalent regardless of the network you're on.
 

Dulanic

Diamond Member
Oct 27, 2000
9,949
569
136
Oh, and the other day I noticed Tmobiles prepaid phones only give you 4g for the first 100 megs. After that you are throttled to 3g equivalent regardless of the network you're on.

Depends on the plan. $30 Unlimited data /w 100 minutes plan is 5GB 4G, $50 Unlimited is 100MB 4G then 3G speed, $60 is up to 2GB 4G then 3G. My preference is to go Straight Talk for $45 which is unlimited but they start threatening people around 2-3GB which you can pick a T-Mobile Sim.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,689
2,811
126
Oh, and the other day I noticed Tmobiles prepaid phones only give you 4g for the first 100 megs. After that you are throttled to 3g equivalent regardless of the network you're on.

Only the $50 plan. Not true for other prepaid plans. $30 plan gives you 4g for 5gb.