Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Sep 28, 2021     Views: 2

There are a number of things that could be contributing to a poor or inconsistent connection for the hotspot you have checked out from the TCC Library.

Things like the weather, foliage, and proximity to the nearest cellular tower all affect the hotspot's signal strength and connection speed. Sometimes it may be necessary to place the hotspot near a window, especially if you live in a building with very thick walls. In some areas with poor coverage, you may only be able to get a signal outdoors.

Local cellular tower outages or other problems with the cellular network can affect hotspot connection speeds, or lead to an inconsistent or repeatedly dropped signal. You can check to see if there have been Sprint/T-Mobile outages reported in your area here: https://downdetector.com/status/t-mobile/

Sometimes location is a factor. Sprint/T-Mobile coverage can be spotty in rural areas. To see what coverage looks like in your area, you can check this coverage map: https://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp?

The different types of data coverage available have differing average speeds, as listed below:

  • 4G LTE has average download speeds of 4 - 35 Mbps and upload speeds of 1 - 5 Mbps
  • Non-LTE has average download speeds of 600 Kbps - 1.4 Mbps and upload speeds of 350 Kpbs - 500 Kbps
  • Extended 4G LTE / LTE Roaming has average download speeds of 1 - 6 Mbps and upload speeds of 1 - 3 Mbps
  • Extended Non-LTE has average download speeds of 50 Kbps - 700 Kbps and upload speeds of 50 Kbps - 70 Kbps
  • Roaming has average download speeds of 50 Kbps - and 64 Kbps and upload speeds of 50 - 70 Kbps

Extended Non-LTE coverage and Roaming coverage may not be suitable for viewing streaming video or attending using video calling applications like Zoom.