If you recall, I wrote the following article at the end of last month. Switching from Spectrum to T-Mobile Home InternetThe reason was simple: T-Mobile promised faster speeds, lower prices, no contracts, and lots of freebies for new subscribers. After installing a 5G gateway in his home, everything seemed to be going exactly as his T-Mobile dictated. But as soon as I discovered it, the T-Mobile Home Internet ultimately proved to be a disaster for me, forcing me to come back to Spectrum.
But before I get to the reason why I canceled T-Mobile Home Internet (opens in new tab)let’s discuss the good points.
What I liked about the T-Mobile Home Internet
In the two weeks I’ve been on the service, I’ve regularly seen peak downloads of over 500 Mbps and uploads of over 70 Mbps. Download speeds were about 100 Mbps faster than my Spectrum internet service, and uploads were 3x faster. We achieved this performance even though the signal “only” bounced between 3 and 4 bars (out of 5).
Over the past two weeks, my service has been solid, with no dropouts. I had a steady performance around the clock. Peak speeds dropped slightly in the evening, but downloads were still comparable to Spectrum and uploads were still twice as fast. Considering we’re talking wireless 4G LTE/5G connectivity, this was an impressive performance.
Another positive aspect of the service is that T-Mobile promises no data caps or data throttling/prioritization. Given that fixed internet providers like Spectrum and Comcast set mandatory data limits for customers in certain markets, this was a big draw.
Finally, there were freebies. Sign up for T-Mobile Home Internet and get 50% off YouTube TV for 1 year, Paramount+ free for 1 year, Philo TV subscription discount ($15/month), and free amazon echo show 5 (opens in new tab) Smart display/speaker.
However, all these benefits become meaningless once the service is terminated.
Why her relationship with T-Mobile Home Internet soon ended in divorce
Happiness on my T-Mobile Home Internet crashed about two weeks after enabling the service. The working day started normally. I had just finished a morning meeting at work and had his Sling TV on in the background of my Roku TV in the office writing a follow-up to his original T-Mobile internet story. reading now). Then Roku TV suddenly complained that it lost internet connection. Shortly after, when I tried to refresh the webpage, my Mac showed no internet connection.
I got up, approached the T-Mobile 5G gateway, and saw it reporting “no connection.” It shows one signal bar every 30 seconds and then returns to the no connection error. Thinking it was a fluke, I cycled power on the 5G gateway. I rebooted and got the same status message about lack of connectivity. At this point, I was pretty frustrated, so I started messing around with the tall, cylindrical device.
Swipe the circular touch screen to[Alerts]The page came up with a severe error message “All PDN IP Connection Failure”. I needed internet, so I turned on Personal Hotspot on my iPhone (Visible Mobile using Verizon’s network) and wirelessly tethered to my Mac. I then typed the error message into Google and found several threads on his official T-Mobile community forums, Reddit, and other sites. This is a problem many people have encountered and T-Mobile seems reluctant (or unable) to fix it.
I tried moving the device upstairs and downstairs, every room in the house. I even plugged it into an external receptacle to eliminate interference problems.
I was able to get in touch with a customer service representative within a minute of calling the support number. First, the customer service representative told me to power cycle (which I had already done many times). I then explained that I had an All PDN IP Connection Failure error and was told to perform a hard reset of the device by pressing the reset button on the back of the device with a paperclip. Unfortunately that resulted in the device rebooting and showing the same error her message. He also removed and reinserted the SIM card, to no avail.
At this point, the rep put me on hold and said, “I’ll do a few things” on his part to get the signal and be able to provide a functional service. When it didn’t work, he put me on hold for another five minutes and said he found the reason for my outage: a base station upgrade. The rep said T-Mobile was upgrading the tower from his 4G to 5G, which is why the error his message.
I found that description problematic for two reasons. For starters, the closest T-Mobile tower is about a mile from my house and I had his T-Mobile phone service about two years ago – it had a 5G connection. Second, later he had a friend from T-Mobile phone service come over and on his iPhone he got a 5G signal at 4 bars (max).
To make matters worse, the rep said this “upgrade” started that morning and will last for 48 hours. This also seemed very strange. I was told to wait for the upgrade to finish and then try again because there is nothing else on his part that he can do without internet for 48 hours in the telecommuting era?It is absolute torture.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve spent about 30 minutes to an hour without internet using Spectrum (even when it was called Time Warner Cable). And it probably happened once every two years or so. 48 hours was too far a bridge, but I complied.
All my smart devices stopped working because I couldn’t access my home internet through my Orbi mesh router. No access to Echo speakers, no Ring camera controls, no streaming TV services, etc. The best I could do was connect my iPhone to smart TVs around the house to watch Sling TV and Disney+ for my kids, and during this time I revisited his T-Mobile forums and Reddit to see what others are experiencing.
Apparently I’m not the only one annoyed by all my PDN IP connectivity failures
Unsurprisingly, other users said they received many similar comments from T-Mobile customer service. Even after sending his replacement 5G gateway home, many never got service back.It is here sample answer (opens in new tab) from T-Mobile forum (opens in new tab) When reddit:
“I am also getting this ‘All PDN IP connectivity errors’ error code. He called T-Mobile support five days in a row and no one could tell me what it meant. – esshumake
“Launched TMHI service a few weeks ago. It’s 0.6 miles from T-Mo tower. Signal is strong. 5G, 3 bars, decent Mbps. Lost connection on 2/18/22. T- Mo Tech said it was a tower issue.” – Coyote
“I got my T-Mobile home internet about two weeks ago. It was blazingly fast and everything worked perfectly. Then a week ago I lost all connections and my Nokia I kept getting a “PDN IP connection failed” message in the trash. Multiple calls/hours on the phone, multiple factory resets, etc. did not fix the issue, and in the last 6 days he sent me 3 different Nokia trash bins as tech support didn’t know the cause has been sent. Do the same for all three. I haven’t been connected to the internet for over a week now. – Satocaster
“Why is no one at T-Mobile replying? I have the same problem and haven’t found a reliable fix from internet searches.” – Tanark Martin
“I had the same problem last month. Still no internet. No solution. No answer. Factory reset of , replaced SIM card, moved to another location, new gateway, still nothing.” – SJ_Traderelia
“Since I got this error, I had to cancel the service. I called the support line practically every day and spent about an hour troubleshooting. I got it last year and it’s fine. There were no changes to the setup, no new devices, etc. Internet connection had not been resolved for 7 days.” — Spin Sheet
Call back T-Mobile customer service
It was tough (I know it’s a first world problem) but we endured 48 hours and the service never came back online. At this point, I was fed up. So I called customer service back and they said they don’t know when the “upgrade” will end and when I will be able to use the service. At that point I told them to cancel everything and go back to Spectrum.
It may have been a hasty decision, but I don’t have time for BS. Either the service works or it doesn’t. Also, telling customers to wait 48 hours for internet service to be restored is especially true in North Carolina, where he’s just outside of the second largest metropolitan area and home to Research’s Triangle His Park. unacceptable in some cases.
At this point, we’re back on Spectrum. I never got rid of my Arris Surfboard cable modem, so all I had to do to get it back in service was call and sign up for the service. In consolation, Spectrum has the same speeds as I had before specs (500/20) and for $49.99 a month he signed up for 3 years of service. A $20 discount compared to previous rates. They say the price is good for 36 months.
T-Mobile Home Internet was great when it worked, so I really wanted to give the service a chance. However, he left our family for two days without any plans to restore service, and T-Mobile Home for customers reporting that they were unable to restore service. All my hopes for the Internet were dashed.
After canceling the service, I reached out to T-Mobile’s PR team to inquire about the All PDN IP Connection Failure error and tower upgrade.
Thank you for your patience while we resolve the issue. It looks like there was an upgrade that may have caused a service disruption in your area. However, our team is looking into the issue and hopefully it will be resolved. If you are interested, please sign up again for Home Internet. Please let me know if you are interested.
I received a reply from T-Mobile within 24 hours. Apparently, the team was tasked with finding the true root cause of my outage. Normally he wouldn’t expect T-Mobile Home Internet customers to get that kind of treatment, but that’s a digression. Also, I don’t know if T-Mobile has actually fixed the problem. Because now 5G gateways are back in the company. Also, my request for an explanation for the All PDN IP Connection Failure error was not answered.
Note: As with all editorials, the opinions expressed here are solely those of the writer, not of Tom’s Hardware as a team.