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Cat s41, T-Mobile reception issues

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jadahle, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. jadahle

    jadahle Newbie
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    Hey all

    I bought a Cat s41 off amazon a couple days ago. Phone generally works fine on T-Mobile's network, but I am noticing that I am getting way worse reception than the phone I replaced (LG Stylo that has taken quite a beating) or the phone before that (Samsung Note 4). Tmobile does not have a strong signal in my area anyways, but before this phone, it was rarely a problem. An example, when I go in the grocery store, I drop calls frequently (on the Cat s41). Before, it would occasionally get digital, and once in a great while I would drop a call (LG Stylo or Note 4). I am having similar issues at my home (we live a few miles outside of town, where the signal gets weaker). Previously I would use WiFi calling at my house, but the Cat s41 does not appear to have WiFi calling.

    When I am outside it does have LTE connection.

    We do have a signal booster/repeater from TMobile for the house, but it really doesn't help much given there is already a weak signal in the area.


    Is there anything I can do to increase my reception? Can I do something to add WiFi calling? The phone is brand new, not refurbished, and has not been dropped. It is not rooted.
     

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  2. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    If that T-Mobile Personal CellSpot isn't helping you get a better signal, maybe it just needs to be set up again. The whole point in having one is to provide you with a your own limited range coverage because you've got a weak signal. Anyway, their Personal CellSpot requires three things -- the power adapter of course, a good wired (Ethernet cable) connection to one of your routers open ports, and a solid GPS signal -- in order to output a usable cellular signal. The connection to your broadband is needed to receive the feed from your cellular carrier (in a rough sense you're now using VoIP as any calls done on a phone connected to your CellSpot are via your landline broadband, not wireless cellular), the a GPS signal is required by T-Mobile as correlation between it and your CellSpot. In the set up documentation for a lot of femtocell/cell extender/CellSpot units, they mention locating it close to an outward facing window so there's better access to a GPS signal.
    But if your CellSpot just isn't helping for whatever reason. even if your don't have WiFi Calling as an integral option in your phone, there are third-party apps. And actually it's those third-party services that have been doing WiFi Calling way before the carriers started to include it. Also a lot of texting apps are adding WiFi Calling as an option too. Take a look into WiFi Calling using Google Hangouts and/or Google Voice, Viber, WhatsApp, Signal, and plenty of others.
    Note that Hangouts works through a Google Voice number but most like Viber and the texting apps use your cellular number. (And don't forget to allow access to your Contacts in the Permissions menu of whichever app you chose for WiFi Calling or it won't be able to seamlessly access your contacts.)
     
  3. jadahle

    jadahle Newbie
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    I just double checked our Personal Cell Spot devices, and they don't have an ether net port. They only have a power supply spot. They are about 3-4 years old.

    I will try using a third party app for WiFi calling at home. What about when I am out and about, like in the Grocery Story? Is there anything I can do to increase my reception there
     
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    A Cat S41 from Amazon is it.
    s41.jpg

    There doesn't seem to be a specific North America version of that phone
    . There's an EU version for Europe, and two dual-SIM versions, one for Asia in general and a TD mode one for China.

    Possibly Amazon sold you a grey import phone, and it doesn't have all the bands that T-Mobile requires for satisfactory reception and use on their network.
    If necessary post back the full model number of it. Is it a dual-SIM phone you've got as those are not usually sold in the US or Canada. Phones in Asia just not support WiFi calling either as carriers here don't implement it, and I'm pretty sure you must have a carrier version phone for WiFi calling as well.
     
    #4 mikedt, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  5. jadahle

    jadahle Newbie
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    Does this give you the information you need?
     

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  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    #6 mikedt, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  7. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Please list the model I.D. It doesn't sound like it is a cell extender device.
     
  8. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Is it one of these?
    https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-15754
    T-Mobile's Wi-Fi CellSpot Router. The router uses Wi-Fi Calling for calls at home instead of the T-Mobile network. So while the router does not boost the wireless network signal, it does provide a strong signal to make and receive calls via Wi-Fi Calling in your home.

    Although if if this non-carrier version Cat S41 doesn't have WiFi calling capabilities for T-Mobile, this isn't going to work with it.
     
  9. jadahle

    jadahle Newbie
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    Hey I'm at work now. I'll respond with more info later.
     

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