T-Mobile to offer LTE “mini-towers” for homes with connection problems

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T-Mobile is taking another crack at solving its connectivity problems with miniature cell towers that subscribers can install in their homes.

The 4G LTE CellSpot acts like one of T-Mobile’s regular cell towers, but on a smaller scale. It operates in a range of 3,000 square feet, and allows up to 16 devices on T-Mobile’s network to connect automatically for voice calls (including voice over LTE), text messages, and data

This is one of three solutions T-Mobile offers to subscribers with poor connectivity at home or at work. The carrier’s Wi-Fi CellSpot can route calls and texts over a local Wi-Fi network, while a 4G LTE CellSpot Signal Booster helps amplify a weak signal inside of buildings. The new 4G LTE CellSpot doesn’t require a Wi-Fi network, nor does it need an indoor cellular signal.

However, it’s unclear exactly how the new addition works. In the past, T-Mobile has talked about extending its network to unlicensed Wi-Fi bands, so we’ve asked the company if the new CellSpot is at all related to this initiative. T-Mobile’s press materials merely state that the CellSpot works “anywhere a customer has broadband Internet and T-Mobile wireless spectrum.”

T-Mobile says the new CellSpot is ideal for small businesses, but it’ll also be available for home users with any postpaid plan starting November 4. There’s no cost beyond a refundable $25 deposit.

Why this matters: While T-Mobile’s pricing can be irresistible, the network has a reputation for struggling inside of certain buildings and outside of city limits. The company has been fighting for more spectrum to improve its network overall, but in the meantime the growing CellSpot range can at least help with coverage at home.

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