T-Mobile’s Home Internet started life as a trial run to select customers using LTE-only modems from Askey. Then in early 2021 we got the new 5G Gateway from Nokia. Now we have a first look at what may be the new T-Mobile Home Internet Gateway.
The news comes via an email shared with The T-Mo Report that was sent to some stores. It informs them that display units may be arriving early. The instructions say to keep them stored in the back until it’s time to reveal. Both the email and a scaled-up image of the new device are shown below.
As you can see, the device appears to be a complete redesign from the existing Nokia, suggesting it’s another manufacturer. There’s no clear branding or model information other than the T-Mobile logo on the front.
It features a screen on the front this time, instead of the top, with 3 buttons for navigation. It likely no longer relies on touch input for switching between the screens. The screen looks larger this time around too, and rectangular instead of circular like on the Nokia.
Other details on the new device are so far non-existent. Hours of FCC filing research proved unsuccessful. The closest visual match found was a device by Huawei called the 5G CPE Pro. There are some similarities, but also numerous differences. That being said, the same was true for the Nokia FastMile vs the T-Mobile version. Let’s face it though, it’s probably not Huawei.
The email mentioned a unique SKU for the display units that were arriving, but research into that led to only an internal name for the existing Nokia display unit.
Overall, there are a few possibilities. In my opinion the most likely scenario is that this is the new Home Internet Gateway that will eventually replace the Nokia. The wording used in the email of “Concierge in Backroom” (which is a noun, not a verb, T-Mobile) seems to imply it is meant to keep secret. If it were the existing Nokia unit, there would be no need for the secrecy.
Plus, the existing Nokia gateway has its flaws. Numerous issues from signal problems, band locking issues, lack of firmware features, and full on hardware failure have been well shared on places like Reddit. A new device would be a clean slate to hopefully fix these types of issues.
That being said, it could be a prototype image from before the Nokia released. Perhaps the image was accidentally used instead of an image of the Nokia. This is certainly possible, and would mean that it isn’t a new model and that T-Mobile will likely be continuing use of the Nokia for a while longer.
Whatever the case may be, keep an eye out here on The T-Mo Report for more details when we get them. Are you excited by the idea of a new Home Internet Gateway? Let us know below!
Update: Possible Manufacturer Found
Thanks to a helpful user on Reddit, we appear to have found a possible manufacturer of the device.
A company called Wistron NeWeb, who has previous history making devices for Verizon, appears to offer a fixed wireless 5G CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) device that looks quite similar to the one leaked in the T-Mobile email.
The device has no additional information to accompany the low-res image except it’s name, which is simply “5G Indoor Sub-6 CPE”. Attempts to find the device or it’s T-Mobile equivalent on the FCC website have come up dry.
There are a number of differences, like the T-Mobile device using side ventilation rather than top, and a larger screen. It’s possible that this may not even be the manufacturer at all. That being said, the Nokia model had a number of differences as well. We’ll have to wait until we get more information or an announcement to know for sure.
We’ve also reached out to Wistron NeWeb to see if they can provide more details on the device and will update if we learn more.