A couple months ago we wrote about two new Home Internet gateways T-Mobile was planning on releasing. One seemed to be meant to be provided along with the current gateways, while the other appeared to be more business-focused.
Well we now know more about the Arcadyan TMOG4AR, Arcadyan’s second T-Mobile Home Internet offering, and the more consumer-y of the two.
Update 8/25: We now have more information about the new gateway and it’s external antenna.
Release Date and Availability
To start out, we now have a concrete release date for this model, thanks to a reliable source: August 29th. We’ll update with supporting documentation when and if we get it. We still don’t have the release date for the Sercomm TMOG4SE, but that may not matter so much. More on that in a bit.
It looks like you won’t be able to get the Arcadyan TMOG4AR in stores, at least right away. If you want this new gateway as soon as possible, you’ll have to have it shipped to you.
If you were looking forward to the Sercomm for the antenna support, there’s some good news for you. The Arcadyan also appears to support external antennas, and may even come with one.
Thanks to some pictures on the FCC website that were recently released from embargo, we have external photos of the TMOG4AR, its two power bricks, and a mysterious external antenna panel.
The Arcadyan TMOG4AR is much more similar to the old Askey LTE gateway than any of the 5G gateways. Instead of a cylinder or tower, it’s a low-profile square box with a screen in the center of one of the large faces.
Unlike the Askey, this gateway is meant to sit vertically on a detachable stand, which is also where all of the ports are.
The user manual for the device, also found via the FCC listing, shows that this stand is a “windowsill bracket”, indicating the gateway could be meant to be used at a window in most setups.
External Antenna Support
For the most part, the ports are exactly the same as on the other 5G gateways. There are two yellow LAN ports, a SIM slot, a USB-C power jack, and a USB-C data/debug jack. The interesting part is right next to these ports: four SMA connectors for an external antenna.
Aside from supporting external antennas, it seems like the Arcadyan TMOG4AR might even have an official antenna accessory, pictured above.
It’s unclear whether this is going to come with the device or be sold separately, but it looks pretty standard. Since the connectors appear to be normal SMA, an existing antenna like Waveform’s should work just fine.
If the antenna is separate, you may not need it, though. According to the manual, the Arcadyan TMOG4AR also has internal antennas just like every other Home Internet gateway. You’ll be able to choose which to use through the display on the device.
It is worth noting that the manual doesn’t actually mention or show the “official” external antenna, so our guess is that T-Mobile may offer it as a separate add-on, either for purchase or monthly fee.
Unfortunately, it seems like the web interface is just as barebones as the one on the Sagemcom and previous Arcadyan gateway. The manual only mentions language selection and a support page.
That doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get more options. The official Home Internet app might receive an update with more controls. There’s no mention of this in the manual, though, so it’s just speculation.
Plus, there’s always the third-party HINT Control app that will likely be updated to support this new model down the road.
The external antenna support is a really pleasant surprise, and pretty unexpected. It seemed like the Sercomm was going to be the gateway aimed at business users and prosumers because of its external antenna support, but now we know both models have it.
If you’re in a rural area or a dense city, the ability to position your antenna independently of the gateway could greatly increase speed and reliability and help you connect to faster bands.
Hopefully T-Mobile will actually offer this external antenna option to customers, even if it’ll cost an extra fee. T-Mobile has developed hardware before that never came to market, though, so we’ll have to wait and see.
It’s good to see T-Mobile finally embracing external antennas officially, and makes me a little hopeful that we might even start getting advanced network options eventually.
What do you think of the new device? Are you still going to wait for the Sercomm, or is external antenna support enough for you to go for this one instead?