Yesterday, August 24th, we presented the new Home Internet Gateway, the Arcadyan TMOG4AR, that is coming soon to T-Mobile. We now have more details about how the device will be distributed, as well as information about the external antenna for the device.
According to multiple slides and documents shared with us here at The Mobile Report, T-Mobile will indeed be selling the external antenna as an optional accessory for the new modem.
The documents additionally show that T-Mobile expects the antennas to become available many weeks after the launch of the modem itself. Training slides stress to employees that they relay this to the customer, and to inform them that if they set the modem to external antenna mode, they won’t receive a signal.
Below is an image of the expected external antenna T-Mobile will sell, taken from the FCC listing for the modem.
Another slightly questionable statement in the documents claims that “only antennas sold by T-Mobile will be compatible” with the new modem. This is surprising, given that the connectors on the modem appear to be standard connectors found on many third-party antennas, like the ones from Waveform.
A separate document, not part of the training slides and shown below, states that “T-Mobile’s external antenna .. is the only antenna tested and certified to work with the T-Mobile 5G Gateway.”
This is the more accurate statement, in our opinion. Testing the antenna to ensure proper functionality makes sense, and claiming it’s the only one certified also makes sense. However, it’s highly unlikely there is some kind of incompatibility between the gateway and unofficial antennas on the market.
Based on the documents, we expect T-Mobile to simply sell the antenna as a one-time purchase, and it likely will not be “on loan” for the duration of service like the modem is. If this is the case, the price will likely be the key factor in whether or not customers go with T-Mobile’s in-house antenna or a third-party option.
Not available for current customers
The training documents also make it very clear that existing customers will not be able to swap their gateways for the new model.
T-Mobile states “At this time, current Home Internet customers are unable to request a T-Mobile 5G Gateway (G4AR), even in escalated situations.”
This will likely be disappointing news for existing customers. Many commenters online have already expressed interested in requesting the new device, so it’s unfortunate it won’t be an option for them.
The new modems will be sent to “some new customers” that sign up for Home Internet. These new customers are equally as likely to receive one of the previous models as well. T-Mobile is positioning the device as simply “more stock to meet demand”, just like they did with the previous Sagemcom.
Stores will also not have stock of the new modem at this time. The TMOG4AR will only be sent to “some” customers that are “ship-to” orders, which means either they ordered online or ordered at a store that had no existing modem stock.
It’s been a popular request since the launch of T-Mobile’s Home Internet that customers be allowed to use external antennas. It’s common knowledge that, with somewhat complicated disassembly, antennas can be patched into existing older modem models from T-Mobile. It’s done so frequently that Waveform, manufacturer of third-party antennas, has incredibly detailed how-to guides on their website for each model of 5G gateway.
This new modem appears to be an answer to those requests. Hopefully T-Mobile uses this design as a template going forward, so that eventually all customers have the option of using an external antenna.
We’ve also reached out to T-Mobile in an attempt to acquire one of the new units for testing and review, though we don’t have high hopes. We’ll be sure to share updates on the new device once it starts landing in customer hands.