Setting up a good, high-bandwidth learning space can be challenging. With so many people teleworking and distance learning, many home-based users face a lot of bandwidth competition. Meanwhile, even with only a single user, being tied to one location might not be optimal. A student might need to attend a lecture from a remote location, or a professor might want to take a virtual class out in the field.
The T-Mobile Franklin T9 Mobile Hotspot is designed to support all of those situations from anywhere that has good T-Mobile cellular service. The device is tiny and weighs less than 3 ounces, yet it acts as a fully functioning access point that can support up to 15 devices at once. It’s also an incredibly good value at less than $100 (though you do also need a T-Mobile phone service subscription).
Here’s how it works: The T9 hotspot connects to the T-Mobile cellular network. While it can connect with 3G, 4G and 4G LTE networks, it can’t yet take advantage of the higher speeds offered by 5G should it be available in the area.
Once connected to the cellular network, the hotspot can provide an 802.11 b/g/n/ac connection for up to 15 devices, with each device connecting in the fastest way possible. The T9 comes packed with a powerful 2,450 mAh-rated battery that lasted more than seven hours in extreme testing. It can also stay charged for 48 hours in standby mode. It uses a micro-USB cable to recharge.
The T9 comes with Wi-Fi connection management tools so users can enable password protection or set up rules about who and what can connect to the device. In the field, it has a small OLED window that shows status icons for the device, such as cellular signal strength, number of devices connected and battery level. As a result, it’s very simple to manage and monitor.
I easily connected several devices to the hotspot and was able to perform tasks such as videoconferencing, web browsing and watching a movie with no noticeable slowdowns or interruptions. Connecting to the T9 was equally simple using a wired access point.
The T-Mobile Franklin T9 Mobile Hotspot offers a valuable means to support distance learning. It’s easy to use, powerful and not very expensive — and it empowers both students and professors to take their virtual classrooms almost anywhere.
SUPPORTED WIRELESS SIGNALS: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY: 3G, 4G and 4G LTE
CHARGING PORT: Micro-USB
BATTERY: 2,450 mAh
DIMENSIONS: 4.13x2.63x0.51 inches
WEIGHT: 2.99 ounces