This device has been discontinued and we consider it obsolete. While current owners of this device may continue to find performance to be adequate for the foreseeable tech-future, we do not recommend upgrading to or purchasing this device.
ZTE in the News: ZTE has been in the news a lot lately thanks to the sanctions the company has been negotiating with the US government. At one point, it seemed as if ZTE would be forced out of business.
But as of mid-July 2018 it looks like the dust has settled and ZTE will be able to continue releasing new products and supporting older devices, so we are dropping our previous warning.
Members, get our further analysis and follow our ongoing tracking of this story in our Special Announcements forum:
It turns out that the newer model is actually just a cost-reduced version of the Z-915, with the exact same specifications and internal electronics.
The key difference is that the older and more expensive Z-915 has an LCD screen for changing settings and checking status. But on the new Falcon model there is only a series of basic status lights - and all changes must be made via a web interface.
In other words, if you have a Z-915, do not feel any pressure to rush out to upgrade to the new Falcon.
UPDATE (October 2016): T-Mobile has seemingly replaced the Falcon Z-917 in its lineup with the newer Alcatel LINKZONE - which has nearly identical specifications and capabilities.
- Battery Life: 6hrs (removable battery)
- # of Connected Devices: 10 Wi-Fi / Supports USB Tethering
WiFiRanger Tethering: Tested & Confirmed
Control Panel: http://mobile.hotspot/ or http://192.168.0.1/
Default Password: "admin"
- Networks supported:
LTE Bands: 2, 4, 12 (17)
4G: HSPA+ 850/1900/2100MHz
3G / 2G: Global Roaming NOT Supported
- LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: No
- LTE Performance Category: Category 4
(Max Theoretical Speed: 150Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
- Cellular Antenna Ports: None
- Wi-Fi Technology / Frequencies: 802.11 b/g/n - 2.4GHz Only
- Dimensions: 4.13" x 2.36" x 0.63" / 4.23 oz
- SIM Card Type: 3FF / Micro SIM
- Retail Price: $79.95
In addition, we have included this unit in our several other rounds of testing. Our field testing results can be found here, for our members who want to follow along:
- Cellular Signal & Embedded Router Field Testing – IBR900 | MAX-BR1 | Drive Sleek | MIMO Antennas (1st Quarter 2018)
- Cellular Equipment Field Testing Results – Netgear Modems / USB730 (Late 2017)
The Rest of this Review is:
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NOTE: At present time, mobile hotspots can only be activated on T-Mobile's older data tiered 'Simple Choice' plans, not on their new unlimited T-Mobile One plans.
They can also no longer be purchased online directly from T-Mobile, and must be bought in a T-Mobile store or via phone.
ZTE Falcon Z-917 Ratings
This hotspot is a solid choice if you need a dedicated T-Mobile data device.