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Posted Nov 4, 2012
12:12:05 PM
Is the MicroCell Service Down?

Around mid-morning on November 1, my MicroCell went offline and has not been able to connect since. Everything else on my network is behaving normally and I've had no interruption in my Internet service. So, I was wondering if someone might know if there's a problem with the service in general? Perhaps something weather-related? If not, is there a way I can verify that my device is ironies not malfunctioning?

 

Thanks!

 

Charlie

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Dec 7, 2012 12:10:38 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by OttoPylot on Dec 7, 2012 at 12:16:38 PM

@joelsplace:

 

Here's the link to the MicroCell Troubleshooing Guide. It may help:

 

http://www.wireless.att.com/media/en_US/swf/3Gmicrocell/ATT3GMicroCell-Troubleshooting.pdf

 

To answer some of your questions, the blinking red 3G light means that there is a hardware failure. Either due to a real failure or, more likely, it was an update by AT&T and when the MicroCell tried to reset itself, the reset failed so the MicroCell "thinks" it's a hardware failure. A hard reset (using the reset button on the back, held down for 30 seconds) sometimes will clear the problem. A blinking green 3G light can have multiple causes. If the internet light is green and solid, you have internet connection which means the MicroCell has been assigned an IP address. Four main lights, Power, Internet, GPS, and 3G all have to be solid green.

 

Yes, a router is a switch in a sense. But if  you have a another ethernet switch between the router and the MicroCell (to make more ethernet ports available to your LAN) you may encounter problems. The MicroCell is really finicky and doesn't like anything between it and the internet. Security issues? I don't know. You can try priorty setup which is used mainly for troubleshooting but some folks find that works best for them. Priority is: modem  -> MicroCell -> router. That basically takes the router out of the chain and connects the MicroCell directly to the internet. The modem has to be in bridge mode either way so that all it does is pass traffic. All of the routing and firewalling needs to be handled by the router. You may even had to do port forwarding to a static assigned IP address for the MicroCell based on its MAC address. That's what I do with my Apple Extreme Base Station.

 

The MicroCell is a totally closed system with no access at all except by AT&T. As a side note, if you try to take the MicroCell apart, there are activation clips inside and if one comes loose, it will pernamently disable the MicroCell. I've seen reports where a cat knocked over the MicroCell onto a hard floor loosening one of the clips and bricking the MicroCell. If it rattles, it probably won't work.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Nov 9, 2012 5:04:44 PM
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Voyager

I'm having the same problem.  My microcell worked fine (once network issues on my side ironed out) from August 2011 through last night.  I moved to a new house and (much to my surprise) after adding the new address the microcell activated and worked without a problem.  Until last night.

 

The 3G light started flashing.  I power cycled the unit, and it connected for a short period, then lost connection.  I restarted the router: that didn't help.  I tried deactivating the unit (big mistake).  Now it will not reactivate.

 

There is nothing new on this end.  The microcell is in a DMZ outside the router, so port forwarding isn't an issue.  Any thoughts?

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 9, 2012 5:54:49 PM
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ACE - Master

Same ISP and modem? Maybe AT&T still had your old address in their GPS database and that's why you connected initially and now the "new" tower doesn't recognize it after re-activating. DMZ doesn't always work so port forwarding to a static IP may be an option for your new location.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 10, 2012 8:48:10 AM
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Explorer

It doesn't look like AT&T has fixed it for me yet. Do you have a number of people who's service has been restored and continues to function? I'm going to try some experiments before I officially submit a complaint myself. I'm going to try changing some settings from the MicroCell web page, such as disabling automatic handout. There's no cell tower here for me to hand off to anyway, so I really don't need that feature. I'm hoping that, by attempting to push out a change of some sort I may be able to get the service un-stuck. If that one doesn't work, I'll try disableing and reenabling. The box is essentially out of service and disabled anyway, so it's not like the situation can get any worse. When that fails (my expectations are very low), I'll submit a formal complaint. Of course, the MicroCell web page says everything is up and operational.

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Nov 10, 2012 10:16:11 AM
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Teacher

me too ... and, I got to a supervisor who knew what she is doing...

She said there is a problem in the southeast

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Nov 10, 2012 12:14:17 PM
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Voyager

Yup, same set up completely.  It was working great at the new location for 7 weeks, then just stopped.  This does seem to be a problem with the ATT network in the Southeast.

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Nov 10, 2012 12:53:37 PM
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Explorer

So, here's my situation so far. From the MicroCell settings web page, I "disconnected" the MicroCell and logged out. After about a half hour, I logged back into the MicroCell website and was prompted for the serial number of my device. I entered the number, agreed to all the legal stuff, and was presented with the forms for name and location, which were already filled in with the correct information. The next form had my wife's and my cell phone numbers already assigned to the MicroCell, but not the other two numbers we had previously added.

 

When the activation screen came up, I powered up the box and waited. The web page indicated successful power up, successful software update (although I didn't detect that any Internet activity was actually taking place), and successful location verification. This process took less than five minutes. I've been watching the "Activation in Progress" bar for an additional 15 minutes now. They say this could take up to 90 minutes, so I'll just let it sit and give it a chance. Perhaps this will actually raise a flag somewhere that something's not right, or maybe it will fix whatever went wrong in the first place. I guess I'll find out in an hour or so.

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Nov 10, 2012 2:55:15 PM
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Explorer

After two hours, still no activation. The settings page informs me that something is wrong and to try all the usual troubleshooting stuff. I'm now on the phone with a rep who says there's an IPSec tunnel problem and is looking into it.

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Nov 10, 2012 5:30:12 PM
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ACE - Master

If memory serves me correctly IPSec Passthru has to be enabled which is listed in the TroubleShooting Guide.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 10, 2012 5:41:41 PM
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Explorer

I now have an open trouble ticket, so we'll see what excuses are forthcoming!

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Nov 10, 2012 9:02:42 PM
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My microcell went down Thursday night, 11/08/2012. I tried all of the troubleshooting procedures from powering down, re-checking the router settings, to plugging directly into the cable modem, to deactivating and reactivating to no avail.  I called customer service yesterday, 11/09/2012 after purchasing a new unit since mine was out of warranty.  The microcell would not work either. I attempted to reactivate both microcells on two different routers and neither would reactivate. Customer service rep finally gave me a ticket number after spending a long time on the phone with him.  I was given the date of 11/14/2012 for the ticket resolution day.  I can not get a signal in my house without the microcell. I had to use another phone to even call in. I am using Brighthouse Road Runner in Elmore County AL. Is anyone having trouble in my area?

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Nov 10, 2012 11:21:47 PM
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Edited by comintel on Nov 11, 2012 at 12:00:38 AM

I am in Cary NC and the Microcell has worked flawlessly, with no downtime at all, from the day I installed it 9 months ago until 11/8/2012.

 

On that date it stopped working (top 2 lights now green and bottom light flashing green) and it is still not working despite numerous power cycles.

 

I am on highest-speed Uverse so it is not an ISP issue.

 

Is Microcell down throughout the entire Southeast?  Of course this region has its own "Cingular" cellular infrastructore based originally on Nortel equipment.

 

Is the Microcell problem occuring where LTE is breing introduced?

 

Are their some places in the Southeast where Microcell is still working?

 

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 11, 2012 2:43:35 AM
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Edited by comintel on Nov 11, 2012 at 3:41:48 AM

OK to follow up my own post, I believe I have fixed it.

 

It was a bad ethernet cable to the Microcell, I think.

 

I spotted it by noticing that the Microcell was not showing up as it should in the Uverse 2-wire LAN diagnostics with the original cable.

 

Sorry for any aspersions on my part.....

 

It could be too that there was a problem orginally that got fixed by the hard reset (button-switch-depress) that I did, and that I just introduced another problem (the bad cable) while trying things such as using various cables and cable arrangements.

 

Troubleshooting is very tricky!

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 11, 2012 7:49:16 PM
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Voyager
I have been having the exact same problem and resorted to buying a new microcell and it activated and give a solid connection for about a day beofre the microcell requires a reboot to connect again. I previously had no problems for 2 years. This is frustrating.

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Nov 11, 2012 8:01:23 PM
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How long does it take for the GPS light to turn green after a reboot?

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Nov 12, 2012 7:52:45 AM
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Try powering down your modem , router and microcell for 10 mins.  Then power up modem wait on lights and router..wait for lights then the microcell...If you only have a modem/router combo. same senario.  Ip may be stuck and not reassigning.

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Nov 12, 2012 8:52:55 AM
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ACE - Master

Budule wrote:

How long does it take for the GPS light to turn green after a reboot?


Mine takes about 3 minutes with full functionality in about 10 minutes max (sometimes sooner). GPS really needs that un-obstructed view of the sky so building(s), trees, anything will cause it to take longer.

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 12, 2012 10:06:42 AM
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Teacher

Otto Pylot wrote:

Budule wrote:

How long does it take for the GPS light to turn green after a reboot?


Mine takes about 3 minutes with full functionality in about 10 minutes max (sometimes sooner). GPS really needs that un-obstructed view of the sky so building(s), trees, anything will cause it to take longer.

 


I think that is the major problem with the microcells.......they are indoors and without an external antenna how are they supposed to get an un-obstructed view of the sky?....they cant imo......some get a signal good enough to function somewhat, but not all that reliable.....you would not believe how differant these things function when they DO have that view (external antenna port was put on there for a reason im guessing)....even when i registered and re-registerd mine (several times) it would take the full 90 minutes and sometimes WAY longer......flew through it like lightning after antenna was added.......antenna needs to be in a window that isnt covered by a roof or anything and these babys are a differant beast altogether, i have not had one single problem since......

 

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Nov 12, 2012 11:52:16 AM
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ACE - Master

The instructions do clearly state that the MicroCell has to be within 18" of a window with an unobstructed view of the open sky. We have a metal roof with the window facing the walkway going up to the front so our "view" is "mostly" unobstructed. GPS connectivity has never been an issue with us. I agree that it would be helpful if AT&T recommended the use of an external antenna and possibly even sold one as an optional feature. The MicroCell is a good idea but with so many variables (physical position, ISP, router configs, etc) reliable setup can be problematic for some. That's one of the reasons why I recommend port forwarding to a static IP. You shouldn't have to do that but it does make for a very stable, and reliable connection even after power outages, etc. as long as your MicroCell is in a good position for the GPS lock.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 12, 2012 3:11:38 PM
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Teacher

I think the main problem though is people ASSUME that the GPS is locked or ok if the GPS light is solid and not flashing.....i dont think that is the case....on BOTH my microcells (and on other peoples with similer problems that have since been fixed) my GPS was ALWAYS solid green and even calls to AT & T would tell me that on "their end" my GPS was ok and locked......how could that be true if IMEADIATLY AFTER installing the antenna the thing (both of mine as i tried the other "bad" one to just to be sure) powered right up, locked on and was solid green in under 2 minutes where as before it would take HOURS sometimes.......just sayn' , if there is a problem, it seems fairly simple, and cheap....6 bucks) to add an antenna.....took me a long time to do the port forwarding (with no results) but only a minute or 2 to plug in an antenna and actually get the thing to work as advertised.......

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Nov 12, 2012 3:49:01 PM
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Explorer

Although I believe that I have a good strong GPS signal, and the box has worked well for over a year, I decided to spend the $6 and order an external antenna. It can't hurt and can only eliminate one more potential problem area. I really hope that the service returns to normal before I get the antenna. I'll continue to post updates.

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Nov 12, 2012 4:05:01 PM
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Edited by Budule on Nov 12, 2012 at 4:05:42 PM

CharlieSchorner wrote:

Although I believe that I have a good strong GPS signal, and the box has worked well for over a year, I decided to spend the $6 and order an external antenna. It can't hurt and can only eliminate one more potential problem area. I really hope that the service returns to normal before I get the antenna. I'll continue to post updates.



I think the best indicator of that is how long does it take after a "power cycle" before the GPS light is solid.......mine locks after about 1 minute,  i would think anything longer than 5 minutes is "struggling" but probably ok.....longer than 10 i think is bad......mine too worked for a year with little problems, i think the updated had something to do with the GPS part of it somehow.....

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 12, 2012 5:28:27 PM
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Explorer

GPS lock doesn't really seem to be a problem for me. I get to the flashing G3 light with everything else solid well within 3 minutes consistently, but I'm willing to try anything to help. I'm still convinced that AT&T has changed something, with the remote possibility that something may have changed with my ISP, although I'm confident that they've done an extremely thorough debug. My ISP has an open trouble ticket as do I, so there's not much else either of us can do at this point except wait and hope someone at AT&T is actually investigating.

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Nov 12, 2012 6:35:49 PM
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Teacher

Hope you have better luck with your isp than i did, they wouldnt help me at all....said if i could view a web page then it was up and running fine as far as they were concerned.....i think i herd them laugh when i asked about "port forwarding"......there is a very helpful site on port forwarding though , i beleive they have all modems/routers listed and step by step instructions.......

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 12, 2012 6:50:21 PM
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Explorer

My ISP is awesome! They've always been very helpful and supportive. In this case, my problem is not isolated. Quite a few people across the state, all connected to this ISP have had their MicroCells go down pretty much simultaneously. The ISP has worked with all of us to verify that our setups are correct, that they in fact have all of the appropriate ports open, etc. they have confirmed that traffic on the essential ports to and from AT&T's IP addresses dropped significantly and suddenly over a week and a half ago. There's a person who is working with an AT&T service rep to figure out what happened and trying to fix it. So far all evidence points to something on AT&T's end of the wire, but nothing has changed for the better. I've opened a trouble ticket with AT&T along with the one my ISP already has open. I hope that some of the other people affected do the same. Maybe we'll get a little service if enough of us complain.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 12, 2012 7:40:31 PM
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ACE - Master

Budule wrote:

Hope you have better luck with your isp than i did, they wouldnt help me at all....said if i could view a web page then it was up and running fine as far as they were concerned.....i think i herd them laugh when i asked about "port forwarding"......there is a very helpful site on port forwarding though , i beleive they have all modems/routers listed and step by step instructions.......


I posted a link to AT&Ts MicroCell Troubleshooting Guide which details port forwarding for some of the more common routers. I even appended my Word doc. on port forwarding for the Apple Extreme Base Station. Port forwarding is not really the responsibility of your ISP or even something they normally support. Some really good ISPs will help you though so it all depends on who your provider is. There are just too many variables for the MicroCell to point to any one fix. Unfortunately you just have to follow advice and guidance found here until you find what works for you. I think the major advantage of port forwarding properly implemented is after updates when the MicroCell is trying to connect and phone home.

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 14, 2012 7:39:55 AM
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Explorer

As suddenly and mysteriously as the box stopped working two weeks ago, it has started working again. Some time overnight something somewhere other than my house changed and the MicroCell was online this morning. No word from AT&T or my ISP, but it's still early. We'll see how long it lasts.

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Nov 14, 2012 9:31:42 AM
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Teacher

I had pinged my AT&T tech contact late yesterday that there were still issues, and I'd noticed traffic on port 4500 from our customers to their MicroCell netblock had gone to near-0 again. Looks like it picked up again right around midnight. I also got a report from another customer this morning that their MicroCell had come up last night.

AT&T is obviously doing something on their end that's taking these devices down/bringing them back up completely independent of our network or our customer's port settings.

I'm a little curious about what was going on of course, but mostly I'm just crossing my fingers that they've fixed the issue for good.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 15, 2012 9:32:20 PM
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Teacher
Edited by Phil-101 on Nov 15, 2012 at 9:36:08 PM

DeKalb, IL.

 

My microcell has been down for almost a week.  I know it's not Comcast... my dad down the street has a microcell and his is working fine.

I know it's not the GPS.  It's in a window and has always locked instantly.  I have repeatedly confirmed a valid lock with tech support (except for that one lady who lied to me, told me it was GPS lock problem, and then hung up on me)

I've spent hours on the phone with ATT because of the last microcell I had which would always have 4 lights, but stopped connecting.  I know my home network and the microcell troubleshooting like the back of my hand.

Just in case I HAD missed something I disconnected my network and ran JUST the microcell off of the modem.  No change.  6 days of powercycling and troubleshooting.  I've had it. 

 

This has already cost me a shift at work which I could have picked up if I had had phone service.  Over an hour after they tried to call I got a voicemail notification.  I just got an email from my mom.  She has been trying to call me for 3 days.  I had to spend 30 minutes wandering my freezing back yard just to get cut off over and over again.

 

AT&T - FIX this or stop charging me for services which you are unable to provide.  Quit sneaking behind your customers backs trying to fix it while at the same time claiming that everything is fine so you don't have to take responsibility for YOUR outages


[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 15, 2012 10:06:22 PM
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Explorer

I feel your pain! Mysteriously, mine came online two nights ago. The next day an AT&T tech called me and asked if I was still having problems. I hadn't been home yet, so, as far as I knew it was still running. But when I got home it was down again. So, I called them back this morning. The tech said she could see that I had an "unstable" Internet connection (whatever that means) and I should try connecting the MicroCell directly to the modem. Now, I've tried this before and, for what ever reason, the MicroCell could never successfully get an IP address without conflicting with something else on the network, usually my router. But I went ahead and tried it once again, and, once again it didn't work. She indicated that, if I continue to have trouble, I should call them when I'm at home so we can do a little interactive debugging. Well, I'm not so sure I'm going to call back. All they ever do is tell me to connect it one or the other of the two possible methods or to power everything off then bring things back up in sequence. I've done these things enough already with no success. So, I'm going to have my ISP switch my modem into bridge mode so that I can try things like reserving IP addresses and port forwarding on my router. I really don't think that's going to fix the problem because no one has yet been able to identify the actual root cause of the problem. Several people all lost service simultaneously, overnight, without changing a thing, after the boxes had been operational for long periods of time. Something has happened out on the Internet, whether it's at AT&T's end of the wire wire somewhere else in between simply shouldn't be this difficult to track down.

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

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Nov 16, 2012 9:10:43 AM
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ACE - Master

^^^^^ FWIW, it's been my experience that the modem/gateway needs to be "dumb" so that all of your networking needs are handled by the router. That way you have total control and the modem is just passing traffic. No NAT, firewall, nothing is handled by the modem/gateway. There are just too many combinations of modems and routers, and multiple ways that they can be configured, for the MicroCell to work flawlessly with them. All it takes is one slight change, usually on the AT&T side, and it gets fubared.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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