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Posted Feb 18, 2013
8:49:50 AM
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Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

While I didn't encounter this problem initially when I started up my Mcell a few months ago, it has now become a daily ritual that I hope someone here can help me with.

 

My setup:

 

Motorola SB 6120 modem -> Netgear WNR3500L router -> Mcell

 

The Mcell is connected to the router with a pair of Netgear Powerline 200 Nano Adapters because my modem and router are located in the basement with no exposure to window for the Mcell to see a GPS satellite.  The connection is good.

 

My Charter ISP connection is 30 mbps down and 4 mbps and is rock solid.

 

What's happening and what I've done so far:

 

Usually once a day I will no longer see the AT&T Mcell indication at the top of my iPhone 5.  When I check my wife's iPhone 4S she has also lost the AT&T Mcell indication.

 

Turning the phones off and then on does not bring back the Mcell connection.  Switching Airplane Mode off and then on does not bring back the Mcell connection.

 

The Mcell has all solid green lights when I go to check it after seeing the lost connection.  If I power cycle the Mcell, the phones will then show an Mcell connection again until the next time they lose the connection which is usually once/day but not at any particular time.

 

I have the latest firmware on all devices.

 

When I check my router's admin page after a lost connection, the router indicates that the Mcell's IP address has not changed and it remains the same after power cycling the Mcell.

 

On the WAN page for my router, I have set the MTU size to 1492 and set the NAT Filtering to "Open" instead of "Secured".  No improvement after doing so.

 

Suspicious of the Powerline Adapters, I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the Ethernet cable from the Mcell to the Powerline Adapter to mimic a temporary loss of connection to the router to see if that affected the Mcell connection.  The Mcell connection was not lost.

 

I have not set any open ports or a static IP address for the Mcell yet.  Is what I'm experiencing indicative of this solution?  Does anyone have any other thoughts as to what try next?

 

I don't want to waste my time with an AT&T Level 1 tech support person because their suggestions are almost always worthless.  I have better luck contacting user forums and that is why I'm posting here.

 

Thank God I was able to convince AT&T to give me a Mcell for free because if I paid $200 for it, I'd be very upset right now.

 

Thanks In Advance!

 

Avedis53

 

 

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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.

Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 18, 2013 12:57:43 PM
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ACE - Master

If I understand your setup, you do not have the MicroCell near a window and you are not using an external GPS antenna cable. Is that correct? Is the GPS light a solid green? The MicroCell MUST have constant GPS lock for it to work properly, not just during the initial activation. Powerline Adapters work well for a lot of applications but I don't know how well they work with MicroCells. In theory, they should be fine but the MicroCell is finicky so that may be an issue as well. But at the very least, you need to maintain a GPS lock at all times.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 18, 2013 2:39:07 PM
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ACE - Guru

The Mcell is on another floor with a window view.  That is why I'm using Powerline adapters as my house in not wired for Ethernet.  I have a solid green GPS light and when I measure the GPS signal using an iPhone app at the Mcell's current location, I get good signal strength.

 

As I stated, I can unplug the Powerline adapter's Ethernet cable and plug it back in again and the Mcell does not drop out so I do not believe the Powerline adapter is the cause of the problem.

 

Any other thoughts?

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 18, 2013 3:13:46 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by OttoPylot on Feb 18, 2013 at 3:17:11 PM

Ok. If all lights (ethernet, GPS, 3G) are not blinking green or red then you should be solid with the MicroCell and it's the iPhone's communicating with the MicroCell or vice versa. You can  try resetting the iPhone's network settings but make sure you have settings written down because you may lose them (passwords, etc) and have to re-enter them. If that doesn't work, try priority setup. Modem -> MicroCell -> router. That takes the router and its settings out of the chain. Some folks prefer that connection. Powerline adapters are really cool but they are subject to line noise and if  your line has become noisier for some reason, maybe.......

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 18, 2013 4:39:56 PM
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ACE - Guru

I really don't think it is an iPhone issue for two reasons.  First, I lose the Mcell connection to both iPhones at the same time.  Second, when I power cycle the Mcell, both iPhones automatically reconnect and indicate "AT&T M-Cell" at the top of the display.  It might be a faulty Mcell but I don't know.

 

I read back in this thread somewhere about tower signal strength competing with the Mcell signal for your phone's attention.  How does that work?

 

The Powerline adapters have indicators to show the communication speed and mine are always in the green which means it is approaching 200 mbps.  I can't vouch for any noise though.  However, I can't think of a worse-case scenario than completely losing the Ethernet connection and re-establishing it again which I can do numerous times by unplugging the cable and the Mcell keeps right on working and the iPhone show no loss of connection when I do that.

 

My hunch is that the Mcell is losing connection with the AT&T servers because of the router interfering with the communications somehow.  Do you think I should mess around with a static IP or port-forwarding?  I've power cycled the router and the Mcell and the IP address doesn't change.

 

I guess my next troubleshooting steps are to eliminate the Powerline adapters as a cause by moving the Mcell next to the router and hardwiring it to the router.

 

If that doesn't work, then I can try the priority setup.  The problem is that doing either of these steps requires moving the Mcell to a location that doesn't have line-of-sight, window access for the GPS.  I've read in other forums that once you establish a GPS signal (steady green light), if you quickly unplug the Mcell and move it to another location in your house, it will retain the GPS location even though the Mcell can't "see" the GPS satellites.  I don't know if this is really true though.

 

The whole point of the Mcell was to permit me to use our iPhones anywhere in the house (four floors).  I live in an area that is far enough away from the nearest cell tower that on the bottom two floors of my house I get one or no bars of signal strength.  I can get two or three bars on the top two floors though. 

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 18, 2013 9:32:54 PM
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ACE - Master

Ok. Lots of info. 200Mbps is just the line speed and doesn't really have a direct bearing to the speed that your phones are getting. My iPhone 5 will connect to LTE (outside of MicroCell range) at around 30Mbps but in-home, on the MicroCell, the iPnone speed is about 2-3Mbps, but the difference in phone response is minimal (see my post on the MicroCell and iPhone 5 Speed Test).

 

There are some issues surfacing with iPhone 4 and the iOS 6.1.1 update that is affecting some phones maintaining 3G connections. Hard to say if this is your issue or not. Apple is aware of it.

 

Everytime the MicroCell is rebooted, it establishes a connection to the closest tower and adjusts its transmission output according to the detected tower output. That can vary from time to time depending on many factors so re-booting the MicroCell often may affect MicroCell transmission strength. The difference should be negligible but re-booting the MicroCell should be kept to a minimum.

 

Moving the MicroCell quickly from one location with good GPS lock to an area with no GPS lock may work but it is no guranatee because the unit needs to maintain GPS lock at all times. If it works, great. But if it doesn't work, you haven't really proven anything.

 

I use port forwarding for my MicroCell because that has given me the most reliable and robust connection under any circumstances. One shouldn't have to do port forwarding because it should just be plug and play but in my case, and others, this was the best solution for me.

 

If you are really far away from a tower then that can be an issue because you still need to have a tower to connect to. If you are only getting 2-3 bars on the top floor and no bars on the bottom floor then you may want to change the location of your MicroCell. Put it on the top floor where the tower signal is the strongest and that may be enough to give you reliable connectivity on the bottom floors.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 19, 2013 12:20:05 PM
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ACE - Guru

I understand that 200 Mbps is the maximum rating for the adapters.    Interestingly enough, AT&T recommends Powerline adapters in their Mcell User's Guide and sells them on their website for applications such as mine.

 

I do not have LTE service at my location so my iPhone 5 uses 4G here.  When I use Speedtest.net's Mobile app on my iPhone 5, I get 32.17 Mbps down and 6.33 Mbps up with 54 ms ping using WiFi.  That is slightly under my computer's hard-wired Ethernet connection results and the purchased service from Charter.  

 

Switching to 4G, I get 5.58 Mbps down and 1.54 Mbps up with 209 ms ping.  That's through the Mcell and showing 5 bars and that's 2 floors down from the Mcell.  Can't really complain about that all things considered.

 

Last night, I saw that both iPhone's connection to the Mcell had dropped and the 3G light was flashing green on the Mcell.  That's is not what I had been usually seeing, which is a lost connection on both iPhones and a steady green light on the Mcell.  After several minutes both iPhones automatically reconnected to the Mcell.  The User's Manual states that a flashing green 3G light means that the Mcell may be activating or downloading new software.  Since the iPhones automatically reconnected to the Mcell, I assumed that there was new software being downloaded.  I don't know how often AT&T updates their software for the Mcell.

 

Sometime later during the night, the usual connection loss occurred again for both iPhones and in the morning I had to reboot the Mcell to establish a connection.  I also noticed that the IP address to the router had changed.

 

Your explanation of the Mcell's adjustment of output depending on the nearest tower's signal strength is very interesting.  I'll investigate Mcell locations after I see if setting a static IP address for the Mcell and opening ports 123 through 4500 for that address helps the problem.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 19, 2013 1:02:44 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by OttoPylot on Feb 19, 2013 at 1:07:05 PM

It's been a long time since I looked at the Users Guide so I wasn't aware of the recommendation for PowerAdpaters. That's a bit surprising given that line condtions, installation, age of  house, etc all can affect how well PowerAdapters work.

 

If the 3G was blinking green then communication between AT&T and the MicroCell was lost. That usually happens after an update while the MicroCell is going thru the update process but AT&T usually does their updates in the middle of the night so as to not interfere with the phone if in use.

 

If the IP address to the router changed that could explain some of your issues. Is your connection cable or DSL (static or PPoE) and do you have a static IP address from Charter? Port forwarding to a static assigned IP address for the MicroCell might correct your issues. That way, even if your router address changes, the address of the MicroCell doesn't, and if  you base that static IP address on the MAC address of the MicroCell, you're assured of a connection, as long as the MAC address is detected. If the line conditions are fluctuating (for whatever reason), and the router is trying to detect connected devices, that may be confusing the MicroCell and your phones so they start looking for a signal, can't find one to lock on to, and disconnect. The MicroCell Troubleshooting Guide at the link in my sig has the correct protocols for the ports you need to forward, etc.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 19, 2013 3:50:21 PM
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ACE - Guru

I'm on the west coast and it was about 10 PM when I noticed the blinking 3G light so maybe AT&T thinks that's late enough...who knows?

 

I have a cable modem and Charter has dynamic  IP addressing for residential customers.  Since my Mcell is behind the router, I have set a static IP address for the Mcell based on its MAC address and forwarded the proper ports as per the instructions.

 

I'll post back with results.

 

FYI, If you haven't read this article at Anandtech about the Mcell, it is very informative but somewhat technical.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3626/att-3g-microcell-a-comprehensive-exploration

___________________________________________________________

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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 19, 2013 4:00:17 PM
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ACE - Guru

In addendum, I think some of my trouble is due to the number of devices I have connected to my network.  Last count shows 12 including a repeater so I can get WiFi coverage throughout my house.  As devices are dropping on or off my network, IP addresses are getting shuffled around in the router. 

 

Also, the iPhones' WiFi will bounce between the router and the repeater depending on where we are in the house since they automatically switch to the stronger signal of the repeater on the upper floors when the basement-located router gets out of range.  I don't think that affects the Mcell though.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 19, 2013 8:25:04 PM
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ACE - Master

I've read that article from Anandtech. It is old but the basic information is still somewhat sound. If your LAN is as complicated as you say then that could be your problem. Too many conflicting signals.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 21, 2013 3:22:53 PM
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ACE - Guru

It started out looking promising.  I went a day without the iPhones losing a connection to the Mcell but it happened again late last night and again this morning. So the static IP address and port-forwarding changes don't appear to have helped any.

 

Next step I'm taking is to drop everything off the network except my two computers and the iPhones and see if that makes any difference.  If so, then I'll add network equipment back one at a time to see if there is a singular offender.  Perhaps my repeater is causing the problem.

 

If that doesn't help, then I'll try the alternate installation with the Mcell in front of the router which is located in my basement.  I'll use a couple of long Ethernet cables and temporarily locate the Mcell by a window to establish a GPS lock and then move the Mcell to where I'd like to have it.  Hopefully it will be satisfied with the GPS signal lock long enough to see if the alternate installation makes a difference.  If that works in fooling the Mcell and it eliminates the lost connections then fine.  If I eventually lose GPS lock then I'll look at getting an external GPS antenna if the alternate installation works.

 

I don't really like this solution because I'd rather have the Mcell centrally located in the house to cover all floors but if it just covers the lower two floors where my cell phones drop off the tower and I have to go through a switchover to the tower on the upper two floors then I guess that's what has to be.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 21, 2013 3:33:15 PM
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ACE - Guru

One other question.  I've seen it recommended in this forum that one do a network reset on the iPhones to help establish a connection with the Mcell.  How can that work?  The iPhones communicate with the Mcell using the cell phone's cell transceiver , not the WiFi transceiver.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Feb 21, 2013 7:49:08 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by OttoPylot on Feb 21, 2013 at 7:52:24 PM

I just read the setup instructions today to answer another question and the docs do say to not put the MicroCell in the basement so that's a consideration.


Resetting the iPhone has worked for some. Technically I'm not sure why but it may have something to do with the way the signal is recognized and configured (on the phone). It can't hurt anything. Just make sure you have your network setting written down in case the phone's settings go to default. I keep my WiFi on all of the time with my iPhone and there is no problem with the MicroCell.

 

Please remember that the GPS signal needs to be maintained at all times so you need to figure out how to keep that setup (either in front of a window or with an extension antenna that is is contact with the sky).

___________________________________________________________

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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 1, 2013 9:12:00 AM
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ACE - Guru

Ok....so I tried removing everything connected to my router except the Mcell and I still lose the connection to our iPhones.  I then tried connecting the Mcell directly to my modem first and running the output to my router (alternative connection).  Again, I lose the connection to my iPhones at night (only thing consistent about this is that the lost connections always occur at night while we are asleep).  I tried deactivating and then reactivating the Mcell while using the alternative connection and I still get the same result.  I tried a hard reset while using the alternative connection and I still get the same result.

 

One thing I noticed while using the alternative connection is that the packet loss my router sees has gone up alarmingly.  I am a participant in the SamKnows ISP database where my router communicates on a hourly basis with SamKnows servers to measure connection quality parameters (downstream speeds, upstream speeds, lag, packet loss, jitter....etc).  This information is used to measure the quality of the services provided by ISPs and is reported to the FCC.  I don't believe this is having any effect on the Mcell as the router is downstream of the the Mcell.

 

At any rate, I've tried everything I can think of except replacing the Mcell and that will be the next step.  If the new Mcell does the same thing, then my next solution will be to install a digital AC timer that will automatically power cycle the Mcell early every morning as a power cycle is the only way to re-establish a connection to my iPhones.

 

Now, off to the sad land of AT&T customer support to convince these clowns to replace my Mcell......

___________________________________________________________

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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 1, 2013 9:53:05 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by OttoPylot on Mar 1, 2013 at 9:53:53 AM

I would discontinue, for the time being, the SamKnows connection. I personally don't like to have something like that snooping on my network even though it is supposed to be on the up and up. The MicroCell needs a continuous, uninterrupted connection. I wish they were built a little more robust but they aren't, so anything that could even temporarily interrupt the connection could be your problem because it seems to happen at the same time every night, which leads me to believe that's it's not entirely the MicroCell but your basement setup, line adapters, and SamKnows. The more complicated your LAN is, the more apt you are to have problems with MicroCell realiability. Getting AT&T to replace the MicroCell may be difficult if they don't think it's a defective unit because of  your setup.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 1, 2013 10:33:32 AM
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ACE - Guru

Just a clarification, I get a constant GPS lock since I used Ethernet cables to connect the Mcell to my modem and moved the Mcell to a location to acheive a GPS lock.  I am not using the Powerline adapters in this configuration either.

 

I just got off the phone with AT&T Mcell technical support.  After describing my situation, the tech person asked if I had upgraded both my iPhones to iOS 6.  "Why yes I have!", I told him.  He then told me that AT&T and Apple both recognize there is a connectivity problem with iOS 6 and the Mcell and that they are working on a firmware/OS upgrade for the iPhone to resolve the problem.

 

He also told me that every night between 10 PM and 4 AM, the Mcells are sent instructions to reset/reboot themselves (checking GPS, downloading firmware updates if available..etc.) and that the iPhones/iOS 6 aren't dealing with this soft reboot very well and that's why I'm losing the connections every night and having to power cycle the Mcell to re-establish my connections.

 

So it isn't my router, SamKnows, router settings, Powerline adapters, Mcell location or the phase of the moon....it's an AT&T Mcell / iPhone / iOS problem.  When I asked about a possible date for this iOS revision, I got the "whenever it's done" answer.


So in the meantime, I'm putting everything back the way it was and accepting the fact that every morning I need to power cycle my Mcell when I start the morning coffee.  I might just install a digital AC timer outlet to automatically cycle the Mcell until a solution is forthcoming from AT&T / Apple.  The tech told me that the principle iPhone phone numbers on the Mcells will be notified by text message when a iOS upgrade is available.

 

Someone should sticky something about this at the top of this forum so iPhone users with Mcell problems don't tear their hair out trying to fix things that aren't the cause of their Mcell connectivity problem.

 

As a side note, I can understand your concern about SamKnows but their router doesn't root around my network.  It only communicates with SamKnows servers to calculate internet connection parameters.  In addition to getting a free wireless N router, I get quality information I can use to get my ISP (Charter) to recognize and fix problems with my internet connection.  In fact, a few months ago my packet loss shot up from 0.01% to 3-4%.  I was able to give the Charter technician exact times and dates as to when the problem started and they were able to trace it to a repeater a few blocks away from my house and fix the problem. 

___________________________________________________________

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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 1, 2013 11:26:16 AM
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ACE - Master

Avedis53 wrote:

 

 

I just got off the phone with AT&T Mcell technical support.  After describing my situation, the tech person asked if I had upgraded both my iPhones to iOS 6.  "Why yes I have!", I told him.  He then told me that AT&T and Apple both recognize there is a connectivity problem with iOS 6 and the Mcell and that they are working on a firmware/OS upgrade for the iPhone to resolve the problem.

 

He also told me that every night between 10 PM and 4 AM, the Mcells are sent instructions to reset/reboot themselves (checking GPS, downloading firmware updates if available..etc.) and that the iPhones/iOS 6 aren't dealing with this soft reboot very well and that's why I'm losing the connections every night and having to power cycle the Mcell to re-establish my connections.

 



SOME iPhones ( 4 and 5) had connectivity issues but most haven't. We've had iPhones using the MicroCell since the 3GS days (and before) and never had any connectivity issues. I'm using 6.1.2 on my iPhone 5 and the upgrade was smooth with absolutely no problems at all. There's another iPhone 5, 4, and 3GS using the MicroCell as well, and an old Samsung, and none of them have had any problems. Our Guest list is full with other family members, with other phone types (mostly iPhones of various flavors and iOS's) and they haven't had any issues walking into our house and connecting. Resetting the Network Settings on the iPhone 5 at least has taken care of some of the issues that other iPhone users had. The issue that some iPhone 5 (iOS 6.x) users were having was AT&T upgrading their network to 4G and LTE, which confused some phones when they went to hand off to the MicroCell (which is 3G only) because of signal strength and timing frequencies.

 

IF AT&T resets the MicroCell everynight, which I doubt becuase there would be a lot more reports about the flashing green 3G light, I haven't seen any issues personally or reported.

 

Unfortunately you were given incorrect and outdated info from phone support which is sad. That's something that is in the process of being corrected but the machine moves very slowly.

___________________________________________________________

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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 1, 2013 5:14:44 PM
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ACE - Guru

I've never had a flashing green 3G light (or any of the lights for that matter) with this problem.  Every time my connection was lost, all the lights were solid green.   I'm not sure why you would think that AT&T doesn't query their Mcells on a routine basis.  I would think that there would have to be some routine polling by AT&T servers to determine if the GPS location is the same as it was when a Mcell was activated. 

 

Perhaps other diagnostics are run at that time also.  I don't know because I'm not awake watching the Mcell to see what is going on but it would make sense that if it does temporarily drop any connection, it would be done when most people are sleeping.  If this is what is going on, then for some reason our iPhones will not reconnect while most do. 

 

One would think that if this were an iOS problem, that all iPhone users with a Mcell would have the same issue.  Most likely, there are other factors or settings that influence whether this happens or not.  That you don't have this problem is good for you but none of the "solutions" have worked for me.   

 

At any rate, until someone from AT&T comes up with a solution for this problem I've encountered, I've installed a $10 digital AC timer and plugged the Mcell power supply into it.  Every morning at 5:29 AM the timer turns off the Mcell and turns it back on at 5:30 AM.  Granted, this isn't what I consider to be the best solution, but it will work until I see something posted here or I hear back from AT&T.  I've PM'ed customer care with this problem and perhaps I'll get an answer someday.

 

I appreciate all your input and hopefully a solution is forthcoming regarding this problem.

 

 

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 2, 2013 9:26:51 AM
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ACE - Master

I would agree that if this was an iOS problem, you'd see a lot more reports but you don't. However, each phone is different and for some with similar issues, Reset Network Settings on the iPhone corrected the issue. Some were ever reporting that the MicroCell ate up battery life on the iPhone but that has been determined to an iOS issue on some phones and not necessarily the MicroCell because it happens without a MicroCell connection.

 

GPS determination (or polling) doesn't require a reboot of the MicroCell. If you move the MicroCell to another location (another address), or the MicroCell is rebooted after a power failure or testing, then the location needs to be checked against the address database. It could also be a failing power adapter. Some have even reported that AT&T "reset" their phones from AT&Ts end but I'm not sure about that. The morel likely scenario is that AT&T modified some account configuration.

 

PM'ing CustomerCare is a good idea just give them as much inormation as you can on what the issue is, your setup in detail, what you have done, account info, etc. I still think that your setup is a bit more complicated than most but the bottom line is that what ever the reason, we need to get you up and running to your satisfaction so do keep us posted, and hang in there.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 4, 2013 10:36:51 AM
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ACE - Guru

I just got off the phone with Customer Care today.  They have some Level 2 and Level 3 technical specialists looking into my issue.  They verified that there is a nightly polling of Mcells to verify GPS location and to download firmware updates (if any).  They said that it does not require rebooting the Mcell though.  Whatever is causing my iPhones to lose their connection has something to do with the polling and they don't know at this time what that is.

 

I'm leaving town for a week so they said they would contact me when I get back and that my ticket is still open at this time.  In the meantime, my AC outlet timer is power cycling the Mcell at 5:30 AM and when I wake up, my iPhones show a connection.  I'll be moving the power cycling time 30 minutes earlier each morning to try and identify exactly when the polling occurs and to minimize my lost connection time at night.

 

When I hear more, I'll post back.

___________________________________________________________

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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 4, 2013 10:51:52 AM
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ACE - Master

That's interesting that support said that nightly polling is done to verify GPS coordinates. One would think that any call made thru the MicroCell would verify the GPS coordinates for the account holder's address and cell phone number. Maybe when they poll your particular address there is an account disconnect at AT&T's end and the phones get dropped. The only way to re-estabish connectivity is to re-boot and go thru that portion of the activation process again.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 6, 2013 3:20:06 PM
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Tutor

I have been having the exact same problem and have done all the things mentioned to try and remedy. It drops my Iphone 4s and my wifes android at the same time.  I have it connected directly into the cable modum and it is right in front of a window. All lights indicate normal operation always, it just decides to quit working and needs reset, sometimes several times a day.  Very frustrating. It seems from reading this thread that AT&T has no clue as to what the real problem is. I'm not buying the Iphone issue since the android drops out too.  For what it's worth, I'm an FCC licensensed communications technician, while I make no claims as to knowing how AT&T's stuff is configured, I'm not a rookie at this stuff either. The problem is on AT&T's end in my opinion.

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 6, 2013 8:30:38 PM
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ACE - Master

This does seem to be a new problem. It could be that whatever AT&T is doing on their end (polling, updates, etc) that your account is being disconnected and a reboot on your end is necessary. This shouldn't be happening. I'd contact CustomerCare (use the link in my sig) and give them as much info as possible. The more AT&T is aware of this issue the sooner they are to look into it.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 8, 2013 1:04:40 PM
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ACE - Guru

I am out of town until next Tuesday so I haven't had a chance to deal with this problem lately, but I did notice right before I left town that I was starting to see drops at other times than at night.  So my initial theory that the problem was associated with the nightly polling is most likely incorrect.

 

I'll post more when I get back home and have had a chance to talk to customer care again as they said they would call me again when I'm back.

___________________________________________________________

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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 8, 2013 1:13:56 PM
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ACE - Master

Thanks. Keep us informed. Something more to add to my "database" of issues and possible resolutions.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 8, 2013 4:25:00 PM
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Teacher

I am of the opinion that the internal gps antenna on the microcell is spotty at best..........all of the problems i see listed here sound VERY familier to me..........the solid gps light means NOTHING in my experance........AT&T support telling me the gps is NOT the problem also ment nothing.........in my experance anyway.............external antenna, 6 bucks, nuff said......

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 8, 2013 9:05:41 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by OttoPylot on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:13:37 PM

I don't think it's related to the GPS. No GPS, no GPS light, no address confirmation, no connection and thus no 3G light either. Plugging in an external antenna may have "jiggled" a bad connection or you could have just had a bad MicroCell. Trying an external antenna certainly can't hurt, it's cheap, and if it works, cool.

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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: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

[ Edited ]
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Mar 9, 2013 4:11:54 PM
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Teacher

I had 2 of them and the GPS light stayed on all the time on both of them........i think it loses it after its been on a while or for some other reason, then when you reset, it regains a lock......and im not the only one, several here on this forum and many others have went this route and ended their frustration with the microcell........the best setup imo is to have the microcell in the WORST possible spot available, that way it isnt trying to monitor the tower signal  and "handing off" to it......i beleive the microcell "adjusts" its output if it thinks a tower is available......

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

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Mar 9, 2013 10:38:15 PM
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ACE - Master

You are partially correct about the MicroCell adjusting it's power output. Placing the MicroCell in a spot in your house, other that next to a window, is recommended if you have a relatively strong tower signal in your home at that location. The reason being is when the MicroCell first boots and is establishing GPS, it then looks for a tower signal in relationship to your GPS coordinates. Once detected, the MicroCell will adjust it's power output so as to not interfere, or be interfered with, the tower signal. Most of the time placing the MicroCell next to a window works just fine. The problem with the MicroCell is that a lot of different issues can have the same symptoms so going thru the most common troubleshooting steps are necessary. The nice thing about using an extension antenna is that you can get them up to about 25'. So if tower interference is your issue, then you can place the MicroCell in a location other than next to the window to mitigate interference but still maintain constant GPS contact, which is necessary at all times. Of course that may mean running a longer than wanted enet cable from the MicroCell to the router/modem unless you use a power adapter connection.

___________________________________________________________

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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