06-13-2013 10:55:16 AM
We retired from AT&T and will be going to Verizon when contract is up. Both are phones are useless at home. Mini tower drops every single call after around 10 min. Tried every option and trick to no avail...
What exactly did you try? How is your MicroCell setup? Have you contacted CustomerCare (see link in my sig)?
06-14-2013 06:54:28 AM
I had a similar issue with my 3 year old M Cell, tho not as frequent. Usually if the signal is there, its the internet that is the problem. If the signal is gone, then an M Cell issue exists. I rotated the M Cell so the right hand side as you view the lights is pointed towards the window - some say the antennae is there. I also placed the M Cell first in line after the modem, then routed the ethernet from the M Cell to my router. My frequency of dropped calls went way down. BTW my nearest cell tower beyond the M Cell is a one bar reception, so I don't think the phone is disconnecting the 5 bar M Cell for the far tower. Also, I did contact AT&T and they were very responsive, tho they didn't suggest the steps above - I read those on this forum before they contacted me.
06-14-2013 08:22:40 AM
Rotating the MicroCell so that the side of it faces the window has worked for some. The GPS and antennas are located along the top of the board and if your reception is spotty at times having the side of the MicroCell facing the window does work. Mine is setup that way.
The unfortunate thing about the MicroCell that I've seen over the years is that there are just a multitude of ways that people have their LANs setup, most of which will work with the MicroCell but some don't. I set mine up following the instructions exactly, with the exception of the side facing orientation of the MicroCell to the window because I don't think the instructions specificially indicate that. It basically worked perfectly for 8 months, then I had some issues that were resolved by port forwarding to a MAC assigned static IP address. That's not to say that the MicroCell or AT&T doesn't have their issues as well, but I think a lot of the problems reported here are user setup issues.
The beauty of this forum is that we are more current of figuring out what the problem is and reporting it here in hopes that someone will find something that will work for their specific problem that Customer Support is. I've been trying to put together a troubleshooting document that is more in depth based on real user experiences than the one that AT&T supplies. That little project has taken on a life of it's own and has become very time consuming.
06-29-2013 06:09:10 PM
I think I answered you in another post you made. By no cell tower coverage do you mean that when you are outside of MicroCell range, like outside of your house, that you don't get cell phone coverage either? If the tower that is local to you is having issues, that will affect the MicroCell.
07-05-2013 06:36:45 AM
07-05-2013 10:06:03 AM
I agree about updating towers but with the rules that the FCC has in place for competing cell companies, it problaby won't happen. Quite often AT&T/Verizon share the same tower or one of them has to give up a tower altogether to keep the competition "balanced". That being said, what kind of phone do you have and how are you setup? It could just be tower maintenance and the problem will go away.
07-14-2013 12:42:10 PM
I too am having this issue, but it has been occurring since the time I installed my microcell last week. We just moved into this home. The previous owner was with Verizon, also using their microcell, but had no dropped call issues. They were using the same wireless DSL router that I was provided by Windstream, and had to make no configuration changes. The only difference is that the prior owner had slower DSL (6 Mb service) and I have 12 Mb service that is running 14 Mb down / 8 Mb up.
Set up of the MC was a breeze, and I also turned disable the hand-off as a work peer had told me about this override, but calls still drop on average at the 6 minute mark. A few calls last to 15 minutes, and a few drop in as few as 4 minutes, but the average is 6 minutes. Local wireline / DSL service is provided by Windstream. Windstream says there is no QoS on my line, and they say the wireless router setting are wide open, so they state the issue is not from them but is with the MC. The router log supports their position that there have been no interruptions of DSL service. It is frustrating to me and my customers since I work from home and only have a cell phone for my business use. I've never seen the MC loose satellite connectivity, but will try the trick of repositioning the MC to have the side facing the window vs the front facing the window. Odd symptom is that when the call drops, it can take as long as 5 minutes for the cell phone to release the connection so I can redial. I cannot force the disconnection with the "End Call" button. Phones showing this same issue are: iPhone 4, iPhone 4+ and Samsung Galaxy S4. Hard to get either service provider to accept ownership.
07-14-2013 01:51:22 PM
Hmmm, the fact that the previous owner had to use the Verizon femtocell for in-home coverage indicates to me that you are in in a shadow zone of cell tower coverage and it sounds like both AT&T and Verizon are sharing the same tower. Not a good situation. Internet speeds are fine.
Do you have the most recent firmware update for the Windstream gateway?
The necessary ports could be open on the router but it is possible that an upstream switch is having difficulty with port 4500. I've seen this happen before and only the ISP, with diligent investigation can discover and correct this.
When you lose connection, do you notice the 3G light blinking green?
How is your DSL line setup? IOW, are you using a filter between the wall jack and the line that goes to the Windstream or is this naked DSL (no voice line)? We still have, and use, our landline. So I ran a dedicated cable from the MPOE to a self-installed wall jack, and that is what I use to connect the phone line to the gateway. I filter the rest of the house lines at the MPOE by installing a filter at the Test Line jack and then connect the rest of the house to that. No dangly filters on the phone lines inside the house and no interference on landline voice calls, internet access, or MicroCell use.
09-20-2013 11:10:55 AM
My wife and I have had the Mirco-cell for about two years and have used it across three different iPhone models (3GS, 4, and now 5). Our home is located in a ATT dead zone so the M-Cell seemed like the way to go. However the M-Cell has NEVER consitantly kept a connection to any of our iPhones. It randomly drops off leaving us to one or two bars from the nearest tower which doesnt work very well. After a few calls to ATT support they shipped us a new M-Cell but this didnt make any difference. After many more calls to the ATT support line I finally got a manager who admitted that the M-Cell has always had problems connecting to iPhones and that "fixes were in the works". can anyone update me on these fixes and what i can do to download them or update my M-Cell?
09-20-2013 12:47:19 PM - edited 09-20-2013 03:12:01 PM
To the best of my knowledge, there are no Mcell dropped call fixes available to download to the iPhone, nor do I expect Apple to ever provide a "fix" for a third party device like the Mcell. That's simply not their concern. If AT&T ever comes up with a "fix" for the iPhone dropping calls, it will be automatically downloaded to the Mcell. Whether there will be an announcement by AT&T to that fact is anyone's guess but they typically do not publicize when firmware updates occur or what the updates address.
When you have a dropped call, do you look at the Mcell to see if the 3G light is flashing? If so, then your Mcell has lost its connection to the internet. You can wait and let the Mcell re-establish its internet connection on its own or you can power cycle your Mcell and that can accelerate the reconnection.
The quality of your internet connection can also cause dropped calls. Your ISP's hardware may be contributing to your problem. Excessive packet loss and other line quality problems could cause a dropped call. You can contact your ISP to test your line to see if they detect any line quality issues that they could then address. If they don't find any problems, then you've at least eliminated that as a potential cause for your dropped calls.
09-20-2013 01:08:20 PM
09-26-2013 01:04:29 PM
I get call failures left and right mith my mcell; have for years. I have replaced routers, phones, sim cards, headsets, accounts, phone #'s, switches... you name it. Nothing fixes it.
I can hang the mcell out naked on the internet, put it in the DMZ, port forward to it, put it in front of the router, put it behind the router, inside the firewall, outside the firewall, you name it, ive tried it all. Reset network settings on the iphone, try a 4, a 4s, a 5, ios 6, 7, deregisterd and reregistered the mcell, registered it under a differnet #. MTU doesnt fix anything, latest firmware, beta firmware, router and CPE resets. I have perfectly stable internet service, and plenty of bandwidth http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/2994106007
Nothing changes. I have a ticket trail a mile long. I have escalated, yelled, whined, pleaded, you name it; ive tried it.
Be on a call, drops. Call Failure displayed on phone. Redial. Cant connect. Redial. Works.
Or the other super dooper fun one. on a call, 15 minutes into it, people say "your breaking up, cant hear you, are you walking around, wwher did you go?" (sitting at desk in full view of mcell, full signal from mcell (zero to one bar from tower) ) until either the call fails or i just hang up and redial. Dial back in, wash, rinse repeat.
09-26-2013 02:04:19 PM
Take a look at the Technical Guide (link is in my sig). You may find something there that might shed some light on your issues. The MicroCell does indeed work as designed for a lot of people, but not all. There are just lots of factors that can affect individual users. I've had mine for a few years as well and after about the first 8 months I started having issues which took me awhile to straighten out, and I've been here ever since.
09-26-2013 07:36:04 PM
From all the things you've tried, I'd be inclined to suspect your ISP. You said you have perfectly stable internet service. How do you know this? What tests have you run? Have you had your ISP test your line? Speedtest doesn't tell you anything about the quality of your internet connection. Excessive amounts of packet loss, jitter and a host of other parameters can be a source of dropped calls and poor call quality. You should have your ISP send someone out to ring out your connection to see if the node you are on has issues.
09-27-2013 08:56:06 AM
I know it sounds like an excuse, but Avedis53 has a point. Quality ISP connectivity is essential for proper operation of the MicroCell. Packet loss, etc can, and will affect the quality of the calls. So, if you've done all of the troubleshooting proceures found here and in the Technical Guide, and nothing has worked, then you should rule out any issues with your ISP.
09-30-2013 04:07:41 PM
I have gone through your doc, yes, multiple times to see if thers is anything that will fix my issue; I cant find it.
My internet service is just fine : http://www.pingtest.net/result/87187946.png Yes, its a point in time, but i can run that test anytime, and get the same result, even right after a dropped call. When I drop a call, I never lose VPN to work, nor do I ever drop VOIP Lync calls. I rerun the test, do a traceroute, stream audio/video you name it, its stable. This is the only internet based application that doesnt work in our household on a consistent basis. Have I put a Fluke on it? No. But as its the *only* thing that doesnt work right...
And im well aware when comcast has issues, as everything goes down, and im usually one the first few in my area to log a call.
09-30-2013 05:03:50 PM
and a trace to the vpn tunnel its connecting to
1 2 ms 8 ms 1 ms xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
2 16 ms 21 ms 26 ms xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
3 13 ms 17 ms 17 ms te-8-2-ur02.englewood.co.denver.comcast.net [22.214.171.124]
4 36 ms 26 ms 26 ms te-0-2-0-6-ar02.aurora.co.denver.comcast.net [126.96.36.199]
5 27 ms 27 ms 57 ms he-3-4-0-0-cr01.denver.co.ibone.comcast.net [188.8.131.52]
6 37 ms 37 ms 37 ms he-2-11-0-0-cr01.dallas.tx.ibone.comcast.net [184.108.40.206]
7 32 ms 32 ms 37 ms be-12-pe02.1950stemmons.tx.ibone.comcast.net [220.127.116.11]
8 35 ms 34 ms 30 ms as7018-pe01.1950stemmons.tx.ibone.comcast.net [18.104.22.168]
9 60 ms 67 ms 67 ms cr2.dlstx.ip.att.net [22.214.171.124]
10 68 ms 77 ms 57 ms cr2.la2ca.ip.att.net [126.96.36.199]
11 60 ms 67 ms 67 ms cr84.la2ca.ip.att.net [188.8.131.52]
12 64 ms 58 ms 62 ms gar26.la2ca.ip.att.net [184.108.40.206]
13 220.127.116.11 reports: Destination net unreachable.
09-30-2013 05:32:16 PM
Your modem status data appears to be nominal, but as you say it is a snapshot. A cable analyzer would provide real-time data and could possibly see a problem you can't detect with a modem status check. I'd still say it wouldn't hurt to have your ISP ring your line out. It might not be the problem but then you'd know for sure.
The Mcell is pretty finicky and it takes only a momentary fluctuation in line quality to cause a dropped call. The garbled voice problem you mentioned sounds like a packet loss problem to me.
I re-read your posts and you didn't specifically mention that you had replaced your Mcell with another one. You said the Mcell was years old. What hardware version is it? It's listed on the bottom of the Mcell.
09-30-2013 05:54:51 PM - edited 09-30-2013 05:58:25 PM
It could be a bad switch at hop 9 where Comcast hands off to ATT, and by the time it hits the servers, packet loss is increased. I would send your snapshot to CustomerCare and ask them to look into it.
10-01-2013 08:08:03 AM
I've done a lot of pinging with Pingplotter and I guess I don't see anything unusual about the posted pings. What makes you think there is an issue at hop 9? The OP didn't post any packet loss information.
10-01-2013 08:36:07 AM
10-01-2013 03:08:30 PM - edited 10-01-2013 03:09:07 PM
Hmmm. Usually, but not always, call quality (dropped calls, etc) originates with the ISP but sometimes it can be the mobile unit itself in the way it adjusts its signal strength to stay connected to the MicroCell signal. What kind of phone do you have? Do you have anyone else on your Guest list that has a different phone? If so, do they experience the same problem?
10-01-2013 03:17:36 PM
I'm not sure what the current hardware version is. Mine is 3.2. I would like to think there are some differences between versions (ie. improvements) but who knows? Only Cisco knows for sure. AT&T most likely doesn't have a clue.
If you've never replaced your Mcell, it's not out of the realm of possibility that yours could be defective. Whether you want to buy another one given your problems is another issue.
10-01-2013 03:19:07 PM
Been forever since i replied, heck this thread is working on 2 years old now, but clearly there are still problems as my mailbox blows up when people respond again. lol
My MicroCell moved to my inlaw's in a nearby town & they have yet to have a dropped call that I know of. If anything their ISP is worse than mine and they get awful ping times and it's very slow yet no problems. The key difference is that at their house ATT signal is nearly non-existant especially 3G signal because if our phones pick up anything it's EDGE vs @ my house we could get 1 or 2 bars almost anywhere. The microcell is in their basement where NO outside signal is detected. So IMO a factor in drops is if an outside tower signal is reaching inside the house so the phone and/or microcell get confused or switch between the MC signal & tower signal & poof there goes the call. We had drops all the time at my house & none at theirs. Granted there are other factors such as the fact there is a different tower at their house than here and they use different ISP but I really REALLY doubt in our case the problem was my ISP as I have things like IRC open 24x7 that are very sensitive to problems. Plus I have outside monitoring of my connection and I get alerts when there is a problem. Not to say ISP problems can't be a cause of problems for some, surely they are, but many people are chasing their tails trying to fix something out of their control. I tried & tried to get ATT to work with me to diagnose the source of the problem here (I've got 15+ solid years in IT after all) but never got anywhere. I'd think after all this time they'd have real answers including updates to fix the problem or tools to help customers diagnose it. I mean seriously the microcell is unable to do monitoring & logging to tell ATT if there was an ISP hiccup at the time of a drop or if the problem was tower related or ??
Btw I'm curious but how many people with problems have changed the setting to disable handoff to see if that makes a difference? Have people noticed more or less drops depending on what part of the house/building they are in (iow how strong of a tower signal the phone sees mixed with the MC signal)?
10-01-2013 08:27:10 PM
10-01-2013 09:52:12 PM
I'm sure a lot has changed since I had my microcell, yet the problems continue after 2 years & ISP's are still the go-to for blame. Mine had problems with both Charter Cable and Frontier DSL. With many different routers. Plugged in direct to the modems. Moved to every room on every floor of the house & still had problems. Moving the same microcell to another house & it works fine as long as it's in the basement so it was not the particular microcell itself. Clearly there is a design problem that should have been addressed by now unless the truth is it can't be fixed & for some people no amount of troubleshooting will ever fix it. THAT should be the go-to response when someone has a problem to save people the grief:
"Unfortunately some people are located in areas where the MicroCell does not function as expected for many known & unknown reasons, but if you've got the patience feel free to follow the suggestions in these 37 pages of technical guides and you might get lucky before you give up tossing it out the window."
Well long overdue ubsub from this thread so to all I bid adieu & happy trails. May all your calls remain connected until you say "Goodbye".
10-02-2013 07:59:38 PM
Currently have an iphone5. Have tried with 4, 4s, and 5. Same issue.
My wife doenst have the issues that I do. People hear her fine, she doesnt go garbled, she doesnt drop calls (well, with nowhere the same frequency that I do; it does happen on occasion). Shes had the same iphone 4, 4s, and now a 5 without issues. Multiple people on the access list, noone has ever complained of an issue, though to be fair, they arent sitting here on con calls all day.
Now here is where it gets bizzare. I was having the call drops and garbled call quaility both on the microcell and when I was out and about on towers. I had opened a case with the office of the president, or some such, and after a week or two of troubleshooting, the answer was to get yet another new phone; they were done helping, there was nothing wrong, I lost it. Completely. Yelling, screaming, just flat out irate and had enough. The lady listened, put me on hold for a bit, and came back and said "well, we think we might have found something...the LRN on your # is incorrect." What is is and what should it be, i ask? "Well, your number doesnt have a LRN at all.... its blank."
What the heck is LRN I ask? Simple answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Routing_Number allows for number portability. "Was your number ever ported?" Heck if i know. So they fix that, send me a new SIM, and it seemed to fix the issues for a month or so.
Then the issues return. I log yet another call, get nowhere, am asked to get a microcell, etc.. I quit. I go to an ATT corporate store, provision a whole new account, number, handset, everything. Brand new across the board.
All seems well, until later that day...same issues. I call in, explain the whole thing yet again, saying the last thing that fixed this was fixing an LRN. Rep wasnt sure what that was, but said they showed my # in the process of being ported, did i jsut switch to ATT? Noooooo......
"Would you be willing to get a microcell?" Who's on first? "What do you mean sir?" Never mind..call fails.
Call back later, from the cell, get a rep who says that my cell # isnt registered in the system or to any tower. Huh; im on it. "no sir, its not seen in our systems, you need to go back to the store, nothing I can do to help you." I do so, the manager looks at me like i just dropped in from area 51. "Umm, i see your phone in the system just fine sir..."
Call back later, they have no clue about the last call, cant understand why anyone would say that, and escalate a ticket to engineering. Engineering comes back and, im not making this up, i swear."found some odd issue on the tower thats been there for years, that ive been the *only* one to either have it effect or to complain about. Your fixed now."
Seems to work for a few days, issues reoccur... Call back, explain last call, and I get "Maybe cell phone service just isnt right for you?"
A this point, either I have had two of the most screwed up accounts in ATT's system, or there is something wrong with .. heck, even I dont know anymore. My tower calls seem to work fine now, yet i still get drops and garbling and "we cant hear you.." on the microcell.
Its all i have left to point the finger at.