05-20-2012 03:39:57 PM
After recently installing a MicroCell I was experiencing the following problems:
-- iPhone not always connecting to the MicroCell
-- Periodic loss of connection (iPhone switching from AT&T M-Cell to just AT&T)
-- Dropped Calls
-- The 3G signal light periodically flashing green
I read through some of the older posts on this forum and found two solutions. The first resolved the first two issues and the second resolved the second two.
We have iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S phones connected (IOS 5.1.1), so the solutions should work for all of the above.
Solution 1: Go to the "Manage Settings" page on att.com/3gmicrocell and disable "Automatic Hand Out". Automatic Hand Out automatically transfers your phone to the strongest cell signal (not including the MicroCell). In our case, we periodically have a bar or two of reception in the house. But most of the time we have none (thus re reason for purchasing the MicroCell). So our phones would connect to the MicorCell when they did not receive an outside cell signal and then would switch to the outside cell once they did receive an outside signal (even if it was only one bar). The phones would not reconnect to the MicroCell as long as they had any outside signal at all.
Solution 2: On the iPhone, turn off the "Cellular Data" (Settings/General/Network). The cellular data push from the iPhone 4 and 4S dropped calls. The cellular data push from the iPhone 3GS caused a "reset" of the MicroCell 3G signal (as indicated by the flashing indicator light).
Hope this helps others that may be experiencing some or all of these issues. Once I made these changes, our MicroCell has worked flawlessly.
05-28-2012 09:07:01 AM
Thanks for the post but neither of these solutions get my iphone to stay connected. I can still go into airplane mode and that works but within 15 minutes, it disconnects.
Microcell worked great when I first got it and then out of the blue in August 2011, my iphone 3GS just stopped connecting. Why the iphone chooses a 1-2 bar tower over 5 bars on the microcell is the great mystery.Nothing changed when I got the iphone 4S which I'm thrilled with. The two antennas eliminated 95% of my dropped calls.
I'm not sure if this is the iphone software because other people write they have no issues. I think this is a tower by tower problem.
My friends on Verizon love their little tower and I thought of switching. In the end, I hardly talk to people at home and when I do I just say, Can I call you right back? as I toggle airplane mode...
06-18-2012 09:36:10 AM
06-18-2012 01:22:51 PM
Do you have to restart anything besides your phone after switching off auto handout ? I have just done it and it seems to be....oh wait it worked for about 15 seconds.
Do you have to restart the microcell ?
06-26-2012 06:59:09 PM
I was so hopeful that changing the auto handout switch would work for my 4s as I'm having the exact problem you describe...it didn't. very disappointing.
07-09-2012 08:51:00 AM
I resolved the problem of the iphone handing off from a strong MicroCell signal to a weak ATT signal by turning off the auto-handoff feature.
The other issue: the iphone just losing the connection to the microcell and going to "seaching...." is still a problem. It seems to lose the connection within 5-10 minutes sometimes. Switching to airplane mode and then back again solves the problem, but it won't solve the problem of missing inbound calls.
07-25-2012 10:29:31 PM
From the Apple Support Community, there is a solution which works.
Primary symptom: iphone loses connection to Microcell at random intervals. When it loses connection, it doesn't get it back even if you walk the phone right up to the microcell. You have to toggle it into Airplane mode and back again.
I went through many incantations, including getting a new SIM card for the iphone. Turning off "automatic handoff" helped a bit, but not for the core problem.
Per suggestion, I deactivated the microcell. Not just disconnect, but a full deactivation. Wait a while. Activate it from scratch.
The first time I did this, it actually got worse. I did it again, and now I have good solid connection that doesn't drop. Coverage in my house is better, too.
Something about how ATT provisions these devices is not consistent, and no amount of setting adjustment or restarting will cure it.. You have to deactivage and reactivate. Rinse, repeat until it works.
07-26-2012 08:13:35 AM
and... Apple Support says it's a Microcell issue. ATT says it's whoever your internet provider is and "well, that just happens..."
Apple blames AT&T who blames Cisco who blames Apple. FWIW, our iPhones work just fine walking into the house on a call or leaving the house on a call. Our MicroCell coverage extends out to the sidewalk in front of the house. Ocassionally we'll get a dropped call but it's not often enough to make it a major concern. No more often than when we are on a tower and no where near the house. Location of your MicroCell in relationship to the nearest tower seems to be the issue. Unfortunately, if you're in a "shadow" of a tower there's going to be competition between the tower and the MicroCell and your phone. One would think that there would be some mechanism to "lock" your phone onto the MicroCell once within range regardless of where the tower is but obviously AT&T/Apple/Cicso didn't think about that.
07-26-2012 08:42:50 AM
the main problem, losing the connection to the microcell and the phone going into "...searching...." mode is unrelated to towers. It's a bad activation, per message above. The explanation is that some activate right on the first time, and a % do not. Of those that do not, nothing will cure it until it is re-activated. Of THOSE, the same % will work, leaving a residual to try for a third or fourth time.
07-26-2012 01:17:25 PM
That may very well be. However, there are a lot of MicroCell issues that exhibit the same problems. That's why it's do d***ed hard to come up with universal fixes for the same problem. If reactivation doesn't work, then it may be a tower shadow problem, or something else entirely. I have never encountered a consumer electronic device that has so many issues due to multiple problems. You'd think by now AT&T would start acknowledging the problems and make some sort of concerted effort to correct them. But, we are talking AT&T here. VZs not much better so I guess we pick whichever one is the lesser of the two evils for our usage.
09-02-2012 11:43:28 AM - edited 09-02-2012 11:44:43 AM
Thank you so much for this post. You saved our $200 investment.
My wife's 4S would not automatically connect to the micro tower, and solution 1 worked perfectly. The description for the Auto Hand Out feature on the "Manage Setting" page is rather misleading and should only be recommended for customers in ZERO reception areas. We can go from 0 to 2 bars anywhere in our house.
09-14-2012 09:44:48 PM
I've had my microcell for a few weeks and loved it at first. But lately it has had a bad habit of going from a perfect voice connection to severely garbled. My wife has an iphone 4 and i have a Samsung Galaxy SII. We walk around to different parts of the house but it's not much better.
Has anyone tried an indoor Wilson booster instead? They are a bit pricier but would be worth it if they work better and don't require an internet connection.
12-04-2012 12:33:01 PM
I have it figured out for me. I have an iphone 3GS and a Sony Ericsson el cheapo flip phone.
The phones prefer to connect to a 1 or 2 bar street signal tower that we have here. What I have to
do is shield the phones on start up. I boot the phone and sometimes just cupping it in my hands
shields the street signal enough for the microcell to connect. I have another way of doing it. I boot
the phone and before it starts I put it in a tin can with my hand over it. The phones start every time.
I spent the first three days with no connection and no help from AT&T. Don't forget to PORT TRIGGER
ports 123, 443, 500 and 4500 in your router.
12-04-2012 01:03:24 PM - edited 12-04-2012 01:04:06 PM
See my post about iPhone 5 and MicroCell Speed. In it, I have my setup listed which includes which ports to forward to TCP/UDP. Knowing the port numbers is fine but to be sure you should also designate whether it is using TCP or UDP protocols. My guess is that you are in a shadow of a tower so your phone(s) get confused on which signal to lock onto becuase of fluctuating power outputs/interfernce etc. Not too sure about your "tin can" solution but the problem is quite common in shadow coverage areas and one workaround is to move the MicroCell to a diiferent part of the house (you will probably have to buy an external GPS antenna cable) and see if that eliminates the issue. Disabling handing off works for some, but not all people. FWIW, we have an old Samsung SGH-A707, and iPhones 3GS, 4, and 5's and have never had MicroCell issues.