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frostphase
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Tutor

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9 Messages

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 6:37 PM

3G Microcell Activation

So it's looking like it's impossible to register a 3G Microcell using a prepaid/gophone account.

 

Even though this page says you can.

 

http://www.att.com/att/microcell/

 

AT&T 3G MicroCell Registration Process
 
 
 

Instructions:

Register AT&T 3G MicroCell

To use the AT&T MicroCell, you will need:

  • AT&T postpaid voice plan or prepaid service using a 3G or 4G wireless device.

 

Did I really waste 300 bucks? I have U-Verse, DSL, and a Business UVerse account with AT&T and I can't get this activated?

 

😞

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.5K Messages

7 y ago

I don't know what a "prepaid service"  is so I should probably point that out to the admin and maybe have them clarify that.  But yes, only an active postpaid VOICE plan is able to access the MicroCell system. You can always return the MicroCell if you bought it from a corporate store.

frostphase

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

Would be nice to know what they mean by pre-paid service.

 

I would assume GoPhone.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.5K Messages

7 y ago

Agreed. But it does specificially say postpaid voice plans, which would include cell phones.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

7 y ago

It's unfortunate that the wording isn't as clear as it could be, but it does say postpaid voice plans or prepaid 3G or 4G service are required for Mcell use.  It does not say prepaid voice plans, so no GoPhones.

 

AT&T is referring to products like their DataConnect Pass plan, where you can purchase prepaid data service for tablets, laptops, hotspots and other 3G or 4G wireless devices (like the Mcell).  Smartphones won't work with DataConnect Pass as it doesn't include calling minutes.

 

 Edit - You can also find Activation and Troubleshooting content in our Microcell Thread

 

 

frostphase

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

So you're saying if I had this service on a tablet or a laptop

 

DataConnect Pass

 

this? 

 

https://buyasession.att.com/sbd/Common/ShopRatePlans.action

 

I could then activate my MicroCell? o.O

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.5K Messages

7 y ago

@Avedis53- like  your new avatar Smiley Very Happy

 

Avedis is correct. You could use the MicroCell for your "other" devices if cellular (3G) coverage is spotty in your home. At least you could use data but still no voice. But, as long as you have a WiFi connection at home.......

 

Keep in mind that even if you activate your MicroCell with another device, you still won't be able to use your prepaid phone (GoPhone).

frostphase

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

I don't understand why you would need this for 3G data given it needs to be connected to the internet to work...

 

That would mean, most likely Wi-Fi would be available at the location as well.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.5K Messages

7 y ago

Ok. The MicroCell is for folks who don't have adequate signal strength in their homes for celluar voice. It is designed to handle voice as well as 3G data transfers. The data transfer is pretty much limited to about 3Mbps, but the point of the MicroCell is for voice calls. Most people leave their WiFi on so that any data is carried by their WiFi connection (which doesn't impact their cellular data plan) and calls are handled by the MicroCell. There used to be a sticky at the top which explained what the MicroCell does, and why, but the new forum has done away with that.

 

 

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

7 y ago

You don't need a Mcell for smartphone 3G data transmission as users would utilize a home network's WiFi for much better bandwidth.  I wouldn't buy a DataConnect Pass for this purpose.  I believe that the DCP is for people who are not at home and need internet access for their 3G/4G compatible device. 

 

The Mcell is for cellphone use in a home where there is insufficient signal strength to maintain a connection to the nearest celltower.

 

@ Otto - I've had that avatar for several years.  Use it just about everywhere else.  It's one of the cybermen from the Dr. Who TV series.

frostphase

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

I'm not trying to sound rude but I completely understand what the Microcell does.

 

Providing it to people with these DataConnect Pass plans doesn't make sense given the MC requires an internet connection to start with.

 

Providing documentation stating prepaid wireless customers can register the MC but they really can't isn't right.

 

It clearly states:

 

  • AT&T postpaid voice plan or prepaid service using a 3G or 4G wireless device.

OR not AND it's OR 

 

prepaid service would include prepaid wireless service ie; gophone

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.5K Messages

7 y ago

I can understand your frustration, to a point, but it still clealy says "postpaid voice plan". Some folks don't want, or use WiFi. So, in those cases the MicroCell is an option to maintain their 3G connectivity for those devices without the use of WiFi where 3G is spotty. Keep in mind that the MicroCell is 3G only. A 4G device will drop back to 3G speeds once connected to the MicroCell.

 

The GoPhones are prepaid voice plans so they don't qualify, period. Yes, the statement could be better worded but the bottom line is if you don't have a postpaid cellular account, you won't be able to use the MicroCell for in-home celluar use.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

7 y ago

I am not trying to sound rude either but a prepaid service plan is not a prepaid voice plan in the eyes of AT&T despite your insistence that it should be. 

 

I doubt anyone uses a Mcell with the DataConnect Pass, but consider this:  A person may just have a modem in their home and no router.  They technically could get a Mcell and wirelessly connect a AT&T SIM card-equipped iPad or Galaxy Tab to the internet via the Mcell using a DataConnect Pass and not by WiFi.  Is this the best way to connect to the internet?  Of course not.  But that's not what the DataConnect Pass product was designed for in the first place.

 

AT&T is quite clear about prepaid Gophones regarding the Mcell.   On their Mcell FAQ page:

 

Do AT&T prepaid GoPhone® devices work with the AT&T 3G MicroCell device?

 

"You cannot activate an AT&T 3G MicroCell device, because a postpaid myWireless account is required. However, prepaid 3G wireless devices can be added to the Authorized User List of someone else's device."

 

So while you can't activate a Mcell with a prepaid GoPhone, you can use it on someone else's Mcell if they add you to their Authorized User List.

 

AT&T hasn't provided any documentation stating that prepaid VOICE customers can register a Mcell.  AT&T makes a distinct differentiation between voice services and data services in their literature.  That you interpret it differently is unfortunate.

 

I suggest you send your Mcell back to AT&T for a refund and if you are in a poor cell tower reception area that prompted you to get the Mcell in the first place, I would suggest you look at signal booster products made by Cel-Fi or Wilson Electronics instead.

 

 

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.5K Messages

7 y ago

Excellent advice.

frostphase

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

Better yet, I cancel all AT&T services I have and move along. I'll be giving some of my other family members the 'push' they've been needing to make the switch too.

 

Goodbye to AT&T for good.

 

Charter and T-Mobile(Wi-Fi calling) here I come and for the record it does say PREPAID 3G or 4G Wireless device on the support page to register and that would include a prepaid wireless cell phone by definition.

 

You know it does.

 

I'm done with this thread, like I'm done with AT&T.

 

Bye.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

7 y ago

WiFi Calling is a different animal than a Mcell.  I hope it works out for you.

 

Keep in mind with a prepaid phone that you'll have to make sure it's UMA compatible in order to work with the T Mobile WiFi Calling system.  I know iPhones are not compatible and many other cellphones aren't either.  You'll also have to get the unlock code for your cellphone from AT&T in order to switch your phone over to T Mobile.

 

Also, as a prepaid phone user, any use of the WiFi Calling system counts against your minutes unlike a Mcell.  Postpaid accounts with T Mobile do not count minutes when using WiFi Calling.

 

There are a lot of complaints about T Mobile's WiFi Calling Plan, specifically concerning dropped calls.  The system has its own unique set of problems that you will no doubt experience.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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