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What is happening with 3G?
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msmeck
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Tutor

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10 Messages

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 2:25 PM

Amherst, Ohio - Microcell - Flashing 3G Light

Hello All...

 

My name is Mike and I live in Amherst, Ohio - Approx 25 miles west of Cleveland...

 

I do have TWC as my Cable provider...Am using a leased Scientific Atlanta 2100 Modem, Linksys WRT54GS V7 Router and the DPH151-AT AT&T 3G Microcell...

 

The reason I need a microcell is that I live in an aluminum sided house and the reception is terrible inside the house.  For my work, I have recently been required to attend many weekly conference calls and need a solution that provides solid phone reception.

 

A couple years ago, when AT&T had the Samsung Galaxy Tablet/Samsung Galaxy SII deal, my wife and I opted for it and also spoke to the local AT&T Store manager about our reception issues...In comes the AT&T 3G Microcell...

 

I took it home and activated it with no issues...Over the course of a week, it did provide a boosted signal for my smartphone, but decreased the reception of the 2 Nokia 6010 phones in use at that time...

 

As I was the only one affected, I elected to take down the microcell, box it up and put it away in the closet...

 

Approx a week ago, I upgraded my pone to an LG G2 and got my wife, who is resistant to change, to start using my Samsung Galacxy SII...She now loves it...

 

Net, Net is that her reception is almost non-existant and mine is 1-2 bars at most...

 

Pulled out the Microcell and I had never disconnected it, so disconnected it and went through the activation process again ...All was fine until it came to the 3G light...

 

This configuration was Modem>>Router>>Microcell...I went through all the troubleshooting listed several times to no avail...

 

Changed configuration to the Modem>>Microcell>>.Router and same issue...The dreaded flashing 3G light!!!

 

In reading many of the posts, I believe the issue to be TWC blocking port 4500, but is there anyway I can test for sure???

 

Also, in looking into alternatives to the Microcell, I ran across the Cell-Fi...A bit of a pricey solution at $575...Do you think AT&T would split the cost with me to buy into this solution???

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated...

 

Thanks In Advance...

 

Mike...

 

 

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.9K Messages

8 y ago

If all of the lights are solid green, your phone is connected (it says ATT M-Cell, or something like that), then I wouldn't worry about the Acitvation Page. You should have received a text message or email as well saying that you were good to go. Again, I wouldn't worry about it , for now. As long as it works with however you have it currently setup, I wouldn't mess with it. As to why, that's anybody's guess. ISPs are norotrious for not admitting that they were wrong and the customer was right. My guess is if you called them, they would say AT&T finally fixed it. The Activation Page could need to be refreshed or updated by AT&T (as a reason why it says you're still in progress). Let us know if anything else goes wrong.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.9K Messages

8 y ago

AT&T will more than likely not split the cost of any device to increase cell phone strength if it is not one of their products, i.e. a MicroCell. I am not any AT&T employee, and that is just my opinion, but I think that's an accurate guess.

 

During the Initial Activation process, if there are any updates to the MicroCell, they will be downloaded to the unit at that time so there is nothing extra that you need to do. There are quite a few things that take place during the Initial Activation process that include the MicroCell as well as the connected phones. The details are listed in my Guide (see link in my sig). Some phones with older OS's, or ones that haven't been updated have had, at times, issues with connecting to the MicroCell, Nokia and Samsung are the two that were most often reported. That's not to say that your phones are the problem, it's just another factor to consider.

 

You mention that you went thru all of the troubleshooting listed but you didn't say what that was. Deactivation/reactivation, power cycle of your entire system (including the MicroCell), hard reset of the MicroCell, etc.

 

If TWC upgraded their network hardware like they did in KY then that may be the issue, especially if port 4500 is blocked. I would send a pm to CustomerCare detailing what your issue is, what you have done to correct it, your account information, and especially your location (link is in my sig). In the meantime, you can start to contact TWC and find out if they have done any recent upgrades and if so, ask if they can do what ever they did in KY to correct it. The ony way the KY issues were resolved was by the TWC customers complaining loud and long to TWC support to fix it. If this is a TWC hardware upgrade, then there is very little AT&T can do. The "glitch" was blamed on the vendor that they used for the upgrades and TWC had to go back to the vendor to fix it. We had a similar issue reported by another carrier who did similar network box upgrades using the same vendor and had the same problems.

msmeck

Tutor

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10 Messages

8 y ago

Thanks Otto...

 

Yes - I have Deactivated/Reactivated several times, power reset modem/router/microcell, hard reset microcell...

 

This last time, the Activation started on 2/18/14 at 10:25PM EST and the 3G light is still flashing...

 

I just got off a chat with TWC - An analyst and then his supervisor - As expected, they stated TWC does not block ports and there is no option on the modem to do that, it only applies to combo devices...I tried to explain the recent issue in KY and stated that I did not believe it was the modem, but a device downstream...

They won't budge and in my area, there are probably not very many folks that have a micocell, so I won't have a bunch of people calling TWC to complain...

 

Any other suggestions???

 

Mike...

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

15.9K Messages

8 y ago

From my understanding, the problem with TWC wasn't the user modems, it was a network box upgrade recently istalled for an upgrade to their network (probably new security protocols). Ask TWC to check the ports upstream and have AT&T do the same.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

8 y ago

The Cel Fi product is approved and authorized by AT&T and from the reviews I've read seems to work fairly well but $575 ?!?  Ouch.

 

If you can't get the Mcell to work, there are other products that do the same thing besides the Cel Fi.  Wilson Electronics has cellphone booster products also but they aren't cheap either.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.9K Messages

8 y ago

See, that's why Avedis53 is my wingman Smiley Wink I didn't know that Cel Fi was an approved AT&T product (didn't have the time to look it up) so maybe.......

msmeck

Tutor

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10 Messages

8 y ago

I emailed 'TWCable.Help@twcable.com' and asked that the email be passed on to:

 

Kevin T.
Time Warner Cable
Customer Care Advocate - Corporate Office of the President

 

This was the individual that kept replying in the KY TWC issue thread on the TWC Forum...

 

The reply I got back was:

 

"Kevin is unavailable to answer the email. In regards to the Microcell issue, I can schedule a tier 3 technician to call back and discuss the matter. What time of the day works best for you?

Thanks,
Brandon E
Social Media Representative - Time Warner Cable TWCable.Help@twcable.com"

I stated I would be available late morning/early afternoon today...

 

Still haven't received any replies from AT&T Customer Care...

 

Will let you know the outcome after the call...

 

So...If I can't get the Mcell to work - Otto/Avedis53 - What Wilson product(s) would you recommend to fix my problem???

 

Thanks In Advance...

 

msmeck

Tutor

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10 Messages

8 y ago

Otto/Avedis53 - Is there anyhting I can do to "check that all of the necessary ports are open all the way to the AT&T servers"???

 

Thanks In Advance...

 

Mike...

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.9K Messages

8 y ago

Avedis53 will have to help me here because for the life of me I can't remember the name of the port uitlities to check for open ports. They are ok but it's best if you can get AT&T to check from their end. Unfortunately thought, all they can do is tell that the port(s) are opne or closed. If they are closed there's nothing you can do to open them unless you've blocked them on your router which is unlikely. It comes back to your ISP to determine where or how they are blocked and open them.

 

Ahh, here they are: http://canyouseeme.org, http://portforward.com, or http://yougetsignal.com

 

 

msmeck

Tutor

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10 Messages

8 y ago

Otto - In your troubleshooting doc you state:

"Initial Activation

:
When the MicroCell first boots up, the unit gets a DHCP license, syncs with network
time over NTP, and then does a DNS query for xxxxx.wireless.att.com. Once
successful, it talks to that server over HTTPS (TLSv1) for a while and then
immediately starts an IPsec VPN with xx.xxx.xxx.193"
 
Don't I need to know what xxxxx.wireless.att.com and xx.xxx.xxx.193 are???
 
Mike...
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.9K Messages

8 y ago

No. I left those addresses blank on purpose because the information I have is old and those addresses may not be accurate anymore due to changes/upgrades. It's more of an example of what the MicroCell is doing at the various stages of activation.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

8 y ago

I do not own any Wilson Electronics hardware so I can not speak from personal experience.  I do know that Wilson is a reputable manufacturer of cellphone boosting equipment.  Having said that, I'd guess that a Wilson DB Pro would be your best bet.

 

Keep in mind that this equipment solution is more involved regarding installation.  You have to mount an external antenna, run Cat 6 cable inside to the signal booster, then run Cat 6 cable from the signal booster to the indoor antenna that mounts on a wall.  There is a kit that has the basic components but you may find that you need multiple indoor antennas to provide adequate coverage depending on the layout of  your house.  You may also find that you need to use a Yagi antenna outside instead of the omni-directional antenna.

 

A basic DB Pro kit plus the optional lightning surge protector(which I would recommend) is going to run about $400.  If you need additional add-on accessories, like an external antenna mounting kit or more indoor antennas, then it will cost even more.

 

Before taking an approach like this, you should go to Wilson Electronics and read up on their equipment and installation instructions.

 

Hopefully, you can resolve your Mcell issue first. 

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

8 y ago

Concerning port checking webpages, there are serious limitations to how well they may work.  If you check your network behind the router, you will almost always show blocked ports, even if they aren't.

 

The best way to use these types of port checkers is by connecting your computer directly to your modem, taking your router out of the loop, disabling any firewall software on your computer and then run the port checker to see if your ISP is blocking a given port.  Even then I wouldn't trust the results entirely.

 

 

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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15.9K Messages

8 y ago

Agreed.

msmeck

Tutor

 • 

10 Messages

8 y ago

Hmmm....Funny - I just got home from working all night...Went to check the blinking 3G light and to my amazement it IS SOLID!!!   But, of course no one will say they did anything...It has been sitting there for several days now blinking and suddenly, after I start raising a fuss, it starts working...

 

Oh Well...So far I am happy - my phone, which usually has 1 -2 bars is now a steady 4 - 5...

 

Wooo Hoooo!!!

 

But, I would really like to know what was done to remedy this...

 

Thanks for all your comments and guidance...

 

Mike...

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