Announcements

For the latest on our response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), click here.

Tutor

 • 

9 Messages

Wed, Oct 16, 2019 10:26 PM

Can I use a cell modem such as an M2M H24 with a microcell?

I have a need to use an h24 cellular modem for an application that I have. Can I connect this to a micro cell as long as it has an AT&T SIM card ?

How would I add it to the list of preferred users etc ?

Responses

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

5 months ago

@rileyusa - From my Technical Guide (link is in my sig line):

 

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.

 

Once that is established, the MicroCell gets the GPS signal, confirms that with NWL, notes the local tower signal, and adjusts its internal transmitter power.  At the same time it is updating any firmware changes it needs to do (that’s why you may see it reboot a couple of times or take a bit longer to complete the activation process), building a handoff list of macrocells (towers) that are in range, and collecting information about which frequencies are active in proximity. The greater the received signal strength from the local tower, the lower the 3G transmitter power from the MicroCell to your phone. The reason for this is so the MicroCell won’t interfere with the local tower signal. That’s why if you are really far away from a local tower, your MicroCell’s transmission power will be increased with the resulting better reception on your mobile phone. However, the closer the tower(s) are, the opposite effect happens. NOTE: The MicroCell does not need a local tower to activate, only GPS lock.

 

To complicate matters, the individual mobile phones also adjust their transmission strength in relationship to what it receives from the MicroCell, and some phones are just better at this than others, hence the variability between phones when connecting, and staying connected to the MicroCell.  For some phones, increased battery drain may be experienced because of this.

 

There are also periodic maintenance windows where the MicroCell needs to confirm with the local tower, and if one is outside of detectable tower range, the MicroCell won't work. The local tower is not needed to make/receive voice calls. All that is handled thru the internet but the local tower is required for functions as mentioned above (there are a few others).

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

71.6K Messages

5 months ago

No.  The micro cell enables 3g talk and text.  Connecting such a device is pointless.  While the micro cell can be used for data, it’s going to be slow (3g speeds) and less efficient than your existing home services.

 

🐾 (The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.

Tutor

 • 

9 Messages

5 months ago

I only need to make a connection and not send any data, so I am not worried about the speed.The application is really just testing some hardware to make sure that the cell modem can connect. The idea is to use a micro cell so that I can get a controlled signal level.
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

71.6K Messages

5 months ago

The Microcell cannot be enabled without a wired connection, like cable Internet or DSL Internet. It specifically is not going to provide a stable connection with wireless or satellite. In fact the directions specifically say it will work with a wired connection

I’m not sure what you’re trying to do, but maybe @OttoPylot  can understand

🐾 (The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

5 months ago

@rileyusa - I agree with @lizdance40 . What you want to do is not feasible without registering/activating the MicroCell, which requires a post paid AT&T cellular account and a land-based internet service (DSL, cable, or fiber). The MicroCell is not designed for satellite or wireless broadband and is not supported for those formats. Using the MicroCell to test M2M (Machine 2 Machine) for mobile broadband (H24) would be a waste of time if it was even possible. The MicroCell is limited to around 3.0Mbs download, which is plenty for voice and data but would not be a good test environment for the 7Mbps down/5Mbps up which is what H24 is theoretically capable of.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.

Tutor

 • 

9 Messages

5 months ago

I have an internet connection and an ATT account. Enabling the micro cell is not a problem.
I am investigating using it in a production environment to simply check that a modem will connect. I even have active SIM cards for the modems. I am simply trying to ensure that the antenna and internal cable are connected to my modem. At the moment this is done by simply connecting to the local tower but the problem is that the signal strength is unpredictable. Sometimes it is so strong that the modem will connect without the antenna being connected and other times the signal is too weak to connect at all.
I figure that if I use a microcell and run a cable from the antenna output to my test set up, I can have a reliable and constant signal level for the test.
So, my only hassle is, can I get the modem to make a connection? It doesn't need to send any data and so the data rate doesn't matter at all.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

5 months ago

@rileyusa - part of the MicroCell activation is adjusting its signal output (3G) to the closest tower so that location verification, handing off, update checks, etc can be performed. Once that is done, all 3G connections then go thru your internet connection, not the local tower. The external antenna connector on the back of the white MicroCell is for GPS. In the past, there were situations where it wasn't convenient to place the MicroCell 18" from a window with an unobstructed view of the sky because of the proximity to the router/gateway/modem, so an external antenna could be purchased and used for that purpose. The newest, and last iteration of the MicroCell was the black model which had better radios so the external antenna port was removed.

 

 

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.

Tutor

 • 

9 Messages

5 months ago

nothing to do with my original question but why does the micro cell need to make contact with the local tower? Surely the whole point of a micro cell is to make up for the fact that you have no coverage from a tower in the first place. I can see that it would need GPS for timing but I can't see why it would need an Rf connection to the tower. Surely that's all done through the internet connection ?

 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

71.6K Messages

5 months ago

@OttoPylot explained, but perhaps he can boil it down to layman’s language?

 

🐾 (The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.

Tutor

 • 

9 Messages

5 months ago

OK, that makes sense. Thank you for the detailed response.
Can I just ping a micro cell from a cell modem with out actually connecting ?

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

5 months ago

@rileyusa - I don't know, I've never tried. The MicroCell is a totally closed system. There is no way to access the inner workings (at least not that I'm going to post). Without having it assigned an ip address I'm not sure how you could do that. You could power it on, connect it to a modem with an ethernet cable, and see if you could find its MAC address.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.

Tutor

 • 

9 Messages

5 months ago

Well connecting it to a network and getting an IP address is not a problem. I even have an AT&T account to activate it.All I want to do is check the antenna cable is connected in our units by pinging a micro cell to see if it's get the signal.
The only reason I want to use a micro cell is so that I have a controlled signal level. But from what you mentioned about the output level adjusting with the local tower signal, this might not work anyway.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

5 months ago

@rileyusa - once the MicroCell adjusts its signal output to the closest tower, the output stays fixed until the MicroCell is powered off and then back on again. At that point in time, it will check the tower signal again and adjust its signal output if necessary.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.

Tutor

 • 

9 Messages

5 months ago

Many thanks for your help and advice.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

5 months ago

@rileyusa - good luck. If you get it work for what you need, let me know. I'm curious.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.
OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

@adomanim

You seem to be making a habit out of quoting my previous posts without credit. If you'd bother to read the entire OP's post you'd know that this was not his question.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.
AT&T TV – All Your Entertainment In One Spot.  Learn more…