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OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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11.4K Messages

Thu, Apr 5, 2018 6:04 PM

Cellular Booster Guide

The MicroCell was discontinued as of the end of 2017, as most of you already know. AT&T will still support the MicroCell but for how long is anybody's guess. We have been recommending WiFi-C (WiFi Calling) now as the preferred method for poor in-home coverage if your phone is capable of WiFi-C. If not, the other option we recommend is a cellular booster. Cellular boosters weren't as simple as I originally thought so I put together an informational guide, working with a company who sells and installs all kinds of cellular boosters for residential as well as business uses. The link is in my sig line and hopefully it will soon show up as a pinned document underneath my MicroCell Tech Guide. I hope you all find the document useful.

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*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.

Responses

ATTDmitriyCM

Community Manager

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9.2K Messages

2 years ago

Hi @OttoPylot

 

Thank you for the great work on the new guide! It looks great

 

Dmitriy

Rethink Possible


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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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72.3K Messages

2 years ago

👍🏼   Nice work!

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” 🆘 Dont expect normal any time soon.

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JaredCS

Former Employee

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20 Messages

2 years ago

Wow! Great stuff, @OttoPylot!

davidbk

Administrator

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363 Messages

2 years ago

That is a fantastic guide, @OttoPylot!

 

Thank you, so much, for taking the time to put this together!!!

 

Thanks!
Dave

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*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Jetmech

Mentor

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27 Messages

2 years ago

Concerning your booster guide,

Great guide.  Tons of info.  Sounds like I have some "homework" to do before I can get to the bottom of my problem.  My wife and I purchased land and built a new house in what apparently turned out to be a bad coverage area.  While we are not really that far from the tower, I guess the terrain and vegetation are causing problems.  In any case, a year or so ago, I purchased a WeBoost broadband booster kit.  It has the one outside Omni directional antennae and two dome type indoor antennas.  The indoor signal goes through a 60/40 splitter.  60/40 because the one antennae is in a very small room which is pretty much a steel reinforced concrete box with a 700 lb steel door, (safe room) and the larger amount of signal goes to the rest of the house, all on one floor.

 

I followed the instructions with the kit to adjust the attenuators for each band but my service really has not improved with this booster.  My wife will sit directly underneath one of the antennas and have no bars, and calls to her phone often just go straight to voice mail with her saying her phone never rang.  My phone is not much better.  She has a Samsung Galaxy on 4G and I have a Blackberry KeyOne also on 4G.

 

Any suggestions you may have will be much appreciated.  I had considered a Microcell but I see in your threads that these are discontinued by AT&T and support for them will soon be shut off.  We have a very good WIFI in our house and her Samsung works on that but AT&T does not support the WIFI calling on the Blackberry.

 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

72.3K Messages

2 years ago

@Jetmech 

Do you get any connection at all outside?  What sort of -dbm?   Or ‘no service’ ?  How high is the exterior antenna?  The booster can only amplify signal.

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” 🆘 Dont expect normal any time soon.

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

2 years ago

@Jetmech - keep in mind that the Booster Guide is just that, a guide. I wrote it because it made sense if we were suggesting using a Cellular Booster as an option and it made sense to give folks some sort of a primer. We can not offer any support outside of what is written in the Guide. AT&T certainly won't help you because it's not their product. I would suggest contacting who ever you purchased the weBoost from, or possibly the repeaterstore  for specific help on setup and troubleshooting.

 

WiFi-C would probably be your best bet but that would mean you upgrade your phone to an AT&T branded phone (one that they sell).

 

UPDATE: @Jetmech - your question got me to thinking that I should probably add a basic troubleshooting section to the Booster Guide to make it a bit more complete. That being said:

 

What's likely happening is a "near-far" issue. The boosters amplify the whole frequency band, not just one block. So if one carrier (e.g. Verizon or T-Mobile) has a strong signal on the same band that AT&T uses, that band will become "saturated" by the stronger signal, and not amplify AT&T very much.
 
There two main symptoms are:
  • There is decent donor signal outside (2 bars or more)
  • The amplifier is running it's Automatic Gain Control (AGC) and the lights on the device indicate that fact.
  • The user doesn't see much boost on their carrier or has a very small coverage area.
The fix is to either:
  • Use a higher-gain, log-periodic or yagi-style antenna.
  • Try the four sides of the building to see if you can use the building materials to block the stronger signal that's saturating the amplifier.
  • A signal meter can help diagnose and fix the issue, and they can be rented. The signal meter lets you see the signal levels on a block by block basis.
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*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.
Jetmech

Mentor

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27 Messages

2 years ago

Yes, I can get a connection outside.  As for the signal strength, I should, as suggested rent a signal strength meter.  Depending on the phone, my old 3G phone could get two to three bars, my wife's 4G phone would be lucky to get 1.  The exterior antennae is about 20 feet up at the peak of my roof on the north end which is the end towards the tower. 

 

I understand that you really can not trouble shoot, I was just hoping for some insight.  As for the WIFI calling, my wife's phone will support and operate on WIFI.  However I just purchased a new Blackberry KeyOne from AT&T and that phone from AT&T does not support WIFI AND since it too is 4G, my service really is horrible as was my wife's before she got her WIFI calling turned on.  Her phone is a Samsung Galaxy.

 

I think you may have something in regards to the different carriers signal overpowering my AT&T signal.  I would guess the best way to resolve that would be to obtain an AT&T only booster/amplifier or the directional antennae.  But if the two carriers competing with each other are on the same tower, the directional antennae would not help. 

 

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.4K Messages

2 years ago

@Jetmech - as I put together the Cellular Booster Guide I quickly discovered that it is not as simple as it sounds. Residential situations are typically easier than a commercial one but there is still a lot that one has to do to install it correctly and ensure that the correct type of equipment is being used for what one wants to accomplish. That's probably why some of the cellular booster companies offer professional installation because needs, geographical conditions, etc. can be so different that one size doesn't fit all.

 

I will continue working with the cellular booster company to add a basic troubleshooting section to my guide to make it a bit more complete. Most modern phones do have some sort of signal strength/quality application but they are just not as good as a fully robust signal meter, and interpreting the information given by the phone can be confusing at best, mostly due to the way they calculate the various parameters.

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.
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