OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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11.7K Messages

Mon, Nov 13, 2017 6:38 PM

MicroCell End of Life Has Been Announced

The official end of life for the MicroCell will be at the end of this year (2017). AT&T will stop selling the MicroCell except at Corporate Stores who still have them in stock. However, AT&T will continue to support the MicroCell for an unspecified period of time next year. Of course that will mean that most of the "support" will be trying to convince customers to upgrade their phones to WiFi-C capable phones. We will still be around as usual for support questions but don't expect to get much out of AT&T.

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Responses

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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75.1K Messages

3 years ago

You got to be freaking kidding.   😖.   

If ATT doesn’t allow Wifi calling on non ATT androids it pretty much guarantees I won’t stay with ATT in the long run.  

Im never going to be happy with ATTs limited phone offering, and they have cut reception 3 times in 3 years.   

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

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OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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11.7K Messages

3 years ago

@lizdance40 - hmm, maybe AT&T should hire me as a consultant Smiley Wink This is going to be a mess, not to mention a PR nightmare for AT&T without expanding WiFi-C (plans and phones).

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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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75.1K Messages

3 years ago

And take you and the iPad off the sofa?   Naaaaa 

Agreed.  I don’t know how many depend on the microcell, but there will be complaints.

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

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OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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11.7K Messages

3 years ago

@lizdance40 - I think there are more people who still depend on the MicroCell than AT&T realizes. But this is a bottom line decision so what's the loss of a few customers to them. I should probably find out where Verizon's and T-Mobile's femtocells stand as well.

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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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75.1K Messages

3 years ago

T Mobile has provided free microcell or boosters for years.   Verizon sells both.   I don’t know about status.  

 

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OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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11.7K Messages

3 years ago

@lizdance40 - the one thing that AT&T had going for them was the security of the MicroCell, and I think that's what caused some of the connection issues. Both Verizon's and T-Mo's are easy to hack into and not very secure.

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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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75.1K Messages

3 years ago

@OttoPylot  Actually Verizon customers complain neighbors use their tower, as their microcell doesn’t require an approved number list.  

I don’t lurk T-mo forums.  😏

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

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OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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11.7K Messages

3 years ago

@lizdance40 - yeah I've heard that, which can be a real problem security-wise. Fairly easy to hack into as well.

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Avedis53

ACE - Professor

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2.2K Messages

3 years ago

I've promoted WiFi Calling over the Mcell since AT&T turned it on.  However, I've seen 10,000,000 thrown around as the number of femtocells in use worldwide, so they aren't quite dead yet.  No doubt there will be complaints but there would be no matter when the Mcell end-of-life decree came out.  Some people have to be dragged kicking and screaming into using current technology.

 

Both T-Mobile and Verizon's femtocells do not have an Approved User's List so they aren't secure and that would be a deal-breaker for me.  There's no difference between an insecure femtocell and an insecure WiFi network as far as access to your home computers.

 

Personally, I'm glad AT&T is finally moving on from a femtocell band-aid to a more universally robust WiFi technology.  The only reason to use a Mcell is if your phone doesn't support WiFi-C.  There are no other advantages, just countless disadvantages and headaches that we've seen here over the years.  The Mcell was better than no coverage and had its day but it's time to move on. 

 

 

 

 

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MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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75.1K Messages

3 years ago

@Avedis53

I dont have an aversion to Wifi calling.  I actually require it, and purchased an ATT branded android to use it.  But I don’t like and didn’t really want this phone.  I wanted to use the Pixel.   But ATT reception in my area keeps diminishing and they won’t allow the Pixel Wifi calling.  They could.  

 

I spent some some time on T-mobile last night.  Mostly learning about ‘Digits’.  Digits is a newer service and app, similar to Number Sync, but a hybrid with a google voice type service.   It allows non T-mobile android phones that don’t get Wifi calling, to use the app via Wifi and their regular number.   In short, it provides Wifi calling to all phones that can use the app.  

Both the Pixel and Pixel 2 have been whitelisted by T-mo and get conventional Wifi calling.  

 

2 years.    That’s how long ATT has to get it’s act together.   In 2 years T Mobile will have the spectrum and enough phones with band 71 to challenge ATT.   Legere is bat poop crazy like a fox.  More power to him.  

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

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Contributor

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2 Messages

3 years ago

While wi-if calling is ok, it's still not reliable where I live. Without my micro cell tower I have absolutely no service at home at all. I'm hoping they do stop supporting and providing them that they boost their current towers in my area or put up more. Switching to another carrier is t an option for me either because they don't have service in my area either.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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11.7K Messages

3 years ago

@LarisaE - If you attempt to use WiFi-C while within range of a MicroCell that you are registered to there will be issues because the phone will preferentially attempt to connect to the 3G signal and not your WiFi signal. Either power off the MicroCell completely, remove your phone number (unless your phone number is the one used to register/activate the MicroCell) or place your phone in Airplane Mode to disable its cellular radio.

 

WiFi-C is also dependent on the quality of your WiFi signal and is subject to same issues that WiFi in general is.

 

I doubt very seriously if AT&T is going to put up more towers or increase the signal propagation (that requires FCC approval) just because the MicroCell is at EOL.

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Avedis53

ACE - Professor

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2.2K Messages

3 years ago

If your WiFi Calling is unreliable as you say, then I would offer that your WiFi router is insufficient to cover your home or your ISP service is compromised somehow.  From what you posted, I gather that you are in a rural area with limited internet access options.  Who is your ISP?  What kind of service is it?  Cable, DSL, wireless, satellite?  What is your subscribed bandwidth...ie.  Download and Upload speeds?

 

Without additional information about your network hardware and ISP, it's hard to determine what your issue is with WiFi-C.  What do you mean by "unreliable" anyway?  Please describe what specifically is happening when you are using WiFi-C.

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MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

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Contributor

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2 Messages

3 years ago

My ISP is Century link, and have their broadband internet package with sppeds up tp 25 mps. I say its unreliable, because we it often lags or goes out completely. 
Without my tower I have zero service at my house. Since most people communicate with me through text instead of calling, it is a serious problem. 
Avedis53

ACE - Professor

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2.2K Messages

3 years ago

Both the Mcell and WiFi-Calling require a reliable internet connection in order to work properly.  While your subscribed bandwidth should be adequate for either to operate, it's the quality of your internet connection that appears to be the problem based on your limited information.  Latency (lag), packet loss, packet delay and jitter are all internet metrics that can negatively affect VOIP quality.

 

It would be helpful to us if you would run the VOIP test outlined in Otto's Tech Guide and post the results here.  I suspect we will see excessive jitter and packet loss since the symptoms you described are an indicator of a poor internet connection.  If that is the case, then you will have to confront Century Link and see if there is anything they can do about it.  Unfortunately, most of the time an ISP will simply claim that the problem isn't theirs and blame AT&T.  If Century Link is your only option for internet service, then I don't know what else you can do.

 

The only other solution that doesn't require the internet would be a cell signal booster.  These systems have a receiving/transmitting module that you place in a location in your house that gets at least one bar of signal strength.  Some even have a high-gain antenna you mount on the outside of your home to improve reception and transmission.  A second module is centrally located in your house to provide a connection for your phones.  The second module relays the cell phone signal to the rec/tx module, which then amplifies the signal and communicates with the nearest cell tower.  Cel-Fi and weboost make decent boosters but they are expensive and if you get zero bars in your home then even they may not help you.

 

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

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