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Sun, May 24, 2020 1:52 PM

Phones No Longer Connecting to Microcell

Hi Everyone!

I'm looking for some expert advice :) After approximately 4 years, my phones have stopped connecting to my Microcell. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy S9+ and a BlackBerry Passport. Although wifi calling is enabled on my Samsung, both phones have always displayed "ATT MCell" as the mobile network and been connected to the microcell with no issues. I have not been able to connect for about 2 weeks now.

AT&T does not offer wifi calling for my BlackBerry (my work phone). That is the problem. Without the microcell I'm dealing with one bar or less and extremely poor call quality. I am completely aware that the microcell is no longer supported, being phased out, etc. For me, the microcell has been a lifesaver, and I'd like to continue using it for as long as I possibly can.

I have had 2 troubleshooting calls with AT&T this week ‎in which the representatives attempted to help with my issue. First, the microcell was re-activated (re-entered the serial number, etc.), the second time a series of unplugging/plugging back in. Nothing has changed.

All lights except the computer light are lit solid green. I have tried changing the ethernet cord- no difference. My next plan is to buy another microcell on ebay- they are going for around $25 used (not sure where people are seeing them for hundreds of dollars as mentioned in another post).‎

Has anyone else experienced this?‎ Is it possible that the device has just reached its EOL even though the lights are still on?

Responses

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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12K Messages

a month ago

Which model of MicroCell do you have?

The Computer light should not be lit at all because you should not be connecting anything to that port. It never really worked well as a pass-through so Cisco/AT&T did away with it on the last iteration of the MicroCell which was the black, DPH-154 model. Functional-wise, there is no difference between any of the MicroCell models.

AT&T stopped selling the MicroCells at the end of 2017 because they had reached their EOL. Service will continue until AT&T begins to shutdown their 3G network which will be around Feb. 2021 and certainly by Feb. 2022. WiFi-C is what is recommended now if your phone is capable.

If you plan on purchasing a used MicroCell then I would suggest you read the section in my Tech Guide (link is in my sig line) about used MicroCells. There are some caveats that you need to be aware of.

If your phone (Samsung) is set for WiFi-C, then you should not be using the MicroCell because there can be a conflict with the phone attempting to connect to the strongest signal, the MicroCell's 3G or your WiFi, and there could be call quality issues. They are two entirely different technologies and do not complement or enhance each other.

If all of the lights are solid green, and none are flashing green or red, then you have connectivity to the AT&T Mobility Servers. I would check the ac adapter with a voltmeter first. It should read 16VDC +/- 0.5 with no load. If not, replace it with an adapter of the same rating and one that reads correctly. It could be that the adapter is beginning to fail and not providing enough consistent power to the radios and your phones can't get a signal lock. The power light is just an indicator that current is being detected. It is not an indicator that the power is sufficient for the two radios and the main board.

Disable WiFi-C on your Samsung and see if you can connect to the MicroCell and send/receive calls with no issues. If you can, then the MicroCell is working and the problem points back to your phone(s). Have you updated your phones recently? AT&T has not pushed any new updates to the MicroCell for a very long time and has no plans to do so. It's possible that a recent update to either or both phones is not compatible with the MicroCell.

Have you updated your router as well, and who is your ISP?

AT&T MicroCell Support has always been weak and is more so now that they are very close to shutting down the service altogether. All they do now is read off of the same troubleshooting script that they have always used. There is also some discussion that AT&T may be apprehensive about registering/activating new 3G devices to a network that they are starting to transition away from.

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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.

New Member

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3 Messages

@OttoPylot 

Thanks for your suggestions!

Model # DPH151

I’m aware of the caveats of buying a used microcell. The one I’ve been using for the past 4 years I got used on Craigslist.

No, my Samsung will no longer connect at all, that’s the only reason I mentioned it. I don’t need the microcell for my Samsung. The most recent Samsung update took place after my connection issues began There are no more BlackBerry BB10 updates.

I will check the power cord and make sure my router is updated. ISP is Xfinity. Thanks!

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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12K Messages

The DPH-151 is the original MicroCell so definitely check out the ac adapter. When they start to go all kinds of squirrely things can happen.

It never hurts to check the router settings either. If Comcast pushed an update it may have affected one of the settings required for the MicroCell to work.

We have xfininty as well. I haven't used my MicroCell (I actually have all of the models) in almost three years but I fired up the DPH-154 this afternoon, disabled WiFi-C on my iPhone 8 Plus and was up and running in about 30 minutes so I know the service still works thru Comcast.

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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.

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3 Messages

It was the power cord. You’re a genius. Thanks again for your help!

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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12K Messages

@rjf555 You're welcome. Do keep in mind that the MicroCell is on borrowed time and once the service begins to shutdown, there will be no alternative to it other than WiFi-C, upgrading your phone one that is WiFi-C capable, purchasing a cellular booster, or switching carriers. I don't know how much advance notice AT&T will give currently registered MicroCell users about the shutdown when it begins. You just may sporadic connection issues happening more often and calling Support will do no good.

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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