Skip to main content
AT&T Community Forums
Announcements
M

New Member

 • 

4 Messages

Sat, May 16, 2020 5:07 PM

Using a previously owned Micro-Cell

As many here have noted -- buying a micro cell on eBay is risky. I did it and can't seem to get the original owner to deactivate it so I can use it. I've contacted him via eBay and he said he would do so. So, far, 24 hours later no success on my end. I called AT&T but the rep was not willing to help me. I'm not sure why -- since I have the unit in hand with the SN on the bottom of the unit. Clearly the original owner is not using it -- so, what's the hesitation?

I did as Otto recommended -- I did a reset of the unit -- but, of course that doesn't deactivate it. So, I now have a paper weight!

Responses

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

12.7K Messages

5 months ago

Paper weight for sure. AT&T won't deactivate a previously owned MicroCell especially if the AT&T cellular account is still active. Besides, with the impending shutdown of their 3G network, they may be reluctant to register/activate any 3G device. That is not corporate policy, yet, but it's probably discouraged.

As far as doing a reset, that's only effective if there are issues with a working MicroCell. Resetting the MicroCell will not allow it to be registered/activated if it is already in the system under another account.

The MicroCell is on borrowed time and a year from now the service itself may not even be active. I would switch to WiFi-C if your phone is capable. Otherwise, a celluar booster is your other option, or switch carriers.

(edited)

Award for Community Excellence 2020 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.

New Member

 • 

4 Messages

Well good news for a change. The previous owner called AT&T and was able to deactivate the unit. I have activated it and added my cell numbers. Just waiting for it to finish cycling.

I looked up WiFi-C and found that my new SE 2020 iPhone has that feature. Perhaps that's why I have been able to make calls with only 1 bar :) Hopefully, the micro cell will make calls even more reliable.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

12.7K Messages

@McGene Absolutely not! The MicroCell uses an entirely different set of protocols and connectivity. If you have WiFi-C capability then you don't need the MicroCell. Think of WiFi-C as the replacement for poor in-home coverage.

The MicroCell is a femtocell. It has nothing to do with WiFi. You can have all kinds of issues if your phone attempts to connect to the strongest signal (the MicroCell's 3G signal or your WiFi). The result could be poor call quality because the phone doesn't know which one to connect to or stay connected to. The MicroCell and WiFi-C are not meant to work together.

If you have other phones that do not have WiFi-C capability, then you either need to place your SE in Airplane Mode (to disable its cellular radio so it can't connect to the MicrCell) or disable WiFi-C and use the MicroCell only.

Award for Community Excellence 2020 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.

New Member

 • 

4 Messages

I downloaded the iOS app for setting up a MicroCell. It allowed me to load the SN of the new unit along with all the phone numbers. Sadly, it has not yet connected to the internet. I don't think this is going to work. Interestingly, the one I gave my daughter (who lives in the in-law suite connected to our house) has had no issues with it. In fact, it has improved her connectivity. AT&T does not provide a strong signal in this part of FL. And, regardless of what OttoPylot claims -- I never had any issues when I used my old unit on our side of the house -- and as stated -- it continues to provide a reliable signal for my daughter.

I have not contacted AT&T directly to see if they can help me with this new (used) unit -- because I think the issue may be with my internet provider and not AT&T.

Anyway, for those who may be following this dead issues -- this is the latest.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

12.7K Messages

@McGene The mobile app has not worked well for years so if you can get it to work, you're one of the few who have. But stranger things have happened. Good luck calling AT&T for MicroCell help.

As I stated, the MicroCell has absolutely nothing to do with WiFi. It is a 3G device only. The phone will connect to whichever device has the strongest signal but they do not enhance each other. In fact, attempting to use WiFi-C within range of a MicroCell that it is registered to may result in call quality issues because the phone will continue to attempt to connect to the strongest signal. The alpha tags on the iPhone are misleading as to which protocol you are connected to because the phone can only connect to one or the other.

You can have two MicroCell's using the same primary account holder's account but it can be tricky depending on how far apart the units are but you need to make sure that the same primary account holder's phone number is used to register/activate the units.

If you want to understand how the MicroCell works, I suggest you read my MicroCell Tech Guide, the link is in my sig line. You might also find the Cellular Booster Guide informative as well.

Who is your ISP?

(edited)

Award for Community Excellence 2020 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.

New Member

 • 

4 Messages

Thanks for your continued support. While I only have 2 bars (sometimes 1) on my phone, I have a strong internet signal and have been having excellent results using WiFi-C as you suggested.

I have disconnected the MicroCell and put it away. I don't want to hassle with AT&T nor my Internet provided (Spectrum). It really seems unnecessary and will only raise my BP. :)

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

12.7K Messages

@McGene I hear ya about bp. Just dealing with the MicroCell all these years hasn't done mine any good either. I do fire mine up every now and then to check connectivity if others are having issues but it's been WiFi-C for us for a couple of years now.

Spectrum (Charter) has a long history with MicroCell issues so it's good you have switched to WiFi-C because any ISP-related issues with Spectrum and the MicroCell will certainly raise your bp.

Award for Community Excellence 2020 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.

New Member

 • 

1 Message

Hello. My wife and I both have iPhone XRs and we have very spotty reception both at home and work. I turned on Wifi Calling and it very minimally improved my reception. I can regularly hear the person on the other line, but they can't hear me. I bought some deactivated DPH-154s for our home and office. I plugged it in and the bottom three lights are all solid green. I just can't figure out how to link my phones to the microcell. I can't find the website to do it. I'm happy to take any of your advice on either the microcell or wifi calling so I can improve my reception. Thanks for your help!

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

 • 

12.7K Messages

@eboboth1 I wouldn't even bother with the MicroCell as the service itself will be deactivated in a year or so. AT&T may not even allow new 3G devices to be registered/activated because of the upcoming 3G shutdown.

You need a postpaid AT&T cellular account, a land-based internet service (DSL, cable, or fiber) and an address that is not a po box, rural address like a road, route, etc. The MicroCell needs to be wired directly to your router and your router needs to meet the minimum router requirements as given in the User Guide or my MicroCell Technial Guide (link is in my sig line).

You need to go the myAT&T MicroCell Settings page, create an account if need be and fill in the information, which is basically entering the serial number of the MicroCell, entering the phone number that is associated with the post paid AT&T cellular account (that would be the primary phone number), entering your address and hit Activate. Once you are in, then you can add another AT&T celluar number, it can be a prepaid or postpaid account to the Approved Users List and they will be able to use the MicroCell as well. I would do only one if you have more than one MicroCell in close proximity to each other because that may be all you need. If not, you'll need to setup both following the same setup/requirments. If you have an office situation with an IT Department, that may be an issue due to firewalling. There is nothing that can be done about that other than ensuring that your connection is direct to the router and the router meets the requirements. AT&T did have a "business solution" at one time but being as the MicroCell is going away very soon, Support is not really going to help anymore.

All that being said, use WiFi-C instead of the MicroCell. Just make sure the MicroCell is powered off. Turn on WiFi on your iPhones as well as WiFi Calling (which is not the same thing). I think you have to enter your physical address, like the MicroCell, for E911 (FCC requirement). You may need to contact AT&T if it doesn't work because they may need to provision your account for WiFi-C. I use WiFi-C for our iPhones (7 and an 8 Plus) with zero call quality issues.

Award for Community Excellence 2020 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.

Get started...

Ask a new question