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hideto's profile

New Member

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3 Messages

Thu, Aug 18, 2022 8:03 AM

Anyone Have A Cell Booster Pro?

Hey everyone, I picked up a Cell Booster Pro because I’ve had issues with WiFi calling and reception at my house for a while now now that I work from home I thought it might be worth spending some money to have a reliable connection. I got the Pro because it advertises a 15,000 sq ft coverage area.

Anyways I set it up last night and everything went fine with the activation. The problem I’m having is that the coverage is WAY less than advertised. My house is a 1,600 sq ft cape. I had the box upstairs and it couldn’t even reach the first floor. I moved the box down to main entrance way and it covered most the house but my porch, garage, or driveway. Finally I moved it to the basement facing up through the ceiling and I’m able to connect to the booster in the house and part of the porch, but not garage or driveway.

AT&T doesn’t seem to think anything is wrong with the device, but I’m getting so much less range out of it than advertised. I had a cell spot from T-Mobile a couple years back and that covered everything plus part of my backyard. The advertised coverage area of that device was 3,000 sq ft.

Anyone else use the Cell Booster or Cell Booster Pro and have a different experience? Or maybe the same experience? Gotta figure out if fighting for a warranty replacement is worth it or if I should just return the device.

ATTHelp

Community Support

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200.4K Messages

1分前

Hi, hideto! Allow us to offer some helpful suggestions to get your Cell Booster connected!

 

First, make sure your device is set up and activated. Then make sure connections are securely connected. Do not bend the cable, this can damage the wiring and cause issues with the connection. Reset your modem one more time by pressing and holding the red reset button for 30 seconds. 

 

Next, navigate to the wireless support article and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find step-by-step help with Cell Booster setup & troubleshooting. You can also find more solutions and support here in the Forums.

 

Give these tips a try, then come back and let us know if these suggestions helped.

 

Thank you for visiting AT&T Community Forums!

 

Carlton, AT&T Community Specialist

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.9K Messages

1分前

@hideto  IMO the Cell Booster and Pro were not ready for prime time. I tested the Cell Booster extensively around the early part of this year and while it did work, signal propagation was no where near what it should be in our 3500 sq.ft. 2-story home on a 1/2 acre. The old MicroCell (3G only) had better coverage and reliability than the Cell Booster.

The problem is that the LTE signal is subject to much more interference than the 3G signal of the MicroCell was. Sort of analogous to 2.4GHz WiFi vs 5GHz WiFi. One goes farther but is slower, and one is faster but doesn't go as far.

The CB, either one, needs to centrally located and elevated, like a router. Direct ethernet connection to the router is essential, even tho you can use a mesh satellite if it has an ethernet port and has a dedicated backhaul channel to the router. You also need to have the GPS antenna connected at all times and near a window for optimal performance.

If you have both of them setup at the same time, they should be at least 50' and setup the same way as mentioned above. However, I think that is an overkill and a potential for issues.

How is the cellular signal strength in your home or just outside of it? If the signal strength is just strong enough, the phone will try to connect to that and not the CB and that can cause issues. I would setup just one, the CB or Pro, makes sure all of the lights are a solid white, turn your phone off, and then turn it back on within the same room as the CB. You should see the 4G/LTE light briefly flash white on the CB and your phone should have the LTE alpha tag displayed. That means that your phone has resisted itself to the CB as being part of its cellular neighborhood. Then if you make or receive a call, the 4G/LTE should start flashing.

What I found is that our phones would rarely be able to connect to the CB after coming home and being connected to a cellular tower. Calls sent/received would still work but the CB would rarely flash white so I could never tell if we were on the CB or still hanging on to the outside celluar signal, which, in our area is 5Ge (I don't use 5G as coverage is not very good in our area).  Some phones can handle this transition better than others but there is no way to configure your phone to use either signal. The phone will always make the choice for you. You can play the Airplane Toggle off/on game but that's only a temporary bandaid.

I eventually put my Cell Booster back on the shelf and only activate every couple of months for about two week to get any updates that may have been pushed and to show activity on my account to keep it current.

WiFi-C (WiFi Calling) is what I would recommend instead of the Cell Booster for most cases. WiFi should always be enabled whether you are using the CB/Pro or WiFi-C (which is not to be confused with WiFi). WiFi-C is only as good as your WiFi connection so if you have weak WiFi, or limited bandwidth, WiFi-C will have issues. Of course, your phone can also be a factor.

What kind of internet service do you  have and with whom?

See my Cell Booster Technical Guide, link is in my sig line, for all things related to the Cell Booster. There isn't a separate one for the Cell Booster Pro because they are basically identical with the exception of coverage area, the number of active users allowed, and supposedly the ability to selectively allow only certain phone numbers to connect to the Cell Booster Pro. The Cell Booster, otoh,  is an open system meaning that any AT&T customer within range, and that has a phone that meets AT&T's post-3G cellular requirements can connect and use your Cell Booster.

New Member

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3 Messages

1分前

Hello Hideto,

I haven't had cell service in my area EVER (we bought the house 6.5 yrs ago).  The microcell I had gave me coverage only in my house and still wasn't very reliable. I purchased the Cell Booster Pro because I felt I needed the extra boost it was supposed to give me. Well I have a 3000 sq ft home, all one level, and it will barely go to the opposite end of the house. You walk outside... and NOTHING, not even one bar.  All my lights are now green so everything is working on it... it's obviously just not strong enough to get me much coverage ;-(  ATT sent me the free Cell Booster, so I thought maybe I'd put it on the other end of the house ?  The $700 Pro isn't any different than the free one... so... you make the decision ;-(

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.9K Messages

1分前

See my post above. The Cell Booster did work for our 2-story, 3500 sq.ft. home but it was unreliable in its ability to connect like the old MicroCell would. You would be better off to spend the cost of the Cell Booster Pro on a mesh WiFi system and use WiFi-C instead. If WiFi-C doesn't work well for you then it's either your WiFi system or your phone.

New Member

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3 Messages

1分前

Thanks OttoPylot!  I have an ORBI mesh system.... and that keeps our wifi more steady, but will intermittently (a few times a day) drop off.  It won't handle wifi calling at all.  We have a 1000' driveway, so fiberoptics or satellite may be the only options.... but what the heck... I'll try a WiFi-C if you think I will be able to get a call out in the chicken coop 100' from the house!!  I have an iPhone 13pro max.... so I don't think its the phone... but I'm not a techie.   I really struggle with ATT putting up a cell tower 10 miles away, serving a new housing complex of 300 homes... but they won't support the 500 homes that are in the middle of their tower tripod!!!!! WITH NO COVERAGE... ZERO BARS outside my living room... AND I PAY OVER $200 A MONTH for over 30 years to them... just call me a sucker for loyalty... believing what they promise.... ps... I live out here on the kitsap peninsula.

ATTHelp

Community Support

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200.4K Messages

1分前

Hi there @KTfarms, we're here to assist with your Cell Booster Pro.

 

Let's check to see if there are any outages in your area that have been reported. Use the AT&T Coverage Viewer to see if AT&T network is in your area. If you have coverage and no outages have been reported in your area, then you can try our Troubleshooting and Resolve Tool to send an over the air update to your SIM that refreshes the signal, which may help your service. 

 

As mentioned by @OttoPylot, Wi-Fi Calling is a feature that uses Wi-Fi to call, text, and retrieve visual Voicemail Message like you would over the cellular network. It is a great feature that can improve your mobility experience!

 

To verify your device and setup Wi-Fi Calling:   

  1. Go to Device Support.
  2. Select device brand and model.
  3. Type W-Fi Calling in the search field.
  4. If your device is compatible, you will see instructions to enable your device.

Requirements: 

Have more questions about Wi-Fi Calling? Get more information on our Wi-Fi Calling FAQ page.

I hope this helps improve your wireless experience. If it does not, check our our Mobility Troubleshooting hub for more information! 

 

Please reach back out to us if we can further assist. Thank you for contacting AT&T Community Forums. 

 

Ashley, AT&T Community Specialist 

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.9K Messages

1分前

@KTfarms  I use the Netgear Orbi AX4200 Mesh WiFi (with two satellites) and it works great with WiFi-C (WiFi Calling). Much more reliable than the Cell Booster, at least in my testing and experience. Our house is a 2-story, 3500 sq.ft. home on almost a 1/2 acre and we have no issues with WiFi-C. That being said, ymmv depending on location of the router and satellites. One of my satellites is hardwired for the backchannel and the other one uses WiFi.

 I would not recommend you use WiFi-C with the Cell Booster powered up at the same time because the signals will vary as you move around your home so the phone will constantly be looking for the strongest signal to lock onto, which can cause issues.

I would disable the Cell Booster, make sure WiFi-C is setup correctly and then Reset Network Settings on your iPhone. You shouldn't have to do that, and it's probably an overkill, but that will tell your phone that WiFi-C is what you use for voice. Do keep WiFi enabled at all time tho because data will use that and just leave WiFi-C for voice.

Your iPhone 13 Pro is HD Voice (VoLTE) capable and if you can see the AT&T WiFi alpha tag on your phone's home screen then your line is provisioned for HD Voice. If not, you need to contact AT&T to see if your line is provisioned for HD Voice. It should be but it never hurts to check. I'm assuming you also have a post paid AT&T cellular account and not a pre paid account. That being said, if you were able to register/activate the Cell Booster then your account is a post paid one.

If you have one of the Unlimited accounts with 5G, I would not use 5G Auto or 5G Only and just set your phone to LTE. The Cell Booster is LTE only (the Cell Booster Pro is supposed to have 5G eventually but that hasn't been rolled out yet) so that may be part of your connectivity issue.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.9K Messages

1分前

@hideto  I've covered this in other posts. The signal propagation for the Cell Booster/Pro appears to be more sensitive to physical location, building materials, etc than the original 3G MicroCell was. The LTE signal can theoretically cover a wider distance but is subject to more interference than 3G. 

When I was testing the Cell Booster for AT&T back in February, what I noted is that for most setups, a central location that is elevated somewhat appears to work best. Sort of like a WiFi router.  I could get it to work in our 2-story 3500 sq.ft. home but it was challenging and had reliability issues. Coverage is a bit misleading as that was determined in a lab setting and then in actual homes in select areas in 2021. What the determining factor was I have not been able to find out (it's probably proprietary). Personally I think the Cisco femtocell (MicroCell) was a better designed femtocell than the Nokia Cell Booster is. The Cell Booster name is also misleading as it has nothing to do with a cellular booster.

If you have setup the Cell Booster following the instructions exactly, were able to register/activate it successfully, and received notification from AT&T that you were good to go then that's all AT&T can do. Calling Support will be of little use as they will just have you jump thru hoops following their troubleshooting script. Support does want to help but they are poorly trained with no real support of their own. I would read my Cell Booster Technical Guide, link is in my sig line, for a thorough description of the Cell Booster, how it operates, proper setup, and some troubleshooting tips.

I'm assuming that all the lights on the Cell Booster Pro are a solid white and when you connect the 4G/LTE light flashes white and your phone indicates that you are connected via LTE.

You might want to Reset the Cell Booster (following the instructions in my Guide) and see if that help. You can also place your phone close to the Cell Booster (same room), turn off your phone for a few seconds, and then turn it back on. What that does is allow your phone to register the Cell Booster as being part of its cellular neighborhood. That works a lot of times but as soon as you get out of range, or come home after being connected to a tower, your phone may have a hard time locking on to the Cell Booster or vice versa.

As far as WiFi-C goes, that should work as long as you have a nice strong WiFi connection throughout your home, and you do not have the Cell Booster powered on. If you do, that can confuse the phone as to which signal to lock onto, WiFi or cellular, and that will cause issues. I don't use the Cell Booster anymore. I just activate it every few months to keep my account active and to get any updates that may have been pushed. I use WiFi-C (WiFi Calling) exclusively on our phones and it works perfectly throughout our house and property. Always leave WiFi on, whether you are using the Cell Booster or WiFi-C (which is different than WiFi). As far as WiFi goes, I use a mesh WiFi system (router and two satellites) so our WiFi speeds are fast and very reliable.

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