What is happening with 3G?
Frogis's profile

Tutor

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3 Messages

Wed, May 14, 2014 5:06 AM

HELP - 3G light is flashing, microcell was previously working fine

Hello,

 

   I figured it was worth posting here so I have yet to have success with anything else. 

 

Background

 

I live in an area almost exactly inbetween three AT&T cell phone towers, so subsequently my phone is constantly switching singnals from one tower to the other giving me very inconsistent service.  After diagnosing the problem with AT&T about six months ago they sent me a micro cell free of charge, and it worked absolutely fantastic until....

 

The Problem

 

About a week ago my microcell's 3g light started flashing, this had happened once or twice before so I performed a simple reset but it did not fix the problem like before.

 

  •   I tried resetting my modem, router, and microcell
  •   hard resetting my microcell for 30 seconds
  •   de-activing and re-activating my microcell twice
  •   checking my power cord to make sure it was the right voltage
  •   getting a replacement microcell sent to my house
  •   setting up my microcell in the alternate arrangement (modem-->microcell-->router)
  •   updating the firmware on my router

and none of these fixed the problems.

 

My current internet is about 30mbps DL and 10mbps upload so that isn't the problem

The ports on my router are all opened, and nothing has changed to effect that

 

After going extensively through the forums I am kind of at a loss of what to try next.  Any suggestions from people on the forums?

 

I am currently located in the East Bay of California (Alameda, CA)

 

Thanks very much.

 

-Frogis

 

 

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

8 y ago

I will say that after taking that extra filter out my consistency of service is better.  I can pass the voipqualitytest.com testing now over 50% of the time when before it was barely passing around 20% of the time.  So although I may never get it great I believe by doing a multi pronged attack WILL make it much better than it was when I started.  I also went out yesterday and took a closer look at the demarc and what I had going into the house and realized that I had neglected to unwire a jack that I wasn't using anymore so it was essentially wired on the demarc but going to a jack that has nothing plugged into and I never use it anyway so I unwired it from the demarc.  Little improvements here and there and maybe eventually it will be pretty good.  Intending on doing the rewire on Tuesday so will report back results after that.  Not sure when the phone guy will replace the demarc and have the splitter ready to go but until then I am going to wire the phone lines (2) and attach them to the customer side of the demarc and I will bring the dsl straight off the phone company side so it's essentially split without a splitter until I get the actual splitter.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

8 y ago

Good info. It's unfortunate that you have to go thru all of that work but being in a rural area, it appears to be necessary. I did all of that only because I wanted the most stable dialup internet connetion possible and didn't even consider VoIP (which I didn't even know about at the time). Years later, I'm glad I did. Post back when you have new info.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

8 y ago

I am in the middle of a 48 hour shift and not at home right now, but I talked to my wife earlier and the MC had the flashing green 3g light and recovered on it's own with the reconnect.  I am thinking that there is a problem on AT&Ts end somewhere but  in my case these intermittent drops could be from my consistency of service problem.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

8 y ago

It's really hard to say what causes the Mcell to drop its connection and then re-establish the connection on its own.  I see this from time to time also.  I would suspect that something happened on the ISP side to temporarily break communications between the Mcell and the AT&T servers.  Once the cause of that break cleared up, the Mcell was able to reconnect without the need to power cycle the unit.  I would lean towards an ISP problem as opposed to an AT&T problem but who's to say?

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

8 y ago


@Avedis53 wrote:

It's really hard to say what causes the Mcell to drop its connection and then re-establish the connection on its own.  I see this from time to time also.  I would suspect that something happened on the ISP side to temporarily break communications between the Mcell and the AT&T servers.  Once the cause of that break cleared up, the Mcell was able to reconnect without the need to power cycle the unit.  I would lean towards an ISP problem as opposed to an AT&T problem but who's to say?


I would tend to agree, but the hard part is we will never know for sure.  It's very frustrating because there are so many variables and you never seem to really KNOW what happened to cause it and the same when it starts working.  Mine worked fine for over two years with hardly any problems and I am sure that there could be things that degraded or maybe something changed at the phone company in the system.  But I still go back and say that there are just too many people having these problems in different parts of the country that seem to have started at the same time, that is what makes me think something changed on AT&Ts end too.  This same thing happened a couple years ago and then after a month or so just stopped.  Am I the only one that remembers that?

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

8 y ago

I remember that and various service areas were affected across the U.S., but not all of them. I never lost connection for example. I think as ISP's grow, merge, and the backbone falls under the control of only a few, we're going to see more and more problems when services are attempted to be "shared" across competing  companies (Verizon comes to mind).

Contributor

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1 Message

8 y ago

Hi, I had 2 M-Cell's in 2 different location but on the same small "Mom & Pops" ISP. First one stopped working and then a few days later the other stopped. I called AT&T and the support person said that I need to buy new M-Cell's so I bought one and couldn't get that one to activate, Blinking 3G light.

 

I called my ISP and they assure me that no network changes have been made on there end. They informed me that another person called in for service on the same issue I have, ISP went out tested the ports needed and all needed are opened.

 

I started a on-line chat with a AT&T support person, she called me to make things easier than all the typing that would be involved. This person was great to work with and seemed very knowledgeable but could not get any of them to work. She sent my case to the next level. I also gave instructions to contact the ISP as they have other customers with the same issue and would like to get this resolved.

 

A couple of weeks goes by and I get an email saying

"Dear Customer:
Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your AT&T service. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. The investigation has been completed.
Should you have any further needs regarding this issue, please do not hesitate to call us at 877******* and reference the tracking number shown above.
Sincerely,
AT&T
"

 

So I think cool should work, NOT after restarting M-Cell nothing different. So I call the number in the email 877******, by the way no tracking number was shown above. I get someone to look up my case by other credentials and she say oh, we are to send you 3 new M-Cells this will fix your problem, a software update broke many M-Cells and we got most of them working but few thousand of them have to be replaced.

 

I got my 3 new M-Cells (refurbished) Still the same issue with all 3 of them.

 

I would say its not my ISP as they stopped working on different days, sounds like M-Cell software update took me out.

 

Please help,

Derf

 

[removed non-published number]

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

8 y ago

I have not heard of any MicroCell updates breaking the connection. Mine is working just fine. That's not say that it hasn't happened or that it's a localized issue. Quite often Support will use the update explanation because they can't figure what's wrong. They are never told when an update is released or what the update is for. If this is happening to one area then it sounds like it's localized to your particular MicroCell Service Area. Keep in mind that while this may be entirely an AT&T issue, it's been my experience that ISP's are not always upfront about what they are doing with their network and often site "security" reasons if they have made changes/updates to the connections.

 

I would pm CustomerCare (link in my sig) with your issue, what you have done to correct it, any ticket number or information that AT&T gave you, the best way for them to contact  you, your account information, and most importantly, your location. I'll reference your post to the Admins so we can get some traction that way as well.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

8 y ago

I did the rewire today.  I ran a homerun for dsl and a homerun for the phone with CAT5e cable.  Sadly as I suspected it didn't do anything to help.  My voip tests are still only passing about half the time.  Not sure what else I can do at this point.  The MC went out twice today.  So I think it's a combination of something with my ISP and consistency of service being off at times but I also think there are problems on AT&Ts end at times too.  Nothing else that I can do although the phone guy will replace my demarc and get me a POT Splitter soon, I don't hold much hope that it will do much.  The only thing I haven't replaced are the DSL filters so I guess one of them could be bad but I didn't want to buy any since I won't need them after the POTS is wired.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

8 y ago

That's disappointing. I was hoping that wiring done correctly (by you) would have stabilized your connection somewhat. I can ask the Admin again to have someone look into your connection on the AT&T side but I really think it's your ISP and their pathway out. I dislike blaming the ISP because that sounds like a cop-out, and AT&T certainly has its issues, but this really sounds like a connection issue from you ISP to AT&T.

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

8 y ago

You could be right, but I feel like it's a combination of both sometimes.  There are so many things that can affect connectivity with it that it's hard to know.  I suspect it will be like it was before, one day we will wake up and it will just work.  Thanks for the offer, but the trouble ticket is still open and the person I spoke to is going to call me back later in the week to check so I will ask if they can do those checks then.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

8 y ago

Ok. Just let us know how it goes after a while or if there is anything else we can do.

Avedis53

Professor

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2.2K Messages

8 y ago

As has been said before, if you don't know what the cause of the problem is, determine what it isn't.  You've eliminated your home wiring as a potential problem so it is most likely an ISP problem as I speculated back on the 9th.

 

Did your ISP dude switch you back to interleaving or is your connection still on FastPath?

guitargain

Scholar

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187 Messages

8 y ago

Still on fast buffer.  when he did that the voip tests certainly got better.  Before he turned interleave off I was only passing maybe 30% now it's up over 50% or thereabouts.  The microcell is working pretty good with less latency than before as well, but it still has the 3g light flashing some.  It is back to doing it once or twice per day the last couple days.


@Avedis53 wrote:

As has been said before, if you don't know what the cause of the problem is, determine what it isn't.  You've eliminated your home wiring as a potential problem so it is most likely an ISP problem as I speculated back on the 9th.

 

Did your ISP dude switch you back to interleaving or is your connection still on FastPath?


 

OkieSaytar

Mentor

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51 Messages

8 y ago

This sounds suspiciously like my tone control problems............It was 5 miles from the dispatch center to the repeater site..................I got really lucky on the problem as one of the inside phone techs (not a regular line guy, he REALLY wasn't supposed to be helping like he did) was bugged about it too. We jumped in our respective vehicles and started checking the lines from  dispatch center to repeater site.................we hit about every other third splice box and every line amp box all the way out..............the problem was a splice box dripping with moisture inside..............................................the very next to last one before it went into the repeater room wiring.............The inside guy fixed most of the connections in that box (we didn' t tell anyone as that type repair WASN"T in his purview so to say, just another nice concerned tech)..........never had another problem with noise or tone loss on those dry lines again.

 

Our problem would come and go also......be fair to piddling, then go to crud for a while and back to good, etc. Moisture, damp connections high impedence shorts will a good steady connection make........NOT.

 

You might get your bud there to check from line amp to line amp......he might be able to narrow the problem down to a mile or two.....that should only leave 5 or 6 splice boxes to check.....Especially any that might be low to the ground compared to the others or any that lie in low shady area's that might get water in them during a hard rain, especially any along a culvrert or normally dry creek.................I am willing to bet that you have one or two that are extremely moist ..................once extremely wet inside they will stay moist inside for weeks or months, due to heating in the day and condensation at nite.

 

I'd been chasing that particular ghost on and off for weeks.

 

A high impedence leak (short) to ground would make your line audio flucuate .......a normal line should run pretty close to 0 dbm of noise.........a high impedence type voltage leakage (those lines have around 48 vdc and 100 vdc on ring voltage) will introduce a hum, ie noise that will drive the actual audio down below 0 dbm, which will affect your line quality.

 

With your location being way out, the number of splice boxes and line amps increase ( I can't remember exactly for sure, but I think they require a DSLAM every 13,000 to 18,000 feet (( 2-3 miles)), to maintain DSL quality lines), which normally is NOT a problem per se,....as long as ALL of them are operating as they shoulld.

 

Now at your end....................those low pass filters (DSL filters) can develop problems also....not as apt to as the other issue's I mentioned......unless they are located where they could be exposed to high moisture levels..........but those would be lower on my check list.

 

If other's in your area, as you say are having some issue's then it points further back upstream so to say.

 

Anyway good luck.

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