What is happening with 3G?
markweinhardt's profile

New Member

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2 Messages

Wed, Apr 13, 2022 4:27 PM

iPhone won't automatically connect to new AT&T Cell Booster

Got a new cell booster to replace my old microcell.

When I leave the house and come back inside, my iphone 11 will never connect to the cell booster.

If I walk out into the yard my phone connects to a local (with only 1 bar or less of signal).  Then when I come back in the house, again, it will not automatically connect to the booster the way it used to connect to the microcell.

I have to remember that I have no signal, put the phone into airplane mode, take it out again, and it connects with four bars.

Any advice?  The old microcell used to work great, but this one is about to send me back to "wi-fi calling"

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

2 m ago

test post. For some reason I can post this but not a detailed response.

(edited)

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

2 m ago

@markweinhardt  Let me try again but with a shorter reply. Try a different location in your home for the Cell Booster or power cycle the Cell Booster. See my Tech Guide, link is in my sig line, for info on the Cell Booster.

Ok. That worked. Signal strength/propagation is an issue for some. It appears that if the outside cellular signal is strong enough, the Cell Booster gets bumped and re-connection can only be established if your power cycle your phone, do the Airplane Mode "fix", or power cycle the Cell Booster. You may also have to turn your phone off when it is close to the Cell Booster, and then turn it back on so the phone can re-establish the Cell Booster as being part of is cellular neighborhood. I have suspended my testing of the Cell Booster for now and have gone back to WiFi-C for our iPhone 7 and 12.

(edited)

73blazer

New Member

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57 Messages

2 m ago

Yeah, I had this problem at first. I setup my booster in the only room which gets a bar of real tower service, if the booster sees a tower (remember it's antenna is much bigger than your phones, so if your phone has  bar of tower, the booster is gonna get more), if the booster sees a tower it will de-tune it's radio or tell your phone not to connect.

I moved the booster to it's real home in the server room where there is zero tower signal and now my phones connect with no problems. Very occasionally if I'm in the room with a bar of tower service (which is really not usable, if you try to make a call it won't go) I have to do the airplane thing. But it's only my windows phone. Everyone else in the building has iphones or androids and they never have to do the airplane thing. Your not totally wrong, the microcell was much better at this. But try moving your booster to another spot where it won't get a tower signal.

On the plus side the new booster is much better at handoffs, I can walk from a booster building, to the outside where there is some tower , and into our other building which is also no tower and has it's own booster and I never lose the call. The mcell handoffs never worked, I think it was supposed to work one-way but even that never worked.

(edited)

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

2 m ago

@73blazer  The Cell Booster does not interact with the tower at all other than during the Initial Activation phase and periodic location checks. There is no "de-tuning" as you put it. Initial Activation is explained in my Tech Guide. The signal output  is set at time of activation based on the detected tower signal and does not change until the Cell Booster is power cycled (power outage, moving it from one location to another, etc) or there is a maintenance cycle, both of which forces activation once power is restored. Basically, the further the Cell Booster is away from a tower, the stronger the Cell Booster signal and vice versa, up to a certain distance limit.

(edited)

73blazer

New Member

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57 Messages

2 m ago

Uh, isn't that what I just said? Of course it's not gonna actively go up and down as there's no reason to as a stationary device it's tower signal only needs to be measured once, obviously, it only needs to do it when it turns on. But if you turn it on within site of a tower, it will de-tune it's radio. Solution, move it an area where it won't get a tower signal.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

2 m ago

De-tuning sounds like it's an active feature depending on the tower signal, which can fluctuate. Adjusting the Cell Booster signal output with the local tower at time of activation is more accurate. Once established the Cell Booster output signal won't change unless it initiates the activation process again. There always has to be some sort of detectable tower signal for the Cell Booster, so even if your phone's signal indicator (which is not a highly accurate indicator) displays no signal, there is still enough for the Cell Booster to register to as far as location verification in addition to the GPS signal. That's why one of the recommendations is to move the Cell Booster around to find the sweet spot, which, in your case, was the server room. The MicroCell was much better at that than the Cell Booster is.

New Member

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2 Messages

2 m ago

Not sure, but maybe I wasn't clear.

I have little to no signal at my house.  I'm sitting beside my booster.  I have full signal connected to the booster and all is well.  If I walk outside to the garden, the booster does not reach there and I have very little signal (connected to a tower, but not well).  I walk back inside and sit down beside my booster, STILL connected to the tower.  Will remain that way forever, until I reboot or go airplane mode and back out again.  Then it connects to booster full signal.

This is, effectively useless.  I can't constantly look at my phone to see if I'm connected or not.


*Note - the microcell did not have the handoff problem that I am experiencing.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.1K Messages

2 m ago

@markweinhardt  Then the outside signal is just strong enough so that the iPhone will preferentially connect to the stronger of the two. If you turn off WiFi and go outside, what does the cellular indicator show? The WiFi signal indicator "covers up" the cellular indicator so that's why you turn it off. On my iPhone 12, the outside signal is 5Ge (enhanced LTE). When I connect to the Cell Booster, the signal turns to LTE. For us, it appears that AT&T has increased the 5Ge signal strength in our area a bit so we have a similar situation. Our house is 3500 sf two-story home and the MicroCell just reached everywhere, most of the time. The Cell Booster, when the phone is locked onto it, reaches everywhere as well but once it loses connection, the phone will start using 5Ge again. There is no way to force the phone, or any phone for that matter to only select the Cell Booster and forget other connections. It is very frustrating and one of the things I've been discussing with AT&T as long as I've been testing the Cell Booster. All I've been told is that they are looking into it, which means they haven't a clue. Cisco, imo, made a better product than Nokia has.

I have since suspended my testing of the Cell Booster for now and have gone back to WiFi-C, which works as designed for our iPhones (various models) and our Android friends. Call quality is excellent with zero issues.

(edited)

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