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What is happening with 3G?
HonestyHurts's profile



2 Messages

Monday, September 25th, 2017 10:47 PM

Workin around the S7 microcell debacle.

I am a former landline/Uverse rep (Theres no box for former employees) for roughly ten years and before that I was in wireless , so I'm not totally naive when it comes to this stuff but it's been a long time & our specialty wasn't wireless or tech support so I'm stuck.

I have microcell 3G (the black one)
& was previously set up with the white one.
I have always had an iPhone (6S currently) and my Bf is always on an android. The S6 always connected to both Microcell's no problem. Better than mine actually as I can't walk in or out of range without dropping a call.

Currently he has the Samsung S7, and I've come across tons of issues with these & Microcell's but no solutions. I do know at some point it's an android problem. I'll likely contact them as well.

So my questions are-
My house was built in 1904, there's no signal going in or out of this thing with any provider.
But- most of the old posts say the S7 used to connect and now doesn't, or some other variation of what's happening.
This one has never connected- or maybe it has but what happens is I mess with it to get it connected. I can see MCELL on the screen while locked but immediately drops when unlocked.

He turned on wifi calling but that doesn't seem to help at all either. Is it supposed to help with text messages?

Is anyone familiar with the ALLO app by google? Does it work well as a text replacement? It's my understanding it was supposed to kinda mimic iMessages. But it may help if all the contacts are synced automatically.

Has anyone noticed if the S7 has these issues with both the 3G and 2G (white) microcell ? I still have the old one that works fine I can hook back up

Can both be run at once without conflict?

And lastly,

Has there been any updated info released? I saw the precious update made the issue worse but I'd think by now android would've addressed the issue. Most people with a microcell don't have a provider issue. They have a signal issue. I can't switch companies to get rid of this- I'd have to switch phones. So this should be something they're concerned with.

ACE - Sage


117.1K Messages

7 years ago

I recently retired my GS7, but it worked great with the microcell.  Going back to the white one would not help you, it seems to shun newer phones.  I switched to a SG8 and it connected no problem.  

I also have 3 non ATT androids which connect perfectly.

I suspect the microcell is the problem

@OttoPylot ??


ACE - Expert


24.2K Messages

7 years ago




First off, all MicroCell's are 3G only. There is no real functional difference between the white and black models, other than the black model has a smaller footprint (newer, more efficient board), better radios,  and Cisco did away with the external antenna  and Computer ports.


The MicroCell is a dumb device. It makes no decisions on who can connect to it. It just passes data (voice) back and forth as long as the requirements for connectivity are met. The decision to connect to the MicroCell is mostly made by the phone when it looks for a signal. We have seen Android phones (and some Apple) have no issues at all connecting until an update to the phone is applied or possibly an app is loaded. Issues happen more often to the Androids than they do the Apple. With the Apple phones, connectivity can usually be re-established if the phone is completely powered off, rested for a couple of minutes, and then powered back on. Androids are more complicated because of the open sourceness of the OS (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and the various subtle differences in the OS's depending on the device and the "stuff" that AT&T puts on top of the OS.


To use WiFi-C (WiFi Calling) you need to make sure the MicroCell is completely powered off because the phone will preferentially attempt to connect to the cellular signal instead of your WiFi signal. Or, you can place your phone in Airplane Mode to disable its cellular radio or remove your phone number from the MicroCell's Approved User List (if your phone is not the one used to register/activate the MicroCell). We recommend leaving WiFi enabled at all times (not to be confused with WiFi-C) because most phones should be able to determine data from voice and use WiFi for data and cellular for voice only.


The problem is probably more the Android OS than anything else. We also see MMS/SMS issues with some Android phones with or without WiFi enabled. Google/Android has been made aware of the issues with some of their phones/OS versions but getting them to work with AT&T, and vice versa,  has been an exercise in futility at best.


We see lots and lots of provider issues with the MicroCell so it's not quite accurate to say that it is mostly the MicroCell. The number of MicroCells in use is still small compared to the overall user base for any phone or provider so there really isn't a serious financial incentive to get the phone mfrs and/or carriers to fix issues. WiFi-C is the big push now and will eventually replace the MicroCell altogether once the number of WiFi-C capable phones hits the magic tipping point. At that point in time, AT&T support for the MicroCell (such that it is) will cease to exist and the remaining MicroCell users will be left to figure out things for themselves.


You can run two MicroCell's at the same location but they need to be at least 50' apart  from each other (ideally the further the better) but setting up can be a bit more complicated. You will also not be able to hand off a call from one MicroCell to another if you walk out of range.


There will never be an update push that will fix the MicroCell/Android issues that I am aware of.

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