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Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

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Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

I have a working 3G MicroCell now running over our local network.  However, we are in the process of switching to AT&T Fixed Wireless.  When I switch the MicroCell to the Fixed Wireless router, it fails to connect.  Assuming the MicroCell is compatible with Fixed Wireless, what is the procedure needed to make the change?

Thanks!

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Message 1 of 20
ACE - Expert
Solution
Accepted by ACE - Sage (ACE - Sage)
Accepted by lizdance40
‎06-05-2018 11:18 AM

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

@FWcellChat - the MicroCell is compatible with land-based internet service only (DSL, cable, or fiber). It is not compatible with satellite and/or wireless broadband. That information is available in the setup docs and in my Tech Guide (link is in my sig line).

 

Sales of the MicroCell were discontinued at the end of 2017. AT&T will continue to support the MicroCell (what ever that means) for the mean time but the service will eventually be discontinued altogether. There is no ETA for that as of yet. What AT&T, and us recommend now is WiFi-C if your phones are capable. Your only other options are to purchase a cellular booster (see my Cellular Booster Guide, link is in my sig line), switch carriers, or possibly use Google Voice. I would start to consider your options now as the MicroCell will not work adequately with wireless broadband.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Tags (1)
Message 2 of 20
ACE - Professor

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

This is a recording......

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Message 3 of 20
Scholar

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

If you have a fixed base wireless signal, why would you need a microcell?

Message 4 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

@rjniles - I understood the OP to mean that his internet connection is now wireless broadband and the MicroCell doesn't work reliably, or at all, with those types of internet service. WiFi-C would be the method of choice but there have been discussions on whether WiFi-C would work with that type of internet service as well being as the entire connection is wireless. I haven't seen any definitive reports on whether WiFi-C works with satellite and/or wireless broadband. It's something I'm looking into from actual users and not just talking to AT&T Support because they will say it does, and I don't trust their accuracy on matters such as this.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Message 5 of 20
ACE - Professor

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

I would think that Fixed Wireless would experience the same issues with VOIP that other wireless internet systems like satellite internet have only not as severe.  The latency and other associated VOIP metrics (jitter, packet loss, etc.) degradation shouldn't be as great as the distance the RF signals have to travel are a lot less than beaming RF up to a satellite and back.  Regardless, out-of-spec VOIP metrics will be present to some degree and could cause dropouts, robotic voices, etc..  This would affect WiFi-Calling as well as the Mcell when trying to operate either on a wireless internet connection.  Some real-world feedback would be enlightening however.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Message 6 of 20

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

Howdy,

To answer a couple of questions... Fixed wireless is new to me and to many I have spoken to at AT&T.  There are a few more details at att.com/internet/fixed-wireless.html.

We do not have AT&T cell service at our home (or any other for that matter).  We were able to get Fixed Wireless by running 600' of CAT5e with an POE extender to a hill across from us that has a good view of the tower.  Fixed Wireless is providing much better bandwidth than we had before (25Mbps vs 1.8Mbps).  The latency with Fixed Wireless is not as good as we had before (45 ms vs. 20).  The Cat5e from the Fixed Wireless antenna goes to an AT&T 5269ACFXN model router.  Other devices including a PC have all worked just fine.  However, when I connect the 3G Micro Cell to the AT&T Fixed Wireless router it never shows an internet connection (keeps blinking).

I am still inclined to think this is a set up issue because I can not come up with a good reason why it should not work.  What is different about a micro cell tower internet connection from any other device?


And I must plead further ignorance... WiFi calling is for outgoing calls only, correct?  It will not work for incoming calls.

Thanks!

Message 7 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

@FWcellChat - WiFi-C is for making/receiving calls when there is no cellular connection but you are connected to WiFi. It can be your own WiFi in home or away from home. However, you need a phone that is capable of WiFi-C AND a post paid AT&T cellular account. WiFI-C in home is analogous to the MicroCell, which is, or was, intended for cellular calls when the in-home cellular reception was bad or inconsistent. The MicroCell uses AT&T's VoIP service via your land-based (DSL, cable, or fiber) internet service.

 

Succesful VoIP has very specific line requirement for it to work well. Latency is one but there are other more important factors, like jitter, that have to be met. Satellite and/or wireless broadband can not always meet the those requirements (especially wireless). A 24x7 secure VPN to the AT&T Mobility Servers must be maintained at all times, otherwise your connections is either lost or never made at all. That's the way Cisco/AT&T designed the MicroCell (femtocell) and it is mentioned in the documentation and even on the outside of the box (on the bottom I think in small print).

 

Again, your internet service can be fine, but the line is not clean enough for VoIP with a satellite or wireless broadband service. There's nothing that can be done about that. Your issue is further complicated by the fact that you are also using 600' of CAT-5 and then connecting to a POE. I don't know how the fixed wireless routers are configured but there are very specific router settings that need to be set with land-based internet. Those are given in my Tech Guide but you'll have to figure out how to access the router yourself to check. We can't help you here and my guess is that AT&T support won't be able to help either. They're pretty much clueless at times with a properly setup MicroCell.

 

Your only other options are to use a cellular booster (provided you can get at least one to two bars of cellular reception on top of your house. I do have a Cellular Booster Guide as well that will give you information on that. If you don't have any AT&T cellular reception at all, then your last choice is to switch to another carrier that offers better reception or try Google Voice.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Message 8 of 20

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

Thanks for your detailed comments and info OP.  I will need to do some more poking at the router. 

Unfortunately none of the carriers provides a good signal at our house.

Message 9 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

@FWcellChat - just keep in mind that even if you can check the router settings, and they meet the requirements, you will probably still have connection issues because your internet service is wireless, and the MicroCell just can't deal with the latency (45ms?), jitter, and other VoIP parameters that are critical, not to mention interference issues as is common with wireless in general.

 

I'm surprised that you don't have GPS location verification issues as well if you are as rural as you say you are and there aren't any macrocells (towers) close enough for the MicroCell to get a lock.

 

Being as you don't get any cellular signals at your house, then a cellular booster won't work either because there is no signal for it to lock on and "boost". WiFi-C or Google Voice are your only other options, and I'm not sure is WiFi-C even works with a wireless internet service.

 

Please keep in mind about the MicroCell reaching its EOL. Even if you are successful in getting it up and running, the service will be shutdown eventually and you will be right back where you are now, so start planning and researching your other options. Verizon and T-Mobile still offer femtocells, and some are 4G, so that may another option but you'll need to talk to them and explain your situation in detail to even see if theirs will work.

 

Unfortunately you are in a dead zone for cellular and internet coverage so your options are severely limited for at least cellular.

 

Another option would be to keep your internet service that works with the MicroCell and use the fixed wireless for your "regular" internet needs. But that would only be temporary for the reason I gave.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Message 10 of 20

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

I was never able to get my 3G micro-cell tower to work thru the AT&T Fixed Wireless network.  To be clear, it is not that it does not work well, it does not work at all.  I did not talk directly to AT&T to find out exactly why it can not make a connection to the internet.

My solution is to stop trying to use the tower.  I have switched to using the WiFi calling feature on my iPhone 8 and that seems to work just fine so far.

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions!

Message 11 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

@FWcellChat - on the back of the box for the MicroCell it states, "Fixed broadband service, such as DSL, fiber, or cable (1.5Mbps downstream and 256kbps upstream minimum) and a dedicated ethernet port on your modem or router. Not compatible with satellite or mobile broadband". That is also stated on page 4 of the manual. Mobile broadband is considered wireless broadband. The reason it doesn't work is that latency, lag, environmental interferences, jitter, etc. are just too variable, among other reasons. VoIP is much more sensitive and unforgiving to those types of issues than your internet connection.

 

As we have been suggesting all along, WiFi-C is the preferred method now when in-home coverage is weak or non-existent because of the discontinuance and eventual shutdown of the the MicroCell service. 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Message 12 of 20

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

OttoPylot, your last reply is a shotgun answer.  Even my old network provided plenty of downstream and upstream bandwidth.  The latency I am seeing on the new Fixed Wireless setup is running about 35/45 ms.  Not great, but not that bad either.  The MicroCell will not connect at all to the network.  If it were just poor performance on the new network, I would expect to see it connect and then drop.  Maybe stay connected but provide poor voice service.  A total lack of connection suggests to me that something else is going on.  I do understand that WiFi calling is the new solution, but I like to know why something does not work; x causes y which results in failure.  I did not want to leave the impression that I thought I understood the root cause of the connection failure.  The MicroCell worked very well and provided great coverage.  I would have been happy to continue using it until it went EOL.

Message 13 of 20
ACE - Sage

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?


@FWcellChat wrote:

I was never able to get my 3G micro-cell tower to work thru the AT&T Fixed Wireless network.  To be clear, it is not that it does not work well, it does not work at all.  I did not talk directly to AT&T to find out exactly why it can not make a connection to the internet.

My solution is to stop trying to use the tower.  I have switched to using the WiFi calling feature on my iPhone 8 and that seems to work just fine so far.

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions!


So basically you confirmed @OttoPylot was correct in post 2 and here you are 9 posts later ??  

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*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.
Message 14 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: Is the 3G MicroCell compatable with AT&T Fixed Wireless service?

@FWcellChat - your question is moot. Cisco/AT&T designed the MicroCell for land-based internet service only. Satellite or any type of wireless internet service is not reliable, and obviously in the case of AT&T's new Fixed Wireless service, does not work at all. I've given you all of the reasons for that that I am allowed to. There are security reasons as well. The 45ms latency alone should give you a clue. If your latency bounces around, which I'm sure it does, the VoIP servers just can't handle that variability and won't allow a connection.

 

Bottom line. The MicroCell will not work with the Fixed Wireless service, and there is nothing that AT&T is going to do about that. You'll just have to accept it and move on. There's nothing more that can be done. I'm sorry.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

*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.
Message 15 of 20
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