Is the MicroCell Service Down?

Is the MicroCell Service Down?

Around mid-morning on November 1, my MicroCell went offline and has not been able to connect since. Everything else on my network is behaving normally and I've had no interruption in my Internet service. So, I was wondering if someone might know if there's a problem with the service in general? Perhaps something weather-related? If not, is there a way I can verify that my device is ironies not malfunctioning?

 

Thanks!

 

Charlie

Message 1 of 153 (11,209 Views)

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

Agreed, absolutely. I've already reconfigured my router in preparation for making that change this evening.

Message 61 of 153 (4,844 Views)
Highlighted
ACE - Master

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?


CharlieSchorner wrote:

Agreed, absolutely. I've already reconfigured my router in preparation for making that change this evening.


I'll keep my fingers crossed!

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*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 62 of 153 (4,836 Views)
Teacher

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

I think it's worth mentioning again that these devices are going down and coming up without customers altering things in their network topography or changes to the ISP's network. From a birds-eye view here at the ISP office, I can see that there are wide swings in traffic to the AT&T MicroCell netblock depending on whether things are working or not, particularly on port 4500. I find it unfortunate that the end users are having to invest so much time and hassle into this issue, as from here it's not looking like their fault at all.
Message 63 of 153 (4,825 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

^^^^ I would agree with that. It seems that the MicroCells are "fragile" in that any network changes at all can really confuse them. Some, like mine, are really robust and stable but others are not. With AT&T, VZ, etc constantly tweaking their cell networks with updates, fixes, what not, the MicroCell just has a hard time adjusting. That's why I heartily recommend port forwarding to a static IP, following the instructions to the letter as far as window location (or use of an external antenna), etc goes, and the use of some sort of UPS. Even then, some still have issues Smiley Frustrated

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*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 64 of 153 (4,814 Views)
Voyager

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

GPS Signal I know I have a borderline situation with the Microcell picking up a GPS signal under a metal roof! I used to thing I was OK getting a GPS signal at this location because a manual reset would restore Microcell service. (GPS Signal successfully found) I now do not think this is true for the automatic restarts the microcell does when communication is lost. I noticed an unmarked port on the microcell that is the SAME AS AN EXTERNAL GPS ANTENNA PORT ON A HANDHELD GPS DEVICE I have. I searched for a powered external GPS antenna and found one at: http://www.gilsson.com/garmin_gps/antennas/mcx25b.htm I installed this external antenna and have it located right next to a window that ai verified a GPS signal at. I have not found that I have lost a microcell operation since doing this 3 weeks ago! To be sure, there is occasional loss of communication at Charter (my ISP) and AT&T (both microcell servers and local AT&T towers) on occasion and this can cause the microcell to stop functioning. If this has happened in the last 3 weeks, the microcell has been able to automatically restart and function on its own WITHOUT my intervention! I have found NO MENTION of an external GPS antenna option for the microcell anywhere on the AT&T support site. Hope this helps those having Microcell problems and provide more flexibility picking microcell locations. (I realize this will not answer all issues to achieve successful Microcell operation.) Also, keep in mind that the Microcell must see some AT&T cell tower signal to function properly . This was in the AT&T support web site in one of their FAQ answers.
Message 65 of 153 (4,772 Views)

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

$6.00 at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006LEDZX8/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 GPS antenna for MicroCell.

Message 66 of 153 (4,761 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

FWIW, I have a metal roof and have never had any issues with GPS lock. The GPS is for their locational database to verify your location in proximity to a tower and for the 911 locational database. However, speaking of 911, there are issues with ANY cell phone call to 911, same as VOIP calls to 911. Unless you call 911 with a landline, you should ALWAYS use the 10-digit emergency number when calling from a cell phone or VOIP line.

 

I agree, it would have been nice for AT&T to include an external antenna or at least make in an optional purchase for those who couldn't place their MicroCell within 18" of a window but at least the folks here have figured out what kind of antenna works best and where to purchase it.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*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 67 of 153 (4,730 Views)
Explorer

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

Some additional information on the GPS antenna connector on the back of the Microcell.  A GPS signal lock is required for the Microcell to operate.  GPS data is used by the Microcell to know what frequiecies that AT&T is licensed to use in the area the Microcell is located.  The GPS location is also used by the Microcell to know which macrocell (large cell towers) are adjecent to the Microcell, also used to know which cell frequencies are available to use.  This is in addition to 911 location info.

 

The GPS connection on the back of the microcell is an MCX connection (not an MMCX).  I purchased an adapter from L-Com (Part#CA-MPNFCN19) that allowed me to connect a 70 Ft type high quality "N" cable to an external GPS antenna.  It now takes all of 10 seconds for a GPS lock on the first floor and has been operating reliably for over a year.  It never loses a GPS lock, and my microcell has been "down" no more than a few minutes total during the past year.   A GPS lock is required 100% of the time for the Microcell to operate.

 

My microcell unit is on the first floor, and I needed the longer cable to get to get my external antenna into an area clear of trees on the second floor.  "typical" external mount GPS antennas for automotive use have the required MCX connector. 

 

There are many choices on the internet for GPS antennas with an MCX connector in the $18 to $25 range with 15 to 20 Ft cables that will allow you to obtain a GPS lock near a window.

 

The antenna connection on the back of the device has nothing to do with cellular signal strength, only GPS signal strength.  The cellular antennas (there are two of them inside the unit) for the Microcell are small metal traces on the circuit board inside the Microcell and are not accessible to the end user. 

Message 68 of 153 (4,694 Views)
Teacher

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

Just a quick update.... I've finally gotten some phone conversations and email correspondence with escalated AT&T techs, but so far our customers are just not getting any love. People have in some cases spent hours messing around with port forwarding and every other possible configuration on their end, one guy even working with his THIRD new MicroCell, and I can see that the MicroCells are indeed attempting to 'phone home'. But it's not solving the basic issue: the AT&T servers just don't appear to be responding properly. There's *some* traffic coming in from them, just not on port 4500 except in very rare transient cases and even then only a tiny trickle of data as opposed to the volume we'd seen in the past when these devices are working. So... we all wait for what AT&T can come up with. Really hoping I can post up a more positive update soon.
Message 69 of 153 (4,445 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

I'm wondering if this is not a regional thing. Port 4500 is indeed one of the ports needed for proper data flow but I haven't seen any indications of any issues in my area related to Port 4500 <sigh>.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*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 70 of 153 (4,424 Views)
Teacher

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

In fairness, you'd only be able to see all this from the ISP's chair. We've got a system-wide view into this traffic in some detail. I've had a couple more emails and phone calls this morning from AT&T and they're doing some tests with one customer. Still haven't seen signs of life from his direction but I'm camped out on some monitoring tools hoping to see that change soon. *crosses fingers*
Message 71 of 153 (4,411 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

I wasn't clear, sorry. What I meant was that no one has pm'd me nor have I seen any similar reports posted here for my area. For the record, I think it's very commendable for an ISP to take the measures you have to help a customer when it really isn't the ISPs problem.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*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 72 of 153 (4,403 Views)
Scholar

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

[ Edited ]

<sigh>  The issue has apparently now affected me here in central Texas as well.  OK...after a LONG period of time during which my MCell was working flawlessly, around 10PM last night I heard the dreaded "searching" noises from my phone...sure enough, the 3G light was flashing...no big deal, I figured...this has happened before...maybe a momentary outage, or a software update...so I left it alone and went to bed...when I got up this morning, still no connection...3G light still blinking.  At that point, I power-cycled the MCell...so far, half an hour later, I can't get a GPS lock...I have never had problems getting lock before and nothing has changed in my setup.  SOMETHING bad is going on on the AT&T side...based on what people have been saying in this thread, I am not about to waste hours of my time playing with my configuration to try and fix a problem that is clearly not on my end.  I'm just going to leave the current AT&T 3G Micro Brick where it is, and if it doesn't come back in  a few days, I'll be circular filing it and buying a cell signal booster...It's not that I'm unhappy with the performance of the MCell when it's working...it's the stony silence and overall policy of disdain for their customers (and apparently for ISPs as well) from AT&T about most ANYTHING involving a MCell service problem that I cannot stomach.  Once again, as I've done in the past, and even though I know this is a "members helping members" forum, it is moderated by AT&T so, I challenge ANYONE from AT&T to contact me to resolve the problem with my MCell or to explain to me why it is not working and provde a general estimate of when service might be restored.  I will not be holding my breath waiting.  If there is any change on my end, I will update here.

Message 73 of 153 (4,298 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

You can always pm ATTCustomerCare with the issue and see what they can do, if anything. They're there M-F, 8-5 CST I believe.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*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 74 of 153 (4,284 Views)

Re: Is the MicroCell Service Down?

The continuing response from AT&T has been the usual script performance. I'm happy that my ISP is staying in touch with them, but it's clear that they view their customers as "lusers."

Message 75 of 153 (4,273 Views)
Share this topic
Announcements

Welcome to the AT&T Community Forums!!! Stop by the Community How-To section for tips on how to get started.