12-29-2017 1:05 PM
As I mentioned back in October, and it bares repeating now, the MicroCell has reached its End Of Life as of Dec. 31st. AT&T has already stopped selling units online and the only place to find a new one from AT&T is at a corporate/retail store as long as inventory lasts. You may be able to find one on eBay but there are caveats to purchasing from there which are covered in my Tech Guide (see link in my sig line). AT&T claims that they will continue support thru a period of time next year but that is probably not true. Support will just try to get you to switch to WiFI-C (WiFi Calling) which does offer better call quality and reliability but you will still need a post paid AT&T cellular account, a phone that is capable of WiFi-C, and a service area that has been provisioned for HD Voice (which most areas should already be).
WiFi-C requires two of the same four ports that the MicroCell requires. Sometime next year AT&T will probably stop supporting/maintaining the two ports that the MicroCell uses and allocate those resources elsewhere, so even if your MicroCell continues to work in 2018, at some point in time it will cease to be able to reach the AT&T Mobility Servers, without notification, and there will be nothing that can be done.
Seriously plan on switching to a phone that is WiFi-C capable, purchase a cellular booster (CelFi or weBoost) or switch to a carrier that offers better coverage in your home.
12-29-2017 1:10 PM
@OttoPylot Have any idea how many microcells are out there? I never realized ports used by microcells were also used for WiFi-C. I was just wondering if that might be a factor in not supporting WiFi-C on prepaid. Would freeing up those ports used by microcells expand capacity for WiFi-C?
12-29-2017 4:39 PM
@sandblaster - AT&T has never shared that info with me about how many MicroCell's are still in use but my guess is that it is in the thousands. AT&T should check on how many active MicroCell's there are and send out text messages notifying the users about the EOL. That would be the proper thing to do instead of leaving it up to Support or me.
WiFi-C, at least for iPhones, uses ports 500 UDP and 4500 UDP. The MicroCell, in addition to those two ports uses 123 UDP and 443 TCP. I don't know for sure if Android devices use 500/4500 or not. My guess is that they do so that all WiFi-C on AT&T's network has the same access to the Mobility Servers. I haven't been able to determine if AT&T has changed the port assignments or not now that WiFi-C has been active, at least for the iPhones, for over a year.
12-30-2017 10:42 AM
Some reports I've read indicate AT&T had 350,000 Mcells a few years ago.....more than the number of cell towers they have. How accurate that is today is anyone's guess, but I'd hazard to say that it is a lot more than thousands.
12-30-2017 12:50 PM
12-30-2017 1:53 PM
12-30-2017 2:04 PM
@OttoPylot Safe travels to you and the Co-pilot.
12-30-2017 4:36 PM
@lizdance40 - thanks. I'll let everyone know how it goes once we get a little established. I'll still support the MicroCell here for awhile.
@Avedis53 - what a long strange trip it will be......... paraphrased Grateful Dead.
01-01-2018 6:45 AM
When will AT&T notify customers that Microcells are being phased out and give a date after which they will no longer work?
01-01-2018 10:29 AM
@rjniles - knowing support, my guess is that they won't give any advance notice to active users. It will just stop working at some point in time, Support will say the MicroCell has been discontinued and to switch to WiFi-C. I'll do what I can to try and find out when it's officially DOA but that may be tough being as AT&T is re-structuring again and laying off something like 1400 employees. I've requested that a text message be sent out but the suits in AT&T still consider me a non-person.
01-02-2018 6:21 AM
Mine seems to have stopped working today. I got an email and txt stating that the address and GPS location on the unit does not match (unit has been in the same location for almost 2 years). When I started googling possible issues, I stumbled upon this thread. Quite unfortunate, as the unit worked great for the entire time I've owned it. I can use WiFiC on my phone, as it's a company issue phone.. but my wife's phone we use a prepaid plan, as it's much cheaper. So looks like now I'll have to look into another type of cellbooster.. and they all look much more expensive than the MicoCell was.
01-02-2018 7:06 AM
@cradan92 Your problem is not related. Losing GPS connection is not unusual. Try Ottos guide to reconnect the microcell. I have also seen an external GPS antenna sold on eBay.
01-02-2018 7:57 AM
@cradan92 - if you have the older, white MicroCell, you may be able to use an external antenna and that may help. However, if you have the newest black model (DPH-154), Cisco did away with the external antenna so that's not an option.
If your internet connection is not land-based (DSL, cable, or fiber) but satellite/wireless, that's the reason. Or, if you have a rural address that too can be the reason for periodic loss of GPS. Now that AT&T has discontinued the MicroCell, and if there are issues with the locational database, it will not be a priority item for AT&T to fix.
You can try a hard reset following the directions given in my Tech Guide (link is in my sig line) but if that doesn't work, you'll just have to wait and see if it corrects itself.
The MicroCell is not a cellular booster but an actual femtocell (mini-cell tower). Cellular boosters, like CelFi or weBoost, work on a different principle in that if you have at least one to two bars or consistent cellular signal, they will actually boost the signal so that you can make/receive cellular calls without difficulty. Yes, they are pricey, and there is a bit of installation to do, but they do work very well. Some can even be used with carrier frequencies other than just AT&T's.