Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

ACE - Professor

Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

While I didn't encounter this problem initially when I started up my Mcell a few months ago, it has now become a daily ritual that I hope someone here can help me with.

 

My setup:

 

Motorola SB 6120 modem -> Netgear WNR3500L router -> Mcell

 

The Mcell is connected to the router with a pair of Netgear Powerline 200 Nano Adapters because my modem and router are located in the basement with no exposure to window for the Mcell to see a GPS satellite.  The connection is good.

 

My Charter ISP connection is 30 mbps down and 4 mbps and is rock solid.

 

What's happening and what I've done so far:

 

Usually once a day I will no longer see the AT&T Mcell indication at the top of my iPhone 5.  When I check my wife's iPhone 4S she has also lost the AT&T Mcell indication.

 

Turning the phones off and then on does not bring back the Mcell connection.  Switching Airplane Mode off and then on does not bring back the Mcell connection.

 

The Mcell has all solid green lights when I go to check it after seeing the lost connection.  If I power cycle the Mcell, the phones will then show an Mcell connection again until the next time they lose the connection which is usually once/day but not at any particular time.

 

I have the latest firmware on all devices.

 

When I check my router's admin page after a lost connection, the router indicates that the Mcell's IP address has not changed and it remains the same after power cycling the Mcell.

 

On the WAN page for my router, I have set the MTU size to 1492 and set the NAT Filtering to "Open" instead of "Secured".  No improvement after doing so.

 

Suspicious of the Powerline Adapters, I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the Ethernet cable from the Mcell to the Powerline Adapter to mimic a temporary loss of connection to the router to see if that affected the Mcell connection.  The Mcell connection was not lost.

 

I have not set any open ports or a static IP address for the Mcell yet.  Is what I'm experiencing indicative of this solution?  Does anyone have any other thoughts as to what try next?

 

I don't want to waste my time with an AT&T Level 1 tech support person because their suggestions are almost always worthless.  I have better luck contacting user forums and that is why I'm posting here.

 

Thank God I was able to convince AT&T to give me a Mcell for free because if I paid $200 for it, I'd be very upset right now.

 

Thanks In Advance!

 

Avedis53

 

 

___________________________________________________________

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 1 of 232 (14,861 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

[ Edited ]

I would discontinue, for the time being, the SamKnows connection. I personally don't like to have something like that snooping on my network even though it is supposed to be on the up and up. The MicroCell needs a continuous, uninterrupted connection. I wish they were built a little more robust but they aren't, so anything that could even temporarily interrupt the connection could be your problem because it seems to happen at the same time every night, which leads me to believe that's it's not entirely the MicroCell but your basement setup, line adapters, and SamKnows. The more complicated your LAN is, the more apt you are to have problems with MicroCell realiability. Getting AT&T to replace the MicroCell may be difficult if they don't think it's a defective unit because of  your setup.

___________________________________________________________

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 16 of 232 (13,216 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Just a clarification, I get a constant GPS lock since I used Ethernet cables to connect the Mcell to my modem and moved the Mcell to a location to acheive a GPS lock.  I am not using the Powerline adapters in this configuration either.

 

I just got off the phone with AT&T Mcell technical support.  After describing my situation, the tech person asked if I had upgraded both my iPhones to iOS 6.  "Why yes I have!", I told him.  He then told me that AT&T and Apple both recognize there is a connectivity problem with iOS 6 and the Mcell and that they are working on a firmware/OS upgrade for the iPhone to resolve the problem.

 

He also told me that every night between 10 PM and 4 AM, the Mcells are sent instructions to reset/reboot themselves (checking GPS, downloading firmware updates if available..etc.) and that the iPhones/iOS 6 aren't dealing with this soft reboot very well and that's why I'm losing the connections every night and having to power cycle the Mcell to re-establish my connections.

 

So it isn't my router, SamKnows, router settings, Powerline adapters, Mcell location or the phase of the moon....it's an AT&T Mcell / iPhone / iOS problem.  When I asked about a possible date for this iOS revision, I got the "whenever it's done" answer.


So in the meantime, I'm putting everything back the way it was and accepting the fact that every morning I need to power cycle my Mcell when I start the morning coffee.  I might just install a digital AC timer outlet to automatically cycle the Mcell until a solution is forthcoming from AT&T / Apple.  The tech told me that the principle iPhone phone numbers on the Mcells will be notified by text message when a iOS upgrade is available.

 

Someone should sticky something about this at the top of this forum so iPhone users with Mcell problems don't tear their hair out trying to fix things that aren't the cause of their Mcell connectivity problem.

 

As a side note, I can understand your concern about SamKnows but their router doesn't root around my network.  It only communicates with SamKnows servers to calculate internet connection parameters.  In addition to getting a free wireless N router, I get quality information I can use to get my ISP (Charter) to recognize and fix problems with my internet connection.  In fact, a few months ago my packet loss shot up from 0.01% to 3-4%.  I was able to give the Charter technician exact times and dates as to when the problem started and they were able to trace it to a repeater a few blocks away from my house and fix the 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 17 of 232 (13,205 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones


Avedis53 wrote:

 

 

I just got off the phone with AT&T Mcell technical support.  After describing my situation, the tech person asked if I had upgraded both my iPhones to iOS 6.  "Why yes I have!", I told him.  He then told me that AT&T and Apple both recognize there is a connectivity problem with iOS 6 and the Mcell and that they are working on a firmware/OS upgrade for the iPhone to resolve the problem.

 

He also told me that every night between 10 PM and 4 AM, the Mcells are sent instructions to reset/reboot themselves (checking GPS, downloading firmware updates if available..etc.) and that the iPhones/iOS 6 aren't dealing with this soft reboot very well and that's why I'm losing the connections every night and having to power cycle the Mcell to re-establish my connections.

 



SOME iPhones ( 4 and 5) had connectivity issues but most haven't. We've had iPhones using the MicroCell since the 3GS days (and before) and never had any connectivity issues. I'm using 6.1.2 on my iPhone 5 and the upgrade was smooth with absolutely no problems at all. There's another iPhone 5, 4, and 3GS using the MicroCell as well, and an old Samsung, and none of them have had any problems. Our Guest list is full with other family members, with other phone types (mostly iPhones of various flavors and iOS's) and they haven't had any issues walking into our house and connecting. Resetting the Network Settings on the iPhone 5 at least has taken care of some of the issues that other iPhone users had. The issue that some iPhone 5 (iOS 6.x) users were having was AT&T upgrading their network to 4G and LTE, which confused some phones when they went to hand off to the MicroCell (which is 3G only) because of signal strength and timing frequencies.

 

IF AT&T resets the MicroCell everynight, which I doubt becuase there would be a lot more reports about the flashing green 3G light, I haven't seen any issues personally or reported.

 

Unfortunately you were given incorrect and outdated info from phone support which is sad. That's something that is in the process of being corrected but the machine moves very slowly.

___________________________________________________________

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 18 of 232 (13,200 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

I've never had a flashing green 3G light (or any of the lights for that matter) with this problem.  Every time my connection was lost, all the lights were solid green.   I'm not sure why you would think that AT&T doesn't query their Mcells on a routine basis.  I would think that there would have to be some routine polling by AT&T servers to determine if the GPS location is the same as it was when a Mcell was activated. 

 

Perhaps other diagnostics are run at that time also.  I don't know because I'm not awake watching the Mcell to see what is going on but it would make sense that if it does temporarily drop any connection, it would be done when most people are sleeping.  If this is what is going on, then for some reason our iPhones will not reconnect while most do. 

 

One would think that if this were an iOS problem, that all iPhone users with a Mcell would have the same issue.  Most likely, there are other factors or settings that influence whether this happens or not.  That you don't have this problem is good for you but none of the "solutions" have worked for me.   

 

At any rate, until someone from AT&T comes up with a solution for this problem I've encountered, I've installed a $10 digital AC timer and plugged the Mcell power supply into it.  Every morning at 5:29 AM the timer turns off the Mcell and turns it back on at 5:30 AM.  Granted, this isn't what I consider to be the best solution, but it will work until I see something posted here or I hear back from AT&T.  I've PM'ed customer care with this problem and perhaps I'll get an answer someday.

 

I appreciate all your input and hopefully a solution is forthcoming regarding this 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 19 of 232 (13,179 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

I would agree that if this was an iOS problem, you'd see a lot more reports but you don't. However, each phone is different and for some with similar issues, Reset Network Settings on the iPhone corrected the issue. Some were ever reporting that the MicroCell ate up battery life on the iPhone but that has been determined to an iOS issue on some phones and not necessarily the MicroCell because it happens without a MicroCell connection.

 

GPS determination (or polling) doesn't require a reboot of the MicroCell. If you move the MicroCell to another location (another address), or the MicroCell is rebooted after a power failure or testing, then the location needs to be checked against the address database. It could also be a failing power adapter. Some have even reported that AT&T "reset" their phones from AT&Ts end but I'm not sure about that. The morel likely scenario is that AT&T modified some account configuration.

 

PM'ing CustomerCare is a good idea just give them as much inormation as you can on what the issue is, your setup in detail, what you have done, account info, etc. I still think that your setup is a bit more complicated than most but the bottom line is that what ever the reason, we need to get you up and running to your satisfaction so do keep us posted, and hang in there.

___________________________________________________________

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 20 of 232 (13,155 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

I just got off the phone with Customer Care today.  They have some Level 2 and Level 3 technical specialists looking into my issue.  They verified that there is a nightly polling of Mcells to verify GPS location and to download firmware updates (if any).  They said that it does not require rebooting the Mcell though.  Whatever is causing my iPhones to lose their connection has something to do with the polling and they don't know at this time what that is.

 

I'm leaving town for a week so they said they would contact me when I get back and that my ticket is still open at this time.  In the meantime, my AC outlet timer is power cycling the Mcell at 5:30 AM and when I wake up, my iPhones show a connection.  I'll be moving the power cycling time 30 minutes earlier each morning to try and identify exactly when the polling occurs and to minimize my lost connection time at night.

 

When I hear more, I'll post back.

___________________________________________________________

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 21 of 232 (13,084 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

That's interesting that support said that nightly polling is done to verify GPS coordinates. One would think that any call made thru the MicroCell would verify the GPS coordinates for the account holder's address and cell phone number. Maybe when they poll your particular address there is an account disconnect at AT&T's end and the phones get dropped. The only way to re-estabish connectivity is to re-boot and go thru that portion of the activation process again.

___________________________________________________________

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 22 of 232 (13,083 Views)
Tutor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

I have been having the exact same problem and have done all the things mentioned to try and remedy. It drops my Iphone 4s and my wifes android at the same time.  I have it connected directly into the cable modum and it is right in front of a window. All lights indicate normal operation always, it just decides to quit working and needs reset, sometimes several times a day.  Very frustrating. It seems from reading this thread that AT&T has no clue as to what the real problem is. I'm not buying the Iphone issue since the android drops out too.  For what it's worth, I'm an FCC licensensed communications technician, while I make no claims as to knowing how AT&T's stuff is configured, I'm not a rookie at this stuff either. The problem is on AT&T's end in my opinion.

Message 23 of 232 (12,990 Views)
Highlighted
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

This does seem to be a new problem. It could be that whatever AT&T is doing on their end (polling, updates, etc) that your account is being disconnected and a reboot on your end is necessary. This shouldn't be happening. I'd contact CustomerCare (use the link in my sig) and give them as much info as possible. The more AT&T is aware of this issue the sooner they are to look into 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 24 of 232 (12,973 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

I am out of town until next Tuesday so I haven't had a chance to deal with this problem lately, but I did notice right before I left town that I was starting to see drops at other times than at night.  So my initial theory that the problem was associated with the nightly polling is most likely incorrect.

 

I'll post more when I get back home and have had a chance to talk to customer care again as they said they would call me again when I'm back.

___________________________________________________________

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 25 of 232 (12,922 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

Thanks. Keep us informed. Something more to add to my "database" of issues and possible resolutions.

___________________________________________________________

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 26 of 232 (12,917 Views)
Teacher

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

I am of the opinion that the internal gps antenna on the microcell is spotty at best..........all of the problems i see listed here sound VERY familier to me..........the solid gps light means NOTHING in my experance........AT&T support telling me the gps is NOT the problem also ment nothing.........in my experance anyway.............external antenna, 6 bucks, nuff said......

Message 27 of 232 (12,892 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

[ Edited ]

I don't think it's related to the GPS. No GPS, no GPS light, no address confirmation, no connection and thus no 3G light either. Plugging in an external antenna may have "jiggled" a bad connection or you could have just had a bad MicroCell. Trying an external antenna certainly can't hurt, it's cheap, and if it works, cool.

___________________________________________________________

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 28 of 232 (12,870 Views)
Teacher

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

I had 2 of them and the GPS light stayed on all the time on both of them........i think it loses it after its been on a while or for some other reason, then when you reset, it regains a lock......and im not the only one, several here on this forum and many others have went this route and ended their frustration with the microcell........the best setup imo is to have the microcell in the WORST possible spot available, that way it isnt trying to monitor the tower signal  and "handing off" to it......i beleive the microcell "adjusts" its output if it thinks a tower is available......

Message 29 of 232 (12,831 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Mcell requires power cycle every day to regain connection to iPhones

You are partially correct about the MicroCell adjusting it's power output. Placing the MicroCell in a spot in your house, other that next to a window, is recommended if you have a relatively strong tower signal in your home at that location. The reason being is when the MicroCell first boots and is establishing GPS, it then looks for a tower signal in relationship to your GPS coordinates. Once detected, the MicroCell will adjust it's power output so as to not interfere, or be interfered with, the tower signal. Most of the time placing the MicroCell next to a window works just fine. The problem with the MicroCell is that a lot of different issues can have the same symptoms so going thru the most common troubleshooting steps are necessary. The nice thing about using an extension antenna is that you can get them up to about 25'. So if tower interference is your issue, then you can place the MicroCell in a location other than next to the window to mitigate interference but still maintain constant GPS contact, which is necessary at all times. Of course that may mean running a longer than wanted enet cable from the MicroCell to the router/modem unless you use a power adapter connection.

___________________________________________________________

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 30 of 232 (12,814 Views)
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