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Posted Feb 18, 2013
8:49:50 AM
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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.
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Apr 13, 2013 6:56:57 PM
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Thanks Otto, I just put the MCell, airport express and cable modem up atop the cabinet.... Lets see how it works out.

 

My Setup is a docsis 3 ipv6 comcast (ubee - formerly arris) modem, A 2013 Apple airport express handling the prioirity mode of the microcell. Separately, I have another cable modem (wired, not wireless) powering an eMac (we love that old computer).

 

Clients are ipod, three iphones (one old 3g, but the other two iphone 4 and 4s, all updated to current ios

), Direct TV wireless gaming reciever, Wireless printer. Macbook Pro, and another emac occasionaly used.

 

I have the airport express set up with a "guest" channel and my regular channel, both are password protected. I tested my speeds with the MC and airport express hooked up and it is 55 down and 11 up, Fast!

 

Not sure how to port forward the set up, hopefully I will not have to go down that road.

 

Thanks much

A

 

 

 

 

Thanks Otto, I just put the MCell, airport express and cable modem up atop the cabinet.... Lets see how it works out.

 

My Setup is a docsis 3 ipv6 comcast (ubee - formerly arris) modem, A 2013 Apple airport express handling the prioirity mode of the microcell. Separately, I have another cable modem (wired, not wireless) powering an eMac (we love that old computer).

 

Clients are ipod, three iphones (one old 3g, but the other two iphone 4 and 4s, all updated to current ios

), Direct TV wireless gaming reciever, Wireless printer. Macbook Pro, and another emac occasionaly used.

 

I have the airport express set up with a "guest" channel and my regular channel, both are password protected. I tested my speeds with the MC and airport express hooked up and it is 55 down and 11 up, Fast!

 

Not sure how to port forward the set up, hopefully I will not have to go down that road.

 

Thanks much

A

 

 

 

 

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

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Apr 13, 2013 10:39:18 PM
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ACE - Master

Hmmm, sounds a bit complicated with all of your connected devices.

 

A priority connection, modem - > MicroCell -> router, is connecting the MicroCell directly to the "modem", by-passing the router. If that connection works without any issues, that indicates that whatever issues you may be experiencing is probably due to a router configuration. It is used mostly as a troubleshooting connection but some people find that it is the only way to get a reliable connection, and there's nothing wrong with connecting that way.

 

If you connect the way I do, modem -> router -> MicroCell ,then you need to make sure that only one device is handling the NAT duties. I would try a simple connection (like mine) and see how that works and then add devices. Limiting the number of  physical connections between the MicroCell and the router is always best.

 

My router is an Apple Express Base Station, but we only have two wired devices connected, one of which is the MicroCell. All other connections are wireless. Some folks have even had success using Powerline adapters to make connections to the router if there isn't a convenient way to connect the MicroCell (window too far away for example). Speeds aren't your issue (anything 3Mb+ down are fine).

 

Did you try a hard reset? I forget.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Hmmm, sounds a bit complicated with all of your connected devices.

 

A priority connection, modem - > MicroCell -> router, is connecting the MicroCell directly to the "modem", by-passing the router. If that connection works without any issues, that indicates that whatever issues you may be experiencing is probably due to a router configuration. It is used mostly as a troubleshooting connection but some people find that it is the only way to get a reliable connection, and there's nothing wrong with connecting that way.

 

If you connect the way I do, modem -> router -> MicroCell ,then you need to make sure that only one device is handling the NAT duties. I would try a simple connection (like mine) and see how that works and then add devices. Limiting the number of  physical connections between the MicroCell and the router is always best.

 

My router is an Apple Express Base Station, but we only have two wired devices connected, one of which is the MicroCell. All other connections are wireless. Some folks have even had success using Powerline adapters to make connections to the router if there isn't a convenient way to connect the MicroCell (window too far away for example). Speeds aren't your issue (anything 3Mb+ down are fine).

 

Did you try a hard reset? I forget.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 14, 2013 2:05:24 PM
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Edited by alecthomas on Apr 14, 2013 at 2:55:42 PM

 

 

So here we are, record time! Almost 24 hours without the M-cell dropping out. Really happy about this!photo 1.JPG

 


photo 3.JPG

 

 

I am putting photos of my setup, my yellow ethernet cable got replaced by a shoter gray one, The black one is from the  cable modem. The setup is modem-> airport-> Microcell

 

Not sure how it works with the speed concept, but the speed is a lot faster, 

 

 

 

http://www.speedtest.net/result/2645810711.png

 

 

Hopefully it stays in check! I think that since it is higher, it is helpful.

 

Thanks much

A

 

 

 

 

 

So here we are, record time! Almost 24 hours without the M-cell dropping out. Really happy about this!photo 1.JPG

 


photo 3.JPG

 

 

I am putting photos of my setup, my yellow ethernet cable got replaced by a shoter gray one, The black one is from the  cable modem. The setup is modem-> airport-> Microcell

 

Not sure how it works with the speed concept, but the speed is a lot faster, 

 

 

 

http://www.speedtest.net/result/2645810711.png

 

 

Hopefully it stays in check! I think that since it is higher, it is helpful.

 

Thanks much

A

 

 

 

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

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Apr 14, 2013 3:09:28 PM
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ACE - Master

Interesting. So maybe the MicroCell is like a WiFi router, the higher up it is, the better the coverage. I moved my router so it is higher up than what it used to be (I think I mentioned that) and my speeds are 13.95Mbps down and 0.95 Mbps up on a DSL line with WiFi on. That's consistent with what I'm supposed to get and what I was getting before I moved the router. The signal quality is much better though and that's what I was trying to improve and why I moved the router in the first place.Turning WiFi off (on my iPhone 5) I get 2.17Mbps down and 0.13Mbps up using the MicroCell connection only. The MicroCell hasn't been moved so the speeds with WiFi off are consistent with what I obtained a few months ago when I posted my MicroCell and iPhone 5 Speed Tests. That's the reason I recommend leaving WiFi on. The MicroCell will be used for calls only and those speeds are just fine for voice. Data will be used via the WiFi connection. Try SpeedTest (which is what I use as well) with WiFi off and see what you get with your MicroCell elevated.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Interesting. So maybe the MicroCell is like a WiFi router, the higher up it is, the better the coverage. I moved my router so it is higher up than what it used to be (I think I mentioned that) and my speeds are 13.95Mbps down and 0.95 Mbps up on a DSL line with WiFi on. That's consistent with what I'm supposed to get and what I was getting before I moved the router. The signal quality is much better though and that's what I was trying to improve and why I moved the router in the first place.Turning WiFi off (on my iPhone 5) I get 2.17Mbps down and 0.13Mbps up using the MicroCell connection only. The MicroCell hasn't been moved so the speeds with WiFi off are consistent with what I obtained a few months ago when I posted my MicroCell and iPhone 5 Speed Tests. That's the reason I recommend leaving WiFi on. The MicroCell will be used for calls only and those speeds are just fine for voice. Data will be used via the WiFi connection. Try SpeedTest (which is what I use as well) with WiFi off and see what you get with your MicroCell elevated.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 17, 2013 10:44:35 AM
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Otto Pylot wrote:

Stephen570 wrote:

Stephen570 wrote:
...

We've had problems with the microcell for quite some time. Every one or two days our phones would lose the microcell connection and we would need to reboot the microcell to get service. I've tried just about all the troubleshooting steps and configurations with no change. That is until a few days ago.

 

As of a few days ago we're staying connected to the microcell, with no changes on our end (was a firmware update pushed out? tower configuration changed?), but now our phones' batteries are draining at a very high rate. We can barely make it through half a day before the batteries are ready to die. (I've also posted a message in the thread about battery drain on microcells.)

...


Update: we're back to the microcell dropping. Sigh.


How do you have the MicroCell set up?


A basic setup:

 

  • Motorola Surfboard cable modem
  • Consistent minimum bandwidth of 6+ Mbs down and 1.6+ up
  • Belkin N150 wireless router
  • Microcell directly connected to router
  • Located 2 feet from window, no problems with microcell getting GPS signals.

The microcell does not seem to have any problem getting a GPS signal, connecting to AT&T, and maintaining that connection. On power cycling the microcell, the cellphones will stay connected for anywhere between 30 minutes and a day or so -- most often the connection lasts a few hours or less.

 

Once the connection between the cellphones and the microcell drops, turning the phone off and back on or switching airplane mode on and off does not reestablish a connection. When the connection between microcell and cellphones drops, all cellphones lose the connection at the same time.

 

Without the microcell, the cellphones get 0-2 bars of signal throughout the house (usually 1 bar, and 1 bar when right next to where the microcell is located). The cellphones will drop and not reacquire the microcell signal even when a few feet away from the microcell.

 

We have deallocated and reallocated the microcell, which brought no improvement.

 


Otto Pylot wrote:

Stephen570 wrote:

Stephen570 wrote:
...

We've had problems with the microcell for quite some time. Every one or two days our phones would lose the microcell connection and we would need to reboot the microcell to get service. I've tried just about all the troubleshooting steps and configurations with no change. That is until a few days ago.

 

As of a few days ago we're staying connected to the microcell, with no changes on our end (was a firmware update pushed out? tower configuration changed?), but now our phones' batteries are draining at a very high rate. We can barely make it through half a day before the batteries are ready to die. (I've also posted a message in the thread about battery drain on microcells.)

...


Update: we're back to the microcell dropping. Sigh.


How do you have the MicroCell set up?


A basic setup:

 

  • Motorola Surfboard cable modem
  • Consistent minimum bandwidth of 6+ Mbs down and 1.6+ up
  • Belkin N150 wireless router
  • Microcell directly connected to router
  • Located 2 feet from window, no problems with microcell getting GPS signals.

The microcell does not seem to have any problem getting a GPS signal, connecting to AT&T, and maintaining that connection. On power cycling the microcell, the cellphones will stay connected for anywhere between 30 minutes and a day or so -- most often the connection lasts a few hours or less.

 

Once the connection between the cellphones and the microcell drops, turning the phone off and back on or switching airplane mode on and off does not reestablish a connection. When the connection between microcell and cellphones drops, all cellphones lose the connection at the same time.

 

Without the microcell, the cellphones get 0-2 bars of signal throughout the house (usually 1 bar, and 1 bar when right next to where the microcell is located). The cellphones will drop and not reacquire the microcell signal even when a few feet away from the microcell.

 

We have deallocated and reallocated the microcell, which brought no improvement.

 

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

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Apr 17, 2013 11:08:33 AM
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ACE - Master

Stephen570 wrote:

 


How do you have the MicroCell set up?


A basic setup:

  • Motorola Surfboard cable modem
  • Consistent minimum bandwidth of 6+ Mbs down and 1.6+ up
  • Belkin N150 wireless router
  • Microcell directly connected to router
  • Located 2 feet from window, no problems with microcell getting GPS signals.

The microcell does not seem to have any problem getting a GPS signal, connecting to AT&T, and maintaining that connection. On power cycling the microcell, the cellphones will stay connected for anywhere between 30 minutes and a day or so -- most often the connection lasts a few hours or less.

Once the connection between the cellphones and the microcell drops, turning the phone off and back on or switching airplane mode on and off does not reestablish a connection. When the connection between microcell and cellphones drops, all cellphones lose the connection at the same time.

Without the microcell, the cellphones get 0-2 bars of signal throughout the house (usually 1 bar, and 1 bar when right next to where the microcell is located). The cellphones will drop and not reacquire the microcell signal even when a few feet away from the microcell.

We have deallocated and reallocated the microcell, which brought no improvement.


Hmmm, speed doesn't seem to be an issue so we can rule that out. Have your tried a priority setup, Modem -> MicroCell -> router? In fact, I'd just try modem -> MicroCell and leave the router out altogether. If that connection is stable, then I'd suspect something in the router config. The Motorola Surfboard should be doing nothing but passing data back and forth so make sure there isn't any NAT duties being handled by the Moto and the router. If the priority connection doesn't work and you get the same loss of connectivity, it may be a fault MicroCell. If you haven't done so already, try a hard reset (hold in the reset button for at least 30 seconds).

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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


Stephen570 wrote:

 


How do you have the MicroCell set up?


A basic setup:

  • Motorola Surfboard cable modem
  • Consistent minimum bandwidth of 6+ Mbs down and 1.6+ up
  • Belkin N150 wireless router
  • Microcell directly connected to router
  • Located 2 feet from window, no problems with microcell getting GPS signals.

The microcell does not seem to have any problem getting a GPS signal, connecting to AT&T, and maintaining that connection. On power cycling the microcell, the cellphones will stay connected for anywhere between 30 minutes and a day or so -- most often the connection lasts a few hours or less.

Once the connection between the cellphones and the microcell drops, turning the phone off and back on or switching airplane mode on and off does not reestablish a connection. When the connection between microcell and cellphones drops, all cellphones lose the connection at the same time.

Without the microcell, the cellphones get 0-2 bars of signal throughout the house (usually 1 bar, and 1 bar when right next to where the microcell is located). The cellphones will drop and not reacquire the microcell signal even when a few feet away from the microcell.

We have deallocated and reallocated the microcell, which brought no improvement.


Hmmm, speed doesn't seem to be an issue so we can rule that out. Have your tried a priority setup, Modem -> MicroCell -> router? In fact, I'd just try modem -> MicroCell and leave the router out altogether. If that connection is stable, then I'd suspect something in the router config. The Motorola Surfboard should be doing nothing but passing data back and forth so make sure there isn't any NAT duties being handled by the Moto and the router. If the priority connection doesn't work and you get the same loss of connectivity, it may be a fault MicroCell. If you haven't done so already, try a hard reset (hold in the reset button for at least 30 seconds).

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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ACE - Guru

@Stephen570

 

I would imagine you've read through this thread and have seen that your problem is practically identical to my experience.  I tried all the suggestions and while you should go through and try them to see if any might resolve your problem, I think eventually you should contact ATT Customer Care and start working with them to exchange your Mcell.

 

One doesn't have to spend much time in the 3G MicroCell forums to see that this Cisco product is problematic.  Hopefully your Mcell is still under warranty but you'll have to convince ATT Customer Care that you've tried all the troubleshooting recommedations before they will authorize a replacement.  I'll bet that your Mcell is bad.

 

@Otto Pylot

 

I'm no expert but with regards to the increased battery drain issue of cell phones and Mcell usage, I'm wondering about this fact.  It is my understanding that current cell phone technology incorporates variable transmitting power to extend cell phone battery life.  Why transmit at maximum power if you are in close proximity to a cell tower?  Makes sense to me.  In order for this to work properly, there must be an exchange of signal strength data between the cell tower and the cell phone to make the cell phone increase its power up to its maximum in order to maintain a connection and/or call quality.

 

Of course if your cell phone is moving  (like in a car), there is also logic to hand your cell phone off to the next tower if the network senses your moving cell phone is migrating into the next cell tower's coverage area.

 

As problematic as these Mcells seem to be, I wonder if they have the ability to cause a cell phone to vary its transmitting power like a cell tower can?  Could a faulty Mcell be telling a connected cell phone that it needs to boost its transmitting power when in reality there is no need for the cell phone to do so because of its close proximity the the Mcell?  This could certainly cause an increase in battery drain that some people are seeing.

 

Just a thought....

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

@Stephen570

 

I would imagine you've read through this thread and have seen that your problem is practically identical to my experience.  I tried all the suggestions and while you should go through and try them to see if any might resolve your problem, I think eventually you should contact ATT Customer Care and start working with them to exchange your Mcell.

 

One doesn't have to spend much time in the 3G MicroCell forums to see that this Cisco product is problematic.  Hopefully your Mcell is still under warranty but you'll have to convince ATT Customer Care that you've tried all the troubleshooting recommedations before they will authorize a replacement.  I'll bet that your Mcell is bad.

 

@Otto Pylot

 

I'm no expert but with regards to the increased battery drain issue of cell phones and Mcell usage, I'm wondering about this fact.  It is my understanding that current cell phone technology incorporates variable transmitting power to extend cell phone battery life.  Why transmit at maximum power if you are in close proximity to a cell tower?  Makes sense to me.  In order for this to work properly, there must be an exchange of signal strength data between the cell tower and the cell phone to make the cell phone increase its power up to its maximum in order to maintain a connection and/or call quality.

 

Of course if your cell phone is moving  (like in a car), there is also logic to hand your cell phone off to the next tower if the network senses your moving cell phone is migrating into the next cell tower's coverage area.

 

As problematic as these Mcells seem to be, I wonder if they have the ability to cause a cell phone to vary its transmitting power like a cell tower can?  Could a faulty Mcell be telling a connected cell phone that it needs to boost its transmitting power when in reality there is no need for the cell phone to do so because of its close proximity the the Mcell?  This could certainly cause an increase in battery drain that some people are seeing.

 

Just a thought....

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 17, 2013 1:15:21 PM
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ACE - Master

Avedis53 -

 

I've thought along the same lines as you have about the battery drain. I don't see it on my iPhone but that could be the exception and not the rule. At home, and not when in use, there should be/could be some polling going on from the MicroCell to the phone and back. Sort of a "hello, are you still there?" kind of a thing. That, I would think would be a low power signal and shouldn't cause the phone to use too much energy to respond back. But, if the MicroCell is sending a stronger signal, and often, and expecting a strong response from the the phone, that would cause an increase in battery usage. It's almost as if there are two basic issues. A faulty MicroCell polling way too often causing the phone to respond more often, and a phone who responds with a stronger than necessary signal, whether it's "told" to or it does it on its own.

 

We're coming up on three years since we've had the MicroCell and have gone thru quite a few iterations of phones (iPhones, Samsungs, Blackberry) and never experienced a battery drain issue to the degree that some have reported. My iPhone doesn't hold a charge as long as I would like it too but that doesn't seem to be MicroCell related. We recently came back from a week long trip and the battery live seemed to be the same away from our MicroCell as it would be at home. But that's not say there aren't serious issues with the MicroCell. I don't think Cisco thought the design thru well enough to account for newer phones and connection options (4G/LTE). Phones are much more sophisticated than they were 5 years ago when the MicroCell was finishing development and ready for release and, because it is a totally closed system, upgrading/updating them, other than a firware update, is virtually impossible. The MicroCell was outdated probably a year after it was released, and is falling further behind every day. I shudder to think what will happen when my MicroCell eventually fails, and it will. All electronics have finite life spans, especially ones that are left on 24/7.

 

I really wish I had an answer/fix for those of you who are experiencing this issue. I've been trying to get more information out of AT&T about the MicroCell but it is very difficult to get anyone to talk to me. Even as an AT&T ACE. But I'll keep trying. My setup is about as basic as it gets: iPhone always has WiFi on and LTE enabled. I turn off all push notifications except for one or two, and don't leave any applications open and running except for the ones I can't turn off. My account has Handing Off enabled and the MicroCell itself is on a desk with nothing around it so it gets plenty of ventilation. It's behind the router and I have port forwarding setup to a static IP based on the MicroCell's MAC address.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Avedis53 -

 

I've thought along the same lines as you have about the battery drain. I don't see it on my iPhone but that could be the exception and not the rule. At home, and not when in use, there should be/could be some polling going on from the MicroCell to the phone and back. Sort of a "hello, are you still there?" kind of a thing. That, I would think would be a low power signal and shouldn't cause the phone to use too much energy to respond back. But, if the MicroCell is sending a stronger signal, and often, and expecting a strong response from the the phone, that would cause an increase in battery usage. It's almost as if there are two basic issues. A faulty MicroCell polling way too often causing the phone to respond more often, and a phone who responds with a stronger than necessary signal, whether it's "told" to or it does it on its own.

 

We're coming up on three years since we've had the MicroCell and have gone thru quite a few iterations of phones (iPhones, Samsungs, Blackberry) and never experienced a battery drain issue to the degree that some have reported. My iPhone doesn't hold a charge as long as I would like it too but that doesn't seem to be MicroCell related. We recently came back from a week long trip and the battery live seemed to be the same away from our MicroCell as it would be at home. But that's not say there aren't serious issues with the MicroCell. I don't think Cisco thought the design thru well enough to account for newer phones and connection options (4G/LTE). Phones are much more sophisticated than they were 5 years ago when the MicroCell was finishing development and ready for release and, because it is a totally closed system, upgrading/updating them, other than a firware update, is virtually impossible. The MicroCell was outdated probably a year after it was released, and is falling further behind every day. I shudder to think what will happen when my MicroCell eventually fails, and it will. All electronics have finite life spans, especially ones that are left on 24/7.

 

I really wish I had an answer/fix for those of you who are experiencing this issue. I've been trying to get more information out of AT&T about the MicroCell but it is very difficult to get anyone to talk to me. Even as an AT&T ACE. But I'll keep trying. My setup is about as basic as it gets: iPhone always has WiFi on and LTE enabled. I turn off all push notifications except for one or two, and don't leave any applications open and running except for the ones I can't turn off. My account has Handing Off enabled and the MicroCell itself is on a desk with nothing around it so it gets plenty of ventilation. It's behind the router and I have port forwarding setup to a static IP based on the MicroCell's MAC address.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 17, 2013 4:56:35 PM
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ACE - Guru

I agree with your comments Otto.  No doubt the Mcell is at the end of its useful life.  Troubleshooting these things would be easier if there was more information available about the technical aspects of how an Mcell works.  People who call in to ATT with Mcell problems get hooked up with a tech support person who literally has no idea how they work. 

 

The first time I called about my problem, I got a very nice person who did their best to help me but when you hear them say "Just a minute while I check something" and you hear them reading the text from the Mcell User Guide to themselves and then asking you if the power light is on, you know that they have absolutely no training about Mcells. 

 

The people who have the real technical knowledge about Mcells within ATT are completely isolated from the users and you can't cut out the middlemen to get to the person who you can truly have a meaningful exchange of information with to troubleshoot a problem.  There is very little on the web about the technical side of these femtocells as it seems manufacturers like Cisco don't want much out information out there.

 

So people resort to forums like this to try to find answers when they become frustrated with their femtocells and can't get help from the supplier.  These forums are certainly helpful in that we can readily exchange ideas and possible solutions a lot faster than dealing with ATT.

 

All that being said, the Mcell (when it is working) provides a useful solution to people like myself who because of their location, can't get a decent cell tower signal in their homes and suffer from dropped calls.  It's better than nothing and fortunately for me, that's what I paid for my Mcell.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

I agree with your comments Otto.  No doubt the Mcell is at the end of its useful life.  Troubleshooting these things would be easier if there was more information available about the technical aspects of how an Mcell works.  People who call in to ATT with Mcell problems get hooked up with a tech support person who literally has no idea how they work. 

 

The first time I called about my problem, I got a very nice person who did their best to help me but when you hear them say "Just a minute while I check something" and you hear them reading the text from the Mcell User Guide to themselves and then asking you if the power light is on, you know that they have absolutely no training about Mcells. 

 

The people who have the real technical knowledge about Mcells within ATT are completely isolated from the users and you can't cut out the middlemen to get to the person who you can truly have a meaningful exchange of information with to troubleshoot a problem.  There is very little on the web about the technical side of these femtocells as it seems manufacturers like Cisco don't want much out information out there.

 

So people resort to forums like this to try to find answers when they become frustrated with their femtocells and can't get help from the supplier.  These forums are certainly helpful in that we can readily exchange ideas and possible solutions a lot faster than dealing with ATT.

 

All that being said, the Mcell (when it is working) provides a useful solution to people like myself who because of their location, can't get a decent cell tower signal in their homes and suffer from dropped calls.  It's better than nothing and fortunately for me, that's what I paid for my Mcell.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 17, 2013 5:55:22 PM
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ACE - Master

@Avedis53 - well said. I will make sure that your comment, in its entirety, gets to my contacts in Support. Can't hurt.

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MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

@Avedis53 - well said. I will make sure that your comment, in its entirety, gets to my contacts in Support. Can't hurt.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 18, 2013 9:47:08 AM
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Community Support

Hello Stephen,

 

I saw your post and wanted to follow up with you. A manager will reaching out to you shortly to assist you with the Microcell. Appreciate you and want to get this resolved for you. ^Leslie

AT&T Customer Care

Need help with an account specific question?  Send us a Private Message.  We are here to help Monday - Friday. For additional support, please visit AT&T Support Center  or Contact AT&T.

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Hello Stephen,

 

I saw your post and wanted to follow up with you. A manager will reaching out to you shortly to assist you with the Microcell. Appreciate you and want to get this resolved for you. ^Leslie

AT&T Customer Care

Need help with an account specific question?  Send us a Private Message.  We are here to help Monday - Friday. For additional support, please visit AT&T Support Center  or Contact AT&T.

Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

Follow us on: Twitter @ATTCustomerCare • FaceBook AT&T • YouTube AT&T

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

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Apr 18, 2013 10:26:09 AM
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ACE - Master

Thanks Leslie.:smileyhappy:

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MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Thanks Leslie.:smileyhappy:

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 18, 2013 10:55:38 AM
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ACE - Guru

While off-topic, I found this to be very interesting.

 

Ubiquisys is a privately owned company in England that specializes in small cell technology, including femtocells. In fact, Ubiquisys residential femtocells have been selected by more mobile operators than any other.  Looking at their website, their line of products and the technology they use appear to be superior to what Cisco is currently offering by way of their AT&T Microcell product.

 

Cisco announced on April 3rd their intent to acquire Ubiquisys by the close of the fourth quarter of 2013.  It would appear to me that rather than reinvent the wheel, Cisco is buying the technology they will need to be a leader in femtocell products.  Assuming that AT&T continues to retain Cisco as their supplier of femtocells, hopefully we as consumers will see new and better femtocell products provided to those of us who use them. 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

While off-topic, I found this to be very interesting.

 

Ubiquisys is a privately owned company in England that specializes in small cell technology, including femtocells. In fact, Ubiquisys residential femtocells have been selected by more mobile operators than any other.  Looking at their website, their line of products and the technology they use appear to be superior to what Cisco is currently offering by way of their AT&T Microcell product.

 

Cisco announced on April 3rd their intent to acquire Ubiquisys by the close of the fourth quarter of 2013.  It would appear to me that rather than reinvent the wheel, Cisco is buying the technology they will need to be a leader in femtocell products.  Assuming that AT&T continues to retain Cisco as their supplier of femtocells, hopefully we as consumers will see new and better femtocell products provided to those of us who use them. 

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 18, 2013 11:15:02 AM
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ACE - Master

Very interesting. Nice find. It would be easier to modify their chipsets for the AT&T network than design their own. Hopefully Ubiquisys's femtocells are 4G/LTE compatible. Being in Europe I would think so but......

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Very interesting. Nice find. It would be easier to modify their chipsets for the AT&T network than design their own. Hopefully Ubiquisys's femtocells are 4G/LTE compatible. Being in Europe I would think so but......

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 19, 2013 10:47:08 AM
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ATTCustomerCare wrote:

 

Hello Stephen,

 

I saw your post and wanted to follow up with you. A manager will reaching out to you shortly to assist you with the Microcell. Appreciate you and want to get this resolved for you. ^Leslie


Thank you. Mike did leave me a message and I will be replying -- I thought I'd keep the forum up on where things stand.

As suggested by Otto here, I did a hard reset. I also relocated the microcell to sit in the window instead of next to it. The phones connected and have maintained a connection for almost 48 hours now. Though I am hopeful, the connection has lasted for a few days previously only to go back to a state where daily or more often power cycles are required.

 

I will monitor connectivity through the weekend and contact Mike on Monday.

 


ATTCustomerCare wrote:

 

Hello Stephen,

 

I saw your post and wanted to follow up with you. A manager will reaching out to you shortly to assist you with the Microcell. Appreciate you and want to get this resolved for you. ^Leslie


Thank you. Mike did leave me a message and I will be replying -- I thought I'd keep the forum up on where things stand.

As suggested by Otto here, I did a hard reset. I also relocated the microcell to sit in the window instead of next to it. The phones connected and have maintained a connection for almost 48 hours now. Though I am hopeful, the connection has lasted for a few days previously only to go back to a state where daily or more often power cycles are required.

 

I will monitor connectivity through the weekend and contact Mike on Monday.

 

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

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Apr 19, 2013 11:38:09 AM
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ACE - Guru

Here's another half-baked thought. 

 

When I received my replacement Mcell, it would not establish a GPS lock in a location on a counter near a east-facing sliding glass door where the previous Mcell would.  I moved the replacement Mcell to a southern-facing window where it was able to gain a lock and complete the activation.  After many days of uninterrupted service, I moved it back to the previous location. It worked for a while but then I got another GPS flashing light and a red flashing 3G light.  In both cases, the face of the Mcell with the lights was facing south.  When it was sitting in the southern-facing window, the Mcell was oriented with its side facing south.  On a lark, I turned the Mcell 90 degrees with its side facing south in the original location and it connected and I haven't had a GPS problem since.

 

Is the GPS antenna in the Mcell truly omnidirectional or is its sensitivity somewhat dependent on its orientation to the GPS satellites?  Knowing at any given time, out of the 32 GPS satellites, one can receive a signal from 8-10 of them and it takes a minimum of 4 satellites to determine a location.  Perhaps the Mcell GPS antenna is low-gain antenna with some nodal sensitivity and if conditions are just right, it can lose enough satellites to lose lock.

 

This is all pretty far-fetched but it could be a reason for utilizing a high-gain external antenna with the Mcell.

 

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Here's another half-baked thought. 

 

When I received my replacement Mcell, it would not establish a GPS lock in a location on a counter near a east-facing sliding glass door where the previous Mcell would.  I moved the replacement Mcell to a southern-facing window where it was able to gain a lock and complete the activation.  After many days of uninterrupted service, I moved it back to the previous location. It worked for a while but then I got another GPS flashing light and a red flashing 3G light.  In both cases, the face of the Mcell with the lights was facing south.  When it was sitting in the southern-facing window, the Mcell was oriented with its side facing south.  On a lark, I turned the Mcell 90 degrees with its side facing south in the original location and it connected and I haven't had a GPS problem since.

 

Is the GPS antenna in the Mcell truly omnidirectional or is its sensitivity somewhat dependent on its orientation to the GPS satellites?  Knowing at any given time, out of the 32 GPS satellites, one can receive a signal from 8-10 of them and it takes a minimum of 4 satellites to determine a location.  Perhaps the Mcell GPS antenna is low-gain antenna with some nodal sensitivity and if conditions are just right, it can lose enough satellites to lose lock.

 

This is all pretty far-fetched but it could be a reason for utilizing a high-gain external antenna with the Mcell.

 

 

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 19, 2013 1:09:57 PM
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ACE - Master

@Avedis53 - a long time ago someone posted a question similar to yours about the orientation of the MicroCell. Some pics were posted of the interior of the MicroCell and if memory serves me correctly, the GPS transmitter/receiver is located towards the top end of the board. So, if the "flat" part of your MicroCell (the right side if you are facing the Microcell lights) is facing the sky (horizontal with the window), GPS lock was faster and stable. If your MicroCell is perpendicular to the window or the "left" side is facing the window, GPS lock could be troublesome. Of course this is all anecdotal but who knows?......

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

@Avedis53 - a long time ago someone posted a question similar to yours about the orientation of the MicroCell. Some pics were posted of the interior of the MicroCell and if memory serves me correctly, the GPS transmitter/receiver is located towards the top end of the board. So, if the "flat" part of your MicroCell (the right side if you are facing the Microcell lights) is facing the sky (horizontal with the window), GPS lock was faster and stable. If your MicroCell is perpendicular to the window or the "left" side is facing the window, GPS lock could be troublesome. Of course this is all anecdotal but who knows?......

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 19, 2013 5:53:31 PM
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ACE - Guru

Funny,,,,,it's the right side of mine that is facing out through the window....anecdotal indeed....

 

Looking at the circuit board picture in the Anandtech review, the Mcell uses a Cirocomm ceramic GPS antenna that is perpendicularly mounted on the top of the Mcell circuit board towards the rear of the unit.  Looking at the orientation of the antenna, one would think that it wouldn't matter as far as which side faced a window.  However, being in the rear of the Mcell, turning the Mcell so the antenna could "see" outside better might help with reception....who knows?

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Funny,,,,,it's the right side of mine that is facing out through the window....anecdotal indeed....

 

Looking at the circuit board picture in the Anandtech review, the Mcell uses a Cirocomm ceramic GPS antenna that is perpendicularly mounted on the top of the Mcell circuit board towards the rear of the unit.  Looking at the orientation of the antenna, one would think that it wouldn't matter as far as which side faced a window.  However, being in the rear of the Mcell, turning the Mcell so the antenna could "see" outside better might help with reception....who knows?

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 19, 2013 7:29:20 PM
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ACE - Master

The MicroCell certainly seems to fall into the "magic black box" category. I think the orientation of the antenna, theoretically, wasn't an issue. But there are too many setup situations available that the "beta" testers, who ever they were, couldn't adequately cover all the bases or situations possible. Interesting fer sure.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

The MicroCell certainly seems to fall into the "magic black box" category. I think the orientation of the antenna, theoretically, wasn't an issue. But there are too many setup situations available that the "beta" testers, who ever they were, couldn't adequately cover all the bases or situations possible. Interesting fer sure.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 21, 2013 7:52:14 PM
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For what it's worth, My replacement M-cell has been working flawlessly for over two weeks now.  My original unit was bad right out of the box. The replacement is working great. Thanks AT&T for taking care of this.

For what it's worth, My replacement M-cell has been working flawlessly for over two weeks now.  My original unit was bad right out of the box. The replacement is working great. Thanks AT&T for taking care of this.

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

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Apr 21, 2013 8:23:05 PM
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ACE - Master

That's good to hear. Thanks for the update.

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MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

That's good to hear. Thanks for the update.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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Apr 22, 2013 2:02:35 PM
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Edited by Stephen570 on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:03:04 PM

Stephen570 wrote:

ATTCustomerCare wrote:

 

Hello Stephen,

 

I saw your post and wanted to follow up with you. A manager will reaching out to you shortly to assist you with the Microcell. Appreciate you and want to get this resolved for you. ^Leslie


Thank you. Mike did leave me a message and I will be replying -- I thought I'd keep the forum up on where things stand.

As suggested by Otto here, I did a hard reset. I also relocated the microcell to sit in the window instead of next to it. The phones connected and have maintained a connection for almost 48 hours now. Though I am hopeful, the connection has lasted for a few days previously only to go back to a state where daily or more often power cycles are required.

 

I will monitor connectivity through the weekend and contact Mike on Monday.

 


Update: it failed again soon after I typed the above message.

 

I spoke with Mike and then someone from technical support contacted me. After describing the issue, setup, and troubleshooting steps I had performed previously, she seemed to think that the problem was not related to the microcell. I was asked to run a speed test right after the phones/microcell disconnected the next time. I said that I would try, but noted we typically don't notice the connection has dropped until we try to place a call, possibly hours after it has failed.

 

Somewhere during the conversation the call dropped -- but the microcell-cellphone connection did not drop. She called me back and we discussed the following:

 

We have been able to place and receive calls through the microcell even during our peak bandwith usage, which happens when watching Netflix through a Roku box.

 

The problem that, to me, most points to a problem with the microcell rather than anything else is that once the microcell-cellphone connection drops it cannot be reestablished even by power cycling the phones -- you must power cycle the microcell.

 

She agreed to send a refurbished microcell replacement and I'll let everyone know how things work out.

 

On a side note, I have since put my setup through a stress test -- HD movie streaming, Pandora, multiple data transfers, and two cellphones making calls through the microcell all at the same time -- which did not cause a problem.


Stephen570 wrote:

ATTCustomerCare wrote:

 

Hello Stephen,

 

I saw your post and wanted to follow up with you. A manager will reaching out to you shortly to assist you with the Microcell. Appreciate you and want to get this resolved for you. ^Leslie


Thank you. Mike did leave me a message and I will be replying -- I thought I'd keep the forum up on where things stand.

As suggested by Otto here, I did a hard reset. I also relocated the microcell to sit in the window instead of next to it. The phones connected and have maintained a connection for almost 48 hours now. Though I am hopeful, the connection has lasted for a few days previously only to go back to a state where daily or more often power cycles are required.

 

I will monitor connectivity through the weekend and contact Mike on Monday.

 


Update: it failed again soon after I typed the above message.

 

I spoke with Mike and then someone from technical support contacted me. After describing the issue, setup, and troubleshooting steps I had performed previously, she seemed to think that the problem was not related to the microcell. I was asked to run a speed test right after the phones/microcell disconnected the next time. I said that I would try, but noted we typically don't notice the connection has dropped until we try to place a call, possibly hours after it has failed.

 

Somewhere during the conversation the call dropped -- but the microcell-cellphone connection did not drop. She called me back and we discussed the following:

 

We have been able to place and receive calls through the microcell even during our peak bandwith usage, which happens when watching Netflix through a Roku box.

 

The problem that, to me, most points to a problem with the microcell rather than anything else is that once the microcell-cellphone connection drops it cannot be reestablished even by power cycling the phones -- you must power cycle the microcell.

 

She agreed to send a refurbished microcell replacement and I'll let everyone know how things work out.

 

On a side note, I have since put my setup through a stress test -- HD movie streaming, Pandora, multiple data transfers, and two cellphones making calls through the microcell all at the same time -- which did not cause a problem.

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

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Apr 22, 2013 3:51:58 PM
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ACE - Master

That does sound like a MicroCell issue. The unit should be able to re-establish connection to your phones after an interruption. Unless your internet speeds (modem to provider) drop to less that 3Mbps or your upload drops to almost nil, you should still be able to connect. You may lose a call but MicroCell to phone should still indicate connection. Let us know how the refurb works out.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

That does sound like a MicroCell issue. The unit should be able to re-establish connection to your phones after an interruption. Unless your internet speeds (modem to provider) drop to less that 3Mbps or your upload drops to almost nil, you should still be able to connect. You may lose a call but MicroCell to phone should still indicate connection. Let us know how the refurb works out.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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May 13, 2013 4:50:36 PM
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I read many of the postings in the thread but not all of them.  I am impressed with the technical competence and diligence of the participants!

 

I have a Lumia 900 phone running Windows 7.8.  I live in an area that was affected by Hurricane Sandy.  After the storm, my house had just 1 bar so the ATT store gave me a microcell to allow me to receive phone calls at my house.  This worked fine from November until mid April 2013. 

 

In mid April 2013, the microcell has regularly but without schedule lost its connection with my phone.  Then, I miss calls coming to me when I am at home.  The only fix I have found is to unplug the MicroCell and then replug it in.  Then, I power down my phone and repower it again.  This process connects the phone to the MicroCell. 

 

Before reading this thread, I had been thinking that the cause of the disconnect was related to my departures and returns to my home.  I will now pursue trying to better define what makes the connection be lost.

 

I am contributing to this thread because I want the audience to know that this problem is not just an iPhone problem.  It happens on other phone OS also.

 

If anyone has a Windows 7.8 phone and has found a solution, please let me know.

 

Thanks.

I read many of the postings in the thread but not all of them.  I am impressed with the technical competence and diligence of the participants!

 

I have a Lumia 900 phone running Windows 7.8.  I live in an area that was affected by Hurricane Sandy.  After the storm, my house had just 1 bar so the ATT store gave me a microcell to allow me to receive phone calls at my house.  This worked fine from November until mid April 2013. 

 

In mid April 2013, the microcell has regularly but without schedule lost its connection with my phone.  Then, I miss calls coming to me when I am at home.  The only fix I have found is to unplug the MicroCell and then replug it in.  Then, I power down my phone and repower it again.  This process connects the phone to the MicroCell. 

 

Before reading this thread, I had been thinking that the cause of the disconnect was related to my departures and returns to my home.  I will now pursue trying to better define what makes the connection be lost.

 

I am contributing to this thread because I want the audience to know that this problem is not just an iPhone problem.  It happens on other phone OS also.

 

If anyone has a Windows 7.8 phone and has found a solution, please let me know.

 

Thanks.

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

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May 13, 2013 6:37:28 PM
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ACE - Master

Hi Harry-NJ. We're starting to see more issues pop up with the Lumina phones and it doesn't really make sense to me. Some folks have both, iPhones and Lumina phones and the iPhones remain connected when the Lumina's drop off. I've asked this of other Lumina owners and have yet to get a response but have you upgraded the Lumina prior to it dropping connectivity? AT&T upgrades and does maintenance on their system from time to time and it's possible that whatever they've done to the local tower has resulted in some sort of incompatibility so that the Lumina's lose connection when polling the MicroCell and vice versa. If tower signal strengh is inconsistent, it may confuse the phone so it tries to connect/disconnect from the MicroCell or which ever is the stonger signal. When the MicroCell is turned on and off, it will attempt to adjust its power output relative to the detected power output of the closest tower so that it doesn't interfere. At least that's the theory. Some phones may be able to handle the fluctuations better than others. Do you have any "guests" registered with different phones. That may be a good test to see if it's the Lumina or the MicorCell. Improper handing off may also be a cause. I'm assuming the phone works just fine once it's out of the MicroCell's range and that when the Lumina does fail at home, all of the lights on the MicroCell are solid green.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

Hi Harry-NJ. We're starting to see more issues pop up with the Lumina phones and it doesn't really make sense to me. Some folks have both, iPhones and Lumina phones and the iPhones remain connected when the Lumina's drop off. I've asked this of other Lumina owners and have yet to get a response but have you upgraded the Lumina prior to it dropping connectivity? AT&T upgrades and does maintenance on their system from time to time and it's possible that whatever they've done to the local tower has resulted in some sort of incompatibility so that the Lumina's lose connection when polling the MicroCell and vice versa. If tower signal strengh is inconsistent, it may confuse the phone so it tries to connect/disconnect from the MicroCell or which ever is the stonger signal. When the MicroCell is turned on and off, it will attempt to adjust its power output relative to the detected power output of the closest tower so that it doesn't interfere. At least that's the theory. Some phones may be able to handle the fluctuations better than others. Do you have any "guests" registered with different phones. That may be a good test to see if it's the Lumina or the MicorCell. Improper handing off may also be a cause. I'm assuming the phone works just fine once it's out of the MicroCell's range and that when the Lumina does fail at home, all of the lights on the MicroCell are solid green.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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May 14, 2013 7:20:29 AM
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Let me try to answer all your points below:

1. I have no one else at my house with a different phone that I could try to compare with, although that is a good idea.  I am the only ATT customer while everyone else is Verizon!  I switched to ATT to get the Lumia/Windows combo and have been generally pleased except for this very annoying problem.

2. I have Verizon FIOS as my internet provider, with their router.  I have the Microcell hard-wired to the router.  I did no special settings on the router to make the MicroCell work initially and I have not yet changed any router settings.

3. All the lights are solid green on the Microcell when this problem happens. 

4. Turning the phone off and on does not do anything to fix it. The only solution is turning the Microcell off and on.

5. The phone works fine when its out of the Microcell's range

 

Regarding your first hypothesis re the cell tower, before Hurricane Sandy everything worked fine.  I have hypothesized that the hurricane damaged a tower in my area and they never replaced it.  The Microcell 'fixed' my problem and kept me as a ATT customer.  But, perhaps there are still tower/power issues in my neighborhood that might interfere with the Microcell.

 

Is there a way to 'force' a Lumia 900 with Windows 7.8 to use the MicroCell if it is in range rather than letting it choose what to use?

 

Thanks

Let me try to answer all your points below:

1. I have no one else at my house with a different phone that I could try to compare with, although that is a good idea.  I am the only ATT customer while everyone else is Verizon!  I switched to ATT to get the Lumia/Windows combo and have been generally pleased except for this very annoying problem.

2. I have Verizon FIOS as my internet provider, with their router.  I have the Microcell hard-wired to the router.  I did no special settings on the router to make the MicroCell work initially and I have not yet changed any router settings.

3. All the lights are solid green on the Microcell when this problem happens. 

4. Turning the phone off and on does not do anything to fix it. The only solution is turning the Microcell off and on.

5. The phone works fine when its out of the Microcell's range

 

Regarding your first hypothesis re the cell tower, before Hurricane Sandy everything worked fine.  I have hypothesized that the hurricane damaged a tower in my area and they never replaced it.  The Microcell 'fixed' my problem and kept me as a ATT customer.  But, perhaps there are still tower/power issues in my neighborhood that might interfere with the Microcell.

 

Is there a way to 'force' a Lumia 900 with Windows 7.8 to use the MicroCell if it is in range rather than letting it choose what to use?

 

Thanks

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

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May 14, 2013 10:23:05 AM
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ACE - Master

By "hard wired" I'm assuming that the MicroCell is connected, via ethernet directly to the gateway. IOW, gateway -> MicroCell -> router. That is called Priority Connection and is used mainly as a trouble shooting connection (taking the router out of the chain), but there's nothing wrong with keeping it connected that way. If your connection is the recommended connection, gateway -> router -> MicroCell, and that worked before Sandy, then I don't see any reason, at this time, to change any router settings from what you had before. It's possible that Verizon could be doing something to your connection because of the on-going repairs (I know some folks still don't have service in some areas) but I would think that the 3G light would start blinking green or red.

 

Hurricane Sandy poses some problems. If all of your lights are solid green (power, ethernet, GPS, and 3G) that means connection to the AT&T servers is fine but I suspect that the connection with the local tower is sporadic. Not enough for  the 3G to start blinking green but quick enough for the MicroCell to drop its transmission briefly. That in turn causes the Lumia to lose connection because the phone can't handle the variability. Power cycling the MicroCell forces it to adjust to the local tower again and your connectivity is re-established.

 

I don't think there is any way to make any cell phone preferentially use a femtocell other that to turn LTE on or off, which wouldn't affect the MicroCell anyway because it is 3G only.

 

Guesting another AT&T cell phone would certainly rule out the Lumia if the problem ocurred with that phone but as you said that's not possible in your situation. You can try to get AT&T to send you another MicroCell. Maybe it will be a little more robust in handling what ever problems there may be with the local tower.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

By "hard wired" I'm assuming that the MicroCell is connected, via ethernet directly to the gateway. IOW, gateway -> MicroCell -> router. That is called Priority Connection and is used mainly as a trouble shooting connection (taking the router out of the chain), but there's nothing wrong with keeping it connected that way. If your connection is the recommended connection, gateway -> router -> MicroCell, and that worked before Sandy, then I don't see any reason, at this time, to change any router settings from what you had before. It's possible that Verizon could be doing something to your connection because of the on-going repairs (I know some folks still don't have service in some areas) but I would think that the 3G light would start blinking green or red.

 

Hurricane Sandy poses some problems. If all of your lights are solid green (power, ethernet, GPS, and 3G) that means connection to the AT&T servers is fine but I suspect that the connection with the local tower is sporadic. Not enough for  the 3G to start blinking green but quick enough for the MicroCell to drop its transmission briefly. That in turn causes the Lumia to lose connection because the phone can't handle the variability. Power cycling the MicroCell forces it to adjust to the local tower again and your connectivity is re-established.

 

I don't think there is any way to make any cell phone preferentially use a femtocell other that to turn LTE on or off, which wouldn't affect the MicroCell anyway because it is 3G only.

 

Guesting another AT&T cell phone would certainly rule out the Lumia if the problem ocurred with that phone but as you said that's not possible in your situation. You can try to get AT&T to send you another MicroCell. Maybe it will be a little more robust in handling what ever problems there may be with the local tower.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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May 14, 2013 10:44:53 AM
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ACE - Guru

It might be helpful to contact AT&T and ask them if there are any issues with their cell towers that reside in your area.  If they say there is a residual problem due to Hurricane Sandy in your area then it might be worthwhile to wait until it is fixed before you request that AT&T replace your Mcell unless they can't tell you how long it will take.

 

If it is a problem on their end, another Mcell will probably exhibit the same symptoms as your current Mcell.  That being said, knowing that Mcells are problematic to begin with, it wouldn't surprise me if yours went bad.  Mine did and your problem is very similar to mine.  A new one has solved my problem for the time being.  Hopefully, yours is still under warranty.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

It might be helpful to contact AT&T and ask them if there are any issues with their cell towers that reside in your area.  If they say there is a residual problem due to Hurricane Sandy in your area then it might be worthwhile to wait until it is fixed before you request that AT&T replace your Mcell unless they can't tell you how long it will take.

 

If it is a problem on their end, another Mcell will probably exhibit the same symptoms as your current Mcell.  That being said, knowing that Mcells are problematic to begin with, it wouldn't surprise me if yours went bad.  Mine did and your problem is very similar to mine.  A new one has solved my problem for the time being.  Hopefully, yours is still under warranty.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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May 14, 2013 11:35:45 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by OttoPylot on May 14, 2013 at 11:36:26 AM

As Avedis53 said, contacting support may be helpful and all you can do is wait it out. However, if they gave you a MicroCell in the first place because of Sandy, you might be able to push them for a replacement even if it's not under warranty. Can't hurt. If you haven't done so, contact CustomerCare (see the link in my sig) and report your issue. Give them as much detail as you can along with your contact info. They are usually more responsive than calling Customer Support.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

As Avedis53 said, contacting support may be helpful and all you can do is wait it out. However, if they gave you a MicroCell in the first place because of Sandy, you might be able to push them for a replacement even if it's not under warranty. Can't hurt. If you haven't done so, contact CustomerCare (see the link in my sig) and report your issue. Give them as much detail as you can along with your contact info. They are usually more responsive than calling Customer Support.

___________________________________________________________

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.

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

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May 15, 2013 12:04:04 PM
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Voyager

I just found this thread and am pretty sure I have the same issue with the MCELL and our two iPhones, and a Blackberry.   I messaged Customer Care.  I will let you know how it goes

I just found this thread and am pretty sure I have the same issue with the MCELL and our two iPhones, and a Blackberry.   I messaged Customer Care.  I will let you know how it goes

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

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