Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

Contributor

Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

Advanced Technical Support says the M-Cell "was provisioned correctly and operating within limits"?  Nothing they can do.

 

What a piece of crap that my company had to pay for?  Anyone know the number to Verizon?

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Message 1 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

A little more information on what isn't working, your setup, etc. would be helpful. Verizon, the grass is always greener etc etc

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 2 of 17
Contributor

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

For the past 18 month our Microcell worked 99% of the time, but in the last 5 days, the bottom light (3G) flashes quite a bit and is hardly ever solid, therefore the office's 9 iPhones do not have the M-Cell icon.  I have de-activated and reactivated 2 separate times to no avail.  My IT guy assures me the the Comcast router has not changed recently and our pipe is 40 down and 12 up.

 

We are a small office in the Cherry Creek area of Denver, CO  (1st and Colorado) so it is not like we are in the woods.

 

As I said before nothing changed on our end, but ATT says it is not their problem.

 

BTW, 4 Verizon iPhone users in the office and that grass is very, very green!

Message 3 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

The flasing 3G light usually means that it can't establish a connection (which you already know). That sometimes happens after an upgrade or some sort of maintenance done by AT&T in the middle of the night. AT&T support does not have access to that info (they are usually as much in the dark as the customer is) so they can't tell you anything. Have you tried priority mode (modem -> MicroCell -> router)? If not, power down, reconnect the cables, and reboot and don't move the MicroCell from its window access. Make sure Comcast is not blocking any ports, ipsec passthru in enabled, only one device is doing NAT, etc. You may have to set port forwarding to a static address as well. That shouldn't be necessary but it was the only way I could get a very stable and solid connection even with multiple updates and power outages.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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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Message 4 of 17
Highlighted
Contributor

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

Yeah "support" sent me that check list (AT&T 3G MicroCell Firewall and Router Settings for Advanced Installations):

 

1492 MTU - check (actually 1500, 1492 is for VPN to VPN in our remote office)

DHCP on - check

Port blocking off - check

MAC Address filtering off - check

IPSec Pass-Through is Enabled - check

etc..

 

I wish i could go priority modem but our router and switch is in a data closet, but I don't think the GPS activation will work in there?  Please tell me if I am wrong.

 

You answered my question with your response of: "That sometimes happens after an upgrade or some sort of maintenance done by AT&T in the middle of the night. AT&T support does not have access to that info (they are usually as much in the dark as the customer is) so they can't tell you anything."

 

The reason why I posted in the first place is to warn people about the risk of an M-Cell (it is not a cure for all that ails you) and more importantly - how poor and frustrating the AT& M-Cell customer service really is.

 

We can consider this post closed and what good is it to beat a dead horse.  Thank you Otto for all your help.  I truly do appreciate that you care.

 

As we all like a somewhat of happy ending:  I have had, as well as most of my co-workers with AT&T iPhone, M-Cell most of the day.  The "fix": I deactivated and reactivated today for the 3rd time AND moved the M-Cell to a corner office with the least amount of "building" in between the unit and the outside world.  Seem to work.

 

Whatever...

Message 5 of 17
Tutor

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

An update regarding the Dec. 2, 2016 Microcell disconnect.  (Can't find the other thread I posted on, so posting here.)  After repeated efforts doing the soft reset and hard reset, and all manner of other resets, including modem/router, I finally went to the AT&T store--I had no bars where I am at all.  They weren't able to do anything specifically to solve the problem, but what they did do is show me how to get through the frustrating customer service phone maze and get to someone who could do whatever they do at their end to adjust the settings to reactivate the Microcell.  They did say there was some updating going on and would be eliminating 2G phones in favor of 4G, (I hope I'm correct on this, but ask about it yourself).  

 

I was told at the store to call 611;  the robot insists on routing the call, told it Microcell problems;  It wanted to send me all over the place, I said Agent.  If the robot won't cooperate, press 0 and that will take you directly to a tech person. (I didn't have to queue either time I called.)   It took a couple of tries, but it's up and running again.  Whew...another seven days without phone service.  These techs were trying very hard to be helpful.  

Message 6 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

@Isadara - the MicroCell has always been a 3G device. It can be used with any 3G/4G/LTE handset (phone) and the connection is transparent to the end-user. Eliminating 2G phones is a non-issue. Most phones will connect to whatever cellular protocol is available. 2G has nothing to do with the MicroCell.

 

Unfortunately, going to an AT&T Corporate store with MicroCell issues is an exercise in futility. They haven't a clue as to how to troubleshoot a MicroCell.

 

It's been a long week with the major outage, so why don't you either repeat your problem here or just pm me.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 7 of 17
Tutor

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

Otto-Pylot: First, I don't know what 'pm' you means. To restate what
happened: On Dec. 2, 2016 my (black) Microcell went out, meaning the top
green light began flashing. I used the reset method described in the blog.
(On a previous occasion--in late summer after a close lightning strike--I
was getting a huge runaround by AT&T customer service and their techs with
no solutions forthcoming. That time I was without phone service for 10
days.) In desperation I found this community blog and started scrolling
through it reading all of the entries until I found your soft reset/hard
reset procedure. Tried it, and Presto! It reconnected immediately.

Fast forward: Dec. 2nd and the Microcell top light starts flashing green,
and as with the other times, I went through the reset procedure(s) and
nothing happened. I did it 30 times over the next few days and it would
*not* reset. I went to the phone store because a) I had other business
there, and b) I thought there might be a slim chance they could/would
communicate with AT&T internally, which I learned they could *not* do--but
you do start looking at every possibility when nothing else is working.
The person at the phone store did show me how to circumvent the CS maze,
and I went directly to an advanced tech. This time both of the advanced
techs I dealt with were very helpful and reconfigured whatever they do on
their end. When I came home the flashing green light had now become a
flashing red light. The next day I went to a park 6 blocks away where I
found a signal strong enough to call tech support again. This time
supposedly the 'problem' was that they had the wrong address. (I am on my
brother-in-laws family plan and somehow his address in Austin--I'm in
Albuquerque--is where the GPS was looking for the Microcell.) I can't
explain the confusion because the Microcell was originally sent here to
Albuquerque and has been working here i*n* Albuquerque all along until
now. After the address correction the Microcell did begin working again.
Something triggered this disconnect. It wasn't the address, it had to be
something else. (I suspect the first tech, even though I did explain that
we are in two different cities, didn't catch that and mistakenly used my
brother-in-law's address.) And, of course, from my point of view, not
being tech savvy compounds the frustration.

As an aside, because the first go around with the Microcell in late summer
was so frustrating, I called the direct number I was given then to advanced
tech support and explained how I had finally corrected the Microcell
problem, and where I found that information. I was told by this tech that
the method I described was nowhere in their protocol. I asked him if he
would please share this method with the other techs and referred him to the
community blog and to the Otto-Pylot entries specifically. Maybe TMI, but
that's the whole story from beginning to end.
Message 8 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

@Isadara - "pm" is private message. If you click on my name next to my avatar you'll see a box at the bottom that says Send PM. That's a private message of sorts that only the two of us can read. At the top of this page you'll see a little enevlope. If there is a red number on it, it means you have a message. Click on it and you'll get to your "mailbox".

 

When a MicroCell is first registered and activated, it needs to be at the primary location where the account holder lives, and that's determined by the GPS Location check and verification. The account must be a post paid account. The phone number used must be the account holder's number. If you're not the account holder, you can still use the MicroCell as long as your AT&T phone is on the Approved Users List in, which case it doesn't matter whether your account is post paid or pre paid. After that, the MicroCell can be physically moved to another location, like to a summer home,  and  used. All you need to do is change the address of the physical location. The primary phone number, the one used to originally register/activate the MicroCell should not be changed as well as any phone number on the Approved Users List. However, to change the address you need access to account holders myAT&T MicroCell page.

 

Sometimes, as it appears in your case, the account holder doesn't have to have the MicroCell physically located at his/her location for the Initial Registration/Activation, as long as the phone number used to register the MicroCell is a post paid AT&T account. However, if you have an outage or anything else that requires a hard reset, or even a soft reset (power cycle) that process may get confused and that's why the MicroCell will look for the GPS coordinates that correspond to the mailing address of the account holder. It's certainly not a fool-proof system by any means. Now, if your address is a rural one, a route number, po box, what ever, that really complicates the situation because the MicroCell won't be able to find the correct address in the locational database based on the received GPS coordinates. GPS verification will fail and you will get a flashing red 3G light. The GPS verification is probably one of the more common issues I see and one that is difficult to really explain or fix. The GPS coordinates are an FCC requirement for E911, not AT&T's. Sometimes Support can do what is called a GPS Bypass which is manually entering in the GPS coordinates, and that will work, for a period of time. But as soon as the MicroCell is reset for any reason (power cycle, hard reset, power outage, AT&T maintenance), the MicroCell will perform the GPS location check/verification again and the problem will re-surface.

 

The AT&T Corporate stores usually offer very little help because they are there to sell phones and services and as such have very little knowledge on how the MicroCell works or even how to troubleshoot one properly.

 

It sounds like you were one of the affected individuals during the recent power outage and once your MicroCell came back up, the GPS issues occurred. So, I'm not quite sure but are you up and running now with no problems?

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 9 of 17
Tutor

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

OttoPylot: On my email screen it says: OttoPylot (ACE-Master)...No
avatars; won't/can't click on your name; no "send PM"; no little envelopes;
no red numbers. I've gone all over this screen page and none of those
things are showing or appear to be available at my gmail address.

Thank you for your thorough explanations. This MicroCell has always been
at this address due to the poor phone reception here in SE Albuquerque.
This is a problem with ALL the phone providers, not just AT&T. There is
both an Air Force and a public airport nearby. The thinking is that the
radar from these two entities is interfering with phone reception creating
a black-hole of sorts in this area.

After the close lightning strike last summer, I restored the MicroCell
using your hard set/soft set procedure(s)--but only after ten days without
service and endless head-banging sessions on the phone with AT&T reps and
techs, Comcast and Motorola. After it was restored, the MicroCell did
disconnections intermittently thereafter (about a half dozen times) since
then, but the hard set/soft set procedure worked to restore it every time.
UNTIL this last time when it disconnected on 12/2/16. Nothing from my end
worked this time. The advanced techs restored it from their end. I don't
understand why it reverted to my brother-in-law's address in Austin. You
would imagine that it would have done so in the previous disconnections,
wouldn't you? The only other event that I can think of that may have
caused this confusion is that I have a new (albeit outdated) Blackberry Q10
phone that was connected to my internet shortly before the 12/12/16 date.
(What can I say...I'm not tech savvy and I wanted the QWERTY board for
texting.)

To answer your question: YES, the MicroCell has been restored and I think
it will be okay now because the AT&T tech removed my b-in-l's address from
that page on her screen, so she said. Thank you again for your help with
this sometimes mind-numbing frustration over these MicroCell's. ~Isadara
Message 10 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

@Isadara - hmmm, you should be able to click on my name, pull up some basic profile info on me and see the Send PM button. Are you using a computer or your phone to access the Forums? If you're using a computer, try a different browser.

 

The "black hole" is interesting. The local tower is only used by the MicroCell for Initial Activation and ocassional GPS checks during maintenance. It is not used by the MicroCell to send cellular calls. I can seen how the radar could affect cellular calls but not the MicroCell, unless the radar is stong enough to interfere with phone when it attempts to connect to the MicroCell. But, if you are up and running, that doesn't seem likely so it probably was the "confusion" with the physical address.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 11 of 17
Tutor

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

O.P.: I'm using my computer. My computer is misbehaving as well; again,
not being tech savvy I'm loathe to mess with anything that's
functioning--however poorly. Nope. Still don't see the avatar, no basic
profile, no 'send PM' button, *nada*. All I have showing here is 'reply' &
'kudos.'

Insofar as the 12/2/16 MicroCell disconnect so many others were
experiencing as well, I even looked to see if there were any major solar
flares around that time. There *were* between 10/24 and 11/1, but none
around 12/2. I was grasping at straws looking for any cause or explanation
that made sense to me.

The 'blackhole' phenomenon affects everyone's service in this area.
Message 12 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

@Isadara

 

This is most odd. I can click on your name next to the generic avatar and see your basic profile and Send PM. Which browser are you using to access the Forum? If your computer is having issues that's nothing we can help you with because it could be your computer or the ISP.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 13 of 17
Tutor

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

I accessed the forum by Googling (Chrome): MicroCell Problems. It says,
MicroCell Issues: AT&T Community. Then opened different threads and chose
among them the ones that most closely represented what I was experiencing.
Last August I read through the threads until I found your description of
the soft/hard reset procedure. Tried it, it worked, all was good. Left no
comments. That procedure has worked a half dozen times since then. Not
this last time, though.

This last time I posted at the bottom of the thread page, then hit 'reply'
and responded to what came into my gmail box. I didn't fill out any
profile information, only described what was happening and submitted my
gmail address.
Message 14 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Microcell does not work now even though nothing has changed on our end

@Isadara

 

Try accessing the Forum directly via Chrome: http://forums.att.com/t5/3G-MicroCell/bd-p/3gmicrocell 

 

I use either FireFox or Safari. Even IE works with the above address. Something is not setup correctly. Personally I steer clear of Chrome because of security and config issues. Could be me. What OS are you running?

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 15 of 17
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