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Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

I've had the white M-cell 3g for about 2 1/2 years without a problem, until I upgraded to the iphone 6. I have been obsessively scouring the internet like it's my job for the solution to no avail. So far I've tried:

 

1. Disconnecting wifi / mcell, turning off phone

2. Resetting mcell

3. toggling airplane mode off / on

4. De-activating M-Cell service through my online account then re-activating.

5. Deleting all numbers and re-adding them

6. Disabled the "handover" function or whatever it's called

7. Turned off LTE 

8. And just about every combination of the above you can do

 

I am losing MY MIND. All of the lights are lit up green!! Full Bars!! Somebody please help me 😞

 

 

 

 

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Message 1 of 50
Tutor

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

One more bit of information.

 

As OttoPylot explained in his wonderful MicroCell Informational Document - the MicroCell only operates at 850 and 1900 MHz.

 

Again, the new HD Voice / VoLTE works only at 700 MHZ for the iPhone 6.

 

This explains why so many people have been pulling their hair out recently trying to get the MicroCell to connect - because IT CAN'T !!

 

And...the "problem" started when AT&T upgraded more and more people to HD Voice / VoLTE.

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Message 16 of 50
ACE - Expert

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

The MicroCell has always been a 3G device only. Even the new DPH-154 is still only 3G. However, that has nothing to do with the iPhone 6 and 6S. They will still connect to the MicroCell but at 3G only. The problem is that some iPhones have difficulty handing off from an LTE connection to the MicroCell's 3G radio. Handing off is explained the Tech Guide (see link in my sig).

 

The instructions state that the MicroCell will work with any 3G, 4G, or LTE handset but that doesn't mean it transmits at those bands. The outside of the DPH-154 box states, " 3G, 4G and 4G LTE reference handset compatibility only. AT&T MicroCell is designed to provide 3G voice and data service on compatible handsets".

 

You misunderstood the technology and its capabilities/limitations. iPhones of any model have no problem connecting to the MicroCell (DPH-151, DPH-153, and DPH-154). However, the phones with the newest hardware take a little more tweaking because of the new hardware and the added WiFi capability.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 17 of 50
Tutor

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

Sorry OttoPylot - the iPhone 6 with the new AT&T HD Voice / VoLTE will NOT work unless you disable the LTE on the iPhone 6.

 

I wouldn't have believed it either until I saw it with my own eyes.

 

This easily explains why so many folks have recently started having problems with MicroCell and iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S.

 

I can't wait until you upgrade to a newer iPhone so you will be able to prove it to yourself.

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Message 18 of 50
ACE - Expert

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

The LTE issue started for some iPhone users (pre iPhone 6) when AT&T started to upgrade their LTE network to expand coverage. It became complicated once AT&T started to roll out WiFi Calling (WiFi-C) because the phone has to be capable of VoLTE (iPhone 5 is not VoLTE capable) which is necessary for HD Voice (what AT&T used to call VoLTE but has since expanded it a bit). What ever AT&T was doing with LTE made it much more difficult for the iPhone to hand-off from an LTE connection to the MicroCell's 3G radio. For WiFi-C to work properly when in range of the MicroCell one has to enable Airplane Mode which disables the cellular radio so the iPhone 6 and above can connect to your WiFi for calling. I can connect to LTE outside of my home, transition to 4G and then eventually the MicroCell 3G when home. Not everyone has difficulty transitioning from LTE to the MicroCell 3G so the problem is not universal.

 

AT&T should be more transparent in their MicroCell documentation in regards to the celluar connectivity so that users don't just assume it will connect at 4G/LTE just because AT&T has dropped 3G from the name. As I said, it is mentioned on the outside of the box but it should be clearly stated somewhere in the documentation. Of course that also assumes that user will carefully read the instructions or all of the legalese listed on the box.

 

I have been after AT&T for almost a year on the LTE issue. They have been very tight-lipped about what they were doing claiming that it is proprietary information, which is probably is. I'm trying to get AT&T to upgrade and train support to be more aware of potential issues when it comes to some LTE users and the MicroCell. Nobody is claiming that there aren't some compatbility issues with the MicroCell and the expanded LTE coverage, but it is not universal which makes it more difficult to troubleshoot.

 

If you have an iPhone 6 or above, you should see if WiFi-C will work satisfactorily for you so you don't need to use the MicroCell at all. That being said, if you need a mixed environment because you have non-WiFi capable phones, you will need to enable Airplane Mode on your iPhone 6 to disable the cellular radio for WiFi connection.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 19 of 50
Voyager

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

If you have an iphone 6, why not try ATT Wifi calling and ditch the microcell altogether?  It became active last month for iphone 6 and 6s devices.

Message 20 of 50
ACE - Expert

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

I suggested that in post 19 but reminders are always welcome.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 21 of 50
Contributor

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

I have 2 brand iPhone 6s phones, but also have 3 iPhone 5's as well. If I tweak the M-Cell so that it matches the new 6s phones, will that have any adverse impact on the 5's? In other words, will the Mcell still work with the 5's?

Message 22 of 50
ACE - Expert

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

There is no way to "tweak" the MicroCell so I'm not sure what you are talking about. If you are in a mixed environment (WiFi-C capable phones and non WiFi-C phones) then you will need to put the WiFi-C phones in Airplane Mode to disable the cellular radio so they can connect to your WiFi.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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 23 of 50
Contributor

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

eddiebike, nice job discovering this!

 

Temporarily disabling LTE on my iPhone 6 (Settings > Cellular > Enable LTE) immediately caused the phone to connect to my MicroCell.  I did "everything possible" (many times over!) previously to try to re-establish my former M-Cell connection.  It was dogging me for months -  disconnecting, reconnecting, re-entering a tiny-font serial number, etc, and generally feeling totally incapable.  😉  That LTE switch proved your theory and restored my sanity.

 

Of course, I turned back on LTE.  Having to manually manage LTE settings and "think about" what to do before using my cell phone just doesn't work for me.

 

 just enabled the new WiFi-C option on my iPhone6 (Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling).  I now see "AT&T Wi-Fi" instead of just "AT&T", in the same spot where "AT&T M-Cell" used to appear.  That suggests WiFi-C may automatically engage as needed.  That would be great.

 

When I've had time to use WiFi-C and confirm that call quality is reasonable at home, I'll return the MicroCell.  This thread saved me from wasting more time futzing with the MicroCell, and now I learned about WiFi-C.  All set!

 

Message 24 of 50
Tutor

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

Thanks dspdon and you are very welcome!

 

ATT needs to be much more forthcoming with the conditions under which the Mcell will & will not work for your particular cellphone. 

 

By the way, I work from time to time in large university facilities in the bowels of the buildings. The wifi calling option is WONDERFUL in these circumstances. I can clearly make & receive calls & messages & emails on the facility's (weak) wifi. ATT clearly has an advantage over Verizon now in these circumstances. For people who work daily in the bowels of buildings with little to no ATT cellphone signal, this has been a godsend !!! (This option is a carrier update & available on iPhone 5S & later versions.)

Message 25 of 50
ACE - Expert

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

@eddiebike and @dspdon

 

Disabling LTE for some iPhone 6's and above to get the phone to connect to the MicroCell has been around for awhile. It is a problem with some iPhones that may or may not be related to WiFi-C (WiFi-Calling). Enabling Airplane Mode (which turns off the cellular radio) is also another method of "forcing" the iPhone to use WiFi if WiFi Calling has been enabled on the iPhone.

 

There will be no automatic "hand-off" from WiFi-C to the MicroCell and vice versa because of the a limitaion in the technology. WiFi-C, like the MicroCell, is designed to fill in coverage gaps when a macrocell (tower) is not going to work adequately, but they are not designed/intended to be a complete replacement for a cellular tower.

 

The reasons for the LTE issue are many and varied, and is something that AT&T will not discuss with us for "proprietary reasons", which I think is bull but it's their store, not mine. Not that it is going to help you now but I will be updating my Tech Guide to include some WiFi-C information as it relates to the MicroCell.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 26 of 50
Tutor

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

OttoPylot - you are very smart and appear to be a wee bit stubborn.

 

You have had a tendency to blame Apple and the iPhone 6 hardware for the ATT MicroCell connection problem.

 

To wit:

OttoPylot
Sep 12, 2015 1:09:31 PM “…that possibly points back to the phone because the MicroCell is indicating that it is still connected to the AT&T Mobility servers. I have an iPhone 5 with no issues at all so it seems to be something with the iPhone 6's. Have you turned off completely the phone and then turned it back on?”


OttoPylot
Sep 13, 2015 7:03:20 PM “This is an Apple id issue…”


Walker4BC
Sep 30, 2015 7:33:04 AM
Contributor
"I am having this same issue on my new 6s+. Microcell has worked forever and just stopped when I got my new phone. Nothing else changed. Help!"


OttoPylot
Sep 30, 2015 8:53:04 AM: “This is a technical issue with the new iPhone 6 hardware.”

 

Again - to reiterate - the "problem" began when ATT upgraded their VoLTE HD Voice which is a significantly better connection for voice calls than their previous voice connections.

 

This means that starting with the iPhone 5S - it will connect automatically to the best connection - whether it is VoLTE HD Voice or the ATT MicroCell.

 

In my house (non metal roof), I get at least 2 bars of VoLTE HD which is a better connection and overrides the ATT MicroCell.

 

In my son's house (metal roof), my iPhone 6 automatically connects to their ATT MicroCell because it is the best signal.

 

All of this is a completely separate issue from the wifi calling feature. Again, this relatively new feature is fantastic - particularly in buildings where the ATT VoLTE signal can't reach.

 

OttoPylot - whenever you upgrade from your iPhone 5 - you will experience firsthand the issue that the rest of us have been beating our heads against the wall trying to figure out (if you are able to receive the ATT VoLTE HD signal.)

 

So...if one is able to receive a strong enough VoLTE HD ATT signal in your house on an iPhone 5S and higher - you WILL NOT benefit from using an (existing) ATT MicroCell.

Message 27 of 50
ACE - Expert

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

@eddiebike

 

I don't understand the point of your argument that you are trying to start. I have never said that the MicroCell, and certainly AT&T, are blameless in the iPhone/LTE issue. There are a lot of things that AT&T has told me, that I can't really state publically, that is utter nonesense. That being said, as AT&T tweaks their LTE network for future use needs, and phones become more complicated, there are going to be sporadic issues that just can't be resolved. The MicroCell is old technology that has just about reached it's usefullness, but there are still thousands of users who still rely on it and can't use WiFi-C because they don't have an iPhone 6 or above.

 

If one is on a call, whether it be LTE/4G or 3G, and walks into a house with a MicroCell, the call most often will not hand-off to the MicroCell and you may in fact lose it. That problem seems to exacerbated in areas where the LTE signal or propagation has been increased. Some phones can handle that transition better than others. We have friends and family members now with iPhone 6's and 6S's, who are on the Approved Users List, and they don't seem to have an issue, at times, with our MicroCell and LTE (which has since been upgraded/increased in our Service Area after one of my original posts). That doesn't mean the problems don't exist though. However, they do have to enable Airplane Mode if they want to use the WiFi-C feature of their iPhone when in our home.

 

To quote AT&T, from a personal communication,

 

"HD Voice presence or lack thereof only matters for handoff purposes; WiFi Calling can handoff to HD Voice because they use a lot of the same systems and thus it’s more like a tower to tower handoff, but the 2G/3G voice network isn’t capable of accepting the handoff because it can’t ‘see’ the WiFi call properly.

 

This is not controllable from the phone. Due to network/technology structure, a WiFi call can be handed off to an HD Voice tower, but not to a 2G/3G tower."

 

 

There are some who were unable to even activate WiFi-C on their new iPhones because of hardware changes and network requirements unless they deactivated their MicroCell, reactivated it, and completely shutdown their phone and then turned it back on. The AT&T network needed to see recognize the new hardware via the MicroCell before the phones would even connect, let alone do WiFi-C. Add the LTE issue on top of that and you have all kinds of issues that may or may not affect your particular phone. As I get new information that can be confirmed I try to update my Tech Guide but it is becoming more and more difficult to stay current because of the time involved and the rapidly changing AT&T network.

 

Be thankful you don't have an Android-based phone because that can be even more troublesome. And Samung admits as much.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 28 of 50
Contributor

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

I should have mentioned a few other things:

- thanks should go to Otto as well, as I found the whole thread here to be quite useful

- after finding success after disabling LTE, I tried switching other modes to see what else may coax M-Cell to reengage on my phone -- roaming, wifi, even airplane mode (I know, kinda obvious outcome on that one). Nothing else caused M-Cell to reengage. Only turning on cellular and turning off LTE worked.

- WiFi-C seems good so far. I wonder if that "model will come and go depending on signal strength of wifi relative to cellular? I have a feeling the "WiFi Assist" mode on the iPhone may play a role here. I'm obviously just learning.

Thanks again!!
Message 29 of 50
ACE - Expert

Re: Microcell will not connect to iPhone 6 :( M-Cell

@dspdon

 

WiFi Assist is used to force the phone to a cellular connection when WiFi is weak. It has nothing to do with WiFi-C and, in some cases, can chew up your cellular data. WiFi Assist is on by default so I would disable it if you don't think you'll need that feature.

 

Apple has designed the phone so that it will always prefer a cellular connection over WiFi. That's why it won't automatically switch to WiFi within MicroCell range. It's a problem that we call mixed environments. By that I mean individuals in your home who don't have an iPhone 6 or above and need cellular service. In that case the only thing you can do is enter Airplane Mode to disable the cellular radio if you want to use WiFi-C. LTE is a different, but somewhat related issue. It has to do with the strength and/or direction of the LTE signal in your particular environment and how well the phone decides which signal to stay locked onto. Disabling LTE, if it is the stronger signal, will force the phone to look for a 3G signal, which is the MicroCell, and connect to it. With the continued provisioning of VoLTE and its LTE requirements, MicroCell connection issues are not surprising.

 

WiFi-C is not without its problems because it uses two of the four ports that the MicroCell requires, this is an Apple requirement not AT&T's, so anything that affects those ports may affect WiFi-C. In fact, anything that can alter your WiFi reliabiliyt will affect WiFi-C. Most have found WiFi-C to be more robust and stable than the MicroCell. That's why we recommend using WiFi-C in-home if nobody else needs the MicroCell to see how well it will work for you.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by OttoPylot

Cellular Booster Guide by OttoPylot

"Quick Tips: My Microcell Doesn't Work"


I am not an AT&T employee.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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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