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iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell


Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

Does it work if you plug the MicroCell directly into your internet modem without using your router?  If it works this way then I'd suggest an issue with your router or its settings.  If not that way then the only other things I can thing of is:

1) Bad MicroCell.

2) Your ISP is blocking something like ports on their end.

3) Some sort of signal interference from something in your area.

Message 16 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

AT&T Tech Supports response: "We are limited on what we can do  here. I apologize the the incontinence."


So it goes back to the store.

Message 17 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

I just took mine back. I had it plugged directly into my modem in front of my router. Initially it didn't work at all, then I re-registered it and it worked for a couple of hours and quit, I then re-registered it and it worked for several days. It then stopped and also kept our internet from working until I pulled it out. I spent hours on the phone with support going through the same steps over and over. I suspect it could be made to work if they looked at logs and diagnosed what is wrong but blindly going through a checklist of what to do (reset phone, reset MicroCell, unregister and re-register) was never going to find the problem. Extremely disappointed.

Message 18 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

I was having the same problem for a week now - using an iPhone and another type of AT&T-based cell phone.   Both had been working fine for several weeks after the MicroCell was first installed.   My wireless router and cable modem have never been turned off or rebooted since the installation of the AT&T MicroCell about a month ago.   I did shut down my two PCs for a week while on vacation however the router and modem were left up and the network was used regularly by the housesitter so we know the network was working all along.    The MicroCell signal just became weak and finally would not show on our phones at all.   Wierd stuff but I guess it is the nature of electronics and/or networks. 


Finally decided today to reboot the 3G MicroCell ONLY - took about ten minutes and then successfully got an excellent signal on my phones.  There should not have been a reason to have to reboot the MicroCell but then again maybe this is like early versions of MS Windows - just reboot when in doubt about any problem or symptoms!   

  - KRE

Message 19 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

From the knucklehead department -- me.  I too was having intermittent connectivity problems with my iphone. Tried rebooting everything to no avail.  Then I realized that to save battery life I routinely turn off 3G and wifi on my phone settings.  Sure enough, this was my problem.


The 3G Microcell works as advertised for me.  So long as I avoid knucklehead mode in the settings in my brain.

Message 20 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

The saga continues.


Tried a 2nd MicroCell and it worked the same as the first. Interestingly while there was no voice connection, data worked fine. And yes WiFi was turned off on the phone. Tested this with 3 different iPhones, all dead on voice and all worked with data.


Tried a 3rd MicroCell and this one would never stop blinking the 3G lights. Went through several repeats of the setup procedure and even gave it 24 hours to try to connect with no luck. So it was returned and the money returned.

Message 21 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

Anybody every figure this one out?  I brought home a brand new Microcell and it activated fine.  All lights are green.  I have two 3G iPhones (one at 3.0 and one at 3.1.3) and neither one shows any bars of service when connected to the M-Cell.  ZERO bars.  Like the previous poster, oddly, 3G data works fine.


I've tried hookup options A and C and restored both iPhones.  I've also tried the Microcell upstairs (which has 1-2 macrocell bars) and downstairs (which has 1 bar to no macrocell service).  Nothing seems to make a difference.  My Internet connection is Comcast 16Mbps up/3Mbps down.


Message 22 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

As a last resort, I pressed the Reset button on the back and held it until the 3G light went out (5-10 sec).  I then released it and 10-15 sec later all the lights went out and the Microcell rebooted.  When it came back up, both iPhones connected to the Microcell and have 5 bars all over the house including the garages.  Everything has worked great for the past two days (knock wood).  I don't know how the reset is any different from a power cycle, but it sure fixed my problems.  YMMV.

Message 23 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

Words of encouragement:

In the last few weeks, my iPhone will connect if I turn off WiFi on the phone and then toggle Airplane Mode. 


It's still pretty awful though because it drops the connection to the MicroCell a zillion times per day and I can only walk about 10 feet away from the MicroCell before my iPhone drops the M-Cell connection. 


Words of blame:

I'm pretty sure that this is all some kind of bug in Apple's iOS 4 and not a problem with the MicroCell.  Up until iOS 4.0.1 came out, my iPhone worked just fine with the MicroCell.  iOS 4.0.1 came out and then huge problems.  (And by "problems" I mean it wouldn't connect *at all*) 


iOS 4.0.1 was a fix related to signal strength.  The initial release of iOS 4 was erroneously displaying more bars of signal than it was really getting.  I think that there's a bug that was introduced in iOS 4.0.1 that's causing all of our M-Cell problems.  My iPad (iOS 3.2) connects to the MicroCell like a champ and works exactly like it's supposed to. 


Basically, it's the iPhone's decision about whether it's going to attach to the MicroCell or whether it's going to attach to the insanely weak cell tower signals.  Whatever it's doing, our iOS 4 iPhones make the wrong decision.


Words of (cranky) hope:

My $0.02, as soon as the Windows Phone 7 devices come out, I'm grinding this iPhone up in the blender and pouring it down the toilet.  Crossing my fingers that the WP7 devices work better with the MicroCell.

Message 24 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

Before grinding your iPhone, my first suggestion would be to update to ios 4.1.  I believe included with this update was a new carrier profile (AT&T 7.0 to 8.0), but don't quote me on that.  I've had the M-Cell since June and our two iPhones (3GS model) connect as long as you toggle the phone in and out of airplane mode.  Sometimes the phone will pick it up, but it's a rare occurance.  My fiance's work BlackBerry is a different story.  It connected a few times after installing the M-Cell, but won't connect at all any longer. 


Everyone seems to be quick to throw the blame on Apple (and maybe they are partially at fault), but this isn't their device, it's AT&T's device.  They should be fixing this, not Apple. 

Message 25 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

Hi fatkid98,


I've been running iOS 4.1 since it was released.  I think that there's a partial bug fix in 4.1 and that's what's allowing me to connect to the MicroCell. 


It sounds like you and I have to do the same workaround though to make it work -- turn off WiFi on the phone and then toggle Airplane Mode.  That makes it work temporariliy but hardly as advertised. 


I'm sure that AT&T isn't blameless and I'm sure that the MicroCell has some bugs -- they've done at least 3 or 4 firmware patches since the device was released to retail -- but the electronic decision about which cell tower to attach to is largely on the device.  I doubt that AT&T is writing the operating system code on the handsets on behalf of Apple. 




Message 26 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

I agree 100% Ben.  One thing I've been doing lately is toggling off 3G for a few seconds and then turning it back on.  This also allows me to connect to the M-Cell without airplane.  It's a few more steps, but it doesn't turn off wifi.  Having wifi on or off doesn't seem to make a difference when trying to connect.  I still prefer to use wifi when I can rather than 3G.

Message 27 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

I went through this whole Airplane Mode switching thing until some people claimed that getting a new SIM card helps. I was very skeptical but desperate enough to go along with it. It's still not perfect, but it now mostly works and does not require me do the Airplane Mode dance anymore. I do not need to switch off wifi either.

Message 28 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

Not a new sim card for me but I had them reactivate it. (Was having provisioning issues and it basically was like getting a new sim card)  I went from a Fuze to a iPhone 3G and on both it would always say AT&T extend.. never M-Cell.   While it worked before flawlessly, it was a low signal even a floor above it.  Now I get full signal in the house, and can even pick it up next door. 

Message 29 of 80

Re: iPhone Not Connecting to Microcell

I can get iPhone4s to connect to the MicroCell if I reboot the phone or toggle 3G.  But if I'm connected to the MicroCell and walk out of range and pick up a tower AT&T signal, when I come back the phone doesn't detect the MicroCell unless I reboot or toggle 3G.


I'm using a second MicroCell after the first died after a power failure (despite being on a surge protector).  It seemed like this problem didn't occur often then, but it was before I had the plastic bumper, so when I held the phone in the "wrong" way it may have sent my tower signal so low that the phone looked for the MicroCell (signal was typically 0-1 bars with no bumper, while holding the phone in the "wrong" way; I usually get 2-3 bars of tower AT&T signal). 


I've been using iOS 4.1 since a day or two after it came out.


The AT&T support folks suggested trying another MicroCell, which I did with the same results.  I've also tested with a second iPhone4, with the same results.  We have one non-iPhone; I can fiddle more with that but it doesn't seem to recognize the MicroCell at all.


I understand that AT&T and Apple have not gotten this working well enough to switch a call in progress to the MicroCell when coming into range.  But not switching to the MicroCell automatically when coming into range while not talking on the phone is a serious problem.  One could go through the hassle of toggling 3G before initiating a call, but one can't do that before answering a call.


From the size of this thread it seems there is a systematic problem here and AT&T should assign a high level technician to get this working, or issue some sort of other software or hardware fix, or warn anyone getting a MicroCell beforehand that for many people they don't work.

Message 30 of 80
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