09-06-2011 10:52 AM
The MicroCell FAQ clearly states:
If I start a call on the AT&T 3G MicroCell device and leave my home, does the call continue uninterrupted? How about billing?
Yes, calls seamlessly transfer from the AT&T 3G MicroCell device to the strongest AT&T cell tower signal. Billing will continue based on the initial connection being placed on the AT&T 3G MicroCell device. For example, if you have an Unlimited MicroCell Plan, your Unlimited MicroCell Plan rates will continue to apply.
So in the period of 36 hours that I've owned the device it has dropped calls both times I've left the house. I have a Motorola Atrix and as I pull away there is about 1 second where it drops all connections and then re-establishes itself on AT&T's macro network. I spoke with tech support and they assured me that the FAQ is wrong and that the device does not transfer between MC and towers in either direction.
I've read a number of posts on here that talk about calls transferring to the macro network so that seems like bull to me. Anyone have experience with this problem?
09-06-2011 11:52 AM
There is a vast gulf between the promises AT&T makes about the Microcell's performance and what you actually get. It's as bad as the picture of a Big Mac you see in the commercials compared to what you actually get from your local McDonald's.
In theory, calls begun on the Microcell should transfer out to the Macronet, but the reverse is not true. In actual fact, if your Macronet signal is strong enough to support call transfers of that sort, then the Microcell will likely not work terribly well anyway (Microcells work best in areas where there is little or no Macro coverage) because the phones tend to get confused when both are available (particulalry iPhones). So either your Macro network is too weak - meaning that there's nothing for the call to hand-off to, or it's strong - which means that your phone will get confused in the back-and-forth and just drop the call. It's a perfect Morton's Fork.
09-06-2011 12:07 PM
Calls transfer just fine for me. However I know that about 2 blocks from my house is a near 100% dead spot. So, the basic answer is "it depends". If you are in or extremely close to a dead spot then I wouldn't be surprised if the call drops then you quickly enter an area with sufficient signal to start a call.
09-06-2011 12:16 PM
Interesting. Usually once I'm in the driveway I would have 3 bars on the macro network and 3-4 bars on MicroCell. Seems like a transfer should happen just fine.
I haven't yet turned in my rebate with original UPC and I'm debating returning the device. Inside my home it works great, but this particular failure bothers me so I'm not sure.
09-06-2011 4:46 PM
09-06-2011 8:20 PM
I put a microcell in at my apartment, and it was a total failure. I took the microcell to my girlfreind's house, and although it isn't perfect, it is a lot better than has improved the service enough that I am satisfied. I still can't transfer to the macro network, and I still have delays making calls, but my phone barely worked berfore. The problems are pretty minimal in comparison. I would recommend the microcell, but only if your service is really bad and changing carriers is not an option.