MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

Contributor

MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I'm in the Bay area, picked up and installed the microcell about two weeks ago - no hiccups with the installation..

 

All the lights are on and my iPhone reads AT&T M-CELL with 5 bars all over the house.

 

I've got a 50MBit down/10MBit up connection which passes all the VOIP online tests with flying colors (very little jitter, 0.0 packet loss etc..) It's hooked to a reasonably new dual channel Cisco wireless router.

 

The problem is that Calls are failing all the time - while the bars stay solid at 5. Occasionally, I'll go a day or two without a dropped call, but then I'll have 5 or 6 dropped calls in a row. I've had to disable 3G on the iPhone just to maintain a conference call for more than 10 minutes without dropping.

 

I've restarted it a couple of times and that doesn't appear to do anything.

 

is anyone else experiencing this kind of performance? Is there a firmware update of some kind?

 

 

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Message 1 of 25
Guru

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

About how long do the calls last before they drop?  You said less than 10 min, so about 3-5?

Without the M-Cell (if it were powered off,) what's the AT&T reception like in the same location?

 

Just wondering if maybe the calls are trying to hand off to the AT&T macrocell site and getting dropped in the process.  I know I get handed off at different locations in the building (when at work) because the AT&T reception happens to be better there.

 

Sorry I don't have any solutions.  I honestly haven't had a lot of lenthy phone calls on my M-Cells and not once have they dropped.  My typical call is about 10 min.

I wonder if AT&T support can find out any solutions.  Perhaps they have access to call log data that can tell them the reason the calls have dropped?

 

Just asking some questions.

Message 2 of 25
Contributor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I haven't noticed much of a pattern as to the length of the call before it drops.. 

 

It just now dropped a call after about 4 or 5 minutes.. I've also has it drop after 30 seconds.. or work perfectly for an hour long conference call. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme nor reason to it.

 

re: 3G reception.. it's always been a bit spotty where I live. Prior to the MicroCell,  with 3G enabled, I'd drop at least 3 or 4 calls a week.. My solution had been to use my 3GS in Edge mode which really never dropped a call.

 

Perhaps I'll try calling AT&T support.. I just don't feel like I've got the energy right now to slog through a conversation with a level 1 technician who will hand me off to someone else after essentially reading the manual back to me.

 

<sigh>

Message 3 of 25
Contributor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I have had more dropped calls today than the total drops for the last 6 months.  The interesting thing is that the drops are happening both when I am connected to the regular network and when connected to the 3G MicroCell.  The MicroCell has been rock solid for the last 3 weeks.  In fact, today is the first time I have every had a dropped call when connected to the MicroCell.  I am in the SF Bay Are and am wondering if something has happened in this area.

Message 4 of 25
Scholar

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

Is it possible that its not your device, its the other number your calling?

 

The only reason I ask is because your setup sounds perfect. Smiley Wink

Message 5 of 25
Contributor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I just bought a MicroCell yesterday in Salt Lake City and had my first two calls dropped.  So far, I'm less than impressed.  Let me know if you or anyone has any suggestions.  If not, this might be a short-lived purchase.

Message 6 of 25
Mentor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I've had my MC for a couple of weeks now.  Where I live in San Diego, it is very hilly.  Macro cell coverage is very spotty.  In the front of my house, I get absolutely no bar coverage.  In fact it typically says "Searching for Network".  In the back of my house approx 50' away I get 1-2 bar macro coverage.  I have experimented with the location of the MC and here is what my very superficial testing has shown.  It seems to be important to locate the MC in a location where you get the worst macro cell coverage.  It somehow appears, that there is a not so friendly competition between the MicroCell and the cell tower for domination.  If the macro cell strenght is too strong, the microcell hands off the call.  Once that happens it cannot go back.  If your call is in macro and the signal starts to degrade, you end up with a dropped call.

 

So now with the MC located in the front of my house, I get 5 bar coverage and almost never drop a call throughout most of the house.   However, if I start a call up front and start walking towards the rear, once the tower strength starts to exceed the MC strenth that appears to be the problem area.  If it hands off to the cell tower I typically have no better than 50% chance of completing the call before it is dropped.

Message 7 of 25
Scholar

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

That's a very astute observation.  Placing the MC in the home where you have the worst macro coverage is a very good idea.  Especially since hand-out to the Macro works, but hand-in from the macro does not.  I would be very interested to hear if others that are having drop call issues could relocate their MC as you suggested and what those results were.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 8 of 25
Mentor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I have been called a lot of things in my day, but never "astute".  Thanks.

Message 9 of 25
Voyager

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

Add me to the list of unsatisfied customers. I have had the MC for over six months now and I've had so many dropped and failed calls that it's not funny! from my experience the MC just isn't ready for prime yet. On the other hand, I've used the Airave from Sprint with great success but the reliability of the MC just isn't there. As with other posters there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the communication problems. We do have spotty coverage at my house ranging from 3 bars to no bars so it may very well gave something to do with tower hand-off and re-connect. I have a trouble ticket (one if many) in now so we will see what happens.
Message 10 of 25
Contributor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I've had this problem (logged  with ATT) since Nov 4th.  I just pushed the problem up the ticket route and was told, "This is a Known problem that Cisco is working on and there is no "fixed" timeframe.".

 

If you haven't opened a ticket, DO IT!  

 

AT&T is researching how/if they are going to refund my $$$..    They wanted me to "log" the dropped calls.   Well, this happens to be in a business so I can't afford to have customer dropped calls.

 

At this point in time, I could NOT suggest anyone purchase this product based on my recent conversations with AT&T and experience.

 

Cheers.

Message 11 of 25
Contributor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy


nothingreal wrote:

I'm in the Bay area, picked up and installed the microcell about two weeks ago - no hiccups with the installation..

 

All the lights are on and my iPhone reads AT&T M-CELL with 5 bars all over the house.

 

I've got a 50MBit down/10MBit up connection which passes all the VOIP online tests with flying colors (very little jitter, 0.0 packet loss etc..) It's hooked to a reasonably new dual channel Cisco wireless router.

 

The problem is that Calls are failing all the time - while the bars stay solid at 5. Occasionally, I'll go a day or two without a dropped call, but then I'll have 5 or 6 dropped calls in a row. I've had to disable 3G on the iPhone just to maintain a conference call for more than 10 minutes without dropping.

 

I've restarted it a couple of times and that doesn't appear to do anything.

 

is anyone else experiencing this kind of performance? Is there a firmware update of some kind?

 

 


I'm in Irvine - Orange County. I picked up a microcell last week and went home to hook it up. The store clerk was incredibly helpful. I got home and 90 minutes later I was excited to be up and running. My excitement was short lived as after hooking up the microcell I was dropping calls worse then ever --- I didn't understand it as I had "full bars". I took it back to the store and exchanged the microcell because I thought it was an equipment problem. Went home and had the same problem with the second microcell. Needless to say, the second microcell has been returned. I anxiously waited for the microcell and thought it would be the end of my at home service problems. Needless to say, I am incredibly disappointed. I know AT+T hears this a lot, but my contract is up in June on iPhone#1 and in December for iPhone #2 --- the service better get better very quickly.

Message 12 of 25
Contributor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I just purchased and setup my MicroCell on Monday (5/10/10).  Out of five or so calls placed on the MicroCell, I've dropped three.  I suspect it's the whole MicroCell to macrocell handoff going on - but not sure.  I'm on hold with AT&T tech support as I type this - we'll see if they offer any suggestions.  Otherwise, I guess add me to the list of frustrated MicroCell owners.  My wife and I both use iPhone 3GS handsets.

Message 13 of 25
Contributor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

So here's my latest experience with the problem..

 

I called AT&T last week and spoke with a rep who was very helpful.

 

My MicroCell was connected to the router and - per his instruction - I connected the MicroCell directly to the modem and then connected the router to the MicroCell (they call this 'priority mode').

 

After a quick modem re-boot everything was in place.. It took the MicroCell two days to come up, but on Sunday morning it was online and my iPhone was back connected to it.

 

I made a call that morning and it dropped after 5 seconds... then I called the person back and It held the connection for the full call.

 

Since then I've dropped roughly 50-60% of the calls, without any apparent pattern -- some drop right away, some will drop after 20 or 30 minutes... I even had a conference call last for an hour before it dropped.

 

It's been 'escalated' with their support staff.

 

all in all, I'm pleasantly surprised with the phone techs at AT&T, so kudos for that.. the 3G MicroCell product, on the other hand, is nothing short of pathetic based on my experience.

 

It's a black eye that AT&T really doesn't need right now.

Message 14 of 25
Tutor

Re: MicroCell dropping calls like crazy

I live right next to Irvine- in Aliso Viejo (Orange County)... like a previous post we have 10 Mbps (down), reliable internet service from Cox- however since installing our 3G Microcell last Saturday- most calls originating from our Microcell are dropped

 

Monday- 2 / 3 calls placed dropped

Tuesday 1 / 2 calls placed dropped

Wed (today) 2/3 calls placed dropped

 

very frustrating- as this device was supposed to make coverage problems go away!  Not increase them.  We were going to get new iPhones and re-sign up for another 2 years next month.  But if this isn't reliable- then coverage at home won't be reliable- and perhaps it's time to go Verizon / Android. 

 

Would really appreciate any news of a fix... John

 

ps - I've power cycled but that didn't fix the problem

Message 15 of 25
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