MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

Teacher

MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

I have had my MicroCell here in Greenville, NC for about 10 months, and it has done very little to ease my AT&T frustrations.  I regularly experience issues such as:

 

- Call Quality Problems: Others report that my voice cuts in and out.  I usually have to call them back.

- Outages: The MicroCell seems to intermittently become unavailable.  

 

Has anyone else in NC dealt with these issues?  And/or resolved them?

 

(I work in IT, so many times I have been through all of the standard troubleshooting steps) 

Message 1 of 24 (2,135 Views)
Guru

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

The Microcell is an incredibly troubled device, and AT&T has an abysmal support track record for it. The last time I talked to them about the problems I was having they told me that the Microcell would either work or it wouldn't, and if I didn't like it, I could sell it on eBay.

 

However, one problem that you mention sticks out to me as being something that can be solved.

 

Anytime anyone reports that their audio cuts in and out from the other party's vantage point, that makes me immediately suspect an uplink congestion issue. That is, you probably either have a relatively small uplink channel or you're using it quite a lot.

 

AT&T's recommended solution to this is the so-called "priority mode" installation, where you run all your traffic through the Microcell so that it can prioritize its own traffic over your LAN. The problem is that the Microcell is so flaky that I would never trust it with such an important position on my network. And if you have PPPoE, then this configuration won't work in any event.

 

No, the better thing to do is to examine your router's QoS configuration to do whatever it takes to give your Microcell's packets priority over the rest of your traffic. With proper traffic shaping, I would expect that that symptom would disappear.

 

As for the outages, that's AT&T's fault, and there probably is no way to fix it, given how little AT&T has demonstrated that they care about their Microcell customers.

 

Message 2 of 24 (2,127 Views)

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

Most of the time, issues like this are actually issues with the underlying Internet connection service.

 

I suggest trying the test here:

 

http://myvoipspeed.visualware.com/

Message 3 of 24 (2,105 Views)
Teacher

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

Thanks for the help nsayer and MyDogHasFleas!  Sadly, I think this issue may lie with AT&T......

 

1) Network setup.  My MicroCell has first position on my home network, which is a pretty basic setup:

 

Cable Modem ---->  MicroCell ----->  Apple AirPort Express  

 

 

2) Bandwidth.  I have an upgraded connection with our local Cable ISP.  (Suddenlink.  10Mb down.  2Mb up.) 

 

I have run tons of speedtest.net, pingtest.net, traceroute, ping, and VOIP jitter and QoS tests, and the connection is very consistent.  

 

Usually when my call quality issues crop up, I make sure that there aren't any other WiFi devices connected to my LAN, battling for bandwidth.  It's a strong password protected LAN, and my home traffic is normally limited to e-mail, and average web surfing.  

Message 4 of 24 (2,093 Views)
Teacher

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

I almost forgot, the data service to my iPhone while on the MicroCell is horrendous.  Many times, I'll have to hard reboot the phone in order to even receive data via MicroCell.  OR, the data is so slow.....slower than 1 bar on the Edge network.  So frustrating.  

Message 5 of 24 (2,061 Views)
Teacher

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

MicroCell has been totally out this afternoon.  I think I'm going to chuck it into the woods.  

Message 6 of 24 (1,975 Views)
AML
Teacher

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

[ Edited ]

I am in Los Angeles, and I have the exact same problem you have.  I am switching to Verizon in a month.

 

I don't need to explain how frustrated it is, you already know :-)

Message 7 of 24 (1,923 Views)
Mentor

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

My M Cell has been out almost all morning.  As always, it's not my internet (Road Runner 15 kbps up).  It does no good to call AT&T.  They're useless.  14 months of dealing with them and nothing has been resolved.  All I can do is wait out my contract and then sell my iPhone and M Cell hopefully.

Message 8 of 24 (1,888 Views)

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

Ha!  I don't think the horrible 3G MicroCell service is just tied to North Carolina as it has to be in their infrastructure for the 3G MicroCell.  I've returned my original 3G MicroCell prior to the (1) year and still have issue with a brand spanking 3G MicroCell.  I'm currently in upper Wake Forest, NC. I got (2) iPhone 4's and (1) Blackberry Bold (9700).

Message 9 of 24 (1,847 Views)
Mentor

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

^ Oh I know it's not just NC related.  I've read a lot of the threads in this forum pertaining to other state-wide outages.

 

Plain and simple:  The M Cell is junk and AT&T doesn't know how to fix the product.  It was a good idea.  But that's all it is.

 

Like I said... I'm just waiting out my contract so I can go back to Verizon now that they have the iPhone.

 

I'm just south of Fort Bragg, NC.

 

And just to add... this area used to have 5 bar coverage (up until roughly 5 months ago).  Not anymore!  It's decreasing.  I don't know why?  AT&T certainly doesn't have answers.

Message 10 of 24 (1,794 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

AT&T has been upgrading (a loose term for sure) their MicroCell system nationwide since early in the year. They're apparently doing that service area by service area. In the SF Bay Area, they started around March and it was a nightmare, as some of you are reporting now. In my case, we were completely down for a little over 10 days and I had to go thru countless support calls with clueless/careless people. We are currently up and running with very few problems. However, AT&T did not take into account how people were going to use their MicroCells and the numerous ISPs and router models/configurations there are out there. What they should have done, is fully test the upgrade with at least the most common router models over various connections (DSL, ADSL, cable, PPoE, etc) and come up with basic configuration settings. They sort of did that with the various port forwarding settings that you see floating around (that's how I got mine to work in non-priority mode) but that information has not been fully explained or made available to support. AT&T had a shot here to increase their user base and customer satisfaction with this product but they blew it big time with a poorly implemented roll out, adequate testing, and an informed support staff.
___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


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

*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 24 (1,372 Views)
Mentor

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

I've been basically texting nonstop from 5pm until.. well it's 6:45am right now and I'm still texting.  I've been group texting two people and texting another person.

 

My M-Cell has been going out just about every 30 minutes since roughly 7pm ALL night long.  It's unbarable!!! And no, it's not my internet.

 

And to make things worse, all of my friends who have Verizon and T-Mobile, when I SMS or MMS them (on or off the M Cell), are getting duplicate messages from me, minutes, hours and days later. And there's nothing I can do about it, except not message them!

 

I read an article in the local paper saying AT&T is upgrading in Raleigh to 4G service LOL.   Whatever.  So I guess everyone has to suffer down here for who knows how long.  Unreal.  My friends who work at the AT&T call centers said this is why my friends are getting duplicate messages from AT&T users.  I don't know what to do.  This blows.  What else is new.

Message 12 of 24 (1,292 Views)
Teacher

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

Last night, I had two very critically important calls for my business that I was on (connected through the mCell), and I DROPPED THE CALL TWICE.  Embarrassing and frustrating.  The very problem that the Microcell is supposed to fix, it just makes worse.  

 

So I have to step into my back yard, and hold the phone in the air above my head in order to keep the call going.  What's sad is that this is what it takes to get a decent signal, AND I'm only about 40 feet away from the MicroCell in my living room (while standing in the back yard), and it doesn't have enough range to reach out there.  

Message 13 of 24 (1,286 Views)
Mentor

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

I've noticed within my group text (one is an ATT user, two are Verizon users) when I'm on the M Cell, I get a flood of text messages from these 3 (in my group text) at once.  I'm talking 7-15 text messages at once.  And I know they're sent minutes earlier (because I was on the phone with one of the Verizon users when the group text was taking place at one point.

 

When I'm off the M Cell (even with 2 bars via the ATT network), I don't have this issue.

 

Augh the M Cell sucks so bad!!!!

Message 14 of 24 (1,263 Views)
Mentor

Re: MicroCell in North Carolina - Horrible Service

Microcell is being super stupid today.  I thought no one texted me today.  Just got a flood of roughly 50 text messages all at once (from the entire day).  All of them are timestamped.  It sure would be nice if AT&T would fix the M Cell!  My phone is still blowing up with text messages.

Message 15 of 24 (1,212 Views)
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