Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

Teacher

Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I am a disappointed owner of a MicroCell, and have had it for about 7 days. 

 

Specific to my data performance, I'm having three horrible frustrations:

 

1) No Data - About 60% of the time, data does not flow to my iPhone 3GS.  Safari pages return "server could not be contacted", and Mail returns "unable to receive mail." 

 

2) Slow Data - About 20% of the time, the data is painfully slow.  MUCH slower than data speeds when I'm connected to the regular AT&T 3G network, with about 3-4 bars. 

 

3) Regular Data - About 20% of the time, I experience normal data speeds.  Speed is about the same as the 3G network, but I would expect it to be MUCH faster, given I'm on a 10Mb down, 1.5Mb up cable connection. 

 

 

I work in IT, so I've gone through all of the AT&T troubleshooting steps.....twice.  I called tech support, where the first time, the condescending rep walked me through what he called their "decision tree".  This was nothing more than having me repeat the steps already online on the AT&T support pages. 

 

I called AT&T back again when the first call didn't resolve the issue.  They "opened a ticket", and said "a tier 2 person would call me in 48 hours or less".  

 

No call.  No nothing. 

 

I've read in the forums about AT&T being aware of this, that there may be a firmware update pushed out, etc, but no one at AT&T knew about this. 

 

 

 

On top of that, about 30% of my calls have given me quality issues.  The audio I hear of the caller is choppy. 

 

 

Who else is having this issue?  Thoughts?

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Message 1 of 15
Teacher

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

Welcome to the club.

 

I also have the no data, slow data problem.

It is quite frustrating, because the microcell is not doing what it is advertised to do.  Many have said to just turn on wifi, but this is not acceptable to me.  When I want to check my email or favorite website from my mobile phone, I expect 3G data to work through the microcell.

 

I have been over and over my internet connection/router setup and can find no flaws that would cause this problem.

The microcell works fine for voice and sms.

 

Reliability of service with the microcell has also been poor.  There are weekly microcell outages of varying length, with no warning whatsoever.  Also, my microcell always disconnects late at night/early morning and comes back later on in the morning.

 

It really has been an exercise in frustration with this device.  I hope the promised upcoming firmware update solves all these problems. 

To be honest, if I was not locked into contract (and the wife did not love her iphone), I would switch carriers in an instant.

 

 

Message 2 of 15
Teacher

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

Thanks Ken.  Good know I'm not the only out here suffering with this product billed as a "solution".  I actually have my MicroCell plugged DIRECTLY into my cable modem, and have worked extensively to eliminate any and all possible culprits for this problem.  (network, phone, phone config, etc, etc)  

 

Looks like my options are to either return the unit, get a new one, or suffer it out with the one I have in hopes AT&T will fix this.  

 

 

Message 3 of 15
Contributor

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

Same problem.  I was trying to listen to Pandora at home.  The only way I can get 3g service is through this device since my iphone lost wireless access.  I can disconnect from 3g and pandora works fine(skips though because not enough bandwidth).  ReEnable 3g service and I recieve error that it cannot connect.  ARGHHHH.  Phone service is GREAT though.

Message 4 of 15
Contributor

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I too am having the same problem.  Just got my Microcell this week.

Message 5 of 15
Teacher

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I hear back from a higher level AT&T support person (based in the US) about this issue.  He said that there are hundreds of tickets of people having this same problem, and that a firmware update (also referenced in other posts here) will be pushed out in October.  

 

This update is supposed to increase the amount of data the microcell allows the phone to download and upload.  

 

So I guess I will know in 8 days whether the update worked.  

Message 6 of 15
Guru

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I wouldn't hold my breath. Other posters have said that there are two updates - one will (supposedly) fix the stuttering audio and other problems, but won't lift the uplink data cap. The second (again, supposedly) addresses the cap.

 

Of course, all of this is speculation because AT&T won't tell anybody anything. They don't even have a straight story to tell their own support staff, so far as I can tell.

 

I still am willing to bet $100 my microcell won't be working on Thanksgiving day.

 

Message 7 of 15
Teacher

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

nsayer, sadly I think you're right. I'm going to plan to return my microcell for a full refund, and look to move to Verizon ASAP.
Message 8 of 15
Teacher

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I just got mine tonight.  and yes.. I had VERY bad data rates.  (from .5Kbits to 8Kbits?  and plus dropping packets).  However after some searching it is obvious the only solution is to put your Microcell in the DMZ port or use your router to assign a Static IP (via your DHCP Service) and assign it to the DMZ.  This solve my problem with data issue.  I now get consistance 3mbits down, and cap 56-60kb up, with my microcell.  Now I am trying to fix the Echoing issue.  I have given the Microcell the highest QoS outbound priority but it still echos.  But without knowing the DSCP hex address this won't get me the best configuration.

 

The lack of documentation really make this thing hard to configure.  Anandtech did an initial packet sniffing and pointed out a few TCP and UDP port. that it use to communicate with AT&T.  But after trying those it just didn't work 100%.  So the best way to get good data is just DMZ it.

 

Hope this help you all out.

Message 9 of 15
Teacher

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

mbze, I completely agree with you about the documentation. I too was left scratching my head about network setup, nat, ports used, and if I could configure the microcell via a browser. Sadly, my data speed, voice quality, and incoming call issues are not network related, as I have the microcell plugged directly into my cable modem. My connection with my ISP consistently tests at 10mb down, 1mb up, with about 30ms latency. Thank you for the good info though.
Message 10 of 15
Contributor

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I concur with mbze430. When I first had the MicroCell behind my router's firewall, with the necessary ports forwarded, I had terrible Data connectivity. But placing the MicroCell in my router's DMZ helped tremendously: 1.2Mbits average down and 46kbits average up (according to speed tests, with WiFi OFF). Kudos for reference to Anandtech, glad to see he's still around.

Message 11 of 15
Mentor

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

Cable Modem > Microcell > Router

 

Below says it all.

 

Message 12 of 15
Tutor

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I've been having the same issues. I'm so furious at this point. I've had no service for almost 4 months now. ATT just started to work on my problem 2 weeks ago and their tech that drove to me told me... "all you can do is beg for a microcell"

 

So I finally got them after days of calling to give me one for free. They told me at first I'd have to pay $199 + $19.99 a month for service. Well, I did my research and realized that was a major scam. They caved on the microcell. Well, I've had it for 2 days. I have 5 bars across the house but if I move one room away.... dropped calls. I've also tried every combo of connecting this to my router. Most of my calls will go out, but the person on the other end can't hear my voice. I just don't understand it.

 

Instead of masking problems with a stupid white box... employ more service people, fix your coverage maps, assemble a tower or two where needed. Look at Verizon... they just work!

 

Att now is saying if I want out of my contract with I'm 12 months into... I'd have to give them my iphone back. This just gets better. I filed with the BBB and the FCC, I'm typing my letter to the attorney general. All of this for what? To save a couple hundred because a scummy company can't just do what's right. Provide service that people pay for. If you can't provide, well dont hold people to a contract. What is happening to this country?

Message 13 of 15
Contributor

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

I had to plug mine into my hub instead of the router this made it work for a while but then it would quit and I'd have to reboot.   I noticed when this happened the GPS light was also off.  I put the microcell in the window and it picked up the GPS signal much quicker came online with the 3G much quicker and so far all is well (2 days).  I can send mms now and my wife can post pics on facebook now which has never worked on the microcell

Message 14 of 15
Guru

Re: Microcell - No Data, Slow Data, Inconsistent Data

If you don't want to keep your Microcell in/close to the window, you could plug in an external GPS antenna into it. They're officially unsupported, but reportedly they work well. Particularly the one from Gilsson.

Message 15 of 15
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