Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

Tutor

Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

[ Edited ]

Okay. [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate] Does anyone else thinks this is just plain old consumer fraud?

 

We have three iPhones at home. Can't get any reception in our house, and even outside it's sketchy. Talked with ATT about this, noting that ATT's coverage map shows that our reception should be "good". The rep said (and I quote): "Well, when it says the coverage is good, that doesn't mean good. It means that you'll have a lot of dropped calls, but at least you can get reception...." Kind of reminded me of the government propoganda in 1984. In a bad way.

 

So we dished out for the MIcroCell, only to find that:

 

1. The coverage isn't 5,000 square feet, as advertised. Our house (which is in a first ring suburb of Minneapolis) is only about 1,500 square feet, and it doesn't adequately cover our whole house.

2. Sometimes I have five bars. Sometimes four. And often just two. The numbers of bars will change even if my location doesn't.

3. Sometimes, if we move (like, an inch) when we're talking on the phone, people on the other end simply can't hear us, and it takes a while for the reception to re-engage.

 

Now I'm paying the upcharge for three iPhone lines, plus an additional $20/month for MicroCell service, and none of it seems to work -- at least, in a reliable way. Called ATT once again. Said I needed to replace my cable modem. That didn't work. ATT's response -- you can either bring back the MicroCell or keep it, there's nothing else we can do. Up to you.

 

So then I went to my local ATT store, figuring it would be harder for them to tell me to go screw myself if I was standing right in front of them. First they blamed the MicroCell and replaced it. Nothing changed.

 

Then they said I needed to use a different configuration -- a different way to connect the MicroCell, cable modem and wireless router. Did that, nothing changed.

 

Then they said the problem was that I actually was using old iPhones (3GS) and needed to upgrade all three to iPhone 4. Sure, I'm delighted to spend another $600 for three new iPhones to solve this problem....

 

Then they blamed my iPhone, saying it wasn't working correctly. Told me to go to Apple store and have it tested. I did. and the phone worked perfectly. Told the Genius Bar dude that ATT blamed Apple for my problems. He wasn't amused.

 

Called ATT store manager to say that my phone was in perfect working order. After some discussion, he asked me what I wanted. "What I want is for my coverage to work the way you told me it would. And I'd like the MicroCell to work the way it should. That doesn't seem like a lot to ask." Crazy, I know.

 

Now he's going to have his "tech guys" do a "drive by" to troubleshoot the problem early next week. I can't wait. Hoping "drive by" doesn't mean what I think it means.

Message 1 of 9 (3,148 Views)
Guru

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

Y'know, I read stories like yours, cbearg, and I feel your pain and frustration even though my experience with the MicroCell has been much more positive.

 

My wife has an iPhone 3GS and she never has had any of the numerous problems posters in this forum have described.  I also have numerous friends and family with 3GS's and iPhone 4's and they don't have the problems either.  I've suspected and still suspect that some of the issues are related to the part of the country a user happens to be in.  However....

 

One or two iPhone users have reported that replacing their SIM card has helped their iPhone to live more happily with the MicroCell.  I recently gave an extra MC I had to my son in San Francisco.  He and his wife have iPhone 3GS's.  His worked well with the MicroCell.  Hers had similar problems to those you described.

 

I happened to have a spare new SIM card laying around so I sent it out to the wrong coast and my daughter-in-law installed it in her iPhone.  So far the results have been positive.  Dropped calls, wildly varying signal strengths, etc., seem to have been cured.

 

I have to say I was skeptical that just changing a SIM card could make any difference but it seems that in some cases it does.  I don't know why.  But it might be worth a try just in case it would fix your problems too.

 

Good luck.

Message 2 of 9 (3,086 Views)
Teacher

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

 


cbearg wrote:

Now he's going to have his "tech guys" do a "drive by" to troubleshoot the problem early next week. I can't wait. Hoping "drive by" doesn't mean what I think it means.


 

I'm afraid it probably does mean what you think it means.  Have you never wondered why so few people actually speak up about AT&T's abysmal service (and customer service)?  It's because once they do, we usually never hear from them again...

Message 3 of 9 (3,065 Views)
Tutor

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

That's funny. I'll make sure that we stay away from the windows.

Message 4 of 9 (2,727 Views)
Tutor

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

Thanks, jefe. Really appreciate the advice. I'll push att for a new sim and see what happens.

 

I'll post the answer....

Message 5 of 9 (2,721 Views)
Explorer

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

 


justend wrote:

 

I'm afraid it probably does mean what you think it means.  Have you never wondered why so few people actually speak up about AT&T's abysmal service (and customer service)?  It's because once they do, we usually never hear from them again...

 

For a good time- Google/Look Up in Intro Psych Book "Learned Helplessness" 

Message 6 of 9 (2,635 Views)
Highlighted
Explorer

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

 


bongoherbert wrote:

 

For a good time- Google/Look Up in Intro Psych Book "Learned Helplessness" 


Oh- and don't forget "Illusion of Control"

 

Message 7 of 9 (2,631 Views)
Scholar

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

If you guys are having a problem with the Microcell maybe try this to see if that resolves your issue. I found this off of the Device Tutorials: http://www.wireless.att.com/support/deviceTutorials.do?universe=att&deviceId=12180&tutorialsCategory... and maybe thought I could offer some help to see if this helps.

 

The AT&T 3G MicroCell (MicroCell) was designed as a plug-n-play device when connected to a residential or Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) network.  Medium to enterprise grade networks that have implemented advanced routing or firewall configurations may need to configure their hardware using the below settings to allow the MicroCell to communicate with the AT&T data network. 
 
Procedure
 
Configure the network to allow the following:

  • DHCP is on
  • MTU is set to 1492
  • MAC address filtering is either turned off or allowing the MAC address of the AT&T 3G MicroCell
  • IPSec Pass-Through is Enabled
  • Block Fragmented Packets is Disabled
  • TCP/UDP Ports
    NOTE:  All ports listed need to be configured for inbound and outbound connections.
    • 123/UDP: NTP timing (NTP traffic)
    • 443/TCP: Https over TLS/SSL for provisioning and management traffic
    • 4500/UDP: IPSec NAT Traversal (for all signaling, data, voice traffic)
    • 500/UDP: IPSec Phase 1 prior to NAT detection (after NAT detection, 4500/UDP is used)
    • 4500/UDP: After NAT detection, 4500/UDP is used


Additional Troubleshooting

  1. Ping or perform an NSLookup on femtocell.wireless.att.com.  If the address does not resolve to 12.230.x.x, manually map the name to the IP address returned or change to an alternate DNS server that includes the entry. 
  2. Temporarily Disable Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI).  If this resolves the issue, re-enable SPI and contact your router / firewall manufacturer for assistance troubleshooting the conflict.

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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 9 (2,466 Views)
Contributor

Re: Priceless story about getting my MicroCell to work....

I have spent the last 2 years trying to get a WIFI network set up to cover my sisters entire house using multiple routers and relay techniques.

 

The problem is that I only see tthem for a few days every year at the holidays. They live in another state.

 

I spent about 8 hours last Xmas hacking some routers I had (installing open source software) and trying different configurations, settings, and placements trying to get good coverage for the entire house.

 

Their big probelm is a den that is "behind" the kitchen.  If you read the Netgear router configuration guides, for example, they will talk about signal strength problems with metal objects (refrigerators, large stainless ovens, etc.) blocking the signal. I put a router in the basement under the kitchen, that could "see" the den at one angle and their living room at an angle in the opposite direction. I also set up Netflix streaming to a Blu-ray box connected to their TV, etc.

 

I am going to add a microcell at my home.  Before they existed, I added a wireless line for the home that is left near an upstairs window - the only place in the house where we get decent reception (we are in a rural area on 1 acre lots) - and cancelled our land line.

 

I bought a DECT 6.0 phone system with Bluetooth wireless phone connection.  We use the 3 handsets around the house, then connect through the extra wireless line that sits upstairs and is our "home" phone number.

 

Use the DECT 6.0 with or without the microcell.  You could place a cell phone near the microcell, then have it connect via Bluetoooth to the DECT base and use the DECT handsets.  Cost is about $60 to $100 at OfficeMax or similar.

 

They are all network engineering problems. There are usually multiple solutions, some more elegent than others.

 

Good luck!  

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