01-27-2012 10:40 AM - edited 01-27-2012 10:45 AM
I do not own a Microcell, but for the last year some other customers microcell has been trashing my cell coverage on my Tilt, and has been for the last year or so.
If I power off my phone, and power it back on, it connects to the tower for a few seconds with five bars in Edge mode (the tower is on Milner Mountain, about 4 miles North of here, and has a clear line of sight). The Milner tower doesn't have 3G.
Then my phone trys to connect to someone's microcell switching into 3G mode ... I see Microcell in the connection status bar just under the top menu bar for a second or two, followed by a "No Service" status. The phone scan's for a while, trys the Microcell again, and goes back into "No Service" mode.
If I take my phone into my basement, it will reconnect to the AT&T tower in a few seconds.
Thankfully, the other customer doesn't leave the microcell powered up all the time ... mostly just in the evening, and some days. Including today.
I opened a case with AT&T tech support, which got closed for some dumb *$^%#$%#% reason. I called again this morning, and got it reopened.
This is $^%$^%$^%$ ... when someone elses microcell takes my phone off the air.
01-27-2012 11:11 AM - edited 01-27-2012 11:28 AM
AT&T says this "Can not happen" because the microcell's range is under 50' or so, and my phone isn't registered for MC access. My nearest neighbor is 300' away, and there are several inside a 1,000', or about a dozen homes inside 2500' or so. This is a rural area, with 3-15 acre home sites. If my phone say's it sees a MC ... I'm inclined to believe it.
Since the MC needs GPS access, it will be generally placed on a south exterior wall, which means it probably has clear line of sight access outside some buildings for a fair distance, probably over 50' if it can penetrate several interior walls. Probably better than 300' since the signal dropps off by 6dB everytime the distance doubles.
Is anybody using a BDA (Bi-Directional Amplifier) to extend the range of their MC's?
I operate a rural wireless internet service using Canopy and some Wifi equipment, with our repeaters co-located on Milner near AT&T since 1999. I've got a fair bit of experience with RF propagation in 900mhz, 2.4GHz, and 5.2-5.8GHz bands. WiFi gear is rated for a few dozen meters indoors too ... and works fairly well up to a few miles with clear line of sight with just standard quarter wave antennas and some good multipath. I would guess the microcell causing my problems could be as far as maybe a 1/4 to a 1/2 mile with clear line of sight, since the signal is about a bar or less.
It would be nice to get an AT&T tech out here with a sniffer, and tell me why my tilt is trying to connect.
It's also probably a firmware bug in the Tilt MC support ... in any case, I bought this phone from AT&T, and it has always been running their firmware.
01-27-2012 2:38 PM
02-07-2012 1:22 PM
AT&T closed the case again today without a resolution that restores service for my Tilt. There has been snow on the ground here since last week, and the strong skip from the microcell has kept the Tilt from connecting to the tower, except when I take it into the basement.
I picked up an older 3G motorola backflip android phone off eBay this last week, and switched my data plan and sim card to it.
I miss the extended battery, and external antenna ports the Tilt has ... now I need to find an affordable replacement for the Tilt that has those features.
02-15-2012 2:42 AM