Carrier AT&T M-Cell v. AT&T WiFi

AT&T M-Cell v. WiFi Calling

  • Microcell

    Votes: 11 18.3%
  • WiFi Calling

    Votes: 49 81.7%

  • Total voters
    60

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
1,332
307
Which way would you go with this, given a marginal signal otherwise?

Now that we have WiFi Calling, is there any advantage to keeping the M-Cell powered?
 

radiologyman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2011
680
216
I have unlimited data but my anytime minutes are limited, so ATT wifi calling makes weekday calls unlimited too. Plus wifi calling goes through my router which has a lot better range and bandwidth then microcell. I think that my home wifi is now faster that microcell is unplugged
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Now that we have WiFi Calling, is there any advantage to keeping the M-Cell powered?

Not really, M-Cell can be a pain to configure and not always reliable. It's extra gear that's no longer needed, and you're still either using your minutes (if you're on an older plan) or paying extra for the privilege of not using them.
 
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southerndoc

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2006
1,095
67
USA
I have about 1-2 bars in my house, which for some reason makes my phone not consistently connected to WiFi calling. I have 4 access points throughout my home, and unfortunately, none of them support 802.11k/802.11r. That means I can't walk around the house without having a lag period when my phone switches from one WAP to another.

The MicroCell gives me 5 bars around my house (with exception to the basement). It does take a while to configure properly, but if you place it in your router's DMZ, it makes it a lot easier.

In my opinion, the MicroCell works better than WiFi calling.
 

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
1,332
307
Do I gather correctly from today's experimenting that HD Voice works on WiFi Calling, but not on a Microcell?

Or is it just a coincidence that no Microcell call sounded like HD Voice?
 

mountainman

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2007
81
14
North of Denver, Colorado
Been using WiFi Calling since beta. Had a Microcell at the time, LTE/4G cell service inside my house is 1-2 bars max and only in specific locations. After using WiFi calling for a few days the Microcell was given away and I have not looked back. WiFi calling is crystal clear and works flawlessly so far. Microcell was never very good voice quality.
 
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NikeTalk

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2010
598
7
I have unlimited data but my anytime minutes are limited, so ATT wifi calling makes weekday calls unlimited too. Plus wifi calling goes through my router which has a lot better range and bandwidth then microcell. I think that my home wifi is now faster that microcell is unplugged
I believe wifi calling counts against your minutes.
 

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
1,332
307
I believe wifi calling counts against your minutes.
AT&T Setup page said:
If you use Wi-Fi Calling to make or receive domestic calls from the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands, there are no extra charges. Also, these calls don’t count against your voice plan usage limits. For international long distance calls, international rates from your current rate plan or international package apply.

If you use Wi-Fi Calling to send or receive domestic or international messages, you’ll be charged based on your current rate plan or international package. These messages will also count against any usage limits.
They might change their minds at some point but right now they say, no.

Most of their domestic plans these days are unlimited calling, anyway.
 

Americasteam

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2014
104
22
I have a microcell. I'm keeping mine due to family and friends being on Android and not having access to wifi calling. I had removed my number from the microcell, but it kept connecting anyway so I just added it back. If everyone that visited or lived in my house had access to wifi calling, I'd probably just disconnect it. The good thing is when the microcell drops, as it does from time to time, I still have service.
 

southerndoc

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2006
1,095
67
USA
When my MicroCell was down recently (after I rebooted the router), my phone never connected to WiFi calling. Not sure why.

Any thoughts?
 

ericgtr12

macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2015
1,386
9,308
I have about 1-2 bars in my house, which for some reason makes my phone not consistently connected to WiFi calling. I have 4 access points throughout my home, and unfortunately, none of them support 802.11k/802.11r. That means I can't walk around the house without having a lag period when my phone switches from one WAP to another.

The MicroCell gives me 5 bars around my house (with exception to the basement). It does take a while to configure properly, but if you place it in your router's DMZ, it makes it a lot easier.

In my opinion, the MicroCell works better than WiFi calling.
^ This. LTE is normally around 2 bars, which causes both my wife and I's phones to go through the battery at twice the normal rate. It appears that this isn't a low enough signal to trigger wifi so it never comes on as to where mcell is alway on and gives 5 bars consistently. For us, where we live, Wifi calling is useless.
 

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
1,332
307
^ This. LTE is normally around 2 bars, which causes both my wife and I's phones to go through the battery at twice the normal rate. It appears that this isn't a low enough signal to trigger wifi so it never comes on as to where mcell is alway on and gives 5 bars consistently. For us, where we live, Wifi calling is useless.
Well, that's interesting.

Two bars of 4G LTE on an iPhone 6S Plus triggers WiFi Calling in my case. Once triggered, my iPhone remains on WiFi Calling until I've left the coverage of the router.

Five bars with the MicroCell, of course, and better battery life.

But the more that I experience HD Voice on either good LTE signal or WiFi Calling, the more I want to be sure that I stay on HD Voice if it's available.

Now...walking outside or getting in your car while you're on a WiFi Calling communication can be problematic. If you don't have enough 4G LTE signal to continue HD Voice as you leave your router's coverage, you're going to drop the call.
 

ericgtr12

macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2015
1,386
9,308
Disconnected and packed up my Microcell and went Wi-Fi all the way.
NO REGRETS!
What's the threshold? For us, two bars is not enough to trigger it. It's never came on for us even though we set our phones up for it.
 

WarcraftWidow

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2015
98
134
Virginia
Two bars seems to trigger wifi calling for me most of the time. But sometimes I notice two bars and no wifi calling symbol in the status bar. Maybe the threshold is somewhere in the two bar range but I don't want to change my status bar to show he numeric cellular signal strength.
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,337
2,680
What's the threshold? For us, two bars is not enough to trigger it. It's never came on for us even though we set our phones up for it.
I consistently only ever get 2 dots or less and it says AT&T Wi-Fi persistently.
 

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
1,332
307
What's the threshold? For us, two bars is not enough to trigger it. It's never came on for us even though we set our phones up for it.
If you put your iPhone into airplane mode except for WiFi, is WiFi Calling triggered at that point?
 

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
1,332
307
Right now I'm showing -108 dBm, and that is bad enough to keep it in WiFi Calling.

That is two bars on my phone.

To show your signal strength, go to the Phone App and dial *3001#12345#*
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,904
3,476
Boston, MA
Just to clarify, there shouldn't be a threshold for wifi calling. If you have a viable wifi signal it should be on irregardless of your cellular signal.

I've seen wifi calling just drop off (on our T-Mobile line) seemingly randomly. Our shows are stup to download at max bandwidth and so this may be an uplink/downlink issue, unsure of that. I don't pay attention when the media center is pulling loads of data. It just goes when ready lol.
 

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
1,332
307
Just to clarify, there shouldn't be a threshold for wifi calling. If you have a viable wifi signal it should be on ...regardless of your cellular signal.
Are you sure about that? How do you know that?

Coming off of Airplane Modr to test that, I dropped WiFi Calling immediately, evidently just because I was in a place to have a three ball LTE signal.
 
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