AT&T Microcell questions

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by benhollberg, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #1
    Recently my AT&T service at my home has been terrible, especially in the basement. It really has never been this bad before and have no idea what happened. I have been looking at getting an AT&T Microcell and just have a few questions.

    Does anybody have any experience with one of these and can suggest if it is a good addition or not. Also do they last a long time because I am probably going to buy a used one. Lastly, what is the range like? Anything else I should know? Thanks.
     
  2. benhollberg thread starter macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #2
    Also I have a question about GPS, it says it needs a GPS signal to run. I would use this in the basement and I know almost sure that it won't get a signal in the basement. So does this need a GPS when it first starts up or does it always need a signal? Thanks.
     
  3. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Okie land
    #3
    I have one at my house and overall it really isn't worth it.

    Normally where I live I get about 1 to 2 bars of 3G indoors. And regular dropped calls.

    So I decided to help AT&T out and get the MicroCell. It took forever to get it setup and working because my address was not showing up as approved for the device. That took several phone calls to AT&T to get me into the system. It is required before you can activate the unit. That is the only way 911 will work on a MicroCell.

    Also it has to be connected to a router by ethernet, but has to be at least 15 feet away from the actual router to prevent interference. They at least provide the ethernet cable in the box with the MicroCell.

    Next on the list of problems is the GPS, it is required to be own all the time. They recommend being close to a window. But I put it in a room without windows and just put it close to the exterior wall and it works just fine.

    The next problem(s) involve the iPhone sometimes it forgets to switch over to the MicroCell. This happens on both my iPhone 4 and my girlfriends iPhone 3GS. To get it to see the Microcell again you will need to turn the phone on and off. This mainly happens when you leave the house and come back home. It happens randomly just being at home, but it is rare for it to lose the MicroCell signal without me leaving.

    Also if you have a questionable router or ISP that drops the internet signal to your house the MicroCell will need to reset itself. This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours. I actually thought the unit was broken the first time my internet was out here at the house. Internet came back and the MicroCell didn't come back online for over 2 hours. I returned the unit and the next MicroCell took just as long with the next internet outage.

    When you get connected it works as advertised. You get a minimum of 4 bars pretty everywhere within about 200 feet of the MicroCell. Data speeds are around 1 to 1.5Mbps up and down.
     
  4. benhollberg thread starter macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #4
    So basically it works when it works. Also you said that its range is nearly 200 feet. It advertises on the AT&T website that it has only a 40 foot range. Of it works up to 200 then it may work in my situation.

    I have great service on the main floor of the house and outside but going downstairs it just drops hard. If I put the Microcell on the main floor then maybe I can get it to work. I just got to keep near a window which may be hard because my router isn't.

    How good is the GPS antenna? Like does it really have to be right next a window?
     
  5. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Okie land
    #5
    It is definitely more than 40' because my house is a large (2500 sqft) single story. Kinda built like a large L shape. I keep the MicroCell at one end in my office and can get 4 bars of MicroCell service at the opposite end of the house.

    I think the GPS antenna must be fairly robust. It works just fine in my office with no windows.

    It seems like whatever it does when it reboots it just takes it a while to get back online.

    I think it could be a really smart piece of technology, but it is still very Version 1 ish if you know what I mean.
     
  6. benhollberg thread starter macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #6
    Great thanks for the information. I'll probably just pick up a used one for cheap and give it a try. Thanks.
     
  7. benhollberg thread starter macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #7
    I have another question, I ended up buy a Microcell used from someone here in the Marketplace. I still want to put the device in the basement but my router isn't there. I had an idea though, I have an extra Apple Airport Express that will extend my network from my Time Capsule. If I used this to extend my network and put it near a window in the basement and plugged the Microcell into the one Ethernet that is on the Airport Express then would that work. So basically I am going to extend the network but I want to use the Ethernet port on the router, since I am extending I won't be using the port for anything anyway.

    Will this solution work or does anyone know if the Ethernet port on the Airport Express can be used this way at all? Thanks.
     
  8. benhollberg thread starter macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #8
    After searching farther into these forums I think this will work. Still have has anyone tried with a Microcell?
     
  9. benhollberg thread starter macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #9
    After setting up my Microcell Saturday I am liking it a lot. I just have one question though, since setting it up I believe I am noticing a decrease in the overall speed of my internet. Has anyone else using an AT&T Microcell seen the device effect the overall speed? My connection just seems really slow now.
     
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #10
    It depends on your connection. The Microcell takes in ~1.5 Mb/s down and around ~384 Kb/s upload.

    Be sure that your connection is fast enough to support your internet usage and the Microcell's.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    Those are the minimum requirements AT&T puts out, but when the Microcell is idle and there are no calls on it, it shouldn't really be using any bandwidth at all - at least nothing measurable, maybe a few bytes here and there to let AT&T knows it's on. Each phone call shouldn't use much more than a couple hundred Kb/s up and down which you should barley notice.

    I have a Microcell and don't notice any slow downs when using it. Then again, my connection is 24mbps down so it takes a lot to notice any slowdowns
     
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #12
    True... maybe OPs connection is 1.5 Mb/s or something a bit higher?
     
  13. benhollberg thread starter macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #13
    [​IMG]

    I just ran speedtest.net and honestly I have never seen my internet this fast.

    So if I have a fast connection then maybe there is interference somewhere or the computer was just packed down. The internet browsing speeds seem slower than usual still, I am not sure what to think now.
     

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