Micro Cell not working as advertised with my 3GS, very frustrated

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by djrobsd, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Well, it's official. I've got the crappiest reception on the planet in my house, and I jumped through all AT&T's hoops to get the Micro Cell, and subsequently upgraded my internet to a 20mbps connection just to make them happy since they said "1.5 is the bare minimum needed, but we recommend higher" which makes absolutely no sense because VOIP traffic only uses what, maybe 128kbps of bandwidth?! But whatever...

    So, here's the good:
    -Haven't seen a call drop on the Micro Cell

    Here's the bad, and it's so bad I unplugged the thing and almost threw it from my balcony when I realized I'd be throwing $150 in the trash:

    -Still can't use the phone in my bedroom... Only 10 feet away from the fricking micro cell device, and people tell me when I'm talking to them they can only hear every other word I'm saying, very similar to when you only have 1 bar.

    -Last night, I was sitting RIGHT NEXT to the Microcell device, and my friend told me he could only hear every other word I was saying

    -Sometimes the reverse happens, and I can only hear every other word they are saying, or it's garbled!

    -Sometimes my phone drops down to 1 bar of Micro-cell signal!!

    -Horrible data speeds, so I just use my wifi, much faster. You would think since it's using the wi-fi network for the microcell device, that the data speeds would be improved.

    This is what I've done to try and fix it:

    -Relocated the device to the center of my house
    -Rebooted, re-activated the device on AT&T's site, etc...
    -Tried it plugged DIRECTLY into the cable modem... Tried it plugged into my router... Doesn't make a difference

    I'm not sure what to do at this point, I'm seriously considering getting an Incredible. I love my iphone, and I played with the HTC phones at both Sprint and Verizon and they still don't live up to the smooth iphone experience...

    Not being able to use the phone at home is a deal breaker.. And what, am I supposed to manually forward my calls to my home phone or ask everyone to call me back on a land line.. Oh wait, I don't have a land line any more! FAIL!
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Did you ever think you have a defective unit? Call AT&T support and gt a replacement. Geesh.
  3. CrAkD macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    could be the antennas in the phone. I had the same thing happen to me. I was cursing att every chance I could get. Finally brought in my 3GS and they said something was wrong with the antennas and replaced it. I now have perfect service in my home.
  4. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Geesh? C'mon don't be a turd... Of course I thought about a replacement, but we'll see what AT&T has to say about it when I call them tonight.

    The purpose of having an online message board such as this is to share your experiences with others, and see if other people are having the same problem as you or what their individual experiences have been. There is no reason to be all getting "geesh" on people...
  5. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Nah, it's my house, EVERYONE that comes over with an AT&T phone complains... Even if it's a blackberry on EDGE or a non smart phone. ;)
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    See, it's the device itself, just call AT&T.
  7. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

    Feb 22, 2009
    My Microcell is doing the exact same thing your is.
    I get 5 bars but the calls are sometimes dropped and sometimes garbled and a lag like you are on satelite or something.
  8. wingnut8 macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2007
    This thread is not allowed. It is not about iPhone preorders.
  9. Benster macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Huntersville, NC
    Call the Microcell help number in the documentation and ask them to check your SIM card to see if it has all the latest network updates. If not, first try to have them resend your phone the latest updates.

    If that does not work, they can issue an order for you to get a new SIM card at your local AT&T store.

    The new SIM card fixed all issues for both my iPhones in the house when we first got it back in November. I put near 1,000 minutes a month through mine now using it for work, conference calls etc. with no issues.

    This weekend I actually had two simultaneous support lines running on the same iPhone (hopping back and forth) running for about 6 hours straight each.

    When they send the upgrades to Microcell, they usually send updates to the phone's SIM cards as well. I make it a habit to shut off and restart my phone once a week as well.

    I hope this helps.

  10. sdsvtdriver macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2008
    Southern California
    I had a similar problem, along with the device being out of order every night. They replaced it with another and it works great.
  11. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2002
    Voice delay on microcell

    I have noticed that the calls on the microcell are not full duplex, meaning there is a delay in the voice transmission. So you can not interrupt or speak over the other person, rather you have to wait for them to finish talking before you speak (and they have to do the same).

    Once you are aware of this, your conversations will flow better and not sound like it's breaking up, because in reality you both are probably speaking at the same time.

    The delay is about 6 words on each side.
  12. icvos macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Same problem. Garbled calls, every time. Replaced unit, same problem. On 20mbps. Moved it, massaged it, whispered to it and nothing. Outrageous. My hope is with national rollout more people with have same issue and they will be forced to address and fix!

    And found this on another forum:

    I am having the exact same events with my* 3G Micro.* I have 4 phones that use this micro in my home.
    2 are Phone 3GS and a Blackberry Bold 9700, and a Blackjack II
    I am an Engineer and worked for AT&T Wireless for 18 Yrs in the Technology Development Group,
    which is the group that designs these and works with the mfg on hardware. I no longer work for AT&T
    but still have contact with friends there, and needed to pull some strings with them to get some attention on the issues.
    The only unit I am having the garbled and poor audio with it the Blackberry Bold 9700
    I was one of the original 3G Micro trial users in Raleigh NC product launch / trial area.* I have had mine since fall of 2009 and loads of problems with it. No problems with connectivity on the Cable connection, but the RF / 3G UMTS air interface issues.* The Phones had about 50% call failure rate on placing calls and 20% on receiving calls.**
    It got to the point of being so unreliable it about cost me my job, since I manage a wireless network with another company, and there is no coverage on any wireless service company in my area I really need to have this 3G Micro working.
    After a struggle of 6 months, and about 50 calls and tickets open,* I finally got a service rep to agree that after many patches, and reboots, and a lot of nothing solved, it was time to replace the hardware or cancel my 4* smartphones and $500 a month I donate to ATT.
    The new 3G Micro instantly fixed my call access and completion problems with the Iphones, but the Blackberry Bold is consistent with the poor and garbled audio. In more testing, it seems like the problem is in my case just on the Blackberry, the Iphones, Blackjack II seem to not have that issue.
    I am also going to do more testing with an LG U400, an old unit, but another type to see if the problem is a phone issue which in my case seems that is what it might be.
    I found this thread very interesting and just as mentioned here, garbled DOWN link audio to the phone, while the person on the other end hears me ok, and if I get closer to the 3G Micro, it will clear up.*
    I have measured the UMTS signal on the 3G Micro and it covers my home with about -70dbm to -80dbm so there is plenty of RF.* I suspect that there is a power control issue with some specific phone models..*
  13. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Thanks for the replies everyone. From what I can tell it looks like my issue is a known problem for many people. For me, most of the garbled calls happen in my bedroom, regardless of where I put the micro cell (even when it was only 10 feet outside of my bedroom!).

    An engineer called me back today, but I was too busy at work. So i guess I'll call them back tomorrow and see what the next steps are.. UGH.

    I guess one solution for me would be Droid Incredible or Droid X since my room mate has a Droid and it works PERFECT.

    Also, my Blackberry Curve through VZW that my work provides works perfect...

    But of course, I have to have the fricking iphone!!!

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