Would getting an AT&T Microcell be a good idea for my situation?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by RonHC, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. RonHC macrumors 6502a

    RonHC

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #1
    Long story short, the reception around my area is becoming more unbearable as the months go by. Whenever I call my dads cellphone or any cellphone in the house, the call will not get through. Even if the phone has atleast 1 bar. For 3G, it's even worse. In the AT&T 3G map it said we're at "best" area but it's way beyond BS. I would be lucky to even get 3G, most of the time I would only get EDGE. Reason is that I only get 0-1 bar is my room. 2 bars if I just stand next to a window for a certain amount of time. I can't even send an MMS without having to step outside. I called before to see of any maintenance was being done but no. Now every so often I will get a message saying "Cellular Data could not be activated". The other two phones (not smartphones) also have a tough time getting signal.
    As much as I want to leave we simply can't since we are still under contract. As of now I'm just thinking of buying that microcell and see if it fixes our problem.
     
  2. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #2
    Call up AT&T and explain your reception problems. I got a coupon in the mail about 6 months ago for a *free* microcell which I didn't even ask for. It does improve my reception in my apartment.

    If your issues are that bad, I think you have a good case for a free one. It doesn't hurt to try.
     
  3. Maverick713 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #3
    I had a similar situation and I was able to get a microcell for free.
     
  4. macingman macrumors 68020

    macingman

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #4
    A microcell should fix the problem as that's their purpose. Call up and see if they'll send you a free one.
     
  5. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #5
    I have some AT&T Microcell questions also. I want to get one but would only use it for the basement of the house. From my understanding the device must have a GPS signal to work. Does this mean it always must have a GPS signal or just when starting up? I made a thread about it last night but no replies.
     
  6. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #6
    If you get a free Microcell, check to be sure they do not charge you $20 per month to use it.
     
  7. RonHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    RonHC

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #7
    Apparently it's true that I live in an area that doesn't get great 3G reception even though my area is considered "Best" in the 3G map.
    It turns out that one of the numbers in our account used an upgrade (which was mine) and ended up canceling my Texting plan. While trying to test it out to see if it worked I was getting nothing but EDGE. They told me to step outside to see if the picture message got through. After waiting for about 5 minutes. I was finally able to get 3G signal and send the damn MMS. At this point I have had enough. The signal strength around my area has gotten so bad that now I have to go outside just to send 1 MMS. I asked her about the microcell but she said she only deals with technical problems. I'm going to go to a nearby AT&T store to see if I can get atleast some sort of discount because why should I have to pay $200 just to improve their bad network. I never had a prolem with AT&T until now
     
  8. SRLMJ23 macrumors 65816

    SRLMJ23

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    Had an issue like this but it was only in my house, as soon as I went outside I got full 3G, don't know what the hell is up with my house but anyway I got a free MicroCell and now I get 5 full bars everywhere in the house and outside around the house.

    Call and explain your situation and they will most likely get it to you free. Goodluck bro.
     
  9. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #9
    That's exactly my situation. Perfect outside but basement is nothing.
     
  10. theman510 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    I too got the free microcell email a few months ago. Printed it out and brought it to the AT&T store and got my free one. While always having full bars, my actual call quality and reception got much worse. About a month ago I was getting sick of it so I unplugged the microcell and it just sits there unused now. I may have only 1-2 bars in my apartment but at least I can actually make a call now and not lose it. It got very frustrating and I don't know why it seemed to hurt my signal the way it did.
     
  11. RonHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    RonHC

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #11
    Did it improve 3G strength or speed???
     
  12. theman510 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #12
    I couldn't tell you. I was always on wifi when home so I wouldn't notice an increase in 3G speed. All I know is that in my instance, I'd rather have 2 bars without the microcell than 5 bars with it
     
  13. wvphysics macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #13
    Why would you be concered about 3G speeds if you are at home and on your wifi? I could understand the signal strength for phone calls, but you don't need 3G for that.
     
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #14
    Apparently, it's pretty common the the macrocell will make things worse if you do in fact have a good signal and can hold calls and get decent data connections. The macrocell has to use the same licensed frequencies as the actually cell sites, and lacking extremely precise positioning and optimization, they will more often than not interfere with an otherwise perfectly usable signal.

    A microcell should only be used if you really can't hold a call or get a reliable data connection inside your house or office or whatever. Not just because you have one or two bars but can still hold a call. It was true a year ago, and it's true now: the meaning of the bars is pretty subjective.
     
  15. RonHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    RonHC

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #15
    I'm just asking :confused:
     
  16. CSMchris376 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #16
    I have a microcell at home and got it about a year ago. In the area where I live, signal is not the best because we have a large electric transmission line that runs close to the west side of my house. It makes signal around the house almost unusable. I can walk out into the yard to the east of the house and get good signal. With the microcell and loading numbers for all of us at home and my son's girlfriend's phone, we enjoy full coverage in the house, and areas around the outside of home until we pick up a regular 3G signal.

    The only issue I have is that occassionally it seems to take a while to set up a call and 1out of 100 may fail, but go through when you call them right back. I feel that is an issue dealing with connecting through the broadband, but I can live with that rather than the inability to make calls at all in the past.
     
  17. GameAmour.com macrumors member

    GameAmour.com

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Location:
    iOS App Developer
    #17
    I got Microcell and it's in basement near the window, everything works fine, I would recommend using it if your internet is 6+Mbit down and 512+Kb up, the tower is using about 1.5Mbit down and almost 256Kb up when the call is made. It operates at 3G speed (not 3.5G or 4G). Hope it helps.
     
  18. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    #18
    It depends on how large your home is. At the edge of the microcell reception area, it's often worse than a poor quality real connection. However, calls are decent when you're within 50 feet of it. In other words, it made calls a lot better when I was in my room but on the other end of the house where its struggling to choose between the weak microcell and the real cell network, it would drop out constantly.
     
  19. RonHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    RonHC

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #19
    How much is the MicroCell??

    I'm confused on whether its $150 or $199
     
  20. Squid7085 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #20
    They raised the price to $199. $149 was crazy to begin with, you pay to take the load off their network and supply the bandwidth. Then they insult you by making all Voice and Data on the M-Cell count just like you are on the Macro network. A device that was never worth $149, they weren't making enough money on, so they raised the price. Honestly, mine sits unplugged, but I also have decent coverage, crappy coverage is better than none I suppose. I wouldn't pay a dime for it, AT&T should give you one, make them use it as a retention tool.
     
  21. kleinias macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #21
    Wow, they raised the price on it? I found the AT&T Microcell's to be pretty ineffectual when I tried a few of them out. I had very poor coverage without it, and it did nothing to alleviate AT&T's coverage issues.

    That being said, they responded dynamically depending on the area I was in. The Microcell will dial itself down (it does this during its startup routine) when it detects a certain strength of the outside networks it comes across, so your mileage may vary from my pretty awful experience with them.

    I didn't have to pay anything for the microcells but I had a poor experience with them and I would only recommend paying for one if you have the option of taking it back for a full refund if it doesn't meet your expectations.
     
  22. RonHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    RonHC

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #22
    Would you recommend I buy one from eBay??

    I'm worried if every individual MicroCell can be activated once for a number or something.
     
  23. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #23
    You should try to have them give you one for free (without the monthly cost). I don't really see why you should pay money for this. They advertised excellent coverage in your area and they are not delivering.
     
  24. benhollberg, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #24
    I have another question if you could help me out. It was about using the Ethernet port on an Airport Express when I use the Express to extend a network. This could help me out because I can put the Express and Microcell in the basement by a window easily. I asked in this thread, I don't know if the first poster wants me hijacking this one.

    I called an AT&T store today and they said that the Microcells have a thirty day return period for full refund.

    I bought one from the Marketplace on this forum today. There are more than one for sale.
     

Share This Page