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Just installed AT&T 3G Microcell, Anyone else using it?

by quasar-atl / January 12, 2010 11:39 PM PST

Dear Buzz Gang and Crew,
I just installed the AT&T 3G Microcell. It only took 5 days, and a dozen calls to AT&T Support to get it to work. I also had to install a micro-router, create a new Class-C on my network and DMZ all traffic to the AT&T 3G Microcell to get it to work. Has anyone else work with this device? I would like to know.

Later People. Wink

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Argh
by Nicholas Buenk / January 13, 2010 7:13 AM PST

Sounds like it's as much trouble as the bad reception was in the first place.

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Despite Installation, Good 3G, GPS, Voice & Data
by quasar-atl / January 13, 2010 8:59 PM PST
In reply to: Argh

Despite the installation nightmare, the device actually works really well. I am getting excellent 3G coverage from my iPhone 3GS. I also noticed that all of my navigation apps work much faster. Voice calls are very clear and individuals receiving my calls indicate the same.

A few things that I have noticed:

1. Cisco and AT&T have locked down the device. There is no admin access. Depending on your router and network, you will not see a MAC Address from the device as well.

2. The GPS navigation data on the AT&T 3G Microcell is relaying signal information from nearby towers, so there no additional accuracy using the device.

3. Signal strength is very consistent throughout my building and hand-over calls from the Microcell to Cell Towers are smooth and clear without interruption.

4. The AT&T Microcell communicates directly with AT&T's backend network through a VPN. Although this makes for good and secure voice and data performance, the device is quite sensitive to firewalls.

A few things to consider if you want to use a Microcell:

1. I would recommend that you have more bandwidth available then the minimum that AT&T suggest. The iPhone is quite data intensive and it is noticeable on DSL connections.

2. I use an inexpensive dedicated router for the AT&T Microcell. I found this to be best installation option. The Microcell performs best when ports are unblocked and there is no firewall to hinder IP & VPN activity.

3. The device needs to be close to a window so that the GPS chipset can sync up. The AT&T Microcell will not initialize until the GPS is active and available.

4. Unfortunately, Cisco and AT&T do not trust the consumer. The device is completely locked down so there is no software or admin access to the device. I had to completely rely on AT&T engineers to get the device operational after installation.

If you are willing to deal with the installation issues, the performance from the device may warrant purchase if you have low 3G Cell coverage in your area.

Later. Happy

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It would probably be easier
by Nicholas Buenk / January 14, 2010 4:52 AM PST

If they worked with Apple to get AT&T voice working over wifi. And better for your battery life.
I guess they see VOIP as the enemy though.

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Mine worked fine out of the box
by Thom_D / February 14, 2011 6:11 AM PST

I got the letter from AT&T last week telling me that I was eligible for a free Microcell. So I read the fine print, went on line, called a couple of different reps and low and behold, it really is free. There were two catches, I had to agree to return the box if I decided to stop using it in less than twelve months from time of receipt (very reasonable) and I would be using minutes on my plan for calls that went through the M-cell. I called about this as well and it was explained that because I have the unlimited mobile to any mobile plan and A-List I only use minutes for calls to land lines not on my A-List. It turns out that if you buy the M-Cell yourself and you are not in my situation you don't have to pay extra for the unlimited plan, unless you really don't want to use any of your mobile minutes. Its your cell phone, you use plan minutes when you call.

Anyway, I went to the local AT&T store (And boy aren't they kissing butts now that they have finally realized that they have to really compete with Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile on more than brand name) and picked up my M-Cell. Simple process, they activated it for me in the store, set up the numbers that were authorized, showed me how to add numbers if I wanted to and I was on my way.

I went home, read the quick start pamphlet and hooked it up to my good old Linksys router in just a few minutes. There is supposed to be a 90 minute window while the hardware and network establish a link and get down to business. However, I was up and running in about 15 - 20 minutes. For the first time since I moved into my house I got 5 full bars continuously. I received a call and I would have thought I was on my land line the call was so clear and loud.

Sorry that you had a bad experience with your gear but I seem to have had the exact opposite experience.

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Working ok, except ...
by bernstine / January 20, 2011 12:38 AM PST

I have also been using the Microcell for a couple of weeks now. I have a bberry Torch. I live in an area where there is no AT&T cell tower access - zero bars. With the Microcell I have 5 bars throughout most of my house. That is a beautiful thing ! I get to now make full use of my lovely Torch Happy

I telecommute full time and am noticing that my VPN keeps dropping and reconnecting since using the Microcell. I am looking around the forums for information about this. Will let you know if I find a solution.

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Can anyone in the area glom on to it?
by Slikkster / January 20, 2011 12:37 PM PST
In reply to: Working ok, except ...

It's not a password protected system, is it? So if someone else was in your area, couldn't they use your microcell for calls/data? Not a problem if you're rural, I guess, but in an urban area with poor AT&T, you might just have some happy neighbors.

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Only me
by bernstine / January 21, 2011 12:14 AM PST

No, I have to specifically allow phone numbers that can use my microcell. There is only one allowed and it's mine. No happy neighbors Happy

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more infor
by Kenyox / September 15, 2012 3:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Only me

Actually, you can have up to 4 cell phones that can access this device. By default when going through initial setup it will pull the numbers that are on your account. But a problem I am having now, and this only started after I install my microcell is I get a duplicate IP Address on the network now, anyone else get this error, and if so what did you have to do to get rid of this.
Thanks,
Kenyox

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