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AT&T MicroCell Discontinued: Replace with Cell Phone Signal Booster!

Sep 01, 2019

AT&T MicroCell Discontinued: Replace with Cell Phone Signal Booster!

AT&T MicroCell Wireless Network Extender has been discontinued since latter part of 2018 when Wi-Fi Calling became more popular. However, if you're experiencing weak cellular reception indoors in 2019 and later but using wi-fi calling is not an option, a cell phone signal booster for AT&T can be your in-building coverage solution. If you would like to learn more about AT&T Home Network Extender called MicroCell by AT&T Wireless, read on for everything there is to know about it. For all there's to know about phone boosters, scroll down to the bottom and read the summary. It is the perfect AT&T MicroCell replacement solution.

AT&T MicroCell Operation.

AT&T mobile subscribers experiencing unreliable or weak cell phone reception in their homes or offices had a great solution with an AT&T MicroCell. This device connected to a current broadband Internet landline and provided enhanced cell coverage for voice calls, text, and cell data applications like image messaging and Internet browsing by basically acting as a mini-cell tower and converting the broadband landline to cell signals and vice versa.

ATT MicroCell boosted signal strength over fixed broadband internet without any effect on the quality of the Wi-Fi connection. AT&T Wireless MicroCell was however discontinued at the end of 2018 when WiFi Calling became more popular.

ATT Micro-Cell Limitations.

ATT Micro Cell was designed to only handle 3G data speeds. This means the device can only be used until 2021 when AT&T is expected to discontinue its support of 3G.

Although AT&T's MicroCell was very effective in improving cell coverage in dead zones, it only worked for AT&T subscribers. This meant that users not using AT&T, but sharing a home or office with an AT&T MicroCell installed had no signal improvement.

AT&T Micro-Cell also only catered for four devices to be connected to it simultaneously.

The MicroCell had an effective range of about 40 feet in any given direction from the unit, or about 5,000 sq. ft. Although this was effective for most residential homes depending on the layout, it would be limited in areas outside the Microcell's line of sight and in multi-floor settings.

Since newer smartphones can nowadays connect to a router directly and use the WiFi's data for internet and voice calls, the need for a MicroCell has been replaced by WiFi Calling.

This bypasses the AT&T MicroCell and provides users what they need free of charge without having to buy any other equipment.

Users that have a MicroCell and rely on it for placing calls at their office or home may want to start thinking about replacing it.

Broadband.

An AT&T Wireless Micro Cell is able to work with all broadband services, except satellite and wireless broadband. The broadband service must however support the required broadband speeds of 256 Kbps upstream and 1.5 Mbps downstream. It does however not replace the current broadband service.

The MicroCell does not interfere with Wi-Fi routers, provided it is installed properly.

Users can browse Internet with their computer while using an AT&T wireless device connected to a Micro Cell to make a call. It is also possible to use data services, text messaging and voicemail on a wireless device that is connected to the MicroCell. Up to four simultaneous sessions are supported by an AT&T MicroCell.

Multiple AT&T MicroCells can be used in different areas of a home or office or within the same area if the coverage of 5,000 sq. ft. is not enough. To do this, the devices must however be located at least 40 ft. from each other, as interference between devices may cause dropped calls if they are too close together.

Wi-Fi should be used for data applications when available like browsing the Internet, video streaming, or file downloading, rather than using the AT&T MicroCell. Wi-Fi is the best solution for using mobile data, and does not get charged against the AT&T wireless service plan. Standard data rates apply when data services are used through an AT&T MicroCell rather than Wi-Fi.

Compatible devices.

Any handset with 3 or 4G capabilities that uses the AT&T wireless service can be used with the ATandT MicroCell. Although the MicroCell can't be activated with a GoPhone, a GoPhone user may be added as an Approved User. Handsets using the services of other carriers won't work with MicroCell.

AT&T MicroCell is not compatible with non-traditional wireless devices such as QUE, Sony Reader, Nook, Kindle, or Apple iPad. Wi-Fi provides the best Internet access for those devices.

Billing.

When using an AT and T MicroCell, the usage will be billed for against the wireless device's service plan.

For users that have billing with call details with their service plan, all calls, including those made via AT&T MicroCell, will have call details available as normal.

Security.

It is possible to give access to other handsets that have 3 or 4G capabilities and use AT&T as their wireless service provider. A maximum of 15 lines can be used this way. Handsets that use services from other carriers won't work with an AT&T Wireless MicroCell.

Access to an AT&T MicroCell is restricted by default, as only users that have been added to the "Approved Users" will be able to access the AT&T MicroCell. Other users will not have access.

Usage.

If a call is made while connected to a specific AT&T Wireless Micro Cell, it will not transfer to another one if the user moves out of the range of the first and into the range of the second.

If a call is however started on a MicroCell and the user moves out of the range of the MicroCell, but into the range of an AT&T cell tower, the call will be transferred seamlessly from the MicroCell to the best available cell tower signal from AT&T. In this case, billing will be for the original call made on the MicroCell. If a call is however dropped and then made again on the cellular network, the call will be billed against the wireless device's service plan.

If a call is started on the cellular network and the user moves into range of their AT&T MicroCell, the call will not be transferred to the AT&T MicroCell.

Automatic transfer from a MicroCell to a cell tower can be managed by disabling this functionality in that coverage extender unit. Once this has been done, users starting to call on their network extender have to remain in the AT&T MicroCell’s range to avoid dropping the call.

Dropped calls can be reduced by preventing the hand-out of a call from the wireless extender to a weak wireless signal.

Users not needing or wanting to use their AT&T MicroCell anymore have to disconnect their wireless extender unit by unplugging it from the power source and the broadband router.

Users then have go to att.com/microcell and find the tab to "Manage Settings" to select the "Disconnect Your MicroCell Device" option.

E911.

AT&T MicroCell supports E911 services. Users should keep the AT&T MicroCell's address updated to make sure the correct location will be available to emergency services.

AT&T MicroCell services are however not available when the broadband service or electrical services are not available. If service is disrupted, users won't be able to use E911 services via a wireless device other than by using service on AT&T’s wireless network.

A GPS device is included in a MicroCell unit, enabling the device to identify the location where it is installed. The device won't work unless its location has been identified. When moving the device to a different location, it is important to follow instructions to update the device's location so that the E911 service will work properly.

An AT&T MicroCell can be used in a new location, providing that AT&T MicroCell is accessible in that area. This can be checked via the Check Availability option on the att.com/microcell website.

Summary.

With AT&T Microcell's discontinuation due to emergence of Wi-Fi calling, cell phone signal boosters for AT&T have gained popularity because they can enhance mobile reception across large spaces inside buildings without requiring wifi. In addition to home cell phone boosters for AT&Tcar cell phone boosters for AT&T are also available which provide better reception in vehicles as well. Or try this easy to use AT&T Microcell replacement finder tool, it will guide you to the most suitable signal amplifier kit that should meet all your requirements. Or call toll free 1-855-846-2654 for a free consultation - we provide cellular booster installation service, as well.


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  • There are a number of options out there for people who were using AT&T’s Microcell system. Let’s think about it though, if it only works with 3G and 5G is out now, why would you want it? Time to upgrade your phone BTW. Even if you don’t want a 5G, you’ll be impressed with 4G.

    Dave Lowell on
  • AT&T MicroCell was good for specific purposes, but its time has passed. There is a lot more you can do with cell phone boosters based on what I’ve read. I don’t want one because I expect my cell phone to do its job unassisted, but I know some people like having them.

    Donna Thomas on

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