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What is happening with 3G?
tbpman23's profile

New Member

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2 Messages

Mon, Sep 26, 2022 4:19 PM

Free Cell booster

We have 0 bars at our house a majority of the time and very rarely have 1 bar. We were just able to get internet service which helps for browsing the internet and texting however, Wi-Fi calling doesn't seem to be working on multiple devices. I see there is a new cell booster and wanted to see if this is something we can apply for free since we have no service at home.

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sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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61K Messages

2 months ago

Sorry, they aren’t free. ATT’s free booster program was only for owners of the old microcell and that ended months ago.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.2K Messages

2 months ago

@tbpman23  Read my Cell Booster Tech Guide, link is in my sig line. It is very comprehensive for all things Cell Booster related.

As @sandblaster mentioned, they were only free for previous owners of the MicroCell and only for a very limited time. The Cell Booster retails for about $200 and the Cell Booster Pro for about $600.

ACE - Sage

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102.2K Messages

2 months ago

Wifi calling is not on by default.  You must turn it on, verify address for e911

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.2K Messages

2 months ago

Missed the part about WiFi-C ☹️. By multiple devices I assume you mean just phones. If so, those devices need to be able to support WiFi-C and you would have to enable WiFi-C on each device.

New Member

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2 Messages

2 months ago

We have 2 iPhone XS Max's, an iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 Pro. On each phone we have gone into the setting and turned Wi-Fi calling on. Just kind of weird that there is Wi-Fi calling which is free and then there is this cell booster which does basically the same thing for $200. But if Wi-Fi -C isn't working then I guess the is my only option. Thank you all for you help!

ACE - Sage

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102.2K Messages

2 months ago

@tbpman23

We have 2 iPhone XS Max's, an iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 Pro.

All wifi calling capable. 

On each phone we have gone into the setting and turned Wi-Fi calling on.

And verified e911 address... 

Just kind of weird that there is Wi-Fi calling which is free and then there is this cell booster which does basically the same thing for $200.

MicroCell type devices like the current cell booster predate the ability to use Wi-Fi calling. The iPhone 6 was the first iPhone that was Wi-Fi calling capable on AT&T.  

But if Wi-Fi -C isn't working

Hmmm, why?  What do you mean it doesn't work?  I could understand one device being faulty and Wi-Fi calling not functioning, but not multiple iPhones. 

Wi-Fi calling is by far the best option, and the most portable option as it is a feature included on the phone and any Wi-Fi in the world connects you to AT&T.   Up until I retired I was frequently working out of other people's homes while they were away on vacation, often in rural areas with poor cellular service, connection to Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi calling was the only thing that provided any service at all.  Very handy, and worked in any home, no matter which cellular provider or home internet provider they were using. 

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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19.2K Messages

2 months ago

@tbpman23  WiFi-C is part of the design of the phone. There's nothing for AT&T, or any other provider for that matter, to do other than make sure their IT Department configures the account for WiFi-C. It's more complicated than that but the bottom line is that there is no hardware to maintain or design updates to configure. The Cell Booster is built by Nokia so there is an additional cost to AT&T that has to be recovered etc.

WiFi-C is only as good as the strength of your WiFi connection. And your provider should have the necessary ports already open, but if there are issues with those ports, you will have issues with WiFi-C. If that's the case, which is rare, then it's up to the provider to fix it, and if your provider is not AT&T, you're stuck working with your provider.

Any phone that uses WiFi-C will be subject to signal strength because you can't force the phone to always use WiFi-C unless you place the phone in Airplane Mode, which is a pain. If the incoming cellular signal varies in strength, your phone will always search to connect to the strongest signal  so if it's WiFi, that's what it will connect to. If cellular, it will switch to that.

If you use the Cell Booster and have WiFi-C enabled at the same time, it can work but then again you have your phone looking for the strongest signal which can vary as you move around your house. Calls can drop as well as call quality. And, if you are on a call, you can not hand off from WiFi-C to cellular because of the technological differences so if you are on WiFi-C, move around your home while on a call, and the incoming cellular signal becomes stronger, you will either lose the call or the quality will drop (hello? hello? can you hear me? etc). I usually recommend that you either choose which one works best for you and use that one exclusively.

I tested the Cell Booster extensively for AT&T around the first of the year and while it did work, there were definite signal strength and propagation issues. It appears to be more sensitive to construction interferences and location than its predecessor, the MicroCell was. 3G just seemed to work better than LTE as far as the femtocell's go. I put my Cell Booster back on the shelf and went back to WiFi-C. I only bring it out every few months to keep my account active and to get any updates that may have been pushed.

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