07-14-2010 12:32:45 PM
I am a prospective MC user, I am still gathering info. My iPhone 4 has this stutter effect as well, and I am not entirely sure of the cause but here are some factors:
1. I have an ifrogz case, the signal attenuation issue has largely dissapeared, or is similar to my prior experience with 3G/3Gs as described below. I have experienced stutter before and after the case was purchased, at random times during calls. The case has not seemingly affected the stutter issue.
2. I have been a 3G and 3Gs user for some time, my wife has 3G and son has my old Gs. These phones never have had the stutter, and are now on iOS4.
3. For years, even before 3G phones, reception in my home has been questionable. I am less than a mile as the bird flies from the nearest tower, yet signals fluctuate from none to 5 bars regularly, even while I am stationary. The basement/office are somewhat weaker, going from 0 to 4 bars typically. The tower is adjacent to an Interstate highway, and geography limits signals from other sources (it is at the apex of a 7500 foot pass, signals from other towers presumably cannot reach this area). I suspect as traffic ebbs and flows with ATT users, the signals vary based on some sort of priority the network uses.
So, MC is not the issue for my stutter issue, and it seems to be ip4 related. However, the case has not impacted this issue (it has noticably improved the attenuation issue however).
Because my signal fluctuates so much, I am considering MCell. However, I have some concerns...
Since the signal varies so much, will phones revert to Macro Cell or flutter between Micro/Macro? The signal fluctuation is consistent throughout the home, but generally 1-2 bars weaker in the basement/office areas, so I understand the phone will connect to the strongest signal which may constantly change based on experience. Fluttering between Micro/Macro would not be an issue unless I get the unlimited plan, I would expect to get the most out of that by having phones consistently connect to MCell.
Your concern highlights the exact problem this device has. It does fluctuate levels to the tower and the device hands off service like a hot potato only to not want it back. The tower then drops you b/c your service sucks and you end up with another dropped call. Don't get it till you see AT&T has addressed the issue publicly or you hear a user report the fix is in.
07-14-2010 07:13:00 PM
I have an iPhone 4 with a bumper and I had the skipping occur on the very first phone call I received after installing the Microcell. I also have 0 or 1 bar on the same floor as my Microcell in certain parts. I have about 1800 square feet on that floor. If that can't be improved, I don't see the point of the device.
07-14-2010 07:17:11 PM
iPhone 4 iOS 4.0
I switched to "Priority Mode" (Cable Mode>3G MicroCell>Apple Airport Extreme) and this seemed to have helped the skipping and incoming calls going directly to voicemail. This has had little or no adverse effects on my network speeds or throughput.
07-15-2010 10:20:30 AM
I'm getting the rapid stuttering effect on calls, too. It seems to do it with all of the phones I've tried. That includes my iPhone 4, my old iPhone 3GS (that I used for 2 weeks on the MicroCell before my iPhone 4 arrived), and my wife's Blackberry Bold.
In addition, her Blackberry Bold won't dial out more than 50% of the time and gives her the error: "Radio Path Unavailable".
So far, I have only tried setup "A" with the MicroCell after the router. Based on other posts, I don't see that changing this will help. I just tried moving the MicroCell to a separated room from my wireless router, and it didn't help.
This has been a big disappointment. I hope they can fix this. Without it, I don't even get one bar at my house in Los Angeles.
07-15-2010 10:33:25 AM
07-19-2010 02:23:51 PM
Well, I thought that my problem had mysteriously corrected itself, but it reappeared this weekend. And I've now experienced it on both my iPhone 4 and my wife's iPhone 3G. One thing to note: I did not update my wife's iPhone 3G to iOS 4.0 until last week, and the first time that she had the problem was after the update.
07-19-2010 07:45:53 PM
Same issues here, Wife and I have both have the iphone 4. I have re located, tried A B and C configs. I am sick of it. We are going to have to go back to VZW if this thing does not work in our house. ATT has no coverage here, so we NEED the M-Cell to work!
Hurry up ATT
07-21-2010 07:20:56 PM
just want to add my name to the list here. att and apple really need to resolve this issue. i was on a call for an interview and kept having this issue. PLEASE FIX!
07-23-2010 09:45:28 PM - edited 07-23-2010 09:46:32 PM
Same here. My GF's Samsung phone works fine. Her phone will have 5 bars, and my iPhone 4 right next to hers will have 2, and my calls have the jitter effect. Also getting dropped calls. If I can't figure it out within a week, I'm returning the MicroCell.
07-24-2010 08:19:00 AM
Okay, wanted to add my information as well. No known fix other than maybe the Cellular Data issue, but what they heck!?!?
Still looking for the possible answer.
Thanks to all who have submitted.
07-28-2010 08:18:11 AM
I have had the microcell for almost a month and I have determined that, at least in my case, it is a signal strength issue that triggers the stuttering. Even when I show 4/5 bars, if I am out of line of sight of the microcell and get more than about 20' away I will start getting the stuttering / skipping.
I can exhaserbate the problem by gripping my iPhone 4 "incorrectly" even when standing in one location and get the skipping to start and stop just by how I'm holding the phone.
For what it's worth I have also tried pulling the sim for 5 minutes and also turning off cellular data... neither had any impact.
The only ray of hope that I see is that it is not *entirely* consistent... There are times when I am in a position where it was stuttering and suddenly it stops and I can't get it to happen again for a while. But those are rare. So it is still possible that it's some interaction between the signal strength and software but I am not optimistic.
I am running up on my 30 day return time and so I'm probably doing to return it this week and wait for a rev. 2. or whatever. While I had poor coverage before at least I knew where in my house I could talk... now it's actually worse with the skipping.
07-28-2010 12:24:06 PM
I originally was going to post that I doubted there would be any changes, but I checked Wikipedia, and sure enough, they say that 4.1 does have a new baseband version.
07-30-2010 09:22:34 AM
I am in the process of installing iPhone 4.1 beta 2 and will report back after doing some testing for this skipping/stuttering problem. I really hope it's solved with the new baseband. PLEASE CONTACT ATT AND APPLE, HAVE THEM OPEN UP TICKETS, AND MAKE SURE THEY ESCALATE THIS PROBLEM TO THEIR ENGINEERS.
07-30-2010 10:10:39 AM - edited 07-30-2010 10:12:42 AM
Adding my name to the list.
I just bought a 3g microcell a couple days ago and got the choppy audio on my first phone call.
The thing that really grinds my gears about the whole thing is this.
I had an iPhone 3G. Never had a great signal but it was always good enough.
Upgraded to the iPhone 4. Went down to a very unreliable signal. Missed calls, dropped calls, bad reception, the works.
Bought the 3G MicroCell to alleviate this issue.
Now I find out that the MicroCell and iPhone don't play well together.
I tell ya, I just can't win.
Those Verizon Droids are looking pretty good right about now. Unfortunately I just rebooted my AT&T contract for another 2 years to get this phone.
07-30-2010 10:37:37 AM - edited 07-30-2010 10:39:02 AM
i dont mean to get too excited about this just yet, but i just tested with 4.1 beta 2 on 3 different 5-minute calls and didnt get the stuttering effect. im going to see if this streak of success continues and report back to you all. if the software update does resolve the problem, its just a waiting game until Apple releases to the public, my guess is approx 2-3 weeks, so hang in there.
Any other devs out there experiencing success with the 4.1 beta 2?
07-30-2010 11:24:59 AM
Actually, for the last couple of days, we've not been experiencing the stuttering either... and we have stock 4.0.1. At first I was going to say this was due to experiments I was running with location services disabled, but I had my wife leave everything on today as a confirmation..... but she reports she's having a good phone day.
Maybe they updated the microcell firmware without telling us (that never happens. )...?
07-30-2010 02:05:14 PM
This has been driving me nuts for weeks now. My wife and I both have iPhone 4's, and have consistently had this problem.
I've called tech support a number of times, without any result. At first I thought it could be a router setting, but that's clearly not the case.
Just today, I've dropped 3 calls while trying to call AT&T to get them to fix it. The dropping thing is a new issue for me, as previously I just had the choppiness issue. Really unbelievable how poorly this thing works for $150. Poor service in my area + poor service for my microcell makes my iPhone 4 essentially useless as a phone...
07-30-2010 05:30:06 PM
UPDATE: I just had the skipping/stutter problem on 4.1 beta 2. Although it seems to be occurring less frequently, the problem still exists. PLEASE call/email this issue to ATT and request that engineers look into resolving this problem ASAP.
They won't pay any attention to this unless we make some noise together.
07-31-2010 10:18:30 AM
Now, of course, I have no idea how much cell data was being thrown up to my phone at the time, so this could be purely correlational, but just adds a data point to the conversation.
Like most of these bulletin boards, the lovely 'admit nothing' culture by their operators makes me feel as if I am peeing into the wind here, but I'll add data whenever I can.
Come on AT&T, even the great information black hole that is Apple admitted they had a problem. But I suppose a poorly deployed technology to help shore up a sometimes inadequate cellular infrastructure won't really affect your stock price, so you're not interested in shining a light on this. Taking it back to the store (if I even could) wouldn't register a blip. So I'll (we'll?) all sit here in this abusive relationship because I need at least a -little- signal at home.
08-02-2010 03:17:18 PM
Oddly, whereas I hardly *ever* had a stuttering call, in the past couple days _every_ call is bad. The Wife is ready to throw the POS in the trash. Nothing changed on my end. I'll have to see if a reboot does anything.
08-02-2010 03:51:21 PM
Apple has and will ignore issues for years. I have spoke with AT&T a dozen times. They are just being gaged by Apple and cant fix the issue. It is an iPhone4 issue and not AT&T, i am 90% sure.
Only way to get them to fix it is telling the press. If you stay in the AT&T forum no one will care becasue only people having the issue will go there... Making the problem an island.
Post YouTube videos, Send your issues to the Apple Tech and Rumor sites like:
ETC ETC ETC...... There are hundreds more!
08-02-2010 09:12:25 PM
+1 on the stuttering/choppiness.
It's frustrating to buy this thing because of AT&T's crappy reception and dropped calls just to discover that the Microcell makes reception problems worse!
08-03-2010 09:40:21 AM
Over the weekend (of course, while I was out of town), the MicroCell began stuttering on every call for my Wife. Standing next to the MicroCell would always clean up the conversation.
Upon return, I tried a hard reset of the MicroCell with good success. That is, press the reset button on the back until the 3G light goes out (it will gradually fade out), then release. Be patient as it will take about another 30 seconds to reset itself (all lights except power goes out). Once it had re-activated (another 10 minutes or so), all calls since have been stutter free.
This was the same solution that fixed my initial install problem (approx one month ago) of 0 bars.
My theory is that the MicroCell is constantly measuring the MacroCell received power and adjusting it's output accordingly. Eventually, it drops it's power such that you have to stand next to the MicroCell to have a conversation. Resetting the device then clears out those "learned" transmit power levels. Of course, this is all a guess on my part, so YMMV. If this is true, I should see this problem again in a month or so.
BTW, I have push on and my Wife's phone is set to hourly fetch only. I have never turned off 3G data nor rebooted the iPhones.
08-04-2010 03:36:37 PM
I can reliably recreate the problem on my iPhone 4. With wireless data on, I make sure that an application that uses the cellular data network is active. I usually use a location search with maps. When a call comes in while cellular data is in use, I get the stutter.
During a stuttering call if I go to settings and turn off cellular data the stuttering stops. I can also create the stutter on a clear call by triggering a location search. I don't think it's location services specifically, but that's one thing I can be sure is using the cellular data network, even if WiFi is activated.
Today, one of the AT&T engineers called my cell phone while I was speaking to him on a land line. He wanted me to recreate the stutter so he could hear it. I did a local search through Google and as soon as the search started he could hear the stutter. I turned cellular data off and the stutter stopped. I don't know what will come of that call, but at least one of the engineers could hear it and know that I can create it at will. He offered no resolution, but I could tell he was serious about finding the source of the problem.
08-04-2010 06:48:35 PM
Great idea RichmondJohn,
I made a youtube video showing the problem and sent the link to Boy Genius.
Thanks again to jpbrewer for the tip on turning off cellular data.