Apple’s iPhone 4 and AT&T’s MicroCell are apparently having connection issues, which is odd since the iPhone 4 is AT&T exclusive and the MicroCell is designed to provide 3G coverage in a home or office. Unhappy users of the new iPhone are flooding AT&T’s support boards and customer service centers trying to resolve these issues.
The first issue is porting over new phone numbers from other wireless carriers. This causes the MicroCell to treat the new data as some sort of hack, and the unit will go off the air. This relates directly to the iPhone 4 because many new iPhone users came onto the network not long after the MicroCell first shipped. Apparently, AT&T did not plan for new users to keep their old numbers. The issue is resolvable, fortunately, by calling customer service and having them clear out all the old data and set the unit for a fresh start. Then the unit needs to be power-cycled. After that, just wait for the fresh data to download and sync.
The second issue appears to be that there is a great deal of audio breakup on incoming calls when using the MicroCell with the iPhone 4. Closer proximity between the units helps to resolve the issue, but the MicroCell was designed to provide five bars of strength for up to four phones within a 5,000 square foot area. That is a massive difference in design quality versus performance.
It is important to remember that, while these issues are real, they also represent a small percentage of total iPhone 4/MicroCell users. AT&T points to a drive test that apparently shows that AT&T’s network performs no worse than the actual industry leader, with only a two-tenths of 1 percent difference in the number of dropped calls, or two more per thousand. However, that still translates into a 1.44 percent of total calls on the AT&T network being dropped.