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1 year ago
Table of contents
Initial Setup and Testing 6
VoIP Basics 7-9
Cell Booster Requirements 9-10
Minimum Router Requirements 11
Wireless Home Phone (WHP) 12
ADT (Brinks) Home Security 12
WiFi Calling (WiFi-C) 13-14
Ethernet Conditions 14-15
GPS Lock 15-16
Initial Activation 16-17
Handing over 17-18
Technical Information/Signal Strength/
Signal Quality/AC Adapter 18-21
Connection Issues 22-30
Cell Booster Service Area outages
GPS Light/Antenna Notes
Phone not connecting
Dropped calls and/or call quality
Purchasing a used unit
Alternatives to a Cell Booster
Summary of troubleshooting steps
The information in this document is an update from the previous MicroCell
Technical Guide to reflect the changes in the new femtocell. AT&T calls the SS2F11 a
Cell Booster, and SB4IBN the Cell Booster Pro, but both are actually femtocells, the
same as the previous models. This is a marketing decision by AT&T because the
term cell booster is better understood by the customer base than the term femtocell,
even though the term "Cell Booster" implies "Cellular Booster". The term Cell
Booster/Cell Booster Pro may be used interchangeably with CB/CB Pro throughout
this document to distinguish them from their predecessor, the MicroCell.
The AT&T Cell Booster is a very useful device when in-home cellular coverage is
lacking or non-existent. However, its predecessor developed a love/hate
relationship with some customers. The purpose of this document is to hopefully
explain some of the technical workings of the Cell Booster which may help to explain
why some customers may have problems with their Cell Booster's or their phones
when attempting to connect.
The basic premise of the Cell Booster is that the device broadcasts a 4G/LTE signal
inside your home that your phone connects to, just like a cellular tower, only the
strength and propagation is very limited in comparison to a tower. That cellular
signal then uses your wired internet connection to reach the AT&T Mobility Servers.
There is no additional cost using the Cell Booster so your data usage would be the
same as if you were connected to a cellular tower.
The Cell Booster (CB) will be a 4G/LTE release, with the Cell Booster Pro (CB Pro),
being released shortly thereafter. That model will have 5G capability, wider range,
and allow more connections. The Cell Booster Pro will be intended for Enterprise
and First Responders (FirstNet). The Cell Boosters have a larger footprint than the
MicroCell (but are square and flat), a WAN and LAN port, an external antenna port
(for GPS location), and will include the antennas. There are also holes on the back
for hanging on a wall for the Cell Booster and there may be a wall mounting kit
available for the Cell Booster Pro. Otherwise, as of this writing, the new models
function similarly as the previous version, the DPH-154. The Cell Booster/Cell
Booster Pro is manufactured by Nokia. At one time the Cell Booster was called the
Nokia Smart Node and I think that's why AT&T chose Nokia for their secondgeneration femtocell.
The AT&T Cell Booster (CB) offers LTE coverage of up to 3,000 sq. ft. The AT&T Cell
Booster Pro (CB Pro), offers LTE with coverage of up to 15,000 sq. ft. This document
will focus primarily on the Cell Booster, but will be applicable to the Cell Booster Pro
for most of its operational and functional ability. The minimum bandwidth
requirement will be 5Mbps down/1Mbps up for the Cell Booster and 25Mbps down/5Mbps up for the Cell Booster Pro. However, the recommended bandwidths
for the Cell Booster will be 100Mbps/5Mbps and for the Cell Booster Pro it will be
150Mbps/20Mbps. Those numbers will vary so if the minimum can be met reliably,
and depending on what else is sharing bandwidth on your home network, you
should be fine.
The download/upload speeds for the Cell Booster will be 150Mbps/75Mbps and for
the Cell Booster Pro 300Mbps/150Mbps.
The maximum allowable users at any one time for the CB will be 8, and for the CB
The Cell Booster will allow any AT&T postpaid or prepaid phone, and IoT device to
connect if within range. There will be no Approved Users List or allowing access via an
AT&T phone number like there was with the MicroCell. And there will be no way, at
least as of this writing, to know who is using your Cell Booster. Communication
between the Cell Booster and AT&T is accomplished thru a secure encrypted
connection. However, data usage will be counted against the account of the connected
device, not the Cell Booster itself.
NOTE: Both devices have a consumer warning that you should be no closer than 20cm
(8") and for no longer than one minute, including areas of short-term duration such as,
but not limited to, a light, light switch, thermostat, HVAC unit or vent, electrical
outlet, and signs.
The Cell Booster Pro in intended for Enterprise and First Responders (FirstNet)
because of the increased RF coverage, 5G, the number of users allowed, and the bands
used. There will also be a separate portal for Cell Booster Pro management and
possibly a professional installation offered.
The Cell Booster is a totally closed system so there is no access to modify or change
settings like you can with a router. Only AT&T can modify the system and does so on
occasion with updates automatically pushed to the unit (usually in the middle of the
night to avoid service interruption). There are no announcements of what the
updates are for or when they will be pushed out.
The Cell Booster is primarily for voice. You can use it for data, but the speeds will be
slower even though it uses 4G/LTE for throughput. Voice doesn’t have the same
bandwidth requirements that data does so if your download speeds are terrible on
the Cell Booster and Cell Booster Pro, voice should still be fine. That’s why the
recommendation is to leave WiFi on if you plan to use data as well. That way, data
will be downloaded via WiFi and voice will be handled by the Cell Booster. Your data usage will also not go against your data plan if you use WiFi.
NOTE: Once the 3G network shutdown, AT&T ran a process that disabled the 3G
radio in the MicroCell.
The Cell Booster and Cell Booster Pro will both have an anti-tamper
mechanism that will display an alert in the Cell Booster app and will
permanently disable the unit if there is an attempt made to open the device.
The initial cost of the Cell Booster will be $229 and for the Cell Booster Pro $699.