Problems with text messages and cellular phone calls

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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Since installing Extreme 3825i access points in a particular area, I have been getting complaints from a group of users (3 or more?) that they are having problems sending and receiving text messages. They also believe that they are missing incoming phone calls.

Some things to note about my configuration:
  • I am running firmware 10.01.02.0038, but I am installing 10.0.1.04.011 this evening
  • I have several AP's on this floor, all configured as a Site
  • I am using both radios
  • I use Radar and location tracking ... probably not relevant?
Full disclaimer:
  • I have had one of these AP's running on my desk for months. I have never lost a test message or missed a phone call
  • I am aware that Apple iPhones have a feature (WiFi Calling) that sends text messages and phone calls through wireless networks when they have poor signal. But this must be enabled by the user, and the users say that it's turned off!
Can anyone think of how new access points might interfere with cell phones? I couldn't find anything in GTAK or the community here. And I am fully aware that if these access points knowingly caused cellular interference ... the FCC wouldn't allow them to be sold! But I am trying to do what I can to help these users, and they say they never had a problem until my new Extreme AP's went up.
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Steve Ballantyne

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  • purplexed'ed!

Posted 2 years ago

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Jeremy, Embassador

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I bet my entire salary that this is just a coincidence. The FCC regulates the frequencies that the acces points can use, and they also regulate the frequencies that cellular carriers can use. None of these frequencies are interfering with the others.
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Steve Ballantyne

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Yeah, I tried to make this point to the users. Nobody in their right might would build something that impedes cellular frequencies.

I strongly believe that this is a case of a local carrier providing lousy coverage. It's looking like this problem only exists for users in this one particular area who have an iPhone. But this is a hospital and I haven't ruled out other forms of interference like radiology equipment, etc.
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Drew C., Community Manager

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Are the iPhones using iMessage or are they actually SMS texts through the carrier?
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Drew C., Community Manager

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Hi Steve, were you able to figure anything out here?
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Steve Ballantyne

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Hello Drew, funny story. It seems that a few months ago they were replacing the roof on our hospital. When they came to our cell signal boosters, they unhooked them and threw them into a box somewhere. Apparently they were confused with a defunct satellite TV service. Now that those devices have been returned to service ... the signal is better, but only for one service provider.

Basically, the service has always been lousy. Because those boosters were only bought to handle the one provider. We would have to upgrade it to support the others.

So in the end, I don't think my access points had anything to do with this issue. It was just convenient timing!
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Drew C., Community Manager

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Ha!  Glad you got it sorted - thanks for the update.
I'll mark this one "solved."
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Ryan Mathews, Alum

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Thanks for sharing these details Steve.  The story here is very interesting and a great example of the number of extra variables that come in to play when you troubleshoot RF.

You and Jeremy were all over it from the get go.  Well done.