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  • 3G MicroCell to Give iPhones a Boost Beginning Next Month



    AT&T said this week that it will be ready to introduce its 3G MicroCell nationwide by the middle of April. Serving as a signal booster and, hopefully, the remedy for reception issues, the AT&T 3G MicroCell has been likened to a wireless router for your mobile phone. Providing a small but substantial cell signal upon connection to your network, the 3G MicroCell should help reduce dropped calls around the house - a problem far too common for AT&T's comfort.

    Although AT&T is advertising the unit for sale without additional costs, the reality of "additional costs" is factored into your service plan. That is, minutes used via the 3G MicroCell are deducted from your account. Individual or Family talk subscribers, however, have the option of paying $20 per month for unlimited calls through the mini cell tower. There are, naturally, some incentives tossed in for those who pick up a MicroCell calling plan. The 3G MicroCell hardware, for example, which costs $149.99, comes with a $100 rebate with the purchase of a subscription plan.

    The 3G MicroCell has been teased for national rollout since the device was first beta tested in Charlotte, North Carolina last fall. Just last month, AT&T lumped Georgia, South Carolina, San Diego and Las Vegas into the trial zones. Since all has gone well to date, AT&T is confident enough to introduce the device nationally in about three weeks time.

    Although it seems probable that a great many AT&T customers will purchase the 3G MicroCell, it's also been made perfectly clear by some that there is very little justification in paying AT&T for another piece of hardware (and possibly a subscription plan) just to make the service they're already paying for work as it should have in the first place.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 3G MicroCell to Give iPhones a Boost Beginning Next Month started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 60 Comments
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      People shouldn't have to have one of these devices to get good service in their house, it's just one more way for them to make money. Now it's like you have to pay extra if you want more bars in your own home..that should be provided for free for their customers.
    1. vedavis's Avatar
      vedavis -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      People shouldn't have to have one of these devices to get good service in their house...
      I agree, and $149 is an insane price to pay, but it is what it is...sigh.
    1. hxclos's Avatar
      hxclos -
      "Serving as a signal booster and, hopefully, the remedy for reception issues, the AT&T 3G MicroCell has been likened to a wireless router for your mobile phone."
      Can someone explain this to me? Does this mean I need an Internet connection? Is this basically a VoIP converter or a take home antenna? I'm wondering because I own some land where I don't get signal from any carrier. If I could just plug this into an outlet, it would come in handy.
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      I get amazing service here in good ol' North Carolina - We do not get 3G service when outside of city areas - and we get a terrible signal when on our property. Step one foot off the property and you get 4-5 bars... weird...

      Would this thing allow us to get a 3G signal in our house - even though 3G is not provided for our area?

      tim
    1. glassJAw's Avatar
      glassJAw -
      What! Totally agree with the first post what a joke.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      So we have to pay for AT&T's signal flaws? That's like Domino's Pizza advertising that their previous pizzas throughout the years were disgusting and now they have this "new product."
    1. aperry's Avatar
      aperry -
      "Our network is notoriously crappy and we have a half-*ssed solution to help you avoid the dropped calls that you continually complain about. We'll charge you an increased amount on top of the premium fees that you already pay for service that is meant to be reliable in the first place."

      I see nothing wrong with that logic!
    1. bimmercub's Avatar
      bimmercub -
      why cant they just make it so that any wi-fi enabled phone automatically switches to voip when wifi is connected? i guess that would make it difficult to switch to 3g on the fly if the user leaves the wi-fi range while on a call.
    1. KiZZ's Avatar
      KiZZ -
      [QUOTE=hxclos;5171979] Does this mean I need an Internet connection?

      Got this from AT&T website. Yes, you do need an internet connection.

      Device Requirements:

      3G wireless phone/device
      Broadband service over DSL or cable
      Computer with Internet access for online registration
    1. buzios's Avatar
      buzios -
      Let me see if I got it right.
      I pay a premium price for my AT&T plan.
      I live in an area that is supposed to have coverage but the signal in my house is very weak.

      To solve the AT&T coverage problem in my area I have:
      1 - Buy a new piece of hardware.
      2 - Pay an additional monthly fee.
      3 - Use bandwidth of my internet connection

      It seems to me that AT&T should give me a discount to use the MicroCell.
      With the MicroCell calls and data will flow over my internet connection and not through the AT&T network.

      I am offloading the AT&T network and have to pay for that?

      That is great, I will order 5 MicroCells.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Haha, that last sentence said it all
    1. Truckerbear's Avatar
      Truckerbear -
      Quote Originally Posted by buzios View Post
      Let me see if I got it right.
      I pay a premium price for my AT&T plan.
      I live in an area that is supposed to have coverage but the signal in my house is very weak.

      To solve the AT&T coverage problem in my area I have:
      1 - Buy a new piece of hardware.
      2 - Pay an additional monthly fee.
      3 - Use bandwidth of my internet connection

      It seems to me that AT&T should give me a discount to use the MicroCell.
      With the MicroCell calls and data will flow over my internet connection and not through the AT&T network.

      I am offloading the AT&T network and have to pay for that?

      That is great, I will order 5 MicroCells.
      I could not have said it better, bravo bravo...

      Oh and DITTO!
    1. Windmeel's Avatar
      Windmeel -
      I see how everyone is upset but I CANNOT wait for this. I have zero bars at my home. My sister who lives with me also has an iPhone so of course she doesn't have reception either. I think $20 a month to have unlimited calling off the cell is a great price. I don't even mind the $150 to purchase the product. Yea it sucks to have to pay more for what I should already have, especially at the prices we all pay for our iPhones, but I just don't care anymore. I'm tired of having to drive up the street to use my cell phone.
    1. Squeaky369's Avatar
      Squeaky369 -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      People shouldn't have to have one of these devices to get good service in their house, it's just one more way for them to make money. Now it's like you have to pay extra if you want more bars in your own home..that should be provided for free for their customers.
      At&t shouldn't be held responsible for loss of signal in your house. There are many factors that can cause a signal loss in your house. Not just At&t has this issue.

      I've recently got Verizon to test the Droid, and the signal was far from perfect. It was actually worse in my house. And the 3G speed is so slow, my dial-up was faster. I spent good money to prove that Verizon is, and always will be worse then At&t.

      Anyway, This product is amazing. If you live OUTSIDE of a 3G area (FCC regulations say where 3G can be, don't blame AT&T) then you can have a 3G hotspot. Why would you want this if you have high-speed in your house with wireless, I don't know. Better call reception on your phone, since the average cellphone owner does not have a LAN line. Also, I am wondering if your "3G" speed would be as fast as your internet. For example, I have a 18MB DSL line, I wonder if that will be the comparable 3G speed on the phone... Interesting...

      Don't knock this as it's a very sweet piece of equipment.

      I agree if coverage in areas is low, that they should try and adjust prices for people, but then everyone would be calling in complaining about signal issues, just to get a discount.

      I live in Indianapolis, and I get 2 - 3 bars in my house. I will be getting one of these so I can have a guaranteed full signal at all times. Cause if the network goes down, or there is a lot of people using it, MY service won't be interrupted.

      Quit complaining. Don't buy it if you don't want it.

      Sprint has had something like this for awhile, At&t is now getting it, and I think I saw something VERY similar to this at Verizon.
    1. dcgore's Avatar
      dcgore -
      ^^^ I agree with you. There are life situations that are the exception to the rule. I think people have sometimes unrealistic expectations as consumers. I for instance live in a building in Manhattan that was built in the 1940s, pure solid concrete, needless to say i have no coverage in my apartment. Does this mean i need to be fired up about the service and curse AT&T, no! It sucks but it is the way it is, it's not At&T's fault.

      Some folks live in areas that aren't vastly populated and makes no sense for a carrier to invest money into having incredible service even if the coverage maps says you "should" have coverage there. Thus some spots will be covered and some others will not (this applies to all carriers).
    1. almulder's Avatar
      almulder -
      Quote Originally Posted by Windmeel View Post
      I see how everyone is upset but I CANNOT wait for this. I have zero bars at my home. My sister who lives with me also has an iPhone so of course she doesn't have reception either. I think $20 a month to have unlimited calling off the cell is a great price. I don't even mind the $150 to purchase the product. Yea it sucks to have to pay more for what I should already have, especially at the prices we all pay for our iPhones, but I just don't care anymore. I'm tired of having to drive up the street to use my cell phone.
      I hear ya man.

      I am in Las Vegas and purchased this the day it came out. Ya it was $150, but I want to use my phone I payed for also.

      Just a quick not. YOUR PHONE MUST BE 3G OR IT WILL NOT WORK

      It was quick easy setup any dummy could do it. I love having this unit at home.
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      im so glad we dont have ATT in the UK but O2 sucks as well. good that the iPhone is on Orange and Vodafone now.
    1. dast1g's Avatar
      dast1g -
      Thank god we don't have AT&T in Ireland .... 02 has really excellent coverage never had a problem with it on my iPhone or any phone for that matter
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      this is hogwash!
      basically AT&T is telling admitting to me that its service is crap, and as a retribution, it's making me pay more out of pocket for a service I am already entitled to but am cheated out of
    1. chapelfreak's Avatar
      chapelfreak -
      I would love to get this. My house is surrounded by mountians so i have no cell service at my house but if i walk 300 ft up my driveway i have service. ITS NOT ATTS FAULT THAT THERE ARE MOUNTIANS AROUND ME. They have tried putting cell towers up in places and people say no cuz they want to support a local cell phone company that is on the dying technology, CMDA. Our local government have denied att to put more towers up due to "shop local campaign" they have going on. We have 1 3G tower in our area and thats because the casino paid good money to get it in