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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. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by thetoothfairy View Post
      Maybe I can talk to At&t and get to use one of these things to see if it would help me or not. I am going to talk to them soon again and see if they will send me one free of charge to see if it works or not since I have such a bad history with them while being down here....
      Because that is what ATT does. They give away things for free due to the terrible service they provide to most everyone. Good luck with that...

      If they credited you on a past case it will show up in your case notes. Your odds of getting a microcell for free are near 0 if that rep has a halfway decent supervisor.
    1. GadgetX's Avatar
      GadgetX -
      I think its ridiculous how much everyone is complaining. As others have pointed out you DONT HAVE TO BUY THIS IF YOU DONT WANT. No ones forcing you to do anything or to stay with ATT. I love my iPhone but get horrible reception at my apartment. My city has strict regulations and will not let ATT put up any more towers. This isn't ATT's fault and I sure as hell don't want to switch to Verizon and lose my iPhone. A one time fee of $150 is completely within reason IMO.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GadgetX View Post
      I think its ridiculous how much everyone is complaining. As others have pointed out you DONT HAVE TO BUY THIS IF YOU DONT WANT. No ones forcing you to do anything or to stay with ATT. I love my iPhone but get horrible reception at my apartment. My city has strict regulations and will not let ATT put up any more towers. This isn't ATT's fault and I sure as hell don't want to switch to Verizon and lose my iPhone. A one time fee of $150 is completely within reason IMO.
      Most of us aren't trying to make the point that this is a stupid idea, we're saying that this should be provided to AT&T customers without charging them because that's what you pay them for already. You shouldn't have to pay extra to get more bars in your own home, but if you think you should then by all means pay the extra money.
    1. area51crypto's Avatar
      area51crypto -
      Less bars = more money

      More bars = even more money



      Area51
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      KartRacer all I can do is try... I have had five months of not being able to use my iphone unless I drive a few miles away.... worth a try
    1. Windmeel's Avatar
      Windmeel -
      Quote Originally Posted by thetoothfairy View Post
      Maybe I can talk to At&t and get to use one of these things to see if it would help me or not. I am going to talk to them soon again and see if they will send me one free of charge to see if it works or not since I have such a bad history with them while being down here....
      Good idea and I'll be trying as well. At least a half off price. I use an average of ZERO minutes while at my home. And to everyone, its not as simple as going outside to get service, I just live in a bad service area.
    1. Effenpig!'s Avatar
      Effenpig! -
      Sucks that it needs a broadband connection. My town is surrounded by a lot of rural areas and I have a few friends who not only have poor cell reception in their homes, they can't get dsl or cable Internet either. Yeah baby, dial up on a land line, now that's living it up
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by thetoothfairy View Post
      KartRacer all I can do is try... I have had five months of not being able to use my iphone unless I drive a few miles away.... worth a try
      Trust me trust me trust me, I fully understand what it's like to not have decent service. I've stood next to one of three people I know that have AT&T in this town many a time and had both our phones (his is not an iPhone) going haywire and showing different bars and behaving completely differently. His can have no bars and I can have five, he can send texts but mine won't, mine will ring his won't. AT&T blows here. Hard. But no one else has one single problem for some odd reason. Their solution is to profusely apologize, do nothing to fix it after 13 months of call in complaints, and then try and convince me a device that doesn't use their infrastructure to improve a service I already pay them for is a great idea. They suck and they know it, but instead of fixing it they've decided to try and sucker more money out of people. Dispicible.

      Quote Originally Posted by GadgetX View Post
      I think its ridiculous how much everyone is complaining. As others have pointed out you DONT HAVE TO BUY THIS IF YOU DONT WANT. No ones forcing you to do anything or to stay with ATT. I love my iPhone but get horrible reception at my apartment. My city has strict regulations and will not let ATT put up any more towers. This isn't ATT's fault and I sure as hell don't want to switch to Verizon and lose my iPhone. A one time fee of $150 is completely within reason IMO.
      You seem to like paying for the same thing four times and you don't seem to get that they are wanting to charge for a device that props up a network that they aren't fixing and they aren't using their data pipes to provide this service. Data is cheap, they are using other peoples pipes to accomplish this. You're getting screwed four times. Once by them not providing good service (in my area there is no excuse, all other companies can and do), twice by them selling you something that could easily be done over wifi but they won't because they can charge you minutes to use it (ain't that nice of them?), three times because they are using your broadband connection that isn't theirs (and that costs them nothing) to route calls over that you are already paying a monthly fee for to your ISP, and fourth by charging you plan minutes for not using their towers!!

      I think it's ridiculous for people like you to defend companies like this and willingly bend over and take it, AND have a smile on your face when you pay for something four times over. And there is someone that is forcing us to stay with them, it's called an ETF. If they don't provide you the service they are legally bound to provide by contract they will charge you an exorbitant fee to leave instead of doing the right thing and cutting ties amicably without penalty. I can't believe you don't see how this is wayyyyyy beyond a huge slap in the face to AT&T customers. No wait, I actually can.
    1. GadgetX's Avatar
      GadgetX -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      I think it's ridiculous for people like you to defend companies like this and willingly bend over and take it, AND have a smile on your face when you pay for something four times over. And there is someone that is forcing us to stay with them, it's called an ETF. If they don't provide you the service they are legally bound to provide by contract they will charge you an exorbitant fee to leave instead of doing the right thing and cutting ties amicably without penalty. I can't believe you don't see how this is wayyyyyy beyond a huge slap in the face to AT&T customers. No wait, I actually can.
      My 2 year contract expired in January. If I wanted I could switch carriers sans any fee, but what am i doing? Waiting for the next gen iPhone. Why? Because I love my iPhone and don't want to switch carriers for that reason. It would be awesome if AT&T provided EVERY afflicted customer with a free microcell, but other companies don't and neither will they. I oftentimes don't have enough signal to send a text from my apartment, even on my porch, what would you have me do? AT&T is providing us with an option to fix this and if it works as advertised, then its a damn good one. Bottom line, I love my iPhone and would gladly pay $150 to keep using it.
    1. bdiddy619's Avatar
      bdiddy619 -
      verizon and sprint have the same thing,verizon has terrible data speeds compared to att and you guys are complaining? shut up. the grass is not greener on the other side.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      id get this as long as there was not a contract monthly fee. no sense [besides buisness sense] to be charged for the same service your allready paying to receive. the device price seems about right. but cheaper is allways better.
    1. area51crypto's Avatar
      area51crypto -
      Just wait untill Magicjack comes out with their fix for cellphones!

      Area51
    1. Remember God's Avatar
      Remember God -
      U gotta laugh about it, AT@T are basically saying "our service absolutely sucks but if u want a network service improvement to make ur reception up to normal just like the rest of the world gives as a standard, just bend over for us and we can assist u in ways u would never imagne".
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      It's using the bandwidth of the internet connection you are already paying for in order to make their service usable. And as far as making sure OTHER AT&T subscribers are not getting a free-ride on you, I guess as long as you have no common walls, that's possible.
      However with a 40' radius, and unless you put it in the middle of your domicile, good luck!
      They better be giving out unlimited minutes/data for this if you are buying it _and_ paying a fee to use it!
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      Quote Originally Posted by kartracer View Post
      disregarded everything you had to say after this. First do you have proof of this ridiculous statement, and if verizon can cover 5x as much area as at&t with their 3g what is stopping at&t? Money. You've bought the lie hook line and sinker. The fcc has zero to do with at&t's lack of coverage and the fcc has not stopped them from expanding it. Their greed, stupidity, and laziness has stopped them. This happened in the ma bell days and it's happening now, just now they aren't using copper wires hanging over the sidewalk.

      This is a stupid thing to even charge for, it should be free and not use your minutes when connected to it. Here's why. Pay money to have your paid for device to work on a network you pay for by using your broadband that you pay for to fix our problems that your monthly bill is supposed to pay for. How exactly does it make sense to charge you to use someone elses pipes 9your broadband provider) to route your calls for a service you already pay to have? You're effectively paying for the same thing twice. At&t has zero shame. Zero.

      well said!
    1. Windmeel's Avatar
      Windmeel -
      This is available for me and I'm in the middle of nowhere. Should be available for everyone.
    1. Windmeel's Avatar
      Windmeel -
      I picked this up today. There's a $100 rebate after you pay the $150. There's about a 30 minute activation process where you just sit and wait for it to work. Could be up to 90 minutes. I love it though. Ill check it out for about a week and report back if anyone wants.
    1. andrewbrimberry's Avatar
      andrewbrimberry -
      No thanks.
    1. DaveiPhone's Avatar
      DaveiPhone -
      Windmeel, I'm interested to hear how well it works, even though I think it's outrageous to have to pay again to get the basic service for which you contracted.
    1. Windmeel's Avatar
      Windmeel -
      Quote Originally Posted by DaveiPhone View Post
      Windmeel, I'm interested to hear how well it works, even though I think it's outrageous to have to pay again to get the basic service for which you contracted.
      I understand everyone's frustration but in my situation, what am I supposed to do? I can't build a tower for them right? I paid $150, you get $100 of it back via mail-in rebate if you sign up for the $20 a month unlimited feature. I have found that it works fantastic. There are requirements about your Internet connection which I was worried about since I can't get anything good out here in the boonies but it hasn't affected by speeds at all. I haven't experienced any dropped calls while using it and the nice thing is if you start your call at home, get on the road and still talk, it doesn't transfer over to your anytime minutes. As long as you begin the call at home its all unlimited. So anyway yeah its $20 extra a month for the unlimited but I just cut my house phone down from $31 to $6 a month by changing it to basically emergency calling and incoming calls. Only bad thing about it I can say (besides that feeling of entitlement about already having good service) is that if you're Internet goes down, so does the Micro Cell. No issues here