• Your favorite

    Apple

    ,

    iPhone

    ,

    iPad

    ,

    iOS

    ,
    Jailbreak
    , and
    Cydia
    site.
  • $20 unlimited iPhone calling from AT&T 3G MicroCell?

    Image via SlashGear


    Late last night our friends at Apple Insider reported that AT&T customers who reside in poor service areas may soon have the option to pay $20 to obtain unlimited calling over 3G using their own Internet access.
    AT&T hasn't yet set a retail price on its forthcoming new 3G MicroCell appliance, which connects to your existing Internet to supply local 3G voice, SMS/MMS, and data coverage for nearby AT&T customers. However, a report by Engadget Mobile attributed to an anonymous tipster says that the company plans to offer an unlimited calling plan for users for $20 per month.
    The report comes on the heels of news on Friday from Zacks Investment Research revealing that the 3G Microcell is expected to launch in "the next week" with the full roll out taking place by year's end. AT&T's Microcell, which functionally performs as a tiny tower to boost 3G reception, is rumored to likely first appear in select markets including Atlanta, San Antonio, and Seattle.

    Bundled with AT&T-supplied Internet (if available in your area), the monthly fee drops to $10, and with AT&T Internet and landline service (if you also pay to have one of those old plug-in type phones), the monthly fee goes away entirely.
    For now, speculation about $20 extra per month doesn't seem too far out of line with what little industry standard already exists. Sprint, for example, markets Airave for $5 per month (or $10 with unlimited calling) while T-Mobile serves up unlimited calling through its HotSpot@Home service for a monthly fee of $10.

    It all points to additional evidence that carriers are opting to rely on femtocells to increase consumer coverage and satisfaction rather than investing further in beefing up already overloaded networks.

    The 3G MicroCell does not create a VoIP alternative to AT&T's network; it simply tunnels 3G voice and data over the user's existing broadband Internet service to AT&T's servers, which process it like any other call handled by its existing 3G cell towers.
    But is $20 per month too much to pay for better coverage in AT&T's many dead zones?
    It's not clear if the monthly fee for unlimited wireless calling through the device will be mandatory in order to obtain the 3G MicroCell device. According to the photo of official looking marketing collateral included in the report, "3G phones connected to the MicroCell without AT&T Unlimited MicroCell Calling continue to use existing plan minutes."
    Although it's been slow going so far, a flurry of activity from AT&T is widely anticipated in the next few weeks to push the 3G MicroCell devices out to the masses. With the arrival of MMS and the iPhone's "voracious data demands," customers are growing restless and eager for a lifeline. For them, $20 per month may not be too terribly high of a price to alleviate the frustration born of shoddy coverage in numerous markets.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: $20 unlimited iPhone calling from AT&T 3G MicroCell? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 66 Comments
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      I'll definitely be getting it as I live in a dead zone.
    1. thinknoffcenter's Avatar
      thinknoffcenter -
      figures, instead of spendin some of our hard earned money that we spend on thier already expensive service to put up new towers, they're gonna charge customers more money for this lil gadget. bend over, here comes the mailman with an even bigger bill this month for ya. thanks at&t, but no thanks!! what they spent on R&D for this thing i bet they could have put up a few more towers!!
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Im gonna try to get it for free for being a loyal customer living in dead zone for years. Atleast for a month to test it out.
    1. jayson9's Avatar
      jayson9 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thinknoffcenter View Post
      figures, instead of spendin some of our hard earned money that we spend on thier already expensive service to put up new towers, they're gonna charge customers more money for this lil gadget. bend over, here comes the mailman with an even bigger bill this month for ya. thanks at&t, but no thanks!! what they spent on R&D for this thing i bet they could have put up a few more towers!!
      BUMP +1!!!!!!!!!! Those b@stards are at it again!!!!
    1. itaintrite's Avatar
      itaintrite -
      Quote Originally Posted by thinknoffcenter View Post
      figures, instead of spendin some of our hard earned money that we spend on thier already expensive service to put up new towers, they're gonna charge customers more money for this lil gadget. bend over, here comes the mailman with an even bigger bill this month for ya. thanks at&t, but no thanks!! what they spent on R&D for this thing i bet they could have put up a few more towers!!
      It's not JUST for the iPhone or intended solely for the iPhone as the title might lead to you believe. It's for ALL AT&T 3G phones.

      Sure, putting up a few more towers might solve dead-zone problems for some people, but not all. This won't be the end-all solution but it at least will work for more people. Besides, it's not just about getting better signal. It's 3G boost and unlimited calling!
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      If this is a cheaper alternative to building more towers then by all means go this route AT&T. Give out the devices to all your current PAYING customers with poor home coverage FOR FREE no matter what services they pay for at home. Put the billions we pay you into supporting these small devices. Do not charge us MORE for a technology you advertise as working when for some it obviously does not.

      Just to get this correct I pay about $49 give or take not including taxes and other frivolous charges for the cheapest bucket of minutes on your nationwide cell plan. Now if I get poor coverage at home you want me to pay $20 more if I don't have your package deal just to get the service to work at home? Well then why am I paying you $49 a month? Oh, that's right for "more bars in more places" service... So I guess that tag should now change to "more bars in more places including home!"
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      This should definately be something that is a little cheaper for paying att customers. It is just a 2100 mhz wifi router. DIRT cheap!
    1. khaoticsquirrel's Avatar
      khaoticsquirrel -
      this is the exact reason why i won't upgrade to a new iphone.. i refuse to sign another two year contract with att.. their service is expensive and unbelievably spotty and they try to get even more money out of you by crap like this instead of trying to improve their services.
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by thinknoffcenter View Post
      figures, instead of spendin some of our hard earned money that we spend on thier already expensive service to put up new towers, they're gonna charge customers more money for this lil gadget. bend over, here comes the mailman with an even bigger bill this month for ya. thanks at&t, but no thanks!! what they spent on R&D for this thing i bet they could have put up a few more towers!!
      You also left out something of more importance - just like there is the 5GB limit on your supposedly unlimited data plan, most ISPs' unlimited services also have limits. If you happen to be in an area where there are lots of AT&T users, and your new shiny 3G service has better local reception than AT&T's towers, that means that all the AT&T users around you will be burnin' through your umlimited internet bandwidth. Can't wait to see the first reports of $1500 DSL statements...
    1. zoti's Avatar
      zoti -
      I have such a ****** reception at my house and I'm in the middle of the city. Move away 100 yards from my house and reception is perfect.

      I plan to ask for one for free. I have AT&T wireless, TV and Internet. I am not paying extra to get the iphone working correctly at my house.
    1. ZOMGVTEK's Avatar
      ZOMGVTEK -
      If I dont get good solid 3G coverage, I try to avoid that area...

      I cant see how one would live or work in dead zone, thats just crazy!
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      If this is a cheaper alternative to building more towers then by all means go this route AT&T. Give out the devices to all your current PAYING customers with poor home coverage FOR FREE no matter what services they pay for at home. Put the billions we pay you into supporting these small devices. Do not charge us MORE for a technology you advertise as working when for some it obviously does not.

      Just to get this correct I pay about $49 give or take not including taxes and other frivolous charges for the cheapest bucket of minutes on your nationwide cell plan. Now if I get poor coverage at home you want me to pay $20 more if I don't have your package deal just to get the service to work at home? Well then why am I paying you $49 a month? Oh, that's right for "more bars in more places" service... So I guess that tag should now change to "more bars in more places including home!"
      Why do you all ***** and complain about service when you have other options?!?!?!? I have Dish Network. If i was unhappy I wouldnt be on forums complaining about it. I would switch to someone else. AT&T works at my house. If it didnt I wouldnt have AT&T. I cant stand when people complain about stuff that they can change. Everything AT&T does is industry standard.
    1. pingywon's Avatar
      pingywon -
      Not to mention this stacks on top of your internet bill if you aren't an ATT internet customer.

      Does this mean if I get one of these the guy next door (that also potentially has poor reception with his iphone) will be able to jump on my 3gmicrocell? Then he is technically using MY internet bandwith.

      Will this this have even minimal security features buit in? like MAC filtering etc....


      ...no thank you. I wouldn't pay $2 a month for this thing
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rokesomesmeefer View Post
      You also left out something of more importance - just like there is the 5GB limit on your supposedly unlimited data plan, most ISPs' unlimited services also have limits. If you happen to be in an area where there are lots of AT&T users, and your new shiny 3G service has better local reception than AT&T's towers, that means that all the AT&T users around you will be burnin' through your umlimited internet bandwidth. Can't wait to see the first reports of $1500 DSL statements...
      That is Ridiculous. Only 10 devices can connect to your microcell and you have to allow them to connect.
    1. Rescuer's Avatar
      Rescuer -
      well i don't need the $20 unlimited plan, so i'm interested to see how much they are going to charge for just getting the unit with the basic plan..

      Quote Originally Posted by pingywon View Post
      Not to mention this stacks on top of your internet bill if you aren't an ATT internet customer.

      Does this mean if I get one of these the guy next door (that also potentially has poor reception with his iphone) will be able to jump on my 3gmicrocell? Then he is technically using MY internet bandwith.

      Will this this have even minimal security features buit in? like MAC filtering etc....


      ...no thank you. I wouldn't pay $2 a month for this thing
      there is security and you can allow access to 10 devices

      key phrase: you can allow access

      http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-c...ncharset=UTF-8
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by akosko01 View Post
      That is Ridiculous. Only 10 devices can connect to your microcell and you have to allow them to connect.
      And if one of those 10 devices is used by a 15 year old that is glued to the cellphone that her parents bought her? What about the 3G internet use...

      The point is that AT&T is charging you for providing service that they are getting paid for. On top of that, this service that you are paying for has the potential to cost you even more money. AT&T should be paying you to provide this access, not the other way around.

      The power company doesn't charge you to feed power from your over-productive solar panels back to the grid (in fact, in most applications, your meter runs backwards!), so why should AT&T charge you to provide their service for them.

      Don't get me wrong. The idea is a good one. But they should not be charging you for using it, they should be paying you. Charging you an additional $20 for a) being able to use service that you ALREADY pay for and b) getting unlimited usage which you may ALREADY pay for, is, simply put, typical AT&T scamming.
    1. boe_dye's Avatar
      boe_dye -
      I'm a bit confused as to how this technology works. if it is simply a signal booster or a range extender, then why does it need to be connected to the Internet at all? range boosters have been out for years, and all the do is provide a stronger antennae and rebroadcast the signal. In fact I beleive you can find plans to make one on the Internet. so why even pay money on something like this?
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by akosko01 View Post
      Why do you all ***** and complain about service when you have other options?!?!?!? I have Dish Network. If i was unhappy I wouldnt be on forums complaining about it. I would switch to someone else. AT&T works at my house. If it didnt I wouldnt have AT&T. I cant stand when people complain about stuff that they can change. Everything AT&T does is industry standard.
      For MY home calling area:

      -VZW coverage is the same as AT&T but they are CDMA and I depend on GSM networks for global service
      -TMobile coverage is terrible and spotty in my area
      -Sprint is worse than TMobile and no GSM
      -Pay as you go carriers have small and limited coverage, I use my cell daily so would not save much with this option

      What am I left with for my specific needs? No choice but AT&T. Now they want to charge their paying customers for their 3G network shortcomings and save some money while they are at it. Other carriers do this and it is not right.
    1. Rescuer's Avatar
      Rescuer -
      Quote Originally Posted by boe_dye View Post
      I'm a bit confused as to how this technology works. if it is simply a signal booster or a range extender, then why does it need to be connected to the Internet at all? range boosters have been out for years, and all the do is provide a stronger antennae and rebroadcast the signal. In fact I beleive you can find plans to make one on the Internet. so why even pay money on something like this?
      Details on AT&T's 3G MicroCell: everything but the date and price
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Sweet. I hope is not an extra $20 dollar on top of your current plan.