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  • $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: $20 unlimited iPhone calling from AT&T 3G MicroCell? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 66 Comments
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by the sr5 View Post
      this should be something ATT pays us for, i would have no problem hosting this for ATT and having people in my Area use it, because clearly if you live in a dead zone your not the only ATT customer that cant get cell service, in turn your neighbors are going to be steeling it as well. if they want to pay me 20$ a month then sure...
      Your neighbors can't steal it, you have to allow them access. But in any case, I wouldn't mind doing it for free (they wouldn't have to pay me). I'm just not going to pay them to offload usage from their network onto my broadband connection.
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Quote Originally Posted by zoti View Post
      And that is exactly what AT&T should do.
      AT&T isn't really hurting for costumers so no, that's not that they should do. Sprint's introducing the Pre as a direct competition to the iPhone, they need everything they can to compete.
    1. Limegrntaln's Avatar
      Limegrntaln -
      Sprint CEO referred to the iPhone as the "Michael Jordan" of cell phones. They cant compete. Then you've got GIIIIIRRRRRRLLLLLLLL thats so far up T-Mobiles ***** her eyes are pink.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Quote Originally Posted by Limegrntaln View Post
      Sprint CEO referred to the iPhone as the "Michael Jordan" of cell phones. They cant compete. Then you've got GIIIIIRRRRRRLLLLLLLL thats so far up T-Mobiles ***** her eyes are pink.
      I don't think I've ever mentioned you, why are you mentioning me? Infatuated?

      If AT&T was no longer exclusive to the iPhone and it went to another network, especially Verizon, AT&T might have to file for bankruptcy. ETF's won't cover what's lost per subscriber. It's the phone not the network, OBVIOUSLY..
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      seems like a lot of the people on this thread hate AT&T just as much as me
    1. bdiddy619's Avatar
      bdiddy619 -
      i just think that people think the grass is greener on the other side when in fact its not! people are complaining about at&t issues when if the iphone was on another network no other carrier could support it! you can never please everybody ya know! not one carrier is perfect ! so give credit where credit is due.