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  • 3G MicroCell Test Launched in North Carolina

    Image via intomobile.com

    Many of us are waking up to the news this morning that AT&T's new 3G MicroCell has finally (somewhat) emerged from beneath its veil of secrecy.

    More details are becoming available today following Apple Insider's announcement last night that the 3G MicroCell has been test launched in the Charlotte, North Carolina market.

    For now, it appears that the device comes with a $150 price tag and no monthly fees. Some reports, however, suggest that AT&T users wanting unlimited minutes will have to pay $20 a month, but a $100 rebate is then offered with regard to the Microcell tower.

    Citing an AT&T representative in Charlotte, the report said the femtocell device provides 3.2Mbit/sec 3G service, which is on par with AT&T's existing towers in areas of ideal service, but not the maximum 7.2MBit/sec speed supported by the iPhone 3GS. Of course, most users won't be using the device's 3G for data, as they presumably will be using WiFi for that.
    AT&T did not issue a formal statement following yesterday's test launch.

    On Friday, a story from Zacks Investment Research revealed that the 3G Microcell is expected to launch in "the next week" with the full roll out taking place by year's end. Although AT&T's Microcell was rumored to likely first appear in either Atlanta, San Antonio, and Seattle, it appears Charlotte was ultimately selected.
    AT&T's device will support up to four users making simultaneous calls, and up to ten users on 3G standby available for incoming calls and messages. In order to support that bandwidth, the 3G MicroCell needs to be connected to an appropriately fast broadband connection. Typical DSL service provides 1.5Mbit/sec downloads and 0.7Mbit/sec uploads; a voice call consumes around 0.04Mbit/sec upload and download.
    Hoping to inhibit dropped calls and slow data service in poor coverage areas, the device will cover approximately 5,000 square feet in your home or office. AT&T's device can support up to four users making calls at the same time.

    Although we're slow to get the full scoop from North Carolina, it seems AT&T is getting ready for an aggressive push to roll out the 3G MicroCell nationwide very soon.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 3G MicroCell Test Launched in North Carolina started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. smuggler's Avatar
      smuggler -
      hopefully the price is right, it's cheaper than verizons version of this, just about my monthly bill from AT&T. I'm hoping it comes to the Atlanta market next, my house gets ok service but too many dropped calls occur. we do house AT&T wireless here... you'd think they'd start at home.
    1. A_DuB187's Avatar
      A_DuB187 -
      That's not a bad price tag.
    1. trixster's Avatar
      trixster -
      If I understand this correctly, they're saying that if I want to improve the crappy signal around my home, I have to pay them?
      Somehow that doesn't make sense to me, i already pay them to provide me service, i shouldn't have to pay more to improve their service.

      Now if they provided a new phone number and calling it would ring any phones connected to the microcell, that'd be worth looking at as a VoIP replacement.
    1. jdm.accord's Avatar
      jdm.accord -
      w00t w00t, NC represent lol :P

      I wonder how much radio waves that thing emits. Is it like having a cell tower in your home? My wife would flip out because she's already paranoid about the cell phone/cancer link. I get awesome coverage where I'm at in NC anyway (Jacksonville).
    1. tonman23's Avatar
      tonman23 -
      if the price tag is $150 and that's it, I will try to get AT&T to give me some type of credit on my account first. In the end tho, verizon is the only service that works well in my house and all of their phones suck, so I will probably give in because an iphone is worth dishing out the extra cash for this.
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      I pay them already and I do have unlimited talking on my phone... I would not mind paying for the device but not the $20.00 a month for unlimited.... that is a crock! I feel this is a rip if you have to pay a monthly fee on top of your phone fee each month.... especially mine!
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      $20 dollars more for unlimited minutes is well worth it. Drop your phone plan to the lowest plan and add the $20 for unlimited. It will be a lot cheaper than getting the current unlimited plan by a long shot.
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Good thing that 3G covers like 99% of the UK!!
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I would totally buy one. But I rather pay $150 with no monthly bill.
    1. xtreme84's Avatar
      xtreme84 -
      There's no way I will pay extra per month to get better service. AT&T has totally lost it. This could be a good device to have and is a good start to getting 3G service to those that dont have it. If AT&T was smart they would start giving these away to get as many out there as possible, cause not only would it take the load off there towers, but it would just provide better coverage across the US.
    1. Mareshalu's Avatar
      Mareshalu -
      f u ATT this sh*t should be free!!!
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Im interested to see how att chooses to gouge its customers after this proves successful...
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      To clarify a thing if I'm getting it right: The $20 unlimited talk plan that goes with this only applies if you don't currently have an unlimited plan. This cell still uses your minutes (over wifi) and has no monthly fee tied to it unless you want to keep your minutes for when you're outside your house.

      EDIT: a lot of people need to get off the hate AT&T bandwagon. Every single carrier in the US that has a similar services charges just about the same. It sucks to have such a pessimistic point of view, but this is how US Carriers have operated for years and you're not getting it any better elsewhere, so yelling about it on the internet is completely pointless and aggravating to my eye.
    1. fryfone's Avatar
      fryfone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      To clarify a thing if I'm getting it right: The $20 unlimited talk plan that goes with this only applies if you don't currently have an unlimited plan. This cell still uses your minutes (over wifi) and has no monthly fee tied to it unless you want to keep your minutes for when you're outside your house.

      EDIT: a lot of people need to get off the hate AT&T bandwagon. Every single carrier in the US that has a similar services charges just about the same. It sucks to have such a pessimistic point of view, but this is how US Carriers have operated for years and you're not getting it any better elsewhere, so yelling about it on the internet is completely pointless and aggravating to my eye.
      hahahaha nicely put
    1. Limegrntaln's Avatar
      Limegrntaln -
      To piggy back on Happy Noodle Boys post. Heres what people dont get. If you dont read any other post in this thread read mine and understand this.

      $150 for the Microcell currently. $100 Rebate, puts you at $50. It uses your current minutes from your own plan, and costs nothing.

      If you decide you want unlimited calling in your house, you pay $20 a month for up to 10 people to be connected to your cell. 4 people can either call unlimited, or 3G data simultaneously over the cell. Paying for unlimited calling over the cell, in no way detracts from your current plan minutes. If you have 450 minutes and never leave your house. You will never use 1 minute of your plan pool.

      Even better all calls started over the cell, get handed over to an AT&T tower when you leave your house. You can drive 100 miles away and as long as you are still on the call that originated in your cell area (5000 Square foot coverage) you are still on your unlimited minutes off the cell.

      Even better, you can provision up to 10 phones on your cell. Say your hosting a football party. 3 more friends come over, they can make unlimited long distance calls over your cell not taking away from their plan minutes. If they walk out your door talking on the phone, drive 50 miles home, they are still on your unlimited minutes, even though the AT&T cell tower has now been handed the call from your Microcell.

      So now you can have landline cell quality cell service in your house, unlimited calling saving your plan minutes for the time you are away from your house. Again its free to use your current minutes. You pay the original $50 for the mini tower and add unlimited at will.
    1. badass1469's Avatar
      badass1469 -
      so let me get this straight, this boosts the at&t signal, or does it make a completely new signal for your phone. and if it does how would you make your phone connect to it. unlock your phone and toss in a sim card for the micro thing?
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      I suggest you invest in reading and a new keyboard, your shift key is broken.
    1. peel's Avatar
      peel -
      were is ? Good thing that 3G covers like 99% of the UK!!is iyt a country ?
    1. aekhamsouk's Avatar
      aekhamsouk -
      i love att
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      I agree with Trixter! We should have great service for the prices we are already paying...

      When the iphone 3GS came out, one of the modmyi users said, " Instead of being really f***ing slow, the new 3GS will just be f***ing slow!"