Apple Issues Update Signaling iPhone Compatibility With AT&T's MicroCell

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by arn, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #1
    Late last week, Apple issued a "carrier settings" update for iPhone users in the United States. While Apple provides few details on the contents of such updates, MobileCrunch discovered several image files in the new update package that appear to signal the iPhone's compatibility with AT&T's upcoming 3G MicroCell technology. The 3G MicroCell device connects to a user's existing broadband Internet service and provides enhanced 3G voice and data coverage within a 5000 square foot range.
    Device Features:

    - Enhanced coverage indoors - supports both voice and data up to 5000 square feet.
    - Available unlimited minute plans - Individual or Family Plan.
    - 3G handset compatible - works with any AT&T 3G Phone.
    - Up to 4 simultaneous voice or data users supported.
    - Device is secure - cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, easy and secure online management of device settings
    - Seamless call hand-over - start calls on your 3G MicroCell and continue uninterrupted even if you leave the building.

    Pricing and availability for the device and associated monthly plans have not yet been announced.

    AppleInsider recently reported on AT&T's plans to deploy the 3G MicroCell technology and compared their so-called "femtocell" offering to related services provided by other carriers. Sprint's AIRAVE device costs $99.99, with an additional $4.99 monthly access fee and additional optional fees to upgrade to unlimited calling via the device, while Verizon's Network Extender device costs $249.99 upfront with no monthly fee.
     
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #2
    I wonder what's the benefit of the MicroCell technology if you have a good signal throughout your house anyway?
     
  3. lowbatteries macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2008
    #3
    From my limited understanding, you could get faster speeds (your own private 3G signal hooked through your own internet service), cost offsets like unlimited minutes, or unlimited data.

    Though if it only supports 4 users at one time, not really a good deal for small or large businesses.
     
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #4
    Yeah, but I have WiFi for that... ... ...
     
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #5
    It's all speculation, obviously, but most of what I've read is saying that it will count against your normal minutes.

    If that's the case this is only for folks who live in non-3G towns or perhaps work in the basement of a large building and get no signal at all.
     
  6. eme jota ce macrumors regular

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    #6
    :confused: I lost on this and really know nothing about the technology. From the macrumors description, it seemed that it would be beneficial to call quality, but your comment seems to imply that it would be beneficial to data speeds. Does that mean that somehow Safari would be faster using the 3G through my microcell than it would be just connected to my same home network?
     
  7. antman157 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 9, 2009
    #7
    Updated via iTunes .. iPhone carrier version: 3.1 .. I have noticed I have 3G service at my desk now .. I havent had 3G at my desk since I got my phone last year ...
     
  8. kingtj macrumors 68020

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    Brunswick, MD
    #8
    Umm, no ....

    Obviously, your phone couldn't receive data faster than your wi-fi home network via the 3G on Microcell, because the Microcell adapter gets its data feed from your home network.

    Initially, I had heard that the "Femtocell" technology Sprint was deploying was going to be used in situations like subway tunnels or inside buildings where cellular signals were weak or non-existent.

    It, now, sounds like they're marketing this stuff (or at least AT&T is!) as hardware HOME users will want to buy for personal/family use. This might make a little more sense for a phone that doesn't know how to use wi-fi signals (many/most still don't) than for an iPhone. But for the iPhone? Yeah, I'd think the biggest benefit would be preventing dropped calls around the house, like I occasionally get in my basement. Still, they're essentially asking the CONSUMER to foot the bill for a device that works around their inability to provide better quality signals everywhere you want to use your phone? No thanks. I think they better mail their customers a FREE one, if they want this to be adopted very widely!



     
  9. daihard macrumors 6502a

    daihard

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    #9
  10. arn thread starter macrumors god

    arn

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    #10
    the original thread went on for pages about speculating what the carrier update was. Now we know.

    arn
     
  11. daihard macrumors 6502a

    daihard

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    #11
    You've now added a pointer to this thread at the end of that one. That'll work. :)
     
  12. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #12
    Wow... I could really use this. Reception in my home is so spotty. Just hope they don't gouge us for the privilege of making calls in an area that's supposed to already have good coverage. I could handle $99 + $5/month.
     
  13. bbotte macrumors 65816

    bbotte

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    #13
    This would be awesome, I am 20 ft below ground and get no signal at work. As soon as I get to ground level I have full bars 3G. I would actually get phone service. Too cool. I hope this works.
     
  14. ilfn143 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    wow! it's like wifi, only slower and you're paying for it.
     
  15. bacaramac macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

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    #15
    I see a big need for this in my case. I built a house outside of town where I lose my service about 1 mile from my house. Although this is not a big deal as I have a house phone, it would be nice to consolidate my services.

    If AT&T offered unlimited minutes + reasonable price. I would bite as I could cancel my home phone and use cell all the time. I would much rather AT&T just offer the Wi-Fi phone plan that T-Mobile has. This would allow me to buy my wife an iPhone and I could just use my iPhone for all calls and she would have hers for her calls.

    Either way, it would save me $32 for vonage minus $X dollars for AT&T additional service (assuming it is less then vonage).

    EDIT: I say the box should be free with 2 year contact and $5/$10 a month.
     
  16. GeekLawyer macrumors demi-god

    GeekLawyer

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    #16
    I'm sure this is a dumb question, but I'm going to ask it anyway, without researching it first... Yes, I know the answer is probably implicit in the name 3G MicroCell... but please humor me.

    Can EDGE iPhones connect to a MicroCell? Or only 3G?

    My EDGE iPhone received the carrier update...

    Okay, nevermind. I did some research.
    http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/02/04/lousy-iphone-reception-att-tower-house-meet-femtocell/

    Now we know how AT&T plans to coax us happy original iPhone customers up to 3G prior to new iPhone hardware.
     
  17. ilfn143 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    hmmm... i'm pondering if i take it to another country, plug it into the internet would i get at&t microcell service free?

    edit: free international roaming?
     
  18. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #18

    Attached Files:

  19. pooryou macrumors 65816

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    Sep 28, 2007
    #19
    How about just letting the phone make calls over wi-fi instead of charging extra for this micro sell? No thanks.
     
  20. h.21 macrumors member

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #20
    Paying up front AND paying on a per month basis! Doesn't that sound like a deal?! Man, I am psyched that AT&T is so rad.
     
  21. sneezymarble macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I thought there were already apps that let you make and recieve calls over your home network?...
     
  22. RichP macrumors 68000

    RichP

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    #22
    I am glad I am not the only one that thinks these things are a slap in the face. ATT service poor? Give them money for a device, a monthly fee, and access to your broadband connection, and then the service you already pay them for will work as advertised.
     
  23. branjosef macrumors 6502a

    branjosef

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  24. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #24
    Can't wait for this solution to dead areas in my home, especially in the heavily insulated studio, where I like to hang out when I'm home.

    Any ideas on availability timeframe?
     
  25. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Buffalo
    #25
    I like the concept, but charging a monthly fee to use bandwidth that I already pay for seems sketchy at best.
     

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