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Apr 12, 2001
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Unstrung reports that AT&T is on track for deployment of its 3G MicroCell femtocell technology by the end of 2009. Femtocell technology connects to a user's existing broadband Internet service and provides enhanced 3G voice and data coverage within a 5000 square foot range.According to AT&T's executive director for radio access network delivery, Gordon Mansfield, who was speaking at the Femtocells World Summit in London today, about 200 users are testing the femto service in targeted customer trials.

In the coming weeks, he added, "we will expand that into a marketing trial of the AT&T-branded 3G Microcell, which will be open to customers through our AT&T stores in a handful of cities.

"We're on track for a full national launch by the end of 2009."A carrier settings update for the iPhone released in late February contained hints of MicroCell compatibility, and AT&T promised last month that customer trials of the MicroCell technology were one of its priorities for 2009. Confirmation of plans for a full public launch of the service in 2009, however, will be welcome news for iPhone users suffering from poor reception in their homes.

MicroCell pricing remains unknown at this time, although similar offerings from other carriers require either an upfront purchase of $249.99 (Verizon Network Extender) or an upfront purchase of $99.99 with additional monthly coverage and calling charges (Sprint AIRAVE).

Article Link: AT&T On Track for Femtocell Deployment By End of 2009
 
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bytethese

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2007
2,695
104
Hmm...

I'm all for this as my AT&T service in my apt SUCKS. I live in a 500 unit apt building on a small island in NYC and service is tough indoors.

With that said, given its 5000 foot range, will my neighbors be able to connect to my femtocell? Even tho I have a 20/20 FiOS connection in my apt, I don't want the whole building's cell phone traffic saturating my internet connection.
 

Wilbah

macrumors member
Sep 6, 2007
49
8
improved on 3GS...

Miraculously, (and after two full years of ridiculously bad service) - I went ahead and updated to the 3Gs from my original iPhone (now dubbed the iPhone $600 - as we purchased on the original launch day) - and lo and behold..... my iPhone now rings in my house...

I still get the occasional dropped call, but by and large the phone works! I live in an older house -with no insulation in my home office; in a densely populated area of central NJ, I placed calls every month to the AT&T service department and was told that I was in a special "pocket" without consistent service; even though the map showed consistent call and data coverage.

I like the idea of this "micro" boost... but I have WiFi all around my house so I dont need the 3G... I just need to make and receive calls...why should I have to pay AT&T again to get service that actual works as advertised? -NO WAY will they get more out of me on a subscription basis, a one time purchase ? possibly.... IF it actually works.

I must love the iPhone to put up with this crap, and I do... but AT&T should really get it together, as outside of the phone, I think nearly every element of their operation suspect, and I'm very leery of buying anything from them.

W
 

PoitNarf

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2007
1,217
7
Northern NJ
It better be just an upfront cost to buy the device and no additional monthly fees. The idea of a monthly fee for a device that is only needed because of the service providers crappy coverage is insane. If anything, they should give you a couple bucks off of your monthly bill since you're taking some of the strain off of their mobile towers.
 

Diode

macrumors 68020
Apr 15, 2004
2,438
115
Washington DC
With that said, given its 5000 foot range, will my neighbors be able to connect to my femtocell? Even tho I have a 20/20 FiOS connection in my apt, I don't want the whole building's cell phone traffic saturating my internet connection.

You can limit cell service to only your phone and other ones you pre-approve.

I believe it uses the IEMI number

So this is kind of like WiMax ?

No, this is a device that acts like a mini-cell site that allows your phone to make and receive calls. Essentially you plug this into an internet connection in your home and your phone thinks it's a normal cell tower.
 

bytethese

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2007
2,695
104
You can limit cell service to only your phone and other ones you pre-approve.

I believe it uses the IEMI number

Now that's what I'm talking about. Then I'd def be more interested in something like this. :)
 

iphones4evry1

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2008
1,197
0
California, USA
this is a device that acts like a mini-cell site that allows your phone to make and receive calls. Essentially you plug this into an internet connection in your home and your phone thinks it's a normal cell tower.

Cool. Hopefully, people with the 3GS will be able to realize the 7.2Mbps data speed. :)

I just clicked on the link in the original post, and Sprint's current service costs $4.99 per month.
I'm not so sure I want to have to pay a monthly fee. I suppose if I lived in an area where my cell phone service was terrible, I would. But I get 3G just fine in my house (when I'm not on WiFi).
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,578
15,901
Central U.S.
Car company to customer: Hey! Come buy our car.

Customer: Ok maybe I will. Can I test drive it?

Car company: No.

Customer: Ok, now that I bought this car...I see there is no engine. This is troubling to me.

Car company: Oh...so you actually wanted to drive the car? We can install the engine, but that will be a monthly fee. Also, the price of the engine isn't included with the car.

Customer: FML

Ok, so I'm not the best with analogies, but that's what I saw in my head when I read this post. I'm generally not for more government regulation...but when it comes to cell phone companies.....yeah lets go ahead with the beatdown.
 

DotCom2

macrumors 603
Feb 22, 2009
5,119
3,790
I'm only interested in this if it's a one time charge that I can budget for and not a monthly subscription.
Even if it's $200-300.
I'm sick of monthy charges! :mad:
 

TXCraig

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2007
507
6
Houston, TX
I have been waiting and waiting for this.

My reception in my house stinks. I wish they would roll this out ASAP. Would be willing pay what ever they want, i need a good signal!
 

iphones4evry1

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2008
1,197
0
California, USA
I'm only interested in this if it's a one time charge that I can budget for and not a monthly subscription.
Even if it's $200-300.
I'm sick of monthy charges! :mad:

I was thinking the same thing. If it was like a WiFi router and I just plug it into my current internet connection, then fine. But now that I find out they want a monthly fee ... forget it! I already have WiFi and 99.9% of us have at least some form of voice cell phone signal in our homes, so this service is useless. If you live in the basement of a large building and have zero cell phone service, then I could see you using this, but for most of us, it seems pointless.
 

SqB

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2008
451
247
Northern Colorado
Cool. Hopefully, people with the 3GS will be able to realize the 7.2Mbps data speed. :)

I +1 that comment. I refuse to cripple my APEX-n by setting it back to A/B compatible just so that my iPhone can connect to it. It would be great if the 3g data would also work over the femtocell. I really prefer to keep the wi-fi turned off on the iPhone for battery savings.

I currently use a wilson wireless booster that cost over $400 with amplifier/antennas and cable. It's great because it works with all networks, but it's not great because it's a bit complicated and finicky. I hope to be one of the first ones in line for this device.
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,318
356
Torrance, CA
You can limit cell service to only your phone and other ones you pre-approve. I believe it uses the IEMI number.

Are you positive? This would make since, but when I called Verizon to see how theirs worked (was helping a Verizon Customer) I was told that as long as they were within so many feet (like 10) then they would then be authorized and can then use it within a 5000 foot range. This is just what I was told, maybe the Verizon Guy did not know what he was talking about.

Cool. Hopefully, people with the 3GS will be able to realize the 7.2Mbps data speed. :)

Is the 7.2Mbps data speed only used for data? Or does it also help voice?

If only data, then why would you not just use your WiFi Connection since the Microcell runs over WiFi anyway? When I am in my house or the office it automatically connects to my WiFi Network so I only use AT&T Network for Voice in those locations. Of course while away from WiFi I am on the 3G Network.
 

johnntd

macrumors member
May 22, 2009
38
0
Love your idea

It better be just an upfront cost to buy the device and no additional monthly fees. The idea of a monthly fee for a device that is only needed because of the service providers crappy coverage is insane. If anything, they should give you a couple bucks off of your monthly bill since you're taking some of the strain off of their mobile towers.

I do think ATT should take off a $10 per month of our wireless bill because we off load ourselves into our broadband networks. It makes every sense if they ask me.
 

Diode

macrumors 68020
Apr 15, 2004
2,438
115
Washington DC
Are you positive? This would make since, but when I called Verizon to see how theirs worked (was helping a Verizon Customer) I was told that as long as they were within so many feet (like 10) then they would then be authorized and can then use it within a 5000 foot range. This is just what I was told, maybe the Verizon Guy did not know what he was talking about.

Not 100% but according to Engadget the specs list:

* Device is secure - cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, easy and secure online management of device settings

No more details listed ... but it seems you can limit the number of people with access.

Something else interesting that's not listed is the device has a built in GPS.

The GPS serves two purposes:

1. Limits it's use to where AT&T has service ... IE no bringing it over sea's with you to make calls home (Boooooo)
2. Allows your phone to use cell-tower assistance for the GPS (very cool) ... IE your A-GPS.
 

dsn112

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2009
52
0
Miraculously, (and after two full years of ridiculously bad service) - I went ahead and updated to the 3Gs from my original iPhone (now dubbed the iPhone $600 - as we purchased on the original launch day) - and lo and behold..... my iPhone now rings in my house...

I still get the occasional dropped call, but by and large the phone works! I live in an older house -with no insulation in my home office; in a densely populated area of central NJ, I placed calls every month to the AT&T service department and was told that I was in a special "pocket" without consistent service; even though the map showed consistent call and data coverage.

I like the idea of this "micro" boost... but I have WiFi all around my house so I dont need the 3G... I just need to make and receive calls...why should I have to pay AT&T again to get service that actual works as advertised? -NO WAY will they get more out of me on a subscription basis, a one time purchase ? possibly.... IF it actually works.

I must love the iPhone to put up with this crap, and I do... but AT&T should really get it together, as outside of the phone, I think nearly every element of their operation suspect, and I'm very leery of buying anything from them.

W


Same thing with my 1st gen, little to no service in my home, now 3g s, service is pretty good.

The only thing this is good for is people who need to use the phone in there home to make and recieve calls that only have there cell.

I have a home line, so although it sounds good in theory, iits not worth paying for it.
 

Eso

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2008
1,856
458
The point of this device should really be to allow for unlimited VoIP mintues through your home broadband connection. If it is just to enhance the signal, it needs to be free.
 

iphones4evry1

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2008
1,197
0
California, USA
If we have to pay for this service, then it isn't going to subtract from our wireless minutes, right?

according to Engadget the specs list:
* Device is secure - cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, easy and secure online management of device settings

No more details listed ... but it seems you can limit the number of people

So, this means you aren't going to knock on the door of the apartment next to you and find 40 guys working in a "call center." Lol. :D
 

Stargaze

macrumors member
Aug 26, 2008
88
4
It better be just an upfront cost to buy the device and no additional monthly fees. The idea of a monthly fee for a device that is only needed because of the service providers crappy coverage is insane. If anything, they should give you a couple bucks off of your monthly bill since you're taking some of the strain off of their mobile towers.

+1 they should be giving you the box for next to nothing or a discount as a Thank you for reducing load on their 3G network!
 

bytethese

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2007
2,695
104
What, exactly, does that mean?

5000 square feet is equivalent to a circle with a 40 foot radius. So will these have a range of about 40'?

It means I have a lot less to worry about. :)

I didn't even think to convert 5000sqft, means only about 5-6 apts would "intrude" on my connection rather than half the building. :)
 

JonB3Z

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2009
259
0
Something else interesting that's not listed is the device has a built in GPS.

The GPS serves two purposes:

1. Limits it's use to where AT&T has service ... IE no bringing it over sea's with you to make calls home (Boooooo)
2. Allows your phone to use cell-tower assistance for the GPS (very cool) ... IE your A-GPS.

So this is targeted for use in places that do not see the cell towers but do see the satellites? Good luck, apartment dwellers, apparently you will be installing this on your window pane or balcony!

I suspect reason (2) has more to do with the FCC requirement that cell phones be locatable than it does with neat location-dependent apps.
 
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