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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,598
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154211-3g_microcell.jpg


AT&T today announced that next month it will begin a nationwide rollout of its 3G MicroCell service that allows users to route their cellular phone calls around the house onto their broadband Internet connection as a solution for spotty cellular coverage. Supporting both voice and data services, the 3G MicroCell device carries a price tag of $149.99, although AT&T is offering rebates to users signing up for monthly MicroCell service plans to augment their existing cellular plans or switching to the company's DSL or U-Verse broadband service.
AT&T today announced that AT&T 3G MicroCell plans to begin its national roll out beginning in mid April, with new markets activating in cities across the continental U.S. for the next several months. AT&T 3G MicroCell is an innovative solution that allows residential customers to route wireless phone calls and data connections (or sessions) across a home broadband connection. This solution is designed to benefit customers who live in homes that have coverage impediments that consistently interrupt wireless spectrum, such as dense wall and roof construction or unfavorable terrain.
Customers have the option of using minutes from their normal cellular phone plan or signing up for a $19.99/month companion plan that allows unlimited calling over the customer's MicroCell without utilizing their cellular minute allotment.

AT&T's 3G MicroCell began service in the Charlotte, North Carolina region last September and has expanded to other test markets in recent months as the company has geared up for full nationwide availability. AT&T, currently the sole iPhone carrier in the U.S., has received a significant amount of criticism over its network performance, particularly in high-density areas such as New York City and San Francisco. The company has, however, seen improved performance in recent months putting it on par or ahead of other carriers in many major markets.

Article Link: AT&T Set to Roll Out Nationwide 3G MicroCell Availability Beginning Next Month
 

duke49er

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2005
72
0
So now AT&T wants to piggy-back off MY internet connection? Seriously?

God forbid AT&T actually improves the cellular coverage. This is a band-aid fix to an enormous problem!

AT&T is basically admitting that their service is garbage and if you want good service then, well, you're just going to have to pay more.

This company is a joke, I can't wait until their exclusivity expires.
 

segfaultdotorg

macrumors 6502
Jan 25, 2007
354
113
Let me get this straight, AT&T wants me to pay them for the privilege of using my own DSL connection for 3G cellular service, instead of them building a 3G tower? :mad:
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,176
2,925
Milwaukee Area
Awesome! As if 3G weren't overtaxed with traffic enough. Lets add a ton more users and send it right down the crapper again.

And who the hell designed that freaking enclosure? Try to fit that in anything conveniently.
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,649
137
middle earth
So can someone hijack your microcell and start using your cell minutes / cell bandwidth? This sounds like a great band-aid if your coverage is subpar (like it is for me where I live) but it also feels like a terrible security risk.

I only hope I completely misunderstanding the technology.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,551
121
with Hamburglar.
God forbid AT&T actually improves the cellular coverage. This is a band-aid fix to an enormous problem!

Yeah, don't hate just to hate. Building materials, proximity to tall buildings, and many other factors impede cell reception.

$149 isn't terrible for a guaranteed great connection. And if you can use your standard minutes from your cell plan, all the better!
 

Moomba

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2008
127
0
Charlotte, NC
Let me get this straight... I have to pay MORE money to use my internet connection that I pay for taking up more of my bandwidth so that I would have 3G coverage in my home? No thanks... Such a ripoff.
 

addicted44

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2005
532
168
Let me preface this by saying that from the rumors we have been hearing during the beta, this article is wrong, and that AT&T will not be charging the user's minutes for this phone. However, in case this article is correct:

And AT&T shoots itself in the foot once again.

Why in heaven's name would they charge an extra fee for something that is going to cost them NOTHING, improve their network, and drastically reduce complaints?

I am okay for them requiring users to buy the unit (as long as users are then allowed to use it as they please) at cost, or even a slight profit. But why should it eat into the user's minutes when the call isn't even touching AT&T's network?
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
I can see paying for the device, but if the call is then routing through your ISP, then I’d expect minutes to cost similar to Skype. $20/month (or eating into your cell minutes when you’re not even using the cell network) seems too high to me.

Especially when the very need to have it is the fact that AT&T has a gap in their coverage. (Yes, I know every company has gaps and always will—it’s still their lack of service though.)

Simpler and more fair: subsidize the device so it’s $50, and have NO additional contract or cost, BUT have it count against your cell minutes (to account for the subsidy). And subsidize it to the point of free for people who are in a dead zone: an incentive to be an AT&T customer (paying them money every month forever) when they otherwise couldn’t be.

But what do I know?
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,176
2,925
Milwaukee Area
...and yet, no tethering, even though it's been possible for three years already.

Right.

Why provide service people can actually use when you can nickle & dime them to death and sell them a pile of devices to boot?

Some company needs to target the opposite end already. They'll have all the steady business in the country.
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
nice

going to have to price out a cable plan with internet and no phone or just TV and use my iphone for unlimited calling
 

Shonuff

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2008
44
3
More like a cell repeater that uses broadband

So can someone hijack your microcell and start using your cell minutes / cell bandwidth? This sounds like a great band-aid if your coverage is subpar (like it is for me where I live) but it also feels like a terrible security risk.

I only hope I completely misunderstanding the technology.

Think of this as a cell repeater that uses broadband. It will be great for houses and businesses that get absolutely no service inside their locations due to building materials. It just allows your broadband connection to be a conduit to the outside world and then 4 devices can connect and use the phone as normal. If I understand it correctly, there isn't any danger of someone "stealing" your minutes because their phone would still be their phone.

http://www.wireless.att.com:80/learn/why/3gmicrocell/
 

theheadguy

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
1,147
1,372
california
What a complete ripoff. The only 'winner' here is ATT; your ISP shares the burden of your telephone call.

The device should be free, and so should the minutes while you are at home using your power and broadband Internet to make your calls.

What a joke. The sad part is people will actually pay for this, because with the iphone, they have no other choice but to pay for this patchwork so they can make calls in their home.
 

nachotaco

macrumors newbie
Jul 7, 2008
22
0
Free Roaming...

This just went throught my head...

When you go overseas and are going to be somwhere that you can connect to a LAN with HSI...you get free roaming if you take your MicroCell???
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,649
137
middle earth
Think of this as a cell repeater that uses broadband. It will be great for houses and businesses that get absolutely no service inside their locations due to building materials. It just allows your broadband connection to be a conduit to the outside world and then 4 devices can connect and use the phone as normal. If I understand it correctly, there isn't any danger of someone "stealing" your minutes because their phone would still be their phone.

http://www.wireless.att.com:80/learn/why/3gmicrocell/

Ok - that makes some sense. But what prevents the next door neighbor from connecting to your "repeater" and sucking your internet bandwidth by streaming pr0n onto his cell phone?
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
24,384
30,989
California
Ok - that makes some sense. But what prevents the next door neighbor from connecting to your "repeater" and sucking your internet bandwidth by streaming pr0n onto his cell phone?

There's a control panel where you decide what devices can connect (and there's a limit - 10 devices I believe).
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,628
3,811
For all those upset about AT&T relying on your internet to alleviate network stress, remember that the other providers are also doing the same thing. I don't see the big deal, but fortunately I have reliable signal in my apt. Femtocell is a good idea since spectrum is a finite resource.
 

TheRick

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2005
25
0
Ok - that makes some sense. But what prevents the next door neighbor from connecting to your "repeater" and sucking your internet bandwidth by streaming pr0n onto his cell phone?
You log in to the device and specify which phones can use it...
 

ineedamac

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2008
477
157
Get over it

Seriously. I for one am getting tired of everyone complaining about AT&T and the service.

All service providers have issues, yes even mighty Verizon has service issues. AT&T has improved their network and it is now better than some others. :)

I was with Verizon before the iPhone came along. I'm very glad I switched to AT&T as Verizon is not as good as they think they are.
 

duke49er

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2005
72
0
$149 isn't terrible for a guaranteed great connection. And if you can use your standard minutes from your cell plan, all the better!


$149 isn't terrible for a guaranteed great connection??? Please tell me you're joking!
 

Shonuff

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2008
44
3
Ok - that makes some sense. But what prevents the next door neighbor from connecting to your "repeater" and sucking your internet bandwidth by streaming pr0n onto his cell phone?

There is a FAQ on the site I linked to that claims this:

Q. Can I restrict access to my AT&T 3G MicroCell device? Is it secure?

A. Yes, only phones you expressly authorize have access to your AT&T 3G MicroCell device.

http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/why/3gmicrocell/faq.jsp#install

So I believe you can set it up to only authorize certain numbers for use.
 

TheRick

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2005
25
0
For all those upset about AT&T relying on your internet to alleviate network stress, remember that the other providers are also doing the same thing. I don't see the big deal, but fortunately I have reliable signal in my apt. Femtocell is a good idea since spectrum is a finite resource.
Right, it's not a big deal. You don't have to pay a monthly fee. You'll use minutes from your plan just as if you were away from home.

However, you can pay $20/month for unlimited calls on your mobile phone when you're sitting at your house. Basically, you could dump your land line and probably save a few bucks in the process.
 
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