According to a purported internal communication, AT&T will soon offer free MicroCells to certain customers experiencing poor service due to coverage issues. Pre-selected eligible customers “identified as likely to experience poor in-building coverage at home or in small offices” will receive the offer, which will entitle them each to a free 3G MicroCell with no monthly fees attached. The MicroCell and service will remain free unless its recipient chooses to cancel his or her cellular service within a year, in which case an equipment fee of $199.99 will apply — less $16.67 for each month since taking receipt of the MicroCell. According to the document, only AT&T’s “top 7.5% of 3G wireless customers” with ongoing service issues will receive the offer. AT&T’s 3G MicroCell is a femtocell that essentially acts as a local cell tower. Customers in poor coverage areas can connect their cell phones to the MicroCell via 3G and use it to funnel voice and data service over the land-based Internet connection in their homes or offices. More →
Want to know what’s in those boxes pictured above? We bet you do, and since we love you, we’re going to tell you. They’re AT&T 3G MicroCells. According to several of our AT&T connects, they’ve hot off the delivery truck as AT&T’s national 3G MicroCell rollout has finally begun. Now, we should caution you that we’ve not been able to completely verify that this is nothing more than another one of those boring gradual rollouts, but based upon how many cities we’ve heard reports from, we think it’s safe to say you’ll be able to get your own real soon. Hit the jump for some eye candy. More →
After months of testing, AT&T has finally announced the nationwide rollout of its 3G MicroCell. Starting in mid-April and continuing over the next several months, AT&T will gradually introduce its MicroCell to new markets across the continental US. The unit will offer both 3G data and voice service and will cost each customer $149.99 for the equipment upfront. Similar to other femtocells, the AT&T MicroCell will support up to ten handsets and allow four simultaneous connections. Customers can choose to either have AT&T deduct calling plan minutes for the calls made using the MicroCell or they can purchase an add-on plan for $19.99/month which allows them to make unlimited calls through the MicroCell without using minutes from their monthly voice plan. If you choose this $19.99 plan, AT&T will reward you by offering an additional $100 rebate which brings the price of the MicroCell down to a mere $49.99. If you really want to drink the AT&T koolaid, you can also sign up for AT&T broadband service (DSL or U-Verse 1.5MB or greater) and receive a second mail in rebate for $50, bringing the final price of the device to a $100 if you select just the DSL or a cool $0 if you are eligible for both rebates. Any AT&T customers with fringe coverage interested? More →
The advent of femtocells is nothing short of fantastic. Think about it: A carrier has terrible service where you live or work, so what do you do about it? You get a device called a femtocell that will let you use your land-based broadband internet connection (that you pay another company for) to make calls and use data on your phone. Of course you don’t get a discount for using land-based broadband instead of your carrier’s cellular network, but you just mutter under your breath and fork over the cash anyway. The best part? Word on the street suggests AT&T — the final among the big four to bring a femtocell solution to market — will be charging $20 per month for the privilege of using another company’s land-based network as a band-aid for its crappy cell coverage in your area. Awesomeness. For those dying to fit into this scenario, the MicroSite is now live and a launch is imminent.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
It looks like folks with lousy AT&T coverage may get some relief soon, as a new report suggests that AT&T is readying a soft launch of its 3G femtocell product dubbed the Microcell. The launch will target select markets including including Atlanta, San Antonio, Seattle and possibly one or more cities in North Carolina. AT&T is a bit late to the party considering how long ago these puppies popped up in its system, but better late than never we suppose. The soft launch is expected to begin next week with nationwide launch to follow some time before the end of the year.
[Via DSL reports]
Trials supposedly were underway months ago, but it looks like the launch could be literally around the corner. One of our faithful AT&T ninjas sent us in a screenshot that shows an AT&T 3G Microcell femtocell option in addition to AT&T’s broadband and TV service, U-Verse. We don’t have a date on this yet — we’ll continue to dig — but appearing publicly on employee’s screens is always a good sign!
UPDATE: Another AT&T 3G Microcell shot, this time showing the unit in the POS system (Point Of Sale). It can’t be that far away, guys. Thanks to one of our anonymous peeps on this shot!
UPDATE 2: Well, it wasn’t that far away at all. At least in terms of showing up on AT&T’s site… We added the info after the break.