By Chris Scott Barr
Finally, over a year after they first announced them, AT&T has put their 3G MicroCells up for sale to anyone in the US. If you’ll recall, they rolled them out in Charlotte, NC last September. Now anyone with an AT&T mobile phone will be able to pick up one of these. The only caveat is that you’ll still need to be in an area where AT&T offers service. They check this via GPS when you complete the initial setup.
So what does the 3G MicroCell get you? Essentially you’ll hook the device into your home internet connection and be provided with 3G service for up to 5,000 square feet. You’ll still be using your own cell minutes when talking on the phone, unfortunately. The only way around this is to have your internet provided by AT&T, or to pay them $20 a month for unlimited talk time. Otherwise, you’ll only need to pay the initial $150 for the device.
This always brings up the old argument of having to pay AT&T more money so that you have better network coverage in your house. Yes, they do need to provide better coverage, which they are supposedly working on. However, there are some areas where I live that have poor coverage on all networks. I lived in one of them for a while and it was just plain frustrating. I’d have much rather paid the $150 for the MicroCell than paying for a landline phone. It would have been cheaper in the long run.