Print 34 comment(s) - last by lexluthermiest.. on Jul 21 at 6:21 AM

AT&T is in a giving mood this week

AT&T seems to be in a giving mood -- the company is offering its "most valuable customers" free 3G MicroCells. For those unfamiliar with the MicroCell, it's a device that will boost AT&T cellular reception in "dead zones" by tapping into your home's broadband connection.

Over the weekend, reports from Engadget and Gizmodo explained that customers were starting to receive notices in the mail saying that they qualified for the free MicroCells. Today, I found one of the letters in my mailbox.

I nearly ripped the letter up and threw it in the trash, as I was expecting it to be typical AT&T spam mail about their home phone service or free after rebate mobile phones. To my surprise, it was the free MicroCell offer that has been making the rounds this weekend.

Considering I've only had AT&T service for just over a year, I was surprised at being considered an MVP. I've also never called AT&T to voice concerns over receptions issues in my area because I never had any until picking up an iPhone 4.

I'll be stopping by the AT&T store tomorrow morning to get my unit and will update this article to note whether the MicroCell cures the "Death Grip" phenomena that has stricken my iPhone 4.

Updated 7/14/2010 @ 8:11 am

Just a small update to my story. I was finally able to snag a 3G MicroCell from an AT&T store in my area after numerous calls. After getting the device home, it took about 30 minutes for it to complete its initial setup. 

With the 3G MicroCell active, I now get 5 bars anywhere in my house and performing the death grip on the iPhone 4 results in no dropped bars at all. It allows me to make calls with the death grip and incoming calls no longer go to voicemail when holding it firmly in my left hand.

The 3G MicroCell at least solves the issues I'm having at home, but it still doesn't begin to address the reception issues I face out around town.

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I have one for Verizon
By gigahertz20 on 7/11/2010 8:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a cell phone service expander from Verizon about a year ago. I live in a rural area north of Colorado Springs called Black Forest and service sucked inside our house, whenever we talked to someone their voice would cut in and out unless we went outside.

I complained to Verizon and they sold me their expander for 50% off. I received it and plugged it into my D-Link DIR-655 router and attached the GPS antenna that came with it to the office window. For the last year or so it has worked pretty good, we can talk to anybody inside our house without any voice quality issues.

The only annoying thing is every few weeks or so it stops working and has a blinking red light for the service LED on the front. I have to unplug the power from the expander and my router, then plug the power back in and it will work again. A little bit of a hassle, but well worth it for having coverage in my house.

Also Verizon just charges one price for the expander, I didn't know AT&T charges a monthly fee for it. That is kind of BS.

RE: I have one for Verizon
By Brandon Hill on 7/11/2010 9:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
Think there's only a monthly fee ($20) if you want unlimited MicroCell calling.

RE: I have one for Verizon
By Targon on 7/12/2010 6:10:00 AM , Rating: 2
You can pay a one-time $150 charge for the AT&T Microcell, or you can get a $100 rebate on it but pay $20/month.

For those complaining about the cost of the device, or the monthly bill(for those who go that route), keep in mind that while you may be using your own bandwidth, your calls(and 3G data) all get routed across the AT&T network, no matter who your ISP is.

There are also various reasons why people will want to pay for a service that doesn't work EVERYWHERE they may go. In some cases, the phones are paid for by the company they work for, while in others, people live in remote areas, or on the back side of a mountain where there IS no service from any provider, yet in most places people go, they get great service.

I live in an area that has a mix of good and bad places, holes in the coverage area, etc. As a result, I run into dead spots. Verizon shares many of the same dead spots, and Sprint has even more dead spots. T-mobile is a bit of a joke when it comes to coverage out here. So, who do I use? I HATE Verizon due to experience with the company. They are also the local phone company, and I have seen the weird fees they add to bills, and the way they treat their customers. As a result, even if they may have better service in my area, as a company I know Verizon treats its customers like crap, and has some very sleezy business practices that WOULD earn them a number of lawsuits if customers could verify that many of these random fees are really systematic ways to get more money from customers without providing additional services.

Picture adding a SPECIAL service that no one knows about or uses that they charge $10/month for. They decide to give it to EVERYONE unless the customer calls to turn it off. Suddenly all customers get an extra $10 on their bill. Knowing that cell phone bills tend to fluctuate, over 95 percent of the customer base never calls in to complain. So, millions of customers getting charged $10 extra each month for a service they don't know about or even want. That is Verizon...and they SUCK!

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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