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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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RE: Shouldn't this be the cue to...
By bigboxes on 7/12/2010 12:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, AT&T is considerably worse than it's competitors. If you'd stop placing your self-worth into a company and/or product maybe you'd see that. My friend and his iPhone is always dropping calls. Funny thing is that he's maybe three blocks from the tower. His data speeds are through the roof, but calls... makes you want to smash the device. We all know there are limitations to cellular service and in some buildings you are not going to have great service. We accept them. But when you have a flawed service then you should look elsewhere. Device or no device.


RE: Shouldn't this be the cue to...
By Targon on 7/12/2010 5:55:44 AM , Rating: 4
This is a great example of people blaming the service rather than the phone. I don't live very close to a tower(1-3 bars), and I don't get dropped calls except when my battery dies in the middle of a call. While towers CAN have problems, in many cases, the problems are caused by a problem with the phone.

In the case of the iPhone, what you have is an iPod Touch with a mediocre phone connected to it. The iPod Touch side of the iPhone is a good device, but the phone portion has never been very good, and this is where the review sites have almost all failed. How good is reception? How many comparisons of signal strength and call quality in the same location have you seen performed? All of the reviews skip this test with the iPhone, because people pay more attention to speed, screen, memory, and the ability to run apps these days. What happened to testing the PRIMARY function of a phone?


By lexluthermiester on 7/21/2010 6:21:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is a great example of people blaming the service rather than the phone. I don't live very close to a tower(1-3 bars), and I don't get dropped calls except when my battery dies in the middle of a call. While towers CAN have problems, in many cases, the problems are caused by a problem with the phone.


I have to cry foul on this point of view, I was an AT&T customer once and lived 4 blocks[with line of sight] from our tower. Had dropped calls daily. After having traded out phones from various makers, I concluded that it was the service. It didn't really matter where I was in town, calls dropped often. Changed to another carrier and this problem disappeared.

quote:
What happened to testing the PRIMARY function of a phone?


Totally valid point! And this is why Nokia[for example] phones almost always rank high in phone functionality over nearly everyone else. They do their homework on the basic function of a phone; calls. They may be lacking other functions in their lower end phones, but always perform great in the basic function.

But these are just the views of one lowly geek/nerd...


RE: Shouldn't this be the cue to...
By callmeroy on 7/20/2010 2:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly I think its a Iphone issue more than an ATT issue.

My strongest evidence of this is I have ATT for my phone (which is a Samsung) -- I never...again..NEVER have signal issues...here in the South Jersey / Philly area.

I've been on calls were it dropped and for a second thought it was me and then the person calls me back and goes "sorry that was my phone"...

So putting two and two together I think its more Iphone than anything else.


RE: Shouldn't this be the cue to...
By Wily on 7/20/2010 7:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and no. The cause of the 3G issues is all the iPhones - their popularity and the fact AT&T is(was) the sole provider left AT&T short of capacity. But all 3G cellphone users within a cell are affected when an area becomes oversubscribed. It's a capacity issue AT&T is still struggling to deal with.

I have a Samsung and I get dropped calls in my own house.


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