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AT&T MicroCell use to count against data caps

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu June 17, 2010

ATT claims 2GB cap still applies to MicroCells

AT&T has warned that its recent data caps will still apply when using the 3G MicroCell. Despite its creating a 3G cell site of its own, it's still considered part of the network and counts towards the 200MB or 2GB ceilings, even though the Internet connection handles much more of the traffic. AT&T has justified the lack of free data by noting that the data still goes over its network at other stages.

A carrier spokesperson was emphatic that the MicroCell was intended for more essential voice service and was only considered a backup for data. Many at home already have Wi-Fi and don't need it to get smartphones online, but voice service often doesn't have a direct alternative.

The policy choice has nonetheless sparked controversy, as some customers have objected to what they see as being charged an extra $150 with no promises of rewards for using service that costs AT&T less. [via Light Reading]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. facebook_Dan

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2010


    comment title

    I'm really getting sick of ATT sticking it to the customers. I'm looking at an Android right now because as much as I love the Apple UI, the monthly costs keep going up, and more limitations are being imposed. I'll vote with my dollars and take them to another carrier!!

  1. ff11

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004


    Apple needs to start using a second carrier

    And soon, before AT&T destroys their customer service reputation.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Not surprised

    I was on the phone with AT&T slow-speed DSL disservice this morning. The interface has changed more than ten times in the past ten years and web pages provided misinformation. I was on the phone for three hours. The agent on the other end wanted to cut me loose, but I told her that I'd like to be placed on hold. She got a dose of AT&T's own bitter medicine.

    When she gave me a California service line and told me that they close at 7PM. It was such an odd time slot to close, so I asked: Eastern or Pacific. She didn't answer. She asked me what time it was in California. I told her 10:30AM. She said: 'we have 1:30PM, so we are nine hours apart'.

    Now I finally realized that NYC and LA are nine hours apart. 10:30 minus 1:30 = 9:00.

    Be scared, very scared.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000


    I'm increasing usage

    Funny thing about AT&T's tiers. When they announced the tiered rates, I decided to see how much data I actually use. Guess what? It's about 500MB/month! So there's no way I'd go for the 200MB plan but I'm also WAY under the 2GB plan, let alone my current unlimited plan. So? I'm now doing my best to quadruple my data usage! Thanks AT&T for letting me know I have to use MORE data.

  1. MaxHedrm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2002


    Uhh ... why would it matter?

    If you're in a MicroCell, there is an internet connection, and most likely a wireless one. Why the h*** would you be using the Microcell 3G connection?

  1. CarlRJ

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    In other news...

    AT&T has figured out how to pound nails into its own coffin whilst sitting inside. I'm guessing their contract with Apple has a "get out if other party does N outrageously stupid things" clause, and I'm wondering how close to N we're getting.

  1. heyjp

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009


    No Effect on Data Usage

    By definition, you have to have a high-speed internet connection to use this device. Your voice calls would then be routed over the MicroCell onto your network. However, you would just allow your phone to connect to your wireless network for data usage thus not using the microcell for data.

    The default usage would have no impact on your data cap. Unless, you don't use the wireless and let your phone connect to the microcell for data.... so don't do it!


  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    If you have wifi

    Having the microcell does not imply that you have a wifi router. So now you better pony up for that as well. And if your area is congested with wifi, well, then you have to pay AT&T to use YOUR bandwidth through their device. Just like with tethering, you have to pay AT&T to use the bandwidth you already paid for with your laptop instead of just your device.

    They got you both ways and counting.

  1. jameshays

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    So don't buy it

    Nobody is forcing anybody to buy it. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Problem solved. The Microcell option is a c*** deal any way you slice it, unless you need the additional 3G data support in your area. Then, you have to decide if you want to play by AT&T's rules or not.

  1. designr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002


    I wasn't, then I was, now I'm not!

    I wasn't getting the new iPhone 4 because AT&T are such scum, then I was because the iPhone 4 was so cool, now I'm not (even though I don't need a micro-cell and am grandfathered into unlimited data) because AT&T has surpassed their own record setting scumminess!

    I think I'll wait till November.

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