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AT&T finishes rolling out 3G MicroCell US-wide

updated 05:30 pm EDT, Tue June 22, 2010

Data usage counted toward mobile cap

AT&T has announced that it has completed 3G MicroCell deployment for all customers in the continental US. The system works as an independent 3G connection for a home or office, routing data and voice through a wired broadband connection. Users can make phone calls or use data features even in dead zones or fringe areas.

The company has also defended its policy of counting MicroCell data usage against the customer's standard mobile data caps. MicroCell traffic allegedly travels through AT&T's core network, in compliance with FCC regulations regarding lawful intercept for law enforcement agencies.

AT&T is still investigating other ways to offload the traffic, while the FCC regulations could still be open to reinterpretation. In them meantime, users can avoid data overages by simply using a Wi-Fi connection while at home or in a MicroCell-equipped office.

The MicroCell is now available as a one-time purchase for $150. Customers can receive a $100 rebate if they choose to pay $20 per month for unlimited calling using the cell. [via Light Reading]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. jdsonice@gmail.com

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009

    +2

    Data Policy makes MicroCell Useless

    I would love to purchase a MicroCell. For $150 it is an excellent investment. Overall better quality of cell coverage.

    Counting the data against my plan makes the purchase of a MicroCell an insult to an injury. One pays $150 to expand AT&T's network since we will be using our broadband and then pay extra because we now use our own bandwidth. That just does not make sense.

    AT&T continues to defy common sense. But then no one ever said that AT&T was sensible.

  1. alpha rays max

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Mar 2002

    +2

    Not really...

    While I don't agree with AT&T's decision to count 3G data over the MicroCell against your plan, I don't see how it's really an issue, unless your phone isn't WiFi capable. Why would you use the slower 3G network (the MicroCell-provided 3G is capped at speeds slower than the regular 3G network) when you can use WiFi?

  1. Timon

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +2

    Data Policy is Bull

    If AT&T designed the Microcell correctly it would reroute the data traffic to the users network rather then send it through the AT&T network. It not hard to do it's just that AT&T wanted to rape their customers.

    Also, they should not try and use the excuse that it's an FCC requirement because if it was then the FCC would not allow phones to use WiFi for data at all. Just because you use the MicroCell does not mean that it can't route data traffic through the local network. Even if there was a requirement that they be able to do lawful intercept it could be done so that only when it was turned on did the data go through the AT&T network and when that happens the user would not be charged for the data. One more point, the FCC could just require the local ISP to do the lawful intercept.

  1. Creator1326

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2009

    +1

    MicroCell is no deal at all

    This entire plan is B.S. because if I PAY $150 to use my DSL/Cable data line to offload their network's towers then I better be getting unlimited everything and not be raped for yet another $20 from a crappy network. It's equivalent to paying them for the privilege of using your data line for their benefit and you're still subject to all of the normal caps of your plan. I will NOT be buying a MicroCell until this changes and would rather rely on MagicJack or Oomla for home calling. Raise Cain people and stop rolling over for big business!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: Data Policy is bull

    Also, they should not try and use the excuse that it's an FCC requirement because if it was then the FCC would not allow phones to use WiFi for data at all. Just because you use the MicroCell does not mean that it can't route data traffic through the local network.

    Since you have no clue what the FCC regulations are, how can you call them bull?

    Microcells are basically small versions of cell towers. All data on cell towers have to go through their servers (so the feds can spy on you). If they off-load the traffic, they could be in trouble.

    Also, they'll run into bigger issues if you move out of your microcell location and connect to another cell. You're then on a completely different network.

    Anyway, who the h*** cares? Most phones allow data AND wi-fi (and everyone here probably has an iPhone). And the phones will go wifi first before using data.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: MicroCell is no deal at all

    This entire plan is B.S. because if I PAY $150 to use my DSL/Cable data line to offload their network's towers then I better be getting unlimited everything and not be raped for yet another $20 from a crappy network.

    Wow, it is amazing how some people consider paying another $20 a month is comparable to having one or more people sexually assaulting you. Perhaps we should throw you into a prison for a few weeks and you can tell us how it was so much better getting it up the arse against your will than paying ATT some money.

    And last I checked, there was no requirement for anyone to purchase this item. It's called freedom of choice people! If you think it is worth the money, and you can afford it, you can buy it. If not, don't.

    The way you make it sound is like you're being forced now to pay ATT more money. The only one doing the forcing, if you will, is Apple, since they're the ones forcing you to use ATT in the first place.

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