Monday, 26 January 2009

Although there's not a specific release date or price available yet, AT&T has posted some information on their web site that points to the future release of their new, in-home 3G cell station, which I mentioned here a couple weeks ago.

Engadget has some details about the device from the AT&T web site (details since removed from att,com, copied below), and images (like the one above) have started to show up on AT&T's site, as well. The pictures show two manufacturer names: Cisco on the case and Scientific Atlanta on the model/serial number label.

I'm looking forward to this, as I technically live outside the usable AT&T service area and can only occasionally/barely get a wireless signal at my home.

What is an AT&T 3G MicroCellâ„¢?

AT&T 3G MicroCell acts like a mini cellular tower in your home or small business environment. It connects to AT&T's network via your existing broadband internet service (such as DSL or cable) and is designed to support up to 10 3G capable wireless phones in a home or small business setting. With AT&T 3G MicroCell, you receive improved cellular signal performance for both voice calls and cellular data applications, like picture messaging and surfing the web for up to 4 simultaneous users.

Device Features:

  • Enhanced coverage indoors - supports both voice and data up to 5000 square feet.
  • Available unlimited minute plans - Individual or Family Plan.
  • 3G handset compatible - works with any AT&T 3G Phone.
  • Up to 4 simultaneous voice or data users supported.
  • Device is secure - cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, easy and secure online management of device settings
  • Seamless call hand-over - start calls on your 3G MicroCell and continue uninterrupted even if you leave the building.

Device Requirements:

  • 3G wireless phone/device
  • Broadband service over DSL or cable
  • Computer with internet access for online registration

Additional Information:

  • Installing your device near a window is strongly recommended to ensure access to Global Positioning System (GPS). A GPS link is needed to verify the device location during the initial startup.
  • The 3G MicroCell device is portable. The device may be moved, provided the new location is within the AT&T authorized service area and properly registered online.

Add/Read: Comments [10]
Mobile | Tech
Monday, 26 January 2009 18:40:12 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Monday, 26 January 2009 20:34:15 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Cisco owns Scientific Atlanta so it makes sense that both names might show up on the device.
Monday, 26 January 2009 20:40:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Good point Tony. I forgot they'd acquired that company!
Monday, 26 January 2009 22:00:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)

This looks like a cool device. Would you need to buy a service plan in addition to your 3G phone's service plan?
John Walker
Monday, 26 January 2009 22:09:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Good question, John. At this point, who knows. AT&T has never really been too predictable and they have not announced anything specific yet. I'm hoping there's either no fee or a small monthly fee. If it's a large extra expense I can't imagine it being too popular. Their service is already expensive enough!
Sunday, 08 February 2009 10:46:46 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
This is a fairly cool idea, something i thought would have already happened. There are many cases when a cell phone just does not work inside a home or business and it annoys the hack out of me. I really hope they make it so that all cafes, clubs, etc in NYC can wire up inside for cell reception. I know its annoying when lots of folks use a cell phone inside but I hate not having access to at least the Internet :)

I wonder though if people wont be super paranoid about "cellular radiation" or something like that from such transmitters.
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 15:12:02 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Man, when the heck are they going to get this out. I've been waiting for this for years. I only get about 50% usage out of my really expensive iPhone because I have no service where I live. It's really annoying and really expensive.
Friday, 24 July 2009 13:51:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I can't understand this concept. a.) they are using my internet. b.) it enhances cell service, ontop of service that should be there in the first place. c.) finally, they charge additional service fees????

Seems like this should be offered for free. If a phone I purchased from any vendor and it does not give me a good reception. I'm not extending my contract, and or I'm getting out of my current contract. How on earth can they offer a "hot fix" at an additional fee?

'Man, when the heck are they going to get this out. I've been waiting for this for years. I only get about 50% usage out of my really expensive iPhone because I have no service where I live. It's really annoying and really expensive.' -- User on April 7, 2009

Then buddy/gal; you need to stop living like the Jones' and get a phone that works in your house. God forbid you come up on an emergency and can't make a call! Is there an app for making calls, when your reception is crap? Lord, have mercy!

I don't understand.
Thursday, 27 August 2009 19:24:52 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Well, you just don't seem to understand what it is like to live in the foothills of Colorado. There are no cell service providers in the valley I live in, so changing carriers would get you nada. I have a land line for emergency and if I have to, I can hike up the the top of the mountain behind my house and make a cell call.

I do have 3 Mbps wireless DSL though, so when they finally get the FEMTOCELL router out, I can use my cell phone for calls and messaging from my house. A big improvement, if they would get off their butts and put this thing out.
Sunday, 30 August 2009 08:15:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Any updAte on the release?
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 13:05:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
So, the 3G Microcell was coming soon in January 2009 and now it's January 2010 and still no general release. I guess we can change the headline to coming later rather than sooner or coming sometime, whenever AT&T gets their heads our of their asses. What an embarrassment.
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