AT&T expands 3G MicroCell trial to five markets

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 62
    i live close enough to san diego to be able to easily buy one of these there, but i live up in LA... does anyone know if i buy one there if it will still work up at my place in LA? or will they only activate it if you live within one of the "rollout" zip codes?
  • Reply 22 of 62
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I understand the concept of a "test market" to work out issues, but now they've expanded is still a reason why they are limiting it so much?
  • Reply 23 of 62
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    Grammar question here...



    I know this is AT&T's language, but:



    >>>now available in select counties in Georgia, South Carolina, San Diego and Las Vegas.



    I didn't know the cities of San Diego and Las Vegas were in more than one county each.



    I see no issue. Counties is plural and the number of places mentioned are plural and obvously cover a total of 2 or more counties. Writing "now available in select county in Georgia, South Carolina, San Diego and Las Vegas." wouldn't make sense. They could break it up to make it more detailed but I don't see a need for that.
  • Reply 24 of 62
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BigPhotos View Post


    Rather than building towers with its profits - AT&T will dump the Microcell coverage onto my ISP and my ethernet line. And - charge me for the opportunity to use it - for a few feet in each direction.



    What a joke.



    This is the way they work for all carriers.



    No matter how good the service, there will always be spots where coverage is slim to none. Carriers can't always add towers because local governments make that difficult, as do building and homeowners.
  • Reply 25 of 62
    So, is it microcell or femtocell? Nanocell? Picocell?



    Were the Greeks even prepared for this??



    stop the hypobole!!
  • Reply 26 of 62
    ...not anymore. AT&T must have added a new tower or new frequency near my home....4 bars inside now.
  • Reply 27 of 62
    From other reports I've read, these devices have a gps unit and won't work outside these so-called 'test' areas.
  • Reply 28 of 62
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    How much testing must be done before this thing hits the open market...



    It seems I've been hearing about this for the past... let me Google it... since Jan. 25th 2009 for release in 2009 and here it is 2010?...



    What's up with that AT&T?



    a lot



    verizon and Sprint already have exploits of their versions that they rushed to market
  • Reply 29 of 62
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I understand the concept of a "test market" to work out issues, but now they've expanded is still a reason why they are limiting it so much?



    this is how you deploy new tech



    test

    limited test

    expanded test

    roll out



    years ago we deployed an IM system in our company. test went great for 2 months. once we put 1000 users on it the problems started. you have to test to see how this new gizmo scales
  • Reply 30 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I understand the concept of a "test market" to work out issues, but now they've expanded is still a reason why they are limiting it so much?



    I have an iPhone and I have had a MicroCell since November. I paid $150 and there's no usage fee. It's like a router in size and power consumption.



    It's a long, complex installation process. It takes at least an hour. At least. I'm sure they spent $500 getting mine going.



    1. They want it upstream from your router or wireless access point.



    2. It should be near a window (in theory) so it can grab a location for emergency 911 calls.

    My unit never did get a signal and after a half-dozen calls support calls I think they turned that location requirement off remotely.



    3. You have to have an ATT online account. Their software has to find and recognize the MicroCell and tie into your web page



    4. You have to register your phone(s). Only 3G phones supported by ATT work.



    5. You have to cycle your phone(s) off and on a couple times or leave the premises and come back on for it to see your phone(s)



    PROS & CONS

    My unit crashes about once a week. I used to restart the whole network but now just unplug and replug the MicroCell.



    It only covers half my house which is 1800 sq ft. That's lame coverage, no doubt about it.



    Sometimes I come home and it doesn't see the phone. So I have to cycle the phone or MicroCell off/on again



    When it's connected and running the WIFI doesn't work as normal. You have to use one or the other (or so they said). If you set the iPhone to Airplane mode that disconnects from the MicroCell so WIFI can be used for downloading giant files from the App store, or calling via Skype.



    OTHER THOUGHTS

    There are lots of other things the MicroCell could do. It knows when a phone comes within range, so if JR comes home from school it could send a message to MOM "he's home".



    It can "hold" a message from MOM and deliver it when JR comes in "Do your homework", etc.



    I think they are testing or planning these and many other features to get more value from it



    OVERALL



    I give it a B-. I can make more calls from home than before but it's still lame.
  • Reply 31 of 62
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    a lot of homes are built in a way that blocks cell phone signals so it doesn't mean it's always AT&T. and it costs a lot of money to build a cell site as well as maintain it. in the boonies it doesn't make sense to spend $500,000 on a site plus say $100,000 a year in maintenance costs for only a few people



    Exactly!



    My home was built in 1925. A very solid brick house. Not veneer. There's stucco as well, but that's on top of brick. So good for the outside.



    But the interior is a bear. The way these were built is different from today. All interior walls are wood beams either 2 x 4 or 2 x 6. The interior of the outside walls have 2 x 2 wood attached. To the wood, or beams, is a .25 to .5" lath layer. Stapled to that is a galvanized iron mesh which the .75" of mortar and .25" of plaster is attached to, plus years of paint.



    Even though when I had the two upstairs bathrooms and the downstairs kitchen and bathroom done by removing everything down to the beams, and replacing it with two .5" layers of sheetrock, the rest of the house, including the ceilings, still have that mesh.



    We have always had reception problems. I tried several WiFi routers over the years with problems in the next room! recently, I installed an Airport Extreme, with three channels and two frequencies. Works well upstairs. Better than any other I tried, but downstairs, unless you have a device connected upstairs and walk it down, you can't connect reliably. No signal in my basement shops. So I added an Express in the middle of the first floor as an extender. Now, it's great everywhere, including the basement.



    Problems with phone reception as well, but not as bad. When I first got my iPhone3G, there were problems in the house. 3G would drop out. Reception in EDGE would drop to one bar, etc. But then, one day, it was much better. Not perfect, but much better. Then we found out that they went to 850 MHz. That goes through these walls much better. Still have very weak reception in the basement, but it's fine otherwise, though 3G speeds are slower than I would like. I get about 800 average download, and about 275 upload. Both about 25% higher than before their change. With WiFi, I get about 2800 download, and 725 upload.



    The point to all of this, is that it's the house that's the problem, not the carrier. This can be true anywhere.
  • Reply 32 of 62
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I’d rather see AT&T and Apple get together to have the phone functionality automatically fall back on using WiFi when the cell signal is poor. No need to buy anything, or even be aware of it. Maybe the “bars” display in the title bar would take on a different look, just so you’d know it was happening.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    ...The point to all of this, is that it's the house that's the problem, not the carrier. This can be true anywhere.



    It would be cool if somehow you could turn your home’s entire electrical wiring into a WiFi antenna, reaching every room (and probably Mars). I’ve seen things that transmit wired data that way to a little wireless antenna you stick on the outlet, but I’d like to see the wires in the wall BE the antenna.



    Or that mesh in your walls... find a way to tap that as an antenna!
  • Reply 33 of 62
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    We are really out of sync Abster. I am speculating on what I think would be fair as opposed to what AT&T offers. I have actually installed one of these for a friend.

    I also wrote the review of this device at TUAW believe it or not !



    I'm sorry I've caused you so much confusion, but reading all my posts I'm not sure why we went off the rails....



    Before someone states what they think is fair, they have to know what the device costs the carrier. It's likely to be more than $50.
  • Reply 34 of 62
    I bought one from a local AT&T store a couple of months ago in San Diego and while it worked well if you were in the same room as the device, the further away you were from it, the worse it handled. Some people I called said I sounded like Darth Vader with quite a bit of echoing.



    We usually had 3-4 bars of 3G coverage at home before the microcell, so I was only looking for an incremental improvement in call clarity. Unfortunately it didn't work well for us.



    I was able to return it after a couple of weeks with no questions asked and a full refund.



    I will say that the setup was pretty straightforward, though it took 15-30 minutes to lock-in the GPS signal (which proves to AT&T that you are in an AT&T coverage area). After a power failure, it does have to go through this authentication again and does need to be near a window initially.
  • Reply 35 of 62
    I like this - to get to use an iPhone, I have to sign a two-year contract with AT&T, which has notoriously bad service, and have to endure dropped calls to all my family members EVERY time they call me at home! For this, I pay $89.99 per month for 900 minutes and unlimited data. That's over $2,000 for the life of the contract. Now, I have to accept that it is OK to NEED to spend an additional $150 just to get cell phone reception in my own home? WTF?



    How many millions of AT&T customers are there that can't get decent coverage? Multiply that times $150, and that's a lot of money, on top of the sweet deal they already have. I am so sorry that their corporation's leadership either did not want to spend the money on or did not anticipate the need for additional bandwidth by signing on with the most web-intensive phone on the market, but now I have to pay just to get normal service? That is screwed up!
  • Reply 36 of 62
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbonner View Post


    Homes have always had dead spots. If they didn't, we would probably all be sterile from the energy sent out from the towers and phones.



    When I am at home, I use Skype or my home line which is digital, so most of the time, still on my ISP's network. This just allows me to use a single device more of the time.



    I think this is a good solution to the issue, and am just glad it does not have a monthly fee!



    Shit I need a new house cause I got five bars in mine.... I'm in the burbs so our cell tower is the water tower, which is the highest structure around. I think this will work nicely in the city though, cause I get crappy reception when I'm in school down town.



    Anything over $20 for a device that lets you essentially do your provider's job for them is a joke. Either build a tower or pay me (discount my bill) to install one of these in my house.
  • Reply 37 of 62
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Shit I need a new house cause I got five bars in mine.... I'm in the burbs so out cell tower is the water tower which is the highest structure around. I think this will work nicely in the city though, cause I get crappy reception when I'm in school down town.



    Anything over $20 for a device that lets you essentially do your provider's job for them is a joke. Either build a tower or pay me (discount my bill) to install one of these in my house.



    Very often, the local government won't allow them to build another tower, and so you should look to them when you complain to find out if that's the reason.



    As far as the $20 goes, that's what you would pay for it, not what it might be worth.
  • Reply 38 of 62
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Before someone states what they think is fair, they have to know what the device costs the carrier. It's likely to be more than $50.



    I don't agree with that. While that sounds logical, fair is fairly opinionated. So what is fair to one person may not be fair to another.



    I think $50 would be fair.



    I also could use one in my house.
  • Reply 39 of 62
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    I don't agree with that. While that sounds logical, fair is fairly opinionated. So what is fair to one person may not be fair to another.



    I think $50 would be fair.



    I also could use one in my house.



    You're misconstruing "fair" which is what you think you would be willing to pay for it, with "fair" which would be AT&T getting its money back for it.



    Often, I think that if something were cheaper, I'd buy it. But that doesn't mean that the product isn't being offered at a fair price. Just not the price I would pay.
  • Reply 40 of 62
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    You're misconstruing "fair" which is what you think you would be willing to pay for it, with "fair" which would be AT&T getting its money back for it.



    Often, I think that if something were cheaper, I'd buy it. But that doesn't mean that the product isn't being offered at a fair price. Just not the price I would pay.



    I understand the definition of fair and see your point of view but I think that in the past 20 years fair has taken on the meaning of what someone thinks is "ok." I was making an observation on the word and it's evolution to many people and not meaning for that to sound so stand off-ish.
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