UPDATED: AT&T 3G MicroCell Site is Live

Microcell

Update: Engadget Mobile just got word from AT&T that the MicroCell and it's pricing structure are only in "public trial" at the moment in Charlotte, North Carolina. So sit tight folks as AT&T has "no other announcements to make at this time"

So you say you have horrible AT&T coverage in your home and you are about to leave your beloved carrier? Hold that thought for just one moment as AT&T's 3G MicroCell website just went live with a launch right around the corner. We all knew this was coming when Apple released the carrier file that added MicroCell support for our iPhones. Unfortunately, unless you have AT&T internet or landline service you must pay more, rumored to be $19.99 a month for unlimited use, to have the service you should already expect to have.

This is a great option for those of you stuck with a garbage signal in your home or office but without a doubt this should be a free solution as you already pay good money for the AT&T service. Even Sprint has been known to give their MicroCell away for free to customers who have no other choice but to ditch the carrier for another because of subpar service. Is it possible for AT&T to be just as forgiving?

If you decide to give this a try please let us know how it goes!

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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There are 29 comments. Add yours.

BriceH says:

Does anyone know how much the hardware for this service would cost? I already have ATT DSL/Landline, so this would be a quick an easy way to get unlimited minutes.

RAUnity69 says:

19.99 a month is too much to pay for this. Its a great concept but we would be helping AT&T out buy taking stress off there towers and then we need to pay them to do this too??!! At most the customer should have to pay 5 dollars a month or a nominal fee for the unit.

Kyle says:

The FAQ states that there is no monthly fee if you wish to use up your minutes as normal. If you want unlimited calling on the device, then yes, there is a fee.

ermax18 says:

I don't get it. I provide the bandwidth yet still have to pay ATT for it? Hahaha. So you don't have to pay the $19.99 unless you want unlimited calling?
I couldn't find all the details on pricing. Could you share a link to that info?

Jeremy says:

@Kyle & ermax18 - I do not see where the FAQ states that and I do believe details are still pretty non-existant it terms of pricing at this time.

Jeremy says:

Post has been updated as the pricing structure has not yet been created.

Kyle says:

From the site's FAQ:
Question:
Do I need to subscribe to an AT&T Unlimited MicroCell Calling feature?
Answer:
While highly recommended for maximum benefit, a subscription to AT&T Unlimited MicroCell Calling is not required. Your normal wireless from AT&T minute plan rates will apply.

Jeremy says:

@Kyle - I hope that remains true for those of you who need this when the pricing is in place. I find it odd that if it's still in testing like they claim that they put the site live. That's AT&T for you...

Al says:

19.99 is a joke. This should be free except for the price of the hardware. Sprint gave my sister one of these for free to keep her contract, 19.99 is preposterous.

dev says:

Interesting where this intersects with Net Neutrality. Regardless of actual bandwidth use levels, I know if I ran a phone/internet combination business like Time Warner, Comcast or (especially) Verizon FIOS, MicroCell traffic is exactly the type of traffic I would want to cap or deprioritize.

bubbatex says:

I have read elsewhere from those who were in the pilot that the hardware is going to be $150 - and if you sign up for the $20 unlimited plan, you will get a $100 rebate. But the unlimited plan is just an option as stated above.

Truth says:

Just download X lite, get a Google Voice number, and buy a $10 Gizmo credit (0.15 a minute). No hardware required other than a mic and a PC.
If you jailbreak use Google Voice to make unlimited number of calls. Check your bill and you'll see calls no matter how long you are on the phone it will only appear as one minute.

Darrell says:

I wonder if you can get more than one microcell per account. I have a family plan and my service sucks at home and work. It would be nice to have a microcell at both locations. That is if I don't have to pay $19.99 twice a month.

Al says:

@ Truth - My understanding of Google Voice was that it dials a local number which patches you through to whatever number you dialed. I would think that this would use more than one minute but I haven't used it myself. If that is true then why is everyone giving Apple grief over eliminating it from the App Store? Wouldn't that be similar to using VOIP through ATT data? It seems like just another way to reduce the number of minutes used per month to me and Apple and ATT have never allowed app that work like that.

Miami mike says:

AT&T is going crazy!!!! They add all these expensive a** features and expect people to pay more for something other carrier customers pay less for. They charge more $$$ for everything but can't even upgrade their crappy a** towers for MMS that was supposed to be released in June with 3.0! All AT&T do is give sorry excuse, after sorry excuse, but be $$$ our a**es off.
Apple pahleeze!!! Ditch At&t and get with verizon!

OneOfDaKine says:

You gotta love AT&T. Hahaha. Always gotta drain there customers pockets.. That's how the cookies crumbles.

Truth says:

@ Al
It uses one minute. I use it all the time. I have been on calls lasting for hours and get billed for one minute. I am having a difficult time understanding myself but from the looks of it using a data connection and your phone plan a call is made to google who then calls you. So in the mix it appears on AT&Ts end that you called an hung up. Kind of lack Google takes the tab, sort of...

Yobad says:

If you have an iPhone don't get this cuz all I have to say is wifi+home phone = no need for this.

Gabriel says:

SKYPE is only $2.95/mo for 10,000 minutes and EVEN cheaper if u pay by the yr.!!!!!!!! ATT are thiefs and APPLE, please get on another carrier. I can't deal/afford with a new contract with these SOBs.

Dude says:

I’d just like to remind everyone today is the last day of summer and I have yet to have MMS…that is all

Truth says:

@ Dude
It's Live on the 25th. Doesn't matter though ATT is still shit.

Truth says:

@ Miami mike
Verizon blows.
Sprint plans are cheaper. They have great coverage since they can roam all over Verizon. Fastest 3g. Android and no crippled phones like Verizon.

Ny Dennis says:

Got to love the T-mobile blackberry with UMA. Why can't they include that in for the 4g phone. I spend too much as it is already with AT&T on my 2 iPhone family plan.

Truth says:

@ Ny Dennis
Jailbreak. Unlock and dump ATT

Mark says:

Try z-boost cell repeater instead. About $299 and no monthly charge. Works with most cell bands and multiple phones (iPhone and others) simultaneously.

Sonny says:

Time to get an HTC phone and move to verizon. Dump AT&T people.

Relayer says:

I have the Sprint device, they "gave" it to me for "free" when I told them I was going to have to switch carriers. I still have to pay $15/month for the service, which does include unlimited minutes when using it... too bad my signal strength still sux and I don't make many calls from home. And I live in the middle of my city. If ATT is going to offer this, it better work well