AT&T Launches Charlotte-only public trial of 3G MicroCell
Posted on 21 Sep 2009 by Justin Ruckman
AT&T launched the public trial of its 3G MicroCell device today which basically serves as a mini cell tower, using your internet connection to boost your mobile device’s voice and data — particularly useful for people in areas of spotty connectivity. The MicroCell sells for $150 with no recurring fees.
Additionally, you can pay $20 a month for unlimited calling, which circumvents your normal voice minutes whenever you originate a call from the device’s connection. This drops to $10 a month if you’re an AT&T internet or landline subscriber, and is free if you’re a subscriber of both.
Other carriers offer similar offerings at various price points and service plans, so the device itself isn’t incredibly unique. It’s interesting to me that Charlotte was chosen as the first trial city. This aligns with a previous announcement of high speed 7.3 Mbps HSPA data availability later this year in Charlotte along with a handful of other, notably larger, cities.
Perhaps this is because AT&T’s network infrastructure here is exceptionally thorough; I know I usually have excellent service on my AT&T phone while I hear others from around the country often complaining. Andria Krewson (@underoak) noted some spottiness in her 3G connection today, which could possibly be related to some kind of local network upgrades to accommodate the new system.